A new selection of business literature by Helen Edwards. Which book is of most interest to you? We'll be glad to know your opinion. You have something to advise? Leave it below in the comments.
Silicon Valley technology entrepreneur and university professor, Steve Blank collects up his blog posts in this book. With entries like "I've just met four great startups in the last three days" Steve shares his ideas about what it take to succeed as an entrepreneur. He describes his rough induction into marketing - being thrown out of the building by the CEO until he got some facts and understood the market; his success at getting his companies benchmarks accepted as the industry standard and the importance of admitting mistakes and ask for help. The blogs also discuss start up culture, raising money, customer development, team building and of course his "secret history of Silicon Valley" presented to the CIA.
McGraw Hill, 2010.
Executive presence is a personal image which inspires respect. It is cultivated by self awareness, communication skills and managing perceptions. Everyone has a brand created by an amalgamation of the impressions they make on others but it is desirable to replace this "random" brand with a crafted one. This book describes how to pitch ideas, read people, manage conflict, convince others and increase one's reputation, in person and online. Practical suggestions include a seven day plan for improving one's Social IQ by focusing on a key aspect each day. Awareness of how people filter information, by their biases and previous experiences and of basic neurolinguistic techniques is critical for effective communication and obtaining buy-in.
Harper Business, 2011.
xvi, 240 pages
Customer service provides a key way for any company, large or small, established or a start-up to stand apart from the competition. Gary Vaynerchuk describes how to use social media to interact with customers and build brand loyalty. The book contains examples of companies who use social media well but also of missed opportunities, for example failing to follow up an expensive TV campaign with social media initiatives, so losing the opportunity to "extend the conversation" and keep hold of customer interest.
Virgin Books, 2011
viii, 360 pages
The integration of technology, media, communications and markets has greatly speeded up and magnified the impact of events - from the sub prime housing crash and the global financial crises to the Icelandic volcano and air travel. This book uses the metaphor of momentum to discuss how the very efficiency and size of large institutions, the huge volumes of information and the speed of processing works against reflecting upon and confronting pressing problems. The author shows how easy it is for individuals and organizations to be swept along in the flow, sometimes with devastating consequences. This is especially so when the leader is a momentum surfer. For these leaders the priorities are aligning people, avoiding friction, moving forward, taking advantage of situations; risking leaving values and ethics far behind. The story of Enron shows just what can happen.
5. On China
Allen Lane, 2011.
xviii, 586 pages
Nobel prize winner and former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger describes recent Chinese history from the perspective of his own diplomatic experiences. The book includes portraits of Chinese leaders including Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping. Kissinger compares the Chinese way of thinking about international relations with the US approach. China is deeply rooted in its history and the book shows how the past and classical principles of strategy and statesmanship influence Chinese politics today.