The 10 most notable books of 2013, according to Business Digest
The holidays are fast approaching and with them, the chance to catch up on your reading. The team at Business Digest has chosen our ten essential books of the year. Leadership, personal development, innovation…All your favorite themes are here! We wish you all the best for the holidays!
The Solution Revolution
By William Eggers et Paul MacMillan (Harvard Business Press, September 2013).
In the age of the solution economy, solutions to the world’s biggest problems (such as global warming, pollution, and access to drinkable water) will not come from pointless antagonisms but rather in the sharing of intelligences. The objective of the solution economy is to create value for everyone: societies, companies, and governments.
By John MacKey and Rajendra Sisodia (Harvard Business Press, January 2013).
In contrast to CSR and “triple bottom line reporting” (TBL), Conscious Capitalism does not strive to divide value more equitably between company stakeholders but rather to create more value for all. Authors John Mackey and Rajendra Sisodia’s approach rests on four fundamental principles: 1) collective purpose, 2) care for all stakeholders, 3) conscious leadership, and 4) conscious management and organizational culture.
The End of Competitive Advantage
By Rita Gunther McGrath (Harvard Business Press, June 2012).
Sustainable competitive advantage is over. Advantages are increasingly transitory, which means that businesses who cling stubbornly to their strategies are doomed to failure. In an economy characterized by uncertainty and disruption, the key is to develop agility and be able to juggle multiple strategies continuously.
By Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan (Twelve, January 2013).
Is the traditional organization destined to disappear? Is vertical management outdated? Have executives become redundant? The authors of The Org don’t think so; although they sometimes result in bureaucratic excesses, organizations, management, and leadership are still the inevitable and necessary counterparts to the proper functioning of collective work.
By Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir (Allen Lane, September 2013).
Whether the issue is time, money, or another resource, everyone has to deal with scarcity at one time or another. Here, for the first time, two researchers explore the impact of scarcity on our behaviors. This book offers valuable lessons, such as insights into how managers can overcome counterproductive procrastination.
Success in Africa
By Jonathan Berman (Biblimotion, September 2013).
If China and India still lead emerging markets in terms of growth and opportunities, it is Africa that is set to reveal its full potential in the coming decades. The challenge for leaders today comprises: putting aside stereotypes, looking at the continent with fresh eyes, and putting their pieces on the African economic chessboard. Many leaders have yet to learn how to practice business in this region though…
Worthless, Impossible and Stupid
By Daniel Isenberg (Harvard Business Press, July 2013).
Many aspiring innovators can feel discouraged by the media hype around major innovations. According to Daniel Isenberg, however, you don’t have to be Steve Jobs to be able to turn a simple idea into value creation. His advice is as applicable to entrepreneurs as it is to managers looking to shake up their departments.
Give and Take
By Adam Grant (Viking Adult, April 2013).
According to Adam Grant, evolutions in the world of work (the switch to a service economy, increased collaboration and social networks, and so on) have put the capacity for generosity at the heart of business. Through his research on “givers” and “takers,” Adam Grant reveals that, contrary to popular belief, caring only about your own individual goals will not be enough to achieve the greatest successes.
By Edgar Schein (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, September 2013).
“Lisening and questioning” rather than “telling”: this is the approach to adopt from now on for managers eager to communicate better with their teams. Under pressure from web 2.0 tools, command-and-control is no longer a viable leadership model. Organizational communication needs to become more collaborative in order to have a positive impact on employee engagement and agility.
The Everything Store
By Brad Stone (Little, Brown and Company, October 2013).
It took seven years for Amazon to build its brand and reap its first profits. Its long-term profit optimization strategy eventually bore fruit in the early 2000s, with the company’s focus on customer service enabling the online retailer to experience annual growth in revenue at three times the average for other e-commerce players. This book details the incredible success story of Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s visionary CEO.