Sunday, August 22, 2010

Five Underrated Reads

GOOD takes its title seriously. The content brings a solution-oriented take to societal progressions, small towns and entire cultures included. Soppy feel-good puff stories are left behind for the local 5 o'clock news. If you can, grab the community issue published two or three issues ago.  

The Fresh Xpress -
FreshXpress' commentary is top notch, even if the title conjures images of neon-colored bicycle hats and four-knuckled name-rings. Writers tackle light and weighty issues directly and intelligently without coming across as crass or falling into an empty, politically correct faux pas of a shell. Seasoned alphabet-channel journalists don't make me learn, laugh, or think this hard. FX pulls a hat trick every week.   

I'm nowhere near 50 years old and yet AARP engages me on a personal level.  My favorite thing about the mag is its low BS tolernace. AARP has a light, life-is-first tone that's casually substantive and not as self-important as a young chap like me. I guess if you've been around for 50 years and longer, you've seen enough to know what is and isn't worthwhile.
Magazines owned by academic and consulting interests outflank popular consumer business media in capturing the ears and eyes of corporate managers. The best of them -  Harvard Business Review, McKinsey Quarterly, Strategy + Business, etc. - do an excellent job of providing studies and theories that give business leaders a wider range of executive-level decision making tools. Talent and Leadership provides the same substantive, action-oriented content in articles that take a fifth of the time to digest. 

Stanford Social Innovation Review
There is a lot out there these days on business, politics, and society. Not so much on community development. And hardly anything that links all of the above. That shouldn't be. Improving communities lead to better standards of living equal growing economies. And companies and governments who address societal needs (versus wants) are tackling issues and markets that are perpetual. Stanford Social Innovation brings together social concerns, fiscal realities, and political structures in a much more real way than anything covered on television or in popular magazines. It's a must read for everyone, whether for company, country, or community.