N + 1 Useful Book for Business: Part 3
The past two reviews of useful books for 2010 and 2011 have collected just a hell of a number of bookmarks, so I will continue. Another year passed, about 250 more books read - and here are the most interesting ones under the cut.
Who says elephants can't dance? The Revival of IBM: An Inside Look (Gerstner Louis)
A great book on how IBM was rebuilt. What from the outside looked like an unsystematic transfer of assets and a sequence of orders without much sense, after a few years began to take shape in a single system.
Catch up the hare (Stephen Spear)
A great book about debug production processes. One of the main things is that all serious problems arise due to a combination of uncritical bugs. There are examples from the US nuclear program, NASA, etc. I suggest right now to go and read the description of the railway wreck on Kamenskaya : one did not report, the second did not check the brakes, the third clamped to the tangent, the fourth tore off the stop crane. The result is a disaster.
No Logo. People vs Brands (Naomi Klein)
One of the best books about branding, which tells not about how to draw logos and talk with customers, but about how big companies destroy everything around them, break thousands of lives and deceive people. In general, this is the flip side of a large and bright business. It is read as an exciting detective story.
Overcoming Management Crises (Yitzhak Adizes)
An amazing book for two reasons. Firstly, it has an empty chapter. More precisely, it contains only one phrase explaining that the author has no practical data on such a situation. For this alone, the author can be infinitely respected. And secondly, the book develops a very interesting concept of team building. Yitzhak is sure that the leader has 4 main genes: the entrepreneur’s gene, which says, “let's do it,” the administrator’s gene, “what’s with the contract and where are the payment guarantees”, the “arsonist” gene is “I’m awesome idea!" and an integrator gene that helps establish relationships in a team. Moreover, all four genes are not found in one person - and, accordingly, we need a team that provides the optimal scheme for the company. For example, at the initial stage of business you need to work hard and sleep little - you need the entrepreneur’s gene. Next, you need an administrator gene for fixing processes and managing a grown organism, plus an arsonist gene for constantly moving forward. And integration is needed when the company should not fall apart immediately after the CEO leaves for a month on vacation. The book understands various management errors - it will be somewhat painful to read it, but very useful.
Company Performance Measurement
This strange thing would never be useful to me in reality, if not for the growth of our business. A couple of years ago it turned out that from some point you need to carefully calculate all the indicators in the chain in order to understand what works and what doesn’t. The book provides a methodology for determining the effectiveness of a project not only in money but also, more importantly, in other indicators - for example, customer satisfaction.
How to swim among sharks and not be eaten alive (Harvey Mackay)
It is impossible to read Russian books about business: simply, no one has yet built a working business to share practice. Specifically, Mackay became interested in me because he managed to enter the conservative market and quickly get a fairly large share there. He traded envelopes in the United States - and, as he said, he himself could not distinguish the products of his competitor from his own, even holding the envelope in his hands. And in these conditions of impossibility to compete on the properties of the goods (the envelopes are the same), at a price (and so on at a minimum level), he was able to ensure the efficiency of the company on the one hand and excellent customer service on the other. True, is it worth at least listening to his conclusions?
Great events (Alexander Shumovich)
Good educational program for domestic event management. Full of advertising by the author’s company more than half, but still gives useful things.
The art of staff recruitment (Svetlana Ivanova)
The first time I took this book in my hands and thought: “To hell, another collection of typical HR questions about round hatches”. The second time I flipped through the book with interest. I re-read the interviews for the third time in six months and realized how important not the form itself, but the methodology behind it. In general, I recommend it to those who are looking for people, and those who do not understand why they are not taking technically fit for the relevant vacancies.
The Myth of Perfection (Ryan Matthews, Fred Crawford)
One of the most useful books in the last couple of years. Here are just a couple of theses: 1) the client does not choose the lowest prices, but the most honest (really reasonable) and 2) the poor service is ten times faster than indicators such as price level, product quality and so on in terms of customer failure. The authors cite as an example the study of the reasons that prompted the purchase of cars of a particular brand. Initially, they wanted to compare advertising, price levels, point-of-service and technical specifications of cars - but it turned out that most of the customers made a decision because the woman answering the calls had a very beautiful voice, plus she was very kind. By the way, the book may well stand on a par with the very good “Good to Great” on Habré in past years.
Distribution Channel Management (Linda Gorchels, Ed Marien, Chuck West)
Great system guidance on how to organize logistics. Surprisingly, the authors went a little further than common truths and at the same time talked about those things that actually come to us only with experience. In general, if you are not retail, you do not need it, but if you produce or sell something, I recommend it.
Perfomance management (M. Armstrong, A. Baron)
A fairly technological book describing management techniques, their advantages, disadvantages and common mistakes. Most importantly, it contains checklists of what you need to remember to do if you manage a team. From the trivial “not only set the task, but also immediately make sure that the employee understands it by asking questions about execution” to fairly systemic things. Boring, but necessary.
Complaint is a gift (Janell Barlow)
A simple thing about the approach to negative customer complaints, as an excellent source of data for debug in the company. Barlow continued the formula: “A satisfied client will tell three, a dissatisfied one ten, and a dissatisfied one you returned to a hundred.”
Motivaction - Action Motivation (Klaus Kobjöll)
This is a story about how the hotel motivates its staff to work. In practice, the topic is broader: here are a couple of good PR ideas, and a lot of everything about the company's effectiveness, plus customer service. Scrolling is worth it, despite the rather small thickness of the book.
Tutorial on the development of thinking (Edward de Bono)
At school, we had a poster about TRIZ above the entrance to the physics room. I was looking forward to 11th grade to take this unusual subject - but it turned out that only a couple of lessons were devoted to the topic. Apparently, this book just became the missing TRIZ textbook in the American version. At least, it’s worth reading an abstract work on thinking (or better, a textbook on cognitive psychology, if you haven’t read it yet).
Willpower (Kelly McGonigal)
A nice non-fiction thing about GTD. Pleases with a bunch of descriptions of experiments. What impressed me the most was that the good old experiment with a rat and an electrode in the center of pleasure turned out to be not so unambiguous: it turned out that we were not in the center of pleasure, but in the center of “motivation”, that is, the rat was dying, thinking that if she pressed again on the lever - then happiness will come.
Like me (Gary Vaynerchuk)
It is very interesting to read books year after year, as a kind of slow forum. For example, Zayman in his “End of Marketing” started the topic of customer interaction, then a brilliant practical book about Zappos was published, and then this “Like Me,” a kind of summing up. In short, you need to take and read, because it is about social networks and the specific practice of the author on working with them.
Great of their own choosing (Jim Collins and Morten Hansen)
The sequel to “Good to Great” is no longer so full of facts, but still useful. Two main points: first you need to do short tests and not risk everything, then start the main process, plus when you start - do the same feasible amount of work every day. Good examples, very sobering at some points. By the way, when you buy a book, you only buy half a book: the second half is raw research data, which, of course, inspire, but few come in handy.
Where to get
I remind you that at least half of the books can be found in open sources, but some are only available in paper. For example, I advise you to download "No Logo", "Catch the Hare" and a book about IBM on the road.
Please include in the comments the good books on business that you read over the year, I will raise them in the topic in this section. Just look first at the first and second annual book reviews, so as not to be repeated.
- @madmaxcorp suggested "$ 100 Startup," Chris Guillebeau - real-life examples of how people built their businesses are discussed. “Pumpkin Method”, Mike Michalowicz - about strategy, analysis of the quality of a product or service, customer rating and ranking, financing planning, selection of promising employees.
- @rie offered a game theory tutorial.
- @ivanr - “Tight time management: Take control of your life.” about motivation for self-organization and Long Tail. An effective model of business on the Internet ”for practitioners and about expanding the range.
- @darthslider - artwork “Atlas Shrugged.”
- @KuMak advises the good old Funky Business.
- @GraDea - Edwards Deming - Overcoming the Crisis. A new paradigm for managing people, systems and processes.
- @vdustinov recommends another short list .
PS And again I ask you not to bookmark this topic - if you want to read, then look now. Adding to favorites is a great way to convince yourself that you have done something for your development, while not doing anything in fact.