понедельник, 13 февраля 2012 г.

Advice on business literature from Helen Edwards

A new selection of business literature from SKOLKOVO Library Project Manager Helen Edwards that includes some of best books from 2011:  Management consultancies and newspapers.

Richard P. Rumelt
Profile, 2011.
xii, 322 pages
ISBN: 9781846684807

Shortlisted for the Financial Times Business Book of the Year 2011 this book pinpoints common kinds of bad strategy: the meaningless mission statement, the objectives with no plans for achieving them, an assortment of ideas with no connections between them. Rumelt shows how, for a strategy to work, it has to contain a diagnosis which defines the challenge, a guiding policy for how the challenge is to be addressed and a set of coherent actions. This is often far from straightforward and the book illustrates the cleverness of really effective strategies. Rumelt's ideas are also discussed in one of the McKinsey Quarterly's top 10 articles of 2011: The perils of bad strategy (free registration required).

Bob Lutz
Portfolio Penguin, 2011.
256 pages
ISBN: 978-1591844006

Also singled out by strategy + business, US car executive Bob Lutz describes his frustration with the domination of accounting and management fads in his industry. He associates the decline of US auto industry with the move in focus away from design and what customers want in favour of financial models of profitability. Spreadsheets and predictions replaced a passion for cars. Lutz is loud against the unnecessary intellectualisation of any industry where formulas and bureaucratic requirements take away the soul.

Tom Devine and Tarek F. Maassarani
Berrett-Koehler, 2011
288 pages
ISBN: 978-1605099866

Winner of the get Abstract international book award 2011, this book tells the stories of those employees who often risk a great deal to expose serious wrongdoings in their companies. The book is a practical guide to how to report corporate crime and how to protect oneself while doing so. Its focus is "the person of conscience" in the US and the references are to US law but the issues it touches are international. As one of the most famous whistleblowers who took on Big Tobacco comments " whistle blowing is the highest-risk, highest-stakes, most inspiring and most disillusioning experience."

Laurence Smith
Profile Books, 2011
336 pages
ISBN: 978-1846688768

Also shortlisted by getAbstract, this book predicts that by 2050 climate change means that northern countries - Russia, Canada and Scandinavia - will rise at the expense of southern ones. Global warming will free up frozen resources and potential shipping lanes and transport routes in the north. There will also be abundant fresh water whereas further south water shortages will be a real problem. Smith predicts migrations from the southern cities, where the much younger demographic will look to the Arctic rim countries for new opportunities. Also looking to the future, Global cities of the future: an interactive map another of McKinsey Quarterly's top 10 articles for 2011 predicts how 600 cities will account for 60% of the world's GDP by 2025, of which 45% will be in emerging markets.

Rhodri Marsden
The Independent, 22 December 2011

This article identifies the most interesting non-celebrity Tweeters, people who have something real to say in 140 characters. Winner of the business section is Umair Hasque @umairh calling for a better approach to business. Also recommended are Maria Popova @brainpicker on innovation and technology, Brian Solis @briansolis on business and new media and Nilofer Merchant @nilofer on entrepreneurship.

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