Posted : 2009-10-23 22:08
Updated : 2009-10-23 22:08

Recent Books

Kim Young-se; Random House; 244 pp., 13,000 won

World-renowned Korean designer Kim Young-se created numerous product designs such as Laneige Sliding Pact, LG Electronics Dios refrigerators and Woongjin Cuchen steam cleaner.

This book explores the successful design examples through his creations and other internationally acclaimed product models.

The author emphasizes that ``imagining,'' which is different from fantasy and rather close to ``strategic thinking,'' is the key element in successful designs.

He said that an ``imaginer'' brings changes to the world through innovative designs. ``Creators and trendsetters who lead the design era are the imaginers. Imagining is the creative thinking and the process of becoming a good imaginer,'' he said.

His innovative designs come from breaking with traditional thinking. Kim created the MP3 players designed only for women because most of the digital devices are dominated by the men-friendly designs. His MP3 players resemble a compact case with a mirror on its lid that gained enormous popularity from women consumers.

He said good designs are supposed to be meaningful and beautiful but the most important thing is to have something different from others.

-Chung Ah-young

Seoul Selection Guides: Seoul
Robert Koehler; Seoul Selection; 464 pp., 24,000 won

There are numerous guide books about Seoul but it's hard to find a good one for tourists. This book is one of the largest volumes along with 440 colorful photos. But the most attractive thing is the comprehensive information about the city from the objective view of the author, a native of New York, who has lived in Korea since 1997.

He introduces that readers can be ``exploring venerable royal palaces and temples one moment and the next experiencing tomorrow's technology today.''

The book consists of two parts. The first part examines the city introducing the wealth of history, culture and entertainment to be found within. The second part provides basic information that visitors must know, including customs, procedures, visa information and hotel information.

The book features detailed maps and transportation information, culture and history notes that offer background information and stories to enrich the traveling experience and day trips to interesting spots outside of Seoul, including the DMZ and royal tombs.

The catchy layout and design are among the good reasons to pick this guidebook written in English.

-Chung Ah-young

Beyond Strategy: The Leader's Role in Successful Implementation
Robin Speculand; Wiley; 150 pp., $19.95

Many leaders make a major mistake by focusing mostly on crafting strategy and not enough on its implementation. This is one of the most frequent failures too many leaders are suffering on the delivery of their strategy promises to shareholders.

The current markets have placed even greater pressure on leaders to execute the strategy right the first time and leaders want to know today what they must do differently. Implementation can no longer be delegated.

The author turns his attention from how to implement strategy to what leaders must do differently. The book said that leaders must alter not only their attitude but also their approach and actions.

Implementation never goes according to plan and leaders must oversee and direct it to deliver revenue, according to the book.

This book, one of the first to globally address a leader's responsibility in execution, is comprehensive yet succinct handbook, action-oriented and applicable for leaders with a strategy to implement.

-Chung Ah-young

Starting a White Collar Workers' Band at 30
Jeon Mi-yeong; Book House: 223 pp., 12,000 won

Last year, two popular movies ― "Happy Life" and "Bravo My Life" ― featured listless middle-aged men revitalizing their monotonous lives by forming rock bands.

This is the first in a series of books that follow the trend. It's about facing a midlife crisis, taking the reins and plunging into the unknown.

In the first part, the author shares his experience forming an amateur band of white collar workers. Like most professionals in their 30s, Jeon had a good amount of work experience under his belt and felt reluctant to commit to something else while on the job. But he found the courage to try what he always wanted to do, and eventually met collaborators with whom he made good music and formed strong friendships.

The second part provides a practical guide for people who want to form a band of their own, such as how to find the right equipment and organize a performance. Also included is a list of competitions for workers' bands and other information.

-Lee Hyo-won
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