Saturday, January 28, 2012
Book Review: Persuasion, by Arlene Dickinson (2011)
Marketing guru and easily-agitated panelist on CBC's Dragons' Den, Arlene Dickinson doles out business advice in her book Persuasion. This is not a seriously researched or fact-based treatise; Dickinson does not bother with notes, references, suggested further reading, or even an index. Instead, she recounts her life story and packages the lessons that she has learned in achieving business success.
There are a few nuggets in Persuasion that would have made for a decent lecture. Dickinson's focus is on ethical persuasion as a pathway to success, and emphasizes the old marketing standbys of authenticity, honesty and reciprocity, the need for good research, hard work, teamwork, listening, and delivering on promises. While not much of what she says is new, her personal story of overcoming a lack of education, poverty, and a bitter divorce to emerge as one of Canada's leading marketing executives adds a genuine warmth to her advice.
Beyond presenting what Dickinson believes in, Persuasion contains little in the way of transformational advice for the business novice to proceed and make the changes necessary to succeed. Dickinson knows what worked for her, but as is often the case, that isn't enough to make for a high-value read.
Subtitled: A New Approach To Changing Minds.
Published in hardcover by Collins.
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