The Pile for February 1, 2010

The Pile is our weekly guide to what we’re reading to become better managers.

Granta coverLast week we looked at a provocative book about piracy; it shouldn’t surprise us that it took us less than a week to find something else interesting regarding the topic. We don’t read the British literary quarterly Granta as part of our quest to become better managers, but the most recent issue focuses on work. Many of us spend more time there than anywhere else; why shouldn’t we look at it closely? Every article here is worth perusing (and the definition of work here is broad enough to keep you reading the whole issue), but first read Daniel Alarcón’s investigation into book pirating in Peru. You’ll discover a parallel publishing world in which your usual expectations about what is intellectual property and what isn’t will be upended. The top pirates are criminals, of course, but it’s fascinating what their endeavors mean to Peruvian culture. It’s not quite open innovation, but it’s closer than you might think.

Closer to home, we have been covering Andrew McAfee’s latest on Enterprise 2.0. We’re not the only ones. The principal research scientist at the MIT Center for Digital Business gave McKinsey Quarterly an interesting interview on the topic, in which he offers a deeply held optimism regarding what these new technologies can offer businesses — and us. You can read, watch, or listen to the interview.