Making Sense of an Uncertain World

Islam: The Religion and the People
By Bernard Lewis and Buntzie Ellis Churchill

“Bernard Lewis has no living rival in his field.”– Al Abram, Cairo (the most influential Arab world newspaper)

Lewis is one of the West’s leading experts on Islam. His views have influenced world leaders for decades.  Now, with the help of Buntzie Ellis Churchill, he’s written the definitive introduction to Islam for a general business readership. Islam is indispensable reading for everyone who wants to understand the faith, culture, and peoples of Islam and respond effectively to the global challenges that involve Islam, from terror to oil.

Drawing on a lifetime of scholarship, Lewis answers questions like: What are the pillars of the Islamic faith? What does Islam really say about jihad? What about the differences between men and women? What are the rights of non-Muslims? What are the differences between Sunni and Shi’a? Can there be Islamic democracies? What does the Prophet say about free enterprise and profit? What really caused the rise of radical Islam? How can Muslims live their faith in societies that are largely non-Muslim, such as Europe and the U.S.? Whatever your political, personal, or religious views, whether you want to manage diverse workforces or understand the forces shaping global economics, it’s essential to get past the common myths about Islam, and understand its reality.

About the Authors

Bernard Lewis is Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Emeritus at Princeton University. Widely acknowledged as one of the West’s leading experts on Islam, he is author of the best-sellers The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror and What Went Wrong: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response. Lewis’s current research interests include the history of the Ottoman Empire and the relations between Europe and Islam from early through Ottoman to modern times. Lewis coined the term “clash of civilizations,” and has advised government officials and policymakers in the U.S., UK, and the Middle East.

Buntzie Ellis Churchill served for 23 years as the President of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia hosting dozens of world leaders from Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher to Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, she has served as a trustee of many nonprofit organizations, including the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology and Drexel University. She has been awarded several honorary doctorates.


Unlocking Opportunities for Growth: How to Profit from Uncertainty While Limiting Your Risk
By Alexander B. Van Putten and Ian C. MacMillan

There is a fundamental flaw in the way most companies invest in innovation. They are using investment analysis tools that bias them against the uncertainty that is inherent in real innovation, and lead managers to limit risk by avoiding their best opportunities. This book introduces a breakthrough alternative: Opportunity Engineering.

Drawing upon recent advances in financial analysis, the authors show how to engineer the risk out of uncertain opportunities, so you can pursue more high-payoff innovations. Readers will learn how to escape from the “go/no-go vise,” and implement more flexible decision-making that considers all the business alternatives, models, and opportunities associated with each project. These include: opportunities to redirect projects “on the fly;” to sell the venture or its intellectual property; to scale up, slow down, or postpone projects; and to spawn joint ventures or mergers.

Discovery Driven Planning (DDP) helps define the scope of investment opportunities, identify key drivers of potential profits, document your assumptions, and tease out key project challenges and vulnerabilities. Then, for projects that offer potential, move on to CheckPointing: systematically structuring ways to limit downside exposure and boost potential upside. Unlocking Opportunities for Growth shows how to approach business innovation investments such as new products, new markets, contract negotiations, alliances, and joint ventures, as a Wall Street insider would stock and bond investments. You can finally start making business uncertainty work for you, not against you.

About the Authors

Alexander B. van Putten lectures on entrepreneurial management at the Wharton School. He is managing director of Triad Consultants, which consults on strategy and business planning for clients ranging from Procter and Gamble and MetLife to Bayer. Formerly SVP of Chrysler Capital Realty, he has also built three successful companies revolving around arbitrage and finance.

Ian C. MacMillan is the Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Professor of Management, and Director of the Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center at Wharton. His areas of research include new venture management, entrepreneurship, and strategic management.


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