People Are Talking (Year-End Edition)

’Tis the season of year-end round-ups—a time when people look back and collect their thoughts on the “best” works to appear over the preceding twelve months.And we’re happy to report that a couple of outlets have included Talk, Inc., on their lists of notable business books published in 2012.


The Web site 800-CEO-READ, a retailer and information clearinghouse that has become a key player in the fast-changing business-book market, put our book on its shortlist of titles in the “Leadership” category.

Strategy + Business, a magazine published by the consulting firm Booz & Company, placed Talk, Inc., on its “Best Business Books 2012” list. (Free registration required. Visitors can also download a PDF of the magazine’s entire package of articles on the best books of the year.)


The editors of Strategy + Business cite our book under the rubric of “Organizational Culture.”In a piece that covers books in that category, writer Sally Helgesen offers this summary comment:

Talk, Inc. makes a powerful case that effective talk is the primary means of motivating and inspiring loyalty among today’s increasingly social and connected workforce. . . . Talk in all its manifestations—intimate, interactive, inclusive, and intentional—is the cultural instrument required to get people engaged.

Meanwhile, consultant Karina Butera recently posted a review of Talk, Inc., at her Web site. Here, in brief, is her verdict:

Overall, the authors give a compelling case for broadening the function of Corporate Communication from a one-way, top-down approach, to a two-way exchange. Talk, Inc. is well suited to executives wanting to gain better employee and stakeholder engagement and is a must-read for anyone specialising in Corporate Communications.

As strong business relationships are built from productive conversations, I see this book as an excellent guide to assist you in your business relationship building.


Talking Business

Business blogger extraordinaire Bob Morris, who wrote a warm review of Talk, Inc., soon after the book came out, has published an interview that he conducted with us via email.

BobMorrisHeader.tiffBob served up a host of great questions, and we did our best to provide thoughtful answers that didn’t merely repeat material that’s in the book. The result is a wide-ranging discussion that touches on our personal backgrounds, our speculations about the future of leadership, and our musings on how the likes of Lao-Tzu and Voltaire might provide insight into the meaning of organizational conversation.

[The full interview appears in the extended entry.]


Faith Talk

FaithLead logo.jpgReligious leaders need to build a reliable, conversation-based rapport with their followers—just as business leaders do (if not more so). That’s why an editor at Faith & Leadership, an online newsletter published by Duke Divinity School, approached me (Mike) to talk about the ideas presented in Talk, Inc. The result was an interview that Faith & Leadership is featuring this week on its Web site.

For the piece—it’s titled “Part of an Ongoing Conversation”—I spoke with the interviewer about the value of trust, the importance of telling an inclusive story, and the elements of organizational conversation.

The Reviews Are In!

Well, a few reviews are in, at any rate. Over the past couple of months, several commentators from around the Web have reviewed Talk, Inc. And they’ve done so in very kindly terms, all in all.

This week, for example, a Canadian business writer named Wayne Hurlburt posted a notice about the book at his site, Blog Business World. Here’s a sample of his commentary:

For me, the power of the book is how Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind combine the theory and principles of organizational conversation, with the practical techniques for nurturing and developing the concept within any company. The authors present a very compelling argument in support of organizational conversation as essential for companies seeking more engaged and empowered employees.

And here two more notable items that we’ve spotted in our “review mirror.”

  • Bob Morris, at his Blogging About Business site, published a lengthy post about Talk, Inc.. A highlight of his review is a detailed list of “the passages, themes, and concepts that caught my eye throughout the narrative.”
  • Dan Erwin has put up a piece about the book at his blog, which focuses on “career development, career and neuroscience research, current affairs,” and much else. “Groysberg and Slind’s new work,” Erwin writes, “is a welcome addition to every manager’s bookshelf.”

People Are Talking (III)

Here are further notes on places on (and off) the Web where people are talking about Talk, Inc.

  • A writer for Investor’s Business Daily, Steve Watkins, quotes both of us (Boris and Mike) in a recent article titled “Walk the Talk to Get Others to Follow Your Lead.” That piece appeared in print as well as online.
  • At, marketing columnist Dorie Clark draws upon her interview with Boris in a piece titled “Why CMOs Should Get Used to Less Control.”
  • The magazine Canadian Business has published a brief review of the book. It’s available not only online, but also in the magazine’s print edition.
  • Here, addition, is a short notice about Talk, Inc., on the company blog of Continuum Design, a company that we featured in the book.

An “Engaging” Chat

Anna Farmery, an all-around social-media maven (she calls herself a “social business architect”), interviewed me (Mike) a few weeks ago for her Web site, The Engaging Brand. engaging-brand-logo.jpgAt the site, she offers good overview of the topics that we covered during our chat.

In that overview, Anna poses a cleverly worded question about the model presented in Talk, Inc.: “Is it about informalising traditional communication or formalising the grapevine?” The correct answer, of course, is “both.” Organizational conversation is about instituting a more personal, less “corporate” mode of managing communication—and it’s about taking the idle chatter that percolates within an organization and making it not so “idle.”

Today, Anna posted an audio recording of my conversation with her, and you can find it here.

Question Time

Earlier this summer, a writer from the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) spoke with me (Mike) about the argument that we present in Talk, Inc. I chatted with her about the factors that are driving companies to adopt a conversational model of leadership; about the basic elements of organizational conversation; and about ways that individual managers are incorporating those elements into their leadership practice.

At its Web site, CCL has now posted a write-up based on that conversation. The write-up is available to CCL members only—but you can access a PDF version of the interview here.

CCL logo.tiff

People Are Talking (II)

TWFR cover.jpg

Further notes on recent media hits related to Talk, Inc.:

  • On its Web site, the magazine Strategy + Business has published an excerpt from the book. Published under the headline “Drucker’s Rule,” it features a brief introduction by Stephen M.R. Covey.
  • Another prominent business journal, The World Financial Review, has also published a book excerpt. It appears both online and in the magazine’s print edition.
  • The magazine Canadian Business has posted a brief review of Talk, Inc., on its Web site.
  • Polly Pearson, whom we interviewed for our chapter on EMC Corp., has posted a review of the book on her blog.
  • Working Knowledge, a newsletter that showcases the work of Harvard Business School faculty members, has published both an article about Talk, Inc., and an excerpt from it.

Voices Carry


“Smart Conversations About Business and Life.” That’s the tagline of 33Voices, a Web site operated by Moe Abdou. A few weeks ago, I (Mike) had a long and lively chat with Moe, and he’s now published that conversation in podcast form at his site. Moe is an “entrepreneur and visionary,” by his own reckoning—and a great interviewer, by my reckoning. The focus of 33Voices, moreover, clearly resonates with the themes that we explore in Talk, Inc. So I was glad to add my voice to the ongoing conversation that’s unfolding at that site.

Radio Talk

Over the past week, we have participated in two audio interviews about Talk, Inc., that listeners can now access online.

Last Saturday, I (Mike) had a brief chat with Stu Taylor, host of “Equity Strategies,” a show that’s syndicated on many radio stations through the Business Talk Radio Network. You’ll find an archived recording to the show here. (The portion of the show that includes my interview begins at the 48.50 mark.)

And this past Monday, I (Mike) appeared on a live podcast show called “Business Reinvention.” The show, hosted by Nancy Lin, is broadcast on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel. Also taking part in the discussion was Polly Pearson, a former executive at EMC Corp. (and a major source for our chapter in the book on EMC). You can listen to the show by going here.