Business Books to Watch in December
December 02, 2016
These are some of the titles we'll have our eyes on in December.
In order of their release date, here are some of the books we're excited about diving into in December.
The MultiCapital Scorecard: Rethinking Organizational Performance by Martin P. Thomas & Mark W. McElroy, Chelsea Green
For decades now, organizations have been struggling to find the best way to address their social and environmental responsibilities alongside their economic obligations. In other words, they want to know how best to effectively manage their operations based on a triple bottom line (3BL)—one that reflects social, environmental, and economic performance.
Recently, an international standard for integrated reporting has emerged that in principle emphasizes the importance of managing toward a triple bottom line. But it fails to provide specific guidance on how to do so. Organizations have been left to their own devices to respond. How should 3BL management actually be done?
In this book, sustainability and performance experts Martin Thomas and Mark McElroy introduce the world’s most advanced 3BL performance accounting methodology: The MultiCapital Scorecard. It is the first context-based integrated measurement, management, and reporting system. And, it can help corporations, public institutions, and other organizations answer the question they should be asking themselves for every aspect of their operations: “How much is enough for us to be sustainable?” The answers set internal performance standards against which operations and their impacts can be measured. Nothing less will do!
The MultiCapital Scorecard describes this open-source methodology, which consists of a structured, quantitative measurement and reporting system that complies with international standards for 3BL integrated measurement and reporting. Moreover, The MultiCapital Scorecard is designed to help organizations assess their own 3BL performance in their own contexts with context-based metrics of their own choosing. An eminently practical management aid for integrated thinking, it can be tailored to any organization’s needs.
The authors also describe how and why businesses are gradually shifting from managing impacts on only one type of capital (economic) to managing impacts on multiple types. They also provide detailed examples of worked reports, showing how organizations might develop and quantify the interim and long-term goals to meet their obligations to their employees, community, shareholders, and the environment. The examples also show how an organization can use the Multicapital Scorecard methodology to assess their progress in meeting those goals, and convey that progress to their stakeholders.
Killing It: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Keeping Your Head Without Losing Your Heart by Sheryl O'Loughlin, HarperBusiness
The former CEO of Clif Bar, Co-founder of Plum, and serial entrepreneur offers insights about launching and growing a business while maintaining a fulfilled life in this practical guide filled with hard-won advice culled from the author’s own sometimes dark, raw experiences.
Aspiring entrepreneurs are told that to launch a business, you must go all in, devoting every resource and moment to making it work. But following this advice comes at an enormous personal cost: divorce, addiction, even suicide. It means sacrificing the intangibles that make life worth living.
Sheryl O’Loughlin knows there is a better way. In Killing It, she shares the wisdom she’s gained from her successful experiences launching a company from the ground up (Plum), running two fast-growing companies (Clif Bar and REBBL), and mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs (Stanford University). She tells it like it is: If you don’t invest in your wellbeing, your business will not succeed, nor will you.
Sheryl knows firsthand the difficulty of balancing the needs of her growing family with her physical and mental health, while managing other work and life challenges. In this warm, honest, and wise handbook, she gives you the essentials for killing it in business—without killing the rest of your life.
Filled with real-life examples and anecdotes, Killing It addresses common questions including:
- How do you prepare your significant other for your business venture?
- How do you time launching and growing your business with the ebb and flow of family life?
- How do you find joy in the day-to-day?
- How do you maintain meaningful, supportive friendships?
- How do you walk away and start again?
The ultimate life and business course, Killing It gives entrepreneurs the tools they need to start their enterprise and thrive—both in the office and at home.
More Sales, Less Time: Surprisingly Simple Strategies for Today's Crazy-Busy Sellers by Jill Konrath, Portfolio
A new approach to using time wisely and working smartly specifically for salespeople, from Jill Konrath, the acclaimed sales consultant and strategist.
Salespeople today are crazy-busy. Clients are demanding more. Business is continually changing. They’re under intense pressure to increase productivity. While new technologies enable massive strides, the salesperson has now become the bottleneck in the system.
Yet traditional time management strategies don’t work for salespeople. They can’t just zero in on “one thing.” Instead they need to juggle multiple prospects, all at various stages of their decision process. They can’t go “offline” for deep thinking; their entire life revolves around researching, emailing, engaging in social media, and conversations.
So how can they sell more in less time—when their entire day is a never-ending distraction? Konrath has been overwhelmed by this challenge too. In this book, she shares her experience combined with research-based strategies specifically tailored to salespeople. Readers will learn how to:
- Rescue at least one hour per day by eliminating the numerous “time bandits” that suck hours of their time—and rob them of their best thinking.
- Put together a unique system, based on their personal strengths and energy management techniques.
- Turn themselves from a time waster to a Time Master, using a transformative mindset that eliminates the difficulty of building new habits.
Readers who loved Konrath’s fresh strategies in SNAP Selling and Agile Selling will find this book just as invaluable. It fills a necessary niche in the sales and time-management shelves by blending the two for a large and growing audience that needs specific advice from an expert.
Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Basic Books
For most of us, overwork is the new normal and rest is an afterthought.
In our busy lives, rest is defined as the absence of work: late-night TV binges, hours spent trawling the internet, something to do once we’ve finished everything else on our to-do lists. But dismissing rest stifles our ability to think creatively and truly recharge.
In Rest, Silicon Valley consultant Alex Pang argues that we can be more successful in all areas of our lives by recognizing the importance of rest: working better does not mean working more, it means working less and resting better. Treating rest as a passive activity secondary to work undermines our chances for a rewarding and meaningful life. Whether by making space for daily naps, as Winston Churchill did during World War II; going on hours-long strolls like Charles Darwin; or spending a week alone in a cabin like Bill Gates, pursuing what Pang calls “deliberate rest” is the true key to fulfillment and creative success. Drawing on rigorous scientific evidence and revelatory historical examples, Rest overturns everything our culture has taught us about work and shows that only by resting better can we start living better.
The Signals Are Talking: Why Today's Fringe Is Tomorrow's Mainstream by Amy Webb, PublicAffairs
Amy Webb is a noted futurist who combines curiosity, skepticism, colorful storytelling, and deeply reported, real-world analysis in this essential book for understanding the future.
The Signals Are Talking reveals a systemic way of evaluating new ideas bubbling up on the horizon—distinguishing what is a real trend from the merely trendy. This book helps us hear which signals are talking sense, and which are simply nonsense, so that we might know today what developments—especially those seemingly random ideas at the fringe as they converge and begin to move toward the mainstream—that have long-term consequence for tomorrow.
With the methodology developed in The Signals Are Talking, we learn how to think like a futurist and answer vitally important questions: How will a technology—like artificial intelligence, machine learning, self-driving cars, biohacking, bots, and the Internet of Things—affect us personally? How will it impact our businesses and workplaces? How will it eventually change the way we live, work, play, and think—and how should we prepare for it now?
Most importantly, Webb persuasively shows that the future isn’t something that happens to us passively. Instead, she allows us to see ahead so that we may forecast what’s to come—challenging us to create our own preferred futures.
Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future by Joi Ito, Jeff Howe, Grand Central Publishing
Joi Ito, director of MIT's legendary Media Lab, and Wired contributor Jeff Howe (who coined the term "crowdsourcing") present a set of working principles that will help us all adapt and thrive in the 21st Century.
"The future," as the author William Gibson once noted, "is already here. It's just unevenly distributed." Whiplash is a postcard from that future.
The world is more complex and volatile today than at any other time in our history. The tools of our modern existence are getting faster, cheaper, and smaller at an exponential rate, just as billions of strangers around the world are suddenly just one click or tweet or post away from each other. When these two revolutions joined, an explosive force was unleashed that is transforming every aspect of society, from business to culture and from the public sphere to our most private moments.
Such periods of dramatic change have always produced winners and losers. The future will run on an entirely new operating system. It's a major upgrade, but it comes with a steep learning curve. The logic of a faster future oversets the received wisdom of the past, and the people who succeed will be the ones who learn to think differently.
In Whiplash, Joi Ito and Jeff Howe distill that logic into nine organizing principles for navigating and surviving this tumultuous period. From strategically embracing risks rather than mitigating them (or preferring "risk over safety") to drawing inspiration and innovative ideas from your existing networks (or supporting "pull over push"), this dynamic blueprint can help you rethink your approach to all facets of your organization.
Filled with incredible case studies and leading-edge research and philosophies from the MIT Media Lab and beyond, Whiplash will help you adapt and succeed in this unpredictable world.
Your One Word: The Powerful Secret to Creating a Business and Life That Matter by Evan Carmichael, TarcherPerigee
A powerful guide that shows readers how to identify what makes them tick—and then harness it for maximum success.
In this bold and empowering guide, entrepreneur and social media sensation Evan Carmichael shares the secret to turbo-charging your path to success on your own terms. With thought-provoking questions and inspiring, instructive examples, Your One Word helps readers nail down their personal mottos—the word that captures their purpose and passion. With this operating philosophy in hand, readers will then learn how to leverage this powerful tool to create the business and future of their dreams.
Aimed at entrepreneurs as well as intrapreneurs, managers, and anyone else who wants to achieve success in a powerfully meaningful way, Your One Word is more than just a useful tool. It’s also an inspiring and enlightening read.
The Business of Creativity: How to Build the Right Team for Success by Keith Granet, Princeton Architectural Press
Long known as the go-to management consultant of the design world, Keith Granet reveals more of his clear-eyed insights about running a creative business in this follow-up to his book The Business of Design.
While aimed at creative enterprises, Granet's advice, quickly summarized as "know what you do best and focus on that," applies to any organization, small or large, commercial or nonprofit. He delves into the skill sets and people needed to grow a business, as well as the things you don't need (bad clients, bad employees, negative energy), in an engaging and easy-to-implement manner. His shrewd understanding, gleaned from decades of consulting for brands like Harrods, Pantone, John Varvatos, and Urban Archeology, makes this essential reading for anyone managing a business or thinking of starting one.
Speed: How Leaders Accelerate Successful Execution by Jack Zenger, Joseph Folkman, McGraw-Hill
Epic leadership team Zenger and Folkman gives business execs proven methods for seizing the competitive advantage by building speed into their leadership DNA.
It’s no secret that the pace of change in business today is unprecedented. Leaders who act quickly and inspire others to do the same are the ones who ultimately win the day. Speed reveals essential leadership qualities anyone can use to improve speed and ultimately drive organizational effectiveness
The book helps readers assess the speed at which they work and make decisions and provides calibration regarding how they compare to 75,000 others in the authors’ database. It then gives readers tactics for speeding up critical elements of their day and, finally, explains how they can use the eight companion behaviors—including innovation, developing courage, initiating action, and setting stretch goals--that help leaders to increase their speed.
Superconsumers: A Simple, Speedy, and Sustainable Path to Superior Growth by Eddie Yoon, Harvard Business Review Press
Pork dorks. Craftsters. American Girl fans. Despite their different tastes, these eclectic diehards have a lot in common: they’re obsessed about a specific brand, product, or category. They pursue their passions with fervor, and they’re extremely knowledgeable about the things they love. They aren’t average consumers—they’re superconsumers.
Although small in number, superconsumers can have an outsized impact on a company’s bottom line. Representing 10% of total consumers, they can drive between 30% to 70% of sales, and they’re usually willing to spend considerably more than the average consumer. And because they’re so engaged and passionate, they can offer invaluable advice to managers looking to improve their products, change their business models, energize their cultures, and attract new customers.
In Superconsumers, growth strategy expert Eddie Yoon lays out a simple but extremely effective framework that has helped companies of all types and sizes achieve more sustainable growth: he’ll show you how to find, listen to, and engage with your most passionate and profitable consumers, and then tailor your decisions to meet their wants and needs. Along the way, he’ll let you into the minds and homes of superconsumers of all kinds, revealing what makes them tick and why they’re willing to spend so much more than other consumers.
Rich with data and case studies of companies that have implemented superconsumer strategies with great success, Superconsumers is a fun, practical, and inspiring guide for anyone interested in making their best customers even better.
The Activist Director: Lessons from the Boardroom and the Future of the Corporation by Ira M. Millstein, Columbia University Press
Some of the worst corporate meltdowns over the past sixty years can be traced to passive directors who favored operational shortcuts over quality growth strategies.
Thinking primarily about placating institutional investors, selective stockholders, proxy advisors, and corporate management, these inattentive and deferential board members have relied on short-term share price increases to sustain their companies long term. Driven by a desire for prosperity, not posterity, these actions can doom any company.
In The Activist Director, attorney Ira M. Millstein looks back at fifty years of counseling companies, nonprofits, and governments to actively govern their corporations and constituencies. From the threat of bankruptcy and the ConEd blackout of 1970s New York City, to the meltdown of Drexel Burnham Lambert in the late 1980s, to the turnaround of General Motors in the mid-1990s, Millstein takes readers into the boardrooms of several of the greatest catastrophes and success stories of America's best-known corporations.
His solution lies at the top: a new breed of activist directors who partner with management and reject short-term outlooks, plan a future based on growth and innovation, and take responsibility for corporate organization, strategy, and efficiency. What questions should we ask of potential board members and how do we know they'll be active? Millstein offers pragmatic suggestions for recruiting activist directors to the boardroom to secure the future of the corporation.
Win at Losing: How Our Biggest Setbacks Can Lead to Our Greatest Gains by Sam Weinman, TarcherPerigee
A rousing guide to succeeding from setbacks, with lessons from famous figures who have survived and thrived after enduring legendary defeats.
As an award-winning sports journalist and editor, Sam Weinman has witnessed epic wins and crushing defeats. But when he tried to teach his two sons how to cope with inevitable setbacks (lost soccer games, a B on a test), nothing worked. Sam realized our winning-obsessed culture had taught them that losing is unacceptable, even when it’s impossible to succeed. So he decided to approach the experts to find out what’s driving America’s intense fear of failure and how we can use it to bounce back and thrive from life’s unavoidable losses.
Win at Losing is an engaging, enlightening guide to surviving and thriving from adversity, using lessons from famous figures who have faced major, very public defeats and emerged stronger and more successful from them. Blending first-hand interviews and advice from pro athletes, business executives, politicians, and Hollywood stars, with expert analysis from leading psychologists and coaches, this motivating book reveals how legendary leaders overcame and even triumphed from loss, humiliation, and rejection—showing how we all can harness the power of failure to achieve what we want in life.
Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace by Christine Porath, Grand Central Publishing
From the leading authority on workplace incivility, Christine Porath, shows why it pays to be civil, and reveals just how to enhance effectiveness in the workplace and beyond by mastering civility.
Incivility is silently chipping away at people, organizations, and our economy. Slights, insensitivities, and rude behaviors can cut deeply and hijack focus. Even if people want to perform well, they can't. Ultimately incivility cuts the bottom line.
In Mastering Civility, Christine Porath shows how people can enhance their influence and effectiveness with civility. Combining scientific research with fascinating evidence from popular culture and fields such as neuroscience, medicine, and psychology, this book provides managers and employers with a much-needed wake-up call, while also reminding them of what they can do right now to improve the quality of their workplaces.
Now or Never: Your Epic Life in 5 Steps by Alexi Panos, Preston Smiles, North Star Way
Alexi Panos and Preston Smiles, the internationally recognized next generation thought leaders, redefine what’s possible in relationships, career, and life.
Alexi and Preston went through periods in each of their lives where they felt like they were doing all the right things, but never got the desired results. They read all the best books in self-empowerment and positive thinking, took classes, and sought advice, but there was always something missing. After all of their soul-searching and personal development, they realized that they were missing a connection between mind, body, and soul.
Based on their 12-week successful online program The Bridge Method, Now or Never combines the couple’s years of training into five principles that can help you navigate the real world, learn how to overcome your inner obstacles, and become your best self. Filled with narratives and stories from the duo’s own lives as well as from those they have helped along the way, Now or Never shares exercises, insights, and challenges to help you attain the personal freedom you have always been seeking.
If you want to lead an ideal life, you must become the best version of yourself. Alexi and Preston can be your guides. Choose your life. It’s now or never.
The Sustainability Edge: How to Drive Top-Line Growth with Triple-Bottom-Line Thinking by Suhas Apte, Jagdish Sheth, Rotman-UTP Publishing
The Sustainability Edge enables companies to critically engage their stakeholders and influence them to accept sustainability as part of their core mission.
Business leaders need to embrace sustainability in order to ensure the lasting success of their organizations. Co-authors Suhas Apte and Jagdish Sheth bring their expertise from practice and from academic to illustrate how business leaders can embed sustainability in a truly holistic and transformative way.
Through an examination of such companies as Walmart, AT&T, IKEA, and the Tata Group, Apte and Sheth have developed a proven and actionable framework rooted in the real world success of these companies. The case studies reveal how business leaders proactively engage, energize and promote market sustainability to all of their stakeholders including customers, employees, suppliers, investors and the government.