Time 25 Most Influential Business Management Books: 9-16

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Books 1-8 | Books 9-16 | Books 17-25

BookCover_FirstBreakAlltheRules9. First, Break All the Rules (1999), by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

First, Break All the Rules encourages managers to personalize and break away from traditional, one-size-fits-all leadership techniques. Gallup consultants Buckingham and Coffman pull responses from more than 80,000 interviews to determine that the best managers are "revolutionaries" who cast the right people for the right roles — and leave them to do their best work. Among the tome's other takeaways: Treat employees like individuals, set specific outcomes, but not the process, and focus on employee strengths instead of calling out weaknesses. (By Feifei Sun, August 9, 2011)

 

BookCover_TheGoal10. The Goal (1984), by Eliyahu Goldratt

Eliyahu Goldratt's The Goal is unusual among business management books for at least two reasons. First, Goldratt wasn't a titan of industry, a b-school professor, or even a consultant, but rather a physicist. Second, The Goal is a novel. Centered on a production manager named Alex Rogo who has three months to turn around a deficient, unprofitable manufacturing plant, The Goal explains the "Theory of Constraints," which among other points incorporates the idiom, "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link;" and focuses on bottlenecks, the great hindrances to productivity. Rogo uses the Socratic method to help fix his marriage, then applies it to his plant crew, coming up with steps to solve the plant's problems. The Goal has been in print since 1984, and a revised third edition was released on the book's 20th anniversary. So does Rogo achieve his goal? You'll have to read it to find out. (By Nate Rawlings, August 9, 2011)

BookCover_ GoodtoGreat11. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... and Others Don't (2001), by Jim Collins

How does a company go from being merely successful to sustaining profits over long periods? That's the central question of Jim Collins' book, a deeply-researched analysis that starts with all 1,400 companies on the Fortune 500 since 1965 and narrows the list to 11 companies that sustained excellence over time — often by going against accepted industry wisdom. Companies like Fannie Mae (ahem), Gillette, Kroger and Wells Fargo have what Collins discovered to be seven characteristics that contributed to their success, including a culture of discipline, finding the right employees and harnessing technology in the most efficient ways possible. (By Josh Sanburn, August 9, 2011)

 

BookCover_GuerillaMarketing12. Guerilla Marketing (1984), by Jay Conrad Levinson

In the same way that guerilla warfare changed how people thought about war and conflict, Jay Conrad Levinson's concept of guerrilla marketing reshaped how small companies think about promoting themselves. Before Levinson coined the term in the 1980s, companies often relied upon huge, expensive marketing endeavors. Smaller companies struggled to compete on those terms, so Levinson argued for using brains over brawn. Don't hang a banner to advertise a sale; give away products on the street. Don't place expensive ads; pull a PR stunt for free publicity. Twenty-five years later, empires have been built using these ideas. (By Josh Sanburn, August 9, 2011)

 

BookCover_HowtoWinFriendsandInfluencePeople13. How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936), by Dale Carnegie

The author described himself as a "simple country boy" from Missouri, and to be sure, some of the advice in his blockbuster bestseller is pure cornpone ("If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive"). But Dale Carnegie was a wizard when it came to making the public like him. Besides buying more than 30 million copies worldwide of his Depression-era book, they broke down the doors of his educational programs, which also promised professional success and happiness. Carnegie's plain-spoken wisdom about how to advance career-wise still resonates with a sophisticated urban workforce. Perhaps that is because he was no hick when it came to understanding business behavior: "About 15 percent of one's financial success is due to one's technical knowledge and about 85 percent is due...to personality and the ability to lead people." (By Andrea Sachs, August 9, 2011)

BookCover_TheHumanSideofEnterprise14. The Human Side of Enterprise (1960), by Douglas McGregor

Before Douglas McGregor's seminal work on management, employees were often presumed to be lazy and unmotivated. As a result, conventional wisdom held, management must goad workers into becoming productive cogs in the machine. McGregor revolutionized human resources thinking by positing two ways managers could view employees: Theory X assumes workers are inherently lazy; Theory Y assumes they are self-motivated. While not clearly on the side of Theory Y, McGregor seems to lean toward the idea that management should ultimately set the workplace conditions to allow people to not only do well at work, but to want to do well. (By Josh Sanburn, August 9, 2011)

 

BookCover_TheInnovatorsDilemma15. The Innovator's Dilemma (1997), by Clayton Christensen

Unlike most business books, The Innovator's Dilemma is about failure. Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen takes a look at why large, once successful companies with seemingly talented CEOs regularly falter or, worse, go bust. Christensen's take is that in business success does not breed success. In fact, it's the opposite. Large dominant companies often are blind to emerging technologies or changing market trends that will make their once-innovative products obsolete. The lesson: Adapt early and often, even if it costs you profits today. (By Stephen Gandel, Auguas 9, 2011) 

 

BookCover_LeadingChange16. Leading Change (1996), by John P. Kotter

In business, change is perpetual and necessary. Companies that fail to adapt fail, period. So driving transformation is arguably the business leader's primary objective — and yet woefully few succeed. Kotter's 1996 book details an intuitive, eight-stage process, each illustrated with examples drawn from his extensive consulting experience, for implementing real and lasting organizational change. As important as the practical tips, however, is the powerful distinction Kotter draws between managing change and leading change. As Kotter vividly demonstrates, only the latter can keep a company a step ahead. (By Scott Medintz, August 9, 2011)

Books 1-8 | Books 9-16 | Books 17-25

Read 1306 times Last modified on Sunday, 20 April 2014 23:12

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