понедельник, 4 апреля 2011 г.

Advice on business literature from Helen Edwards

Here comes Helen Edwards with her new business literature recommendations. We wish you an exciting reading experience!

1. Beyond the familiar: long term growth through customer focus and innovation
Patrick Barwise and Sean Meehan
Jossey-Bass, 2011.
x, 174 pages; ISBN: 9780470976319

The starting point for long-term, market-leading organic profit growth is to deliver the main current category benefits to customers better than the competition. Chapters cover communicating a clear brand strategy (the promise to the customer); creating and developing customer trust by dealing with dissatisfaction, and the importance of a drive for continual improvement. But to innovate beyond the familiar, the authors recommend looking for opportunities to move to "adjacent" areas, relating to and building on the company's existing business, rather than necessarily attempting "heroic" innovation with its high risk of failure. The book ends with a challenge to business leaders to open up to uncomfortable news and really listen to their frontline staff.

2. Fully charged: how great leaders boost their organization's energy and ignite high performance
Heike Bruch and Bernd Vogel
Harvard Business Review Press, 2011.
x, 272 pages, ISBN: 9781422129036

Organizational energy is the extent to which an organization has mobilized its emotional, cognitive and behavioral potential to pursue its goals. Unlike corporate culture, which reflects stable values and internalized values and assumptions, organizational energy refers to the present activation of the human forces and can readily change as a result of outside factors or leadership activities. The book presents a matrix of four states of energy; productive: high involvement and high activity; comfortable: commitment but low activity levels, relying on past success formulas; resigned inertia: frustration and little collective engagement and worst of all corrosive: destructive behavior, infighting, resistance to change and personal agendas. The authors advise on how to diagnose the company energy state and how to improve it.

3. Changing media, changing China
Susan L. Shirk
Oxford University Press, 2010.
288 pages, ISBN: 9780199751976

This collection of essays, written by American and Chinese experts, explore how changes in the information environment, commercial media and the internet, are changing China. The book covers everything from the rise of business media and online public opinion polling to environmental journalism and the effect of media on foreign policy, At the time of writing China had over 360 million internet users and 162 million bloggers, many with a voracious appetite for news. This book discusses the nature of the press in China, its restrictions and the tensions this causes.

4. Qfinance: the ultimate resource
Bloomsbury, 2010
xivi, 2162 pages, ISBN 9781849300056

Qfinance is a one stop guide for finance professionals and students covering key aspects of finance:balance sheets and cash flow, financial markets, regulation and compliance, funding and investment, governance and ethics, mergers and acquisitions, operations and performance. There is also a research section covering countries and sectors. Even more useful than the book is the free website with links to other resources and updated comment and blogs.

5. When we fail at failure
Harvard Business Review, April 2011. Volume 89:4

This entire issue of the Harvard Business Review is about failure, how to recognize and prevent failure before it happens in a business situation and what to do when a failure occurs. Articles include why most product launches fail, why serial entrepreneurs don't learn from failure and how to avoid catastrophe, plus case studies of project and personal failures. Also included is research from C. Nathan DeWall about social rejection. When subjects were told that all four people in a group preferred not to work with them, they demonstrated hostility and aggressiveness, but their aggression diminished dramatically if they learned that just one person in the group did want to work with them. Important lessons about the motivation effects of acceptance and the environment necessary to allow for failure can be drawn from this.

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