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Table of Contents | November 2004

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Fast Forward 2005
The future is something to get excited about again. Here`s our look at the surprising people, ideas, and trends that will change how we work and live in 2005. David Lidsky
Fast Take: Things you need to know
...about management, strategy, branding and marketing, and technology.
Living in Dell Time
For most businesses, warehouses full of stuff are a kind of security blanket. But Dell has replaced inventory with information, and that has helped turn it into one of the fastest, most hyperefficient organizations on the planet. Bill Breen
Fast Take: The Need For Speed
Dell`s ultimate competitive weapon is speed, which gives the tech giant`s bottom line a real boost. Here`s a five-point plan for building a really fast company -- direct from Dell.
Trade Secrets
Equal Exchange`s fair-trade coffee isn`t just virtuous. Because of the company`s innovative and collaborative ways of dealing with growers, it gets better beans. That makes for a darn good cup o` joe -- and caffeinated growth for Equal Exchange. Do companies that thrive by twisting their suppliers` arms have something to learn? Lucas Conley
Fast Take: A Different Way to Deal With Suppliers
Instead of leaning on its vendors, Equal Exchange collaborates with coffee growers to make sure it gets the best beans.
Was Built To Last Built To Last?
It`s one of the most influential business books of our era, and it helped turn coauthor Jim Collins into a management rock star. But how well have the companies it lionized and the principles it espoused stood the test of time? Jennifer Reingold and Ryan Underwood
Fast Take: A Field Guide to the Gurus
Sometimes a book is more than just a book. In the guru business, a block-buster title is the ticket to hefty lecture fees and consulting gigs till you`re dead. Here`s how some of the biz-book heavyweights stack up against one another. Ryan Underwood
Fast Take: How to Read a Business Book
Three ways to get the most out of business tomes -- without resorting to just the executive summary. Jennifer Reingold
Built to Last: The True Test of Timeless Companies
Jim Collins on why Built to Last is not about business performance, why the list doesn`t matter, and why the laws of physics will never change. Ryan Underwood
Built to Last: Vision Exam
Built to Last co-author Jerry Porras on the limitations of leaders -- and the importance of creative corporate cultures. Ryan Underwood
IBM`s Management Makeover
As its world changes, IBM is studying its top-performing leaders. What do they do differently, and can everyone do it? Linda Tischler
What I Know Now
What lessons has Len Schlesinger learned since he went from professor at Harvard B-school to COO of Limited Brands? Paul B. Brown
Fast Talk: Search Them
You`ve got a great new search technology. Now how do you go up against Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft? And why would you even try? These upstarts have answers for every David thinking of taking on an industry Goliath. Lucas Conley


Brand That I Love
As global affection for American brands wanes, can business do what government can`t: make Brand U.S.A. cool again? Linda Tischler
Chatter: Stormy Weather
An evocative expression, a fad-prone media, and George Clooney: It`s the perfect storm for language overuse. Chuck Salter
" This Is Your Captain Speaking"
How well did CEO Gerald Grinstein ride the turbulence when he announced his plan to bring Delta Air Lines in for a soft landing? Lucas Conley
iPod Roadie
Shifting into (MP)3rd gear. Paul Lukas
How to Fix Coca-Cola
What to do when a brand goes flat. Maxine Clayton
What`s Your Carbon Worth? Ask Richard Sandor
Financial-futures pioneer Richard Sandor thinks he can make carbon-emission rights as tradable as pork bellies and frozen OJ. Alec Appelbaum
Road Rules
An ad-agency team hits the road in an RV to get up close and personal with consumers. Linda Tischler
Mind Games
What exec hasn`t had to sell consumers on the superiority of a brand, or employees on a goal, or clients on a strategy? Cheryl Della Pietra
Boiling the Ocean
What this bit of management buzz-speak would really entail, courtesy of our Consultant Debunking Unit. Martin Kihn
60 Seconds on Small talk
Appetizers for relationships, comforting conversation, and why icebreakers work. Maxine Clayton
Insurgent for President!
It`s election season, when voters turn into consumers and campaigns become vast marketing operations. What can we learn? Michael Aneiro
Their Way
Two Swedish business gurus contend that copy cat companies will shut down when the music stops. Magnus Hoij
The Ad Agency on Your Hard Drive
How Web software called "adware" is taking advertising to a new, effective, and extremely annoying level. Alan Deutschman
It`s a Pen! It`s a High-lighter! It`s Sorta Cool!
A pen in your hand is worth two in your bag. Magnus Hoij
One Heart at a Time
Problem: How to bridge profound cultural differences in warring regions. Solution: A for-profit food company that unites both sides in commerce. Jessica Steinberg
Office Handbook
The proper time and place to use your BlackBerry. Ryan Underwood
The Corporate Shrink
When should you go with your gut? Dr. Kerry J. Sulkowicz


Personality Tests: Back With a Vengeance
Are you an INTJ or an ESFP? Why employers love personality tests more than ever, and what you need to know before you pick up a pencil. Alison Overholt
Toxic Cleanup: How to Deal With a Dangerous Leader
Do you work for a toxic leader? What you can do to clean up the ooze. Melissa Korn
Heal Thyself
Recruiter Cheryl Buxton helps us navigate the meritocratic, objective health-care job market. Danielle Sacks
Go For Launch
Learn the deep-dish secrets of new product development in Chicago. Fiona Haley
Readers' Choice
The Highest Goal helps you find the intersection between doing what you love and earning a living.
Nice Guys Can Finish First
Your people skills become more important the higher you go -- so behave yourself! Marshall Goldsmith
Ranking Ourselves to Death
The link between control and contentment. Shoshana Zuboff
ReaderSpeak: Everyone Loves Their Own Ideas
How to lead change initiatives from the rear. Mark Northern

More Great Stuff

The Brand Called Us
This month`s letter from the editor. John A. Byrne
Between The Lines
The stories behind this issue`s stories. Fast Company
Letters. Updates. Advice. Fast Company
A Slow, Patient Pace
Report From The Past. Scott Kirsner
Balancing Act
Exchanging words about work-life. Heath Row