Monday, April 23, 2012

What's Zennovation? Win the book & find out

This Friday, April 27, Philadelphia University will host Tomio Taki of "Zennovation: An East-West Approach to Business Success" (John Wiley & Sons, April 2012, $24.95, 226 pp.), to celebrate the book's launch.

Here on Balancing the Books I will also celebrate the "Zennovation" launch by giving away the free copy sent to me by the publisher for review. (See below for giveaway information).

"Zennovation," which Taki co-authored with his son Adam Taki, tells the story of the elder Taki’s life, including his acquisition of The Anne Klein Company and the launching of Donna Karan as an iconic American designer.

"Going through 75 years of my life in just over 200 pages is not as simple as it may appear," Tomio Taki writes.

Friday's event will include a presentation by Tomio Taki from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Kanbar Campus Center Performance Space, 4201 Henry Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19144; and a reception and book signing from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the Kanbar Campus Center Living Room.

Guests will include Philadelphia University students, faculty, alumni, trustees and select VIPs including Mortimer R. Feinberg Ph.D., 72, author or co-author of six books, consultant to corporations and a former professor at New York's Bernard M. Baruch College. Feinberg served as a contributing editor to "Zennovation."

"I have been advising manager across the world for more than 50 years, and I have never met someone as capable as Tomio Taki at handling so many different problems simultaneously. what he calls 'asking the simple questions' understates Taki's tremendous ability to be an effective manager and successful leader," states Feinberg.

Philadelphia University, which is known for its programs in fashion design, fashion industry management, fashion merchandising and textile design, presented Taki with the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters in 2011 in recognition of his contributions to the fashion industry.

Want to win it? 

If you would like to "win" my brand new hardcover review copy of the book, simply comment on this post with your email address. If you're selected as winner (at random, of course), I'll contact you to find out where to mail the book. If no one comments or otherwise claims the book it will be donated to the Pottstown Regional Public Library.

Book summary (from the publisher):

"Zennovation" is part memoir, part management tome. Its lively narrative describes the major events of the international business leader’s personal and professional life and the lessons he learned along the way.  Divided into two parts, the book first examines Taki’s early life in WWII Japan and the beginning of his career, navigating Takihyo Company, his family’s then 200-year-old kimono fabric manufacturing company through tough economic times. The second half of the book details Taki’s influence on the U.S. fashion industry through his work building two iconic American brands: Anne Klein Company and Donna Karan International.

Each chapter of "Zennovation" concludes with an observation from distinguished psychologist and corporate consultant Dr. Mortimer Feinberg.  Drawing from his professional experience and longtime friendship with Taki, Feinberg provides additional analysis and concrete advice on such topics as detecting and understanding cultural nuances, overcoming leadership challenges and surviving the loss of a loved one. Tomio Taki’s son, Adam Taki, adds another perspective to the book, as the main writer collaborating with his father on the book.

In “Zennovation in Retrospect,” Adam Taki reveals how he got to know his very private father through interviews with Taki’s friends and associates, as well as the entrepreneurial lessons Adam has absorbed and applied in his own business endeavors.

About the authors (from the publisher):

Tomio Taki is credited with bringing Western fashion to Japanese consumers. He guided his family's 250-year-old company, Takihyo Co., through nearly 40 years of unprecedented growth, transforming it from a leading kimono manufacturer to a broad-based publicly held company. He was first to implement mass-manufactured sportswear in the US when he bought the Anne Klein Company, ultimately becoming the owner of the company and the man behind Donna Karan. He has consulted for, financed, or directly managed both private and public companies on nearly every continent. He has been involved in ventures ranging from the birth of high-definition television to owning and operating private golf clubs around the world.
Adam Taki is the principal and co-founder of RH Gallery in TriBeCa neighborhood of New York City. In Fall 2007, Dr. Feinberg and Tomio Taki approached Adam to write the book. Although he has no formal training in non-fiction biographical writing, Adam was willing to learn about international entrepreneurship and more about his father. Adam travelled the globe to interview Tomio Taki's friends, enemies, and acquantances to analyze his father's approach to business across geopolitical lines. In 2006, Adam received a BA from NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in philosophy and an MA from NYU's Graduate School of Arts and Science from the English and American Literature department. (information from


Gail Hunter Greenfield said...

Thank you for the excellent review on Zennovation. It was my privilege to have worked for Mr. Taki in Japan 35 years ago and I am most interested in reading his book.

Michelle Karas said...

Gail, thank you for your comment. How amazing it must've been to work for Mr. Taki in Japan!

Sorry to say I don't have the book available to give you anymore. I gave my copy away back when the blog first published (in April 2012). I will be giving away some other business-related books on upcoming blog posts, however.

Thanks for reading!