Leadership & Business Books for February 2016
Here are my recommendations for the best leadership & business books this month:
Leading innovation expert Alec Ross explains what’s next for the world: the advances and stumbling blocks that will emerge in the next ten years, and how we can navigate them.
While Alec Ross was working as Senior Advisor for Innovation to the Secretary of State, he traveled to forty-one countries, exploring the latest advances coming out of every continent. From startup hubs in Kenya to R&D labs in South Korea, Ross has seen what the future holds.
In The Industries of the Future, Ross shows us what changes are coming in the next ten years, highlighting the best opportunities for progress and explaining why countries thrive or sputter. He examines the specific fields that will most shape our economic future, including robotics, cybersecurity, the commercialization of genomics, the next step for big data, and the coming impact of digital technology on money and markets.
In each of these realms, Ross addresses the toughest questions: How will we adapt to the changing nature of work? Is the prospect of cyberwar sparking the next arms race? How can the world’s rising nations hope to match Silicon Valley in creating their own innovation hotspots? And what can today’s parents do to prepare their children for tomorrow?
Ross blends storytelling and economic analysis to give a vivid and informed perspective on how sweeping global trends are affecting the ways we live. Incorporating the insights of leaders ranging from tech moguls to defense experts, The Industries of the Future takes the intimidating, complex topics that many of us know to be important and boils them down into clear, plainspoken language. This is an essential book for understanding how the world works—now and tomorrow—and a must-read for businesspeople in every sector, from every country.
Strategy That Works: How Winning Companies Close The Strategy-To-Execution Gap by Paul Leinwand and Cesare R. Meinardi
Two-thirds of executives say their organizations don’t have the capabilities to support their strategy. In Strategy That Works, Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi explain why. They identify conventional business practices that unintentionally create a gap between strategy and execution. And they show how some of the best companies in the world consistently leap ahead of their competitors. Based on new research, the authors reveal five practices for connecting strategy and execution used by highly successful enterprises such as IKEA, Natura, Danaher, Haier, and Lego. These companies:
• Commit to what they do best instead of chasing multiple opportunities • Build their own unique winning capabilities instead of copying others • Put their culture to work instead of struggling to change it • Invest where it matters instead of going lean across the board • Shape the future instead of reacting to it
Packed with tools you can use for building these five practices into your organization and supported by in-depth profiles of companies that are known for making their strategy work, this is your guide for reconnecting strategy to execution.
The New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take examines how people can champion new ideas—and how leaders can encourage originality in their organizations
With Give and Take, Adam Grant not only introduced a landmark new paradigm for success but also established himself as one of his generation’s most compelling and provocative thought leaders. In Originals he again addresses the challenge of improving the world, but now from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. How can we originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all?
Using surprising studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt; how parents and teachers can nurture originality in children; and how leaders can fight groupthink to build cultures that welcome dissent. Learn from an entrepreneur who pitches his start-ups by highlighting the reasons not to invest, a woman at Apple who challenged Steve Jobs from three levels below, an analyst who overturned the rule of secrecy at the CIA, a billionaire financial wizard who fires employees for failing to criticize him, and a TV executive who didn’t even work in comedy but saved Seinfeld from the cutting-room floor. The payoff is a set of groundbreaking insights about rejecting conformity and improving the status quo.
What do football coach Bill Walsh, restaurateur Alice Waters, television executive Lorne Michaels, technology CEO Larry Ellison, and fashion pioneer Ralph Lauren have in common? On the surface, not much, other than consistent success in their fields. But below the surface, they share a common approach to finding, nurturing, leading, and even letting go of great people. The way they deal with talent makes them not merely success stories, not merely organization builders, but what Sydney Finkelstein calls superbosses. They’ve all transformed entire industries.
After ten years of research and more than two hundred interviews, Finkelstein has concluded that superbosses exist in nearly every industry, from the glamorous to the mundane. If you study the top fifty leaders in any field, as many as one-third will have once worked for a superboss.
While superbosses differ in their personal styles, they all focus on identifying promising newcomers, inspiring their best work, and launching them into highly successful careers—while also expanding their own networks and building stronger companies.
When it comes to qualities such as passion, enthusiasm, energy, and creativity, a majority of the workforce could be described as “severely lacking.” Too many people go through the motions, viewing work as something they have to do rather than something they love to do. This translates into lackluster performance, lost opportunities, and a staggering loss of profits. So how does a team leader turn a business-as-usual team into a remarkable one?
Discover the secret in Remarkable! “For over three decades I’ve seen firsthand how the emotional climate of an organization and its culture are both created and sustained by leaders. Remarkable! has been masterfully crafted to help you, the leader, take control of your culture and make it come alive!”–Dr. Henry Cloud, clinical psychologist, acclaimed leadership expert, and New York Times bestselling author
“Infused with humor and a fascinating story line, this book sets forth principles of a value system that will ensure enduring success for any organization. It is a dramatic story that is both enjoyable and powerful. It is Remarkable!“–Earl T. Leonard Jr., retired senior vice president, the Coca-Cola Company; distinguished executive-in-residence, Terry College of Business, The University of Georgia
“There is significant empirical evidence that a healthy corporate culture facilitates sustained organizational success. Remarkable! provides compelling insight into how personal character development and a healthy corporate culture are inextricably linked.”–Dave Ridley, senior vice president, Southwest Airlines
“When the culture of an organization is right, people are motivated by factors far more powerful than money. Remarkable! will help you get the culture right.”–Andy Stanley, author and founder of North Point Ministries, Inc.