When Lisa Earle McLeod’s latest book, Selling with Noble Purpose, is released next month, it will span more than 200 pages.
Yet readers of a summary by getAbstract, which bases its Americas operation in South Florida, will be able to absorb the key points in five pages.
And that’s perfectly fine with McLeod, an Atlanta-based sales leadership consultant, who is also a getAbstract subscriber and uses the summaries for her clients.
“Everyone is not going to read the full book, and even for people who do read the book, it’s hard to synthesize it and use it in meetings,” McLeod said. “When a company has the abstract, they get the knowledge faster, and it exposes more people to your ideas. It also increases the likelihood that your ideas will stick.”
Indeed, most busy professionals need to keep up-to-date on a range of business topics to shore up their wealth of knowledge.
Yet in today’s high speed, multi-tasking world, executives and employees tend to be too short on time and resources to take a course or read a book cover-to-cover.
Enter getAbstract, whose business is compressing knowledge and disseminating it in easy-to-digest doses that can be read online, printed out or listened to as you drive to the office, jog or wait to board a plane.
The company, which says it is the largest compressor of business knowledge in the world with 10 million users, was founded in Lucerne, Switzerland, 13 years ago. And for the past five years, it has had its Americas headquarters, its only other office, in Aventura.
“The way we learn now is snippets of information,” said Michel Koopman, chief executive of getAbstract Inc., the firm’s Americas arm. “We can no longer dine on information. You snack on knowledge.”
GetAbstract’s library includes more than 9,000 business book summaries, covering more than 90 topics that are divided into 12 categories: leadership and management; strategy; sales and marketing; finance; human resources; IT, production and logistics; small business; economics and politics; industries; global business; career and self-development; and concepts and trends.
The information is culled from books from more than 400 publishers. The company has contracts with such publishing houses as Random House, Harvard Business Review Press, John Wiley and Sons, Jossey-Bass, Penguin,Viking Press and Putnam, Koopman said. The summaries are available in seven languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese and Russian.
Among well-known books are The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey, The Secret of Teams, by Mark Miller and Look at More, by Andy Stefanovich.
McLeod, the Atlanta-based consultant and business author, is delighted that getAbstract also offers a summary of her 212-page book about a conflict resolution model, The Triangle of Truth, published in 2010.
“It turns the book into a learning tool for the manager or the employee,” she said, “which is huge.”
Each getAbstract book summary is five pages long, and follows a set template. The company says you can read a book’s core knowledge in 10 minutes or listen to it in eight.
“We find relevant information, expertly compress it and make it available at the point of need,” Koopman said, “so individuals can make business decisions and be better professionals.”