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4.2 out of 5 stars
Doing More with Less: The New Way to Wealth
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading "Doing More With Less" and I must say that needed to force my way through to the end of this book. This is likely the result of me not being in Piasecki's target audience. I already consider myself to be a frugal individual and an environmental advocate. I found Piasecki's writing to be self-absorbed and self-promoting. I also found the book to be extremely repetitive. I would challenge those with an electronic version of the book to count the number of instances of "frugal" (including "frugality") and "more with less". However, on page 142, Piasecki writes, "I did not want this book to be repetitive, as much as incantatory..." In my opinion, the incantations in this book were all too recurrent. This book certainly is not for everybody.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I read several chapters with the hopes that this book would get interesting and make some meaningful points, but in my estimation it never did. The content of this book reminded me of the economic psycho-babble of the looters in Atlas Shrugged. I would probably re-title this book "Doing Less With More". This book was a total waste of money.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book because the blurbs and information seemed to be about frugality and following the lessons of Ben Franklin.

Just FYI this "book" is really just 6 chapters, 155 pages total of larger than normal type and a healthy dose of charts. Piasecki talks in very vague terms but manages to say very little in droning blocks of text.

I found very little that was tangibly helpful. The whole tome didn't seem to amount to more than some general droning about the current state of business in the author's views. His sports analogies about "knuckleheads" ruining hockey games somehow being in business didn't make much sense to me. I enjoyed the themes of frugality and interconnectedness, but none of this ever got fleshed out to a practical level.

Considering the amount of name dropping, references to pop culture and number of times the author self-aggrandizes about his other books (mentioned OFTEN throughout the text) I wouldn't really recommend this to anyone. If you want to give it a try it's a quick read for most, but if you want some tips for the individual Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing, and Saving is a good one, and there are scores of good management books I would recommend above this, almost anything.

Glad I only checked this out from the library instead of buying.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This book "Doing More with Less" wasn't what I expected and I was disappointed after reading it. Price was good, but surely wasn't what I expected, even though I did peruse through a few pages before buying.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
The main theme of this book is an obvious one that is generally overlooked, the larger the organization the more it is passed over. It is all about waste that can be eliminated with no negative consequences and lower costs with increased profits. Despite the new sources of fossil fuels that are being opened up there is still a limit to how much can reasonably be extracted from the Earth.
Oil is not the only natural resource that is limited and will run out at some point in the foreseeable future. There are projections that many essential raw materials will also be exhausted in a timeframe that is within the lifetime of a baby born this year.
The solution is twofold, the first is to use less in an intelligent manner and much of that is simple to execute and will save rather than cost money. For example, most energy saving devices pay for themselves within a few years, so it is smart to swap out that old microwave and refrigerator in the company kitchen. Safely archiving an email and only printing it out when necessary is another.
One of the most effective increases in organizational productivity is to simplify email messages that are now the most common form of communication. Surveys have indicated that the modern office worker spends a significant amount of each day processing email messages. Shaving an average of a few seconds off the handling of each message will significantly increase overall productivity. Towards that end I recommend the book "NAKED WORDS: The Effective 157-Word Email" by Gisela Hausmann. Her findings are consistent and complementary with what Piasecki has discovered and states in this book, "there are many ways to do more with less and some of those tactics improve the work environment as well.
The two forces of a rising population and diminishing resources will force organizations to reduce their levels of consumption and doing so is some of the best public and community relations actions that can be done. Therefore Piasecki's point is one of the first that needs to be made about the future success of business, the raising of awareness. Furthermore, as he states so clearly, the savings compound in two ways. The money saved now can be considered to be earning interest in the future and the frugal mindset leads to an active search for further savings. Some executives understand this and have reaped benefits while others have not and may find their organizations squeezed in the future.

This book was made available for free for review purposes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent read that is as relevant to the aspiring business professional as it is to a retiree. In these tough economic times frugality and resourcefulness are more important than ever, and the author does an excellent job in demonstrating to the reader how to live these qualities in everyday life. Furthermore, Doing More With Less is well written in that the author is able to maintain an artful and entertaining narrative while still communicating clearly the underlying lessons of the book.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in self-improvement. I feel I have learned a lot from reading Doing More With Less, and it only took me one cross-country flight to finish it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Bruce Piasecki's words really spoke to me. As a Senior in college in environmental sciences, I agree with many of the points that Bruce presents about modern consumerism and current systems. We as a society need to change our beliefs and behaviors. I was inspired by this book to start a job search in a meaningful field where I can work in a fashion that could help change these societal patterns. It has given me direction on how to proceed professionally in a way that is productive to society.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In this short and insightful book, Bruce Piasecki uses his experiences as the President of the AHC Group to explain how frugality is a 21st Century competitive necessity. Doing More with Less provides numerous examples of how to think about business in the modern world. Buy this book for ideas on how to create greater returns for your company in today's resource limited economy.
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on April 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've just finished reading Dr. Bruce Piasecki's optimistic book Doing More With Less and recommend it to business people who want to compete effectively during the 21st century amidst the unique challenges of our time. Piasecki compares our "inherited beliefs about superabundance, entitlement, and destiny on Earth" against evidence of the 21st century challenges: increasing urbanization, globalization, less farm land, water scarcity, climate change, aging populations, decreasing fossil fuel reserves and ... nearly 7 billion people living on Earth, 70% of whom live in urban centers. There is no other time in history where people lived so densely and used so much energy and natural resources.

So how does Dr. Piasecki manage to be optimistic with these profound challenges? He has studied and implemented Benjamin Franklin's life philosophy which promoted frugality, innovation and diplomacy as foundational principles for sustainable wealth in life and in business. Benjamin Franklin understood that scarce times breed inventiveness. He also understood that scarce times are soothed through diplomacy instead of war-like attitudes. For 30 years, Piasecki has been implementing these principles at his own firm and consulted with many Fortune 500 companies who have successfully done the same. In other words, he has something to say that we can all learn from.

Doing More With Less provides facts like 300 of the top multinational corporations now control about 33 percent of the world's assets. And, 44 percent of world trade takes place among these organizations. This trend of corporate control of world assets is expected to deepen as it appears to correlate with population movement towards so-called "megacities". As Piasecki says, mega companies have "sculpted" megacities. Now, there are 19 global cities each with populations over 10 million. By 2025, experts predict that 26 such mega cities will exist on the planet.

With this kind of people density amid scarce resources, Piasecki states emphatically that "to achieve peace and prosperity - to reach that next golden age - we must develop and disseminate the art of frugality. The next golden age will be about a frugal prosperity for a growing number of people." For inspiration, Dr. Piasecki provides many examples of businesses that are already addressing societal challenges through their core business. These businesses have corporate sustainability strategies that are based upon principles of frugality which have resulted in increased market share, customer loyalty, reduced risks, and financial security.

Piasecki's predicts that these types of businesses will survive the 21st century, and that the best businesses will greatly influence the growth and development of the megacities where they are located. His core advice for businesses is to take note of the relationship between financial scarcity issues, energy and carbon usage patterns, and the voluntary movement of businesses to sustainability strategies, and adjust your business strategy accordingly.
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on April 9, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Review Overview

I explain how current events add to the importance of Doing More with Less before sharing an in-person experience with Bruce Piasecki and commenting on the value of the book itself. I strongly recommend the book for business leaders and university students. [Scroll down for the full review.]

How Current Events Add to the Importance of Doing More with Less

Doing More with Less arrives with impeccable timing, as the debt crisis rages on in Europe and as heads continue to spin regarding the deeper lessons learned from the US banking meltdown of 2008. Not only has much of the ordinary citizenry been marching along as if nothing fundamental has changed, most of our business and political leaders are struggling to find their bearings, too. All of this macro-level disorientation is compounded by the micro-level disorientation of tweets, texts, and old fashioned email messages hitting us every minute of everyday. As any serious player recognizes, it's hard to get your head in the game. And yet all of us, especially our so-called 'star players,' are sorely needed on the field to address not only economic and political fundamentals but also social and environmental imperatives and even meaning-of-life matters. Enter Bruce Piasecki.

Piasecki doesn't fashion himself as a coach; nonetheless, I like to think of him that way - not in the one-on-one sense of most executive coaching today, but rather in the 'Great Coach' sense of the man or woman with the vision and stature to get us to grasp both the mechanics of the next play and the beauty of an entire human life well-lived. Piasecki's got gravitas. Speaking and writing with the poetry and punch of the pragmatic tradition, he reminds us of the wisdom of Ben Franklin and applies select principles to our present day. Just as Franklin's ideas generated an intensely warm reaction in the US and elsewhere in the world, so too with Piasecki.

My In-Person Experience with Bruce Piasecki

I had the chance to hear Bruce Piasecki speak at the Crisis in Capitalism Conference at the Fox School of Business at Temple University last Wednesday. I was so looking forward to the event, given the New York Times best-seller status of Doing More with Less and all of the attendant buzz. (The man and his ideas are popping across the planet.) I was not disappointed.

Piasecki held all in rapt attention as he explained the importance of embracing the triumvirate of innovation, frugality, and civility. I did not personally talk the issue over with him, but I felt pretty sure at the time he would agree that concept number two is the major game changer here. It was helpful to have him explain how frugality is not cheapness. Instead we should think of it - or better yet work it and live it - in terms of greater consideration and efficiency. Other gems for me were the ideas that closeted wealth is not true wealth (i.e., true wealth is social by nature) and that we should promote 'post-traumatic growth' (i.e., we should do our best to quickly move from the experience of a profound emotion, even a profoundly negative emotion, to take profoundly positive action).

The Value of the Book, and My Recommendation

After taking in Piasecki in an abridged face-to-face format, I was keen on learning more and purchased the book Doing More with Less. I left the book with a much clearer grasp of how inventiveness, frugality, and diplomacy need to be intertwined. The book is bold in scope yet always masterfully nuanced. It combines a big picture view with practical and sometimes personal examples. Piasecki is a thought leader with the courage to confront our massive and mounting problems yet point out the positive possibilities given his extensive direct experience, book learning, and, let's face it, wisdom. I agree with Gene Miller, the writer of the foreward, that the book needs to get into the hands of business leaders. But, as a professor, I also see how it needs to be in the hands of undergraduate and graduate students. I strongly recommend the book for its compelling content and style.
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