Book Review - Summer 2010

If you’re planning to take some time away from work this summer — and we hope you are — here is some great reading to enjoy while ...

If you’re planning to take some time away from work this summer — and we hope you are — here is some great reading to enjoy while vacationing. Each of these books is entertaining, interesting and (quite probably) educational. Enjoy!


Read my tips

  1. Beating the Commodity Trap, Richard A. D’Aveni
    Before reacting to competition in the conventional way by differentiating your products, D’Aveni suggests identifying the kind of commodity trap you are in: deterioration, proliferation or escalation. He not only explains how to diagnose your company’s position but also offers alternate ways to strengthen it. (224 pages; Harvard Business School Press, 2010)
  2. Beyond Business: An Inspirational Memoir from a Visionary Leader, John Browne
    During his tenure as CEO of BP for 12 years, Browne faced down tyrants, oversaw marvellous engineering feats and transformed a company. He shares his insights into leadership and the true purpose of business, as well as the crash of his public and personal life. (336 pages; Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2010)
  3. Invictus: Nelson 03 M andela and the Game that Made a Nation, John Carlin
    Carlin tells how Nelson Mandela, elected president in South Africa’s first free election, used the 1995 World Cup Rugby Final to unite the country’s factions after 50 years of apartheid. (288 pages; Atlantic, 2010)
  4. Leading in Turbulent Times, Kevin Kelly and Gary Hayes
    Based on their interviews with leaders of some of the world’s largest companies, the authors conclude that a focus on passion, communication and vision is the premier requirement for senior managers in times of rapid change. (192 pages; Financial Times/ Prentice Hall, 2009)
  5. The Lords of Strategy, Walter Kiechel III
    Fifty years ago, businesses were managed without an overall strategy. The former editorial director of Harvard Business Publishing and managing editor at Fortune reveals how four men and the organisations they led invented corporate strategy as we know it and changed the way we work. (320 pages; Harvard Business School Press, 2010)
  6. Reinventing Management: Smarter Choices for Getting Work Done, Julian Birkinshaw
    Birkinshaw believes that recent economic crises were not only due to flawed regulations or policies, but also to a failure of management. He proposes developing a new management model based on four key dimensions. (320 pages; John Wiley & Sons, 2010)
  7. Reorganize for Resilience: Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business, Ranjay Gulati
    Books and websites abound urging businesses to put their customers first, but few offer practical advice for doing so. This book lays out a process for organising a company in order to implement customer focused marketing strategies. (288 pages; Harvard Business School Press, 2010)
  8. Rice Wine with the Minister, Andrew Kakabadse and Nada Kakabadse
    The authors provide a fascinating and easy-to-read guide into the challenges of doing business in an increasingly globalised world. Its insights are useful to executives from all countries. (256 pages; Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)
  9. Rules Are Not Enough: The Art of Governance in the Real Worl, Rupert Merson
    This practical guide to corporate governance looks at regulation, executive pay, accountability and all the other issues that have come to the fore in the wake of economic turmoil and corporate scandals. (272 pages; Profile Business, 2010)
  10. The Upside of Turbulence: Seizing Opportunity in an Uncertain World, Don Sull
    Sull argues that times of rapid and unpredictable change are opportunities for a firm’s growth. He provides examples of companies that have succeeded in such times and offers practical suggestions and work sheets to help a company improve its ability to improvise. (288 pages; Collins Business, 2009)

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