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The 2007 Business Book Awards

Chip Heath and Dan Heath found inspiration in Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point and created a manual for how to make ideas sticky. “We wanted to take apart sticky ideas—both natural and created—and figure out what made them stick. What makes urban legends so compelling? Why do some chemistry lessons work better than others? 

Why does virtually every society circulate a set of proverbs? Why do some political ideas circulate while others fall short?” From the faux duct-tape on the front cover to the ending’s easy reference guide, the authors have done everything to walk their talk in Made to Stick.

Category Winner

Sales

The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business With Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies by Chet Holmes | Portfolio

Chet Holmes gets to the heart of a matter quickly and will teach you how to as well. While many others focus on just one aspect of a company, Holmes covers sales, marketing, and management, giving us the 12 key strategies needed to build a more efficient and effective workforce. The strategies are easy to implement and create a great blueprint for turning your entire company into the ultimate sales machine.

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Category Winner

Leadership

The Secret Language of Leadership: How Leaders Inspire Action Through Narrative by Stephen Denning | Jossey-Bass

Storytelling is one of the most effective ways of communicating ideas and motivating people to perform. In The Secret Language of Leadership, Denning defines the idea of "narrative intelligence," saying that leaders must use each mode of communication (whether questions, metaphors, conversations, or presentations) to inspire their audience. Only by using stories, he contends, will leaders become transformative leaders.

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Category Winner

HR & Organizational Development

One Foot Out the Door: How to Combat the Psychological Recession That's Alienating Employees and Hurting American Business by Judith M. Bardwick | AMACOM

In One Foot Out the Door, Judith M. Bardwick points to the economic recessions of the late '70s and early '80s as the time when our economy's unwritten "social contract"—be loyal to your employer and your employer will take care of you—fell apart. Bardwick calls for a "twenty-first safety net that will reduce the fear by providing financial support and a good sense of community...." With employee satisfaction a pressing issue in current business conversation, One Foot Out the Door brings together the issues and gets at what really needs to happen.

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Category Winner

Entrepreneurship & Small Business

No Man's Land: Where Growing Companies Fail by Doug Tatum | Portfolio

Doug Tatum calls it "No Man's Land," a place where companies struggle to embrace the realities of being a bigger business while maintaining their entrepreneurial spirit. He delineates four M’s—market, management, model, and money (and later add momentum)—needed to meet the challenges inherent in turning a small, human-scale organization into a firm that can implement changes while still focused on the customer it first set out to serve. No Man's Land offers tools for navigating this pivotal transition.

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Category Winner

Finance & Economics

A Demon of Our Own Design: Markets, Hedge Funds, and the Perils of Financial Innovation by Richard Bookstaber | John Wiley & Sons

In this fascinating insider's account, Richard Bookstaber reveals how some of the risk-management practices he helped create, such as hedging investments with portfolio insurance, have actually added instability to the markets. After taking a look at the developments of the past 25 years, the flaws within the system, and how the volatility of Wall Street does not reflect the "underlying real economy," he offers a prescription that is both simple and sensible.

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Category Winner

Marketing & Advertising

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath | Random House

Made to Stick essentially answers the question, "Why do some ideas survive and others die?" Drawing on urban legends, political campaigns, and parables, the authors outline six communication traits, as well as "the human scale principle" and the "Velcro Theory of Memory," tools any company can implement to improve the chances of sending worthy ideas into the marketplace. The Heath brothers' point is that it is possible for a framework or recipe to improve what you do. They've got a pretty good one for making ideas stick.

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Category Winner

Globalization

The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China and What It Means for All of Us by Robyn Meredith | W. W. Norton

Robyn Meredith puts the extraordinary rise of India and China in perspective, dispelling myths and noting the differences in how they've opened up their economies. She shows how the different histories of the two countries have affected their rise and discusses the steps America needs to take to remain competitive. Of the many books recently written on this topic, this one tops the heap.

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Category Winner

Fables

The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly | Hyperion

The Dream Manager follows the story of a custodial company striving to overcome a significant turnover issue. As management tries to understand why employees come and go so often, they arrive at the conclusion that what is missing is motivation. The company hires a Dream Manager to assist employees in recognizing their dreams as well as making them a reality—and the results are remarkable. It is a story that reminds us that when our lives become overwhelming, our dreams are the foundation that gives us the drive to succeed.

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Category Winner

Biographies & Memoirs

Bill & Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World's Greatest Company by Michael S. Malone | Portfolio

Nobody writes books about Silicon Valley better than Michael S. Malone, and he's delivered another masterpiece with his latest release. Focusing this time around on the history of Hewlett and Packard, Malone has created the best biography of a high-tech business this year and does it by telling the inspiring tale of two of the most influential entrepreneurs of the twentieth century. This is a book of great character, reflecting well the great character of its subjects.

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Category Winner

Personal Development

Responsibility at Work: How Leading Professionals Act (or Don't Act) Responsibly by Howard Gardner | Jossey-Bass

This collection of essays, born from the interviews of more than 1,200 professionals, is a wide-ranging discussion about good work. Featuring essayists such as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (author of Flow) and Gardner himself (originator of the theory of multiple intelligences), the book provides a deeper understanding of the ethics that drive such iconic leaders as the late Anita Roddick of The Body Shop. Responsibility at Work will fuel inner reflection regarding all facets of social responsibility, from creativity to diversity.

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Category Winner

Innovation & Creativity

Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration by Keith Sawyer | Perseus

Back in 1990, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi published the phenomenal book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. He taught people how to achieve the state of mind where they are performing at their best or what some would call being in a groove. Group Genius is essentially Flow for groups. Keith Sawyer helps groups find their flow state and work together to harness their creative energy.

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Category Winner

Industry

The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co. by William D. Cohan | Doubleday

William D. Cohan takes readers into the mysterious and secretive world of Lazard and presents a compelling portrait of Wall Street through the tumultuous history of this exalted and fascinating company. Full of intrigue and delving into both personal and professional affairs, this is one of this year's best-written books and a must-read for every business reader.

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Category Winner

New Perspectives

In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India by Edward Luce | Doubleday

Edward Luce has delivered an authoritative book on modern India, unveiling its great promise and many contradictions. Although its history and religious and political traditions are deeply rooted, India is emerging as a modern economy and global force. In Spite of the Gods captures India in transition as a country of great contrasts and does so with great affection and wit.

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