Holiday food, family, friends, and common ground

The Boston Business Journal Executive Pursuits column featured thoughts from Larry Gennari, partner at Gennari Aronson. Larry shared highlights from some of the business books he has been reading as curator of the annual Authors + Innovators Business Ideas Festival.

Below is an excerpt from this article with a link to read the entire piece in the Boston Business Journal.

Executive Pursuits: Holiday food, family, friends, and common ground

by Larry Gennari

With all the anxiety in the world this year, conversations around the Thanksgiving table and at other holiday get-togethers are bound to be a bit more intense.  What can the thoughtful entrepreneur or innovator do now to navigate that potentially awkward dinner? Maybe not much … but you might at least prepare by reading a few business books in the coming weeks.

Start by taking a deep breath and putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. That’s timeless advice you’ll get from Harvard negotiators Samuel Dinnar and Lawrence Susskind in their terrific new book: “Entrepreneurial Negotiation.”  Hint for Thanksgiving: listening is critical and you do NOT have to win every single point to make meaningful progress.

For more specific topics across the dinner table, you should read Harvard Business School Professor William Kerr’s new book: “The Gift of Global Talent: How Migration Shapes Business, Economy and Society.” I laughed out loud at Kerr’s metaphor about Moore’s Law and the Tooth Fairy in describing the unstoppable advance of technology.

If all else fails in reaching common ground while you are breaking bread, share a reading or two from “Devotions,” a recent and powerful collection from my very favorite poet, Mary Oliver, who would tell you to find the great good in every small interaction.

Larry Gennari is a business lawyer and chief curator for Authors + Innovators, an annual business book and ideas festival (
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