Business Books to Watch in June
June 01, 2016
Looking for something new to read? These are just some of the books we have our eyes on in June, in order of publication date.
We do our best to keep you up to date on all the newest releases, but we have a relatively small staff here at 800-CEO-READ and we can't cover everything with a full review. While not a complete list (and you may see some of these elsewhere on the site this month), these are some of the books we have our eyes on in June (by order of publication date).
Breaking the Trust Barrier: How Leaders Close the Gaps for High Performance by JV Venable, Berret-Koehler
Build Extraordinary Trust and Lead Your Team to a Higher Plane.
For former US Air Force Thunderbirds' commander and demonstration leader JV Venable, inspiring teamwork was literally a matter of life and death. On maneuvers like the one pictured on the cover, the distance between jets was just eighteen inches. Closing the gaps to sustain that kind of separation requires the highest levels of trust.
On the ground or in the air, from line supervisor to CEO, we all face the same challenge. Our job is to entice those we lead to close the gaps that slow the whole team down—gaps in commitment, loyalty, and trust. Every bit of closure requires your people to let go of biases and mental safeguards that hold them back. The process the Thunderbirds use to break that barrier and craft the highest levels of trust on a team with an annual turnover of 50 percent is nothing short of phenomenal. That process is packaged here with tips and compelling stories that will help you build the team of a lifetime.
Eccentric Orbits: The Iridium Story by John Bloom, Atlantic Monthly Press
The incredible story of Iridium—the most complex satellite system ever built, the cell phone of the future, and one of the largest corporate bankruptcies in American history—and one man's desperate race to save it.
In the early 1990s, Motorola, the legendary American technology company developed a revolutionary satellite system called Iridium. Iridium the satellite system was a mind-boggling technical accomplishment, surely the future of communication. The only problem was that Iridium the company was a commercial disaster. Only months after launching service, it was $11 billion in debt, burning through $100 million a month and crippled by baroque rate plans and agreements that forced calls through Moscow, Beijing, Fucino, Italy, and elsewhere. Bankruptcy was inevitable—the largest to that point in American history. And when no real buyers seemed to materialize, it looked like Iridium would go down as just a “science experiment.”
That is, until Dan Colussy got a wild idea. Colussy, a former head of Pan-Am now retired and working on his golf game in Palm Beach, heard about Motorola’s plans to “de-orbit” the system and decided he would buy Iridium and somehow turn around one of the biggest blunders in the history of business. In Eccentric Orbits, John Bloom masterfully traces the conception, development, and launching of Iridium and Colussy’s tireless efforts to stop it from being destroyed, from meetings with his motley investor group, to the Clinton White House, to the Pentagon, to the hunt for customers in special ops, shipping, aviation, mining, search and rescue—anyone who would need a durable phone at the end of the Earth. Impeccably researched and wonderfully told, Eccentric Orbits is a rollicking, unforgettable tale of technological achievement, business failure, the military-industrial complex, and one of the greatest deals of all time.
That's Not How We Do It Here!: A Story about How Organizations Rise and Fall—and Can Rise Againby John Kotter & Holger Rathgeber, Portfolio
What’s the worst thing you can hear when you have a good idea at work? “That’s not how we do it here!”
In their iconic bestseller Our Iceberg Is Melting, John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber used a simple fable about penguins to explain the process of leading people through major changes. Now, ten years later, they’re back with another must-read story that will help any team or organization cope with their biggest challenges and turn them into exciting opportunities.
Once upon a time a clan of meerkats lived in the Kalahari, a region in southern Africa. After years of steady growth, a drought has sharply reduced the clan’s resources, and deadly vulture attacks have increased. As things keep getting worse, the harmony of the clan is shattered. The executive team quarrels about possible solutions, and suggestions from frontline workers face a soul-crushing response: “That’s not how we do it here!”
So Nadia, a bright and adventurous meerkat, hits the road in search of new ideas to help her troubled clan. She discovers a much smaller group that operates very differently, with much more teamwork and agility. These meerkats have developed innovative solutions to find food and evade the vultures. But not everything in this small clan is as perfect as it seems at first. Can Nadia figure out how to combine the best of both worlds—a large, disciplined, well-managed clan and a small, informal, inspiring clan—before it’s too late?
This book distills Kotter’s decades of experience and award-winning research to reveal why organizations rise and fall, and how they can rise again in the face of adversity.
The Founder's Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth by Chris Zook & James Allen, Harvard Business Review Press
Three Principles for Managing—and Avoiding—the Problems of Growth.
Why is profitable growth so hard to achieve and sustain? Most executives manage their companies as if the solution to that problem lies in the external environment: find an attractive market, formulate the right strategy, win new customers.
But when Bain & Company’s Chris Zook and James Allen, authors of the bestselling Profit from the Core, researched this question, they found that when companies fail to achieve their growth targets, 90 percent of the time the root causes are internal, not external—increasing distance from the front lines, loss of accountability, proliferating processes and bureaucracy, to name only a few. What’s more, companies experience a set of predictable internal crises, at predictable stages, as they grow. Even for healthy companies, these crises, if not managed properly, stifle the ability to grow further—and can actively lead to decline.
The key insight from Zook and Allen’s research is that managing these choke points requires a “founder’s mentality”—behaviors typically embodied by a bold, ambitious founder—to restore speed, focus, and connection to customers. Based on the authors’ decade-long study of companies in more than forty countries, The Founder's Mentality demonstrates the strong relationship between these three traits in companies of all kinds—not just start-ups—and their ability to sustain performance. Through rich analysis and inspiring examples, this book shows how any leader—not only a founder—can instill and leverage a founder’s mentality throughout their organization and find lasting, profitable growth.
Think Simple: How Smart Leaders Defeat Complexityby Ken Segall, Portfolio
Ken Segall, bestselling author of Insanely Simple, shows how any company can leverage the power of simplicity—based on exclusive insights from business leaders around the world.
In Insanely Simple, Segall showed how Steve Jobs’ love of simplicity propelled Apple from near-bankruptcy to the world’s most valuable company. Now he explores how other companies, in a range of industries, all over the world, are simplifying their way to success—providing real-life examples that can inspire others to do the same.
Segall’s interviews with leaders from more than forty diverse companies demonstrate the power of simplicity on multiple levels. Readers will discover:
- How South Korea’s second biggest credit card company, Hyundai Card, used the power of simplicity to turn around a business losing two billion dollars a year.
- How adherence to a simple mission helped propel StubHub to create a consumer revolution.
- How The Blue Man Group used the principles of simplicity to grow from a local street act to a multinational creative network.
- How Ben & Jerry’s, Whole Foods, and Charles Schwab embraced simplicity in culture and leadership to create their own success stories.
Segall distills the philosophies and methods of all these successful companies into nine useful chapters, each of which explores a key component of simplicity—mission, culture, leadership, brand, scale, streamlining, team, love, and instinct.
You Are The One: A Bold Adventure in Finding Purpose, Discovering the Real You, and Loving Fully by Kute Blackson, North Star Way
A charismatic visionary and transformational teacher offers a bold new look at spiritual awareness providing the tools needed to live a life truly inspired by love for a whole new generation.
Kute Blackson comes from a long line of spiritual leaders and works with people from all walks of life, offering his own uniquely powerful process to transform lives from the inside out. His inspirational and life-changing YouTube videos, seminars, and conferences are known throughout the world, but it’s his trademark transformation experiences that sets him apart. The intensive one-on-one and one-of-a-kind transformational mother of all trips is a 14-day, 24/7 journey into such remote places as the bowels of India where the client—armed with nothing but a backpack, a change of clothes, and a journal—works with Blackson until he discovers what he hasn’t yet found. Whether it’s about forgiveness, confronting inner demons, letting go of self-hatred or the scars of the past, those hard-earned, sweat-proof lessons Blackson instills in his clients are right here, in this book, You Are The One. No need to pack your bags or renew your passport.
So what are you waiting for? For someone to save you? If so, you’re not alone. But it’s not going to happen. Your parents won’t rescue you. Your friends won’t carry you. No one’s coming. Know why? Everything you are seeking is within you already. Because you’re already here. You. Are. The. ONE.
You Are The One is a reflection of Blackson’s unique and distinctive thoughts, teachings, stories, and poetic inspirations to help you access your true power and live boldly and fully in the world—with no regrets.
Peter Drucker on Consulting: How to Apply Drucker's Principles for Business Success by William A Cohen, LID Publishing
Peter Drucker is known worldwide as The Father of Modern Management. But he was also the world s most famous and successful independent consultant.
The methods developed by Drucker remain highly relevant and continue to be used in today's organizations. This book, written by Drucker's first executive PhD graduate of the program he developed, is the first book to reveal in detail Drucker's methods and ideas as a consultant.
Jack Welch noted that his success at GE was based on Drucker's consulting advice. Bill Bartmann became the 25th wealthiest man in America at one point. He, too, credits Drucker's advice in helping with his success. This book is an encyclopedia of Drucker's consulting approaches and how and when to apply them. Any consultant will find this book invaluable. However, executives and managers will also gain new insight into Drucker's thinking and methods, and why they continue to have such tremendous influence over today's organizations.
The Outward Mindset: Seeing Beyond Ourselves by The Arbinger Institute, Berret-Koehler
The Arbinger Institute helps individuals and organizations significantly improve accountability, spark collaboration and accelerate innovation by making a single change—shifting to an outward mindset.
Unknowingly, too many of us operate from an inward mindset—a narrow-minded focus on self-centered goals and objectives. When faced with personal ineffectiveness or lagging organizational performance, most of us instinctively look for quick-fix behavioral band-aids, not recognizing the underlying mindset at the heart of our most persistent challenges. Through true stories and simple yet profound guidance and tools, The Outward Mindset enables individuals and organizations to make the one change that most dramatically improves performance, sparks collaboration, and accelerates innovation—a shift to an outward mindset.
Beyond Competitive Advantage: How to Solve the Puzzle of Sustaining Growth While Creating Value by Todd Zenger, Harvard Business Review Press
The hard reality is that a competitive advantage just isn’t enough. Investors want companies to surprise them with unexpected value, which means that you can outperform market expectations only if you as a leader know how to find, create, and deliver a series of multiple competitive advantages.
This is why a corporate theory is so important. A good corporate theory provides a compass for those at the strategic helm, guiding their decisions about what assets and activities to pursue, what investments to make, and what strategies to adopt. Behind every long-term corporate success story lies a basic theory about how that company creates value.
In Beyond Competitive Advantage, strategy professor Todd Zenger describes what makes a great corporate theory and helps readers understand the many tensions and trade-offs they’ll face as they apply the theory to meet the challenge of market expectations. Based on years of research and analysis, Beyond Competitive Advantage provides managers and executives with a framework for both sustaining value and creating growth.
Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behaviorby Jonah Berger, Simon & Schuster
The New York Times bestselling author of Contagious explores the subtle, secret influences that affect the decisions we make—from what we buy, to the careers we choose, to what we eat—in this fascinating and groundbreaking work.
If you’re like most people, you think that your choices and behaviors are driven by your individual, personal tastes, and opinions. You wear a certain jacket because you liked the way it looked. You picked a particular career because you found it interesting. The notion that our choices are driven by our own personal thoughts and opinions is patently obvious. Right? Wrong.
Without our realizing it, other people’s behavior has a huge influence on everything we do at every moment of our lives, from the mundane to the momentous occasion. Even strangers have a startling impact on our judgments and decisions: our attitudes toward a welfare policy shift if we’re told it is supported by Democrats versus Republicans (even though the policy is the same in both cases). But social influence doesn’t just lead us to do the same things as others. In some cases we conform, or imitate others around us. But in other cases we diverge, or avoid particular choices or behaviors because other people are doing them. We stop listening to a band because they go mainstream. We skip buying the minivan because we don’t want to look like a soccer mom.
In his surprising and compelling Invisible Influence, Jonah Berger integrates research and thinking from business, psychology, and social science to focus on the subtle, invisible influences behind our choices as individuals. By understanding how social influence works, we can decide when to resist and when to embrace it—and how we can use this knowledge to make better-informed decisions and exercise more control over our own behavior.
Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets by Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead, and Kevin Maney, HarperBusiness
The founders of a respected Silicon Valley advisory firm study legendary category-creating companies and reveal a groundbreaking discipline called category design.
Winning today isn’t about beating the competition at the old game. It’s about inventing a whole new game—defining a new market category, developing it, and dominating it over time. You can’t build a legendary company without building a legendary category. If you think that having the best product is all it takes to win, you’re going to lose.
In this farsighted, pioneering guide, the founders of Silicon Valley advisory firm Play Bigger rely on data analysis and interviews to understand the inner workings of “category kings”— companies such as Amazon, Salesforce, Uber and IKEA that give us new ways of living, thinking or doing business, often solving problems we didn’t know we had.
In Play Bigger, the authors assemble their findings to introduce the new discipline of category design. By applying category design, companies can create new demand where none existed, conditioning customers’ brains so they change their expectations and buying habits. While this discipline defines the tech industry, it applies to every kind of industry and even to personal careers.
Crossing The Chasm revolutionized how we think about new products in an existing market. The Innovator’s Dilemma taught us about disrupting an aging market. Now, Play Bigger is transforming business once again, showing us how to create the market itself.
Scaling Lean: Mastering the Key Metrics for Startup Growth by Ash Maurya, Portfolio
A hands-on guide to the metrics that matter most to young tech startups.
In the early stages of a tech startup’s life, it’s hard to decipher the meaningful metrics from the distractions. How do you know if your product is working? Is it the number of new signups? Average amount of time spent on the site? Revenue, even if you don’t have a revenue model yet?
In Scaling Lean, serial entrepreneur and author of the startup cult classic Running Lean, Ash Maurya, offers a tactical handbook for measuring and scaling a tech startup with maximum efficiency and efficacy. Maurya pairs real-world examples of startups like Airbnb and Dropbox with techniques and language from the manufacturing world to create a new model for measuring and describing an early stage startup’s success. Scaling Lean is an indispensable handbook for startup founders graduating from the incubator stage to build their business in the real world.
Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art by Virginia Heffernan, Simon & Schuster
Just as Susan Sontag did for photography and Marshall McLuhan did for television, Virginia Heffernan (called one of the “best living writers of English prose”) reveals the logic and aesthetics behind the Internet.
Since its inception, the Internet has morphed from merely an extension of traditional media into its own full-fledged civilization. It is among mankind’s great masterpieces—a massive work of art. As an idea, it rivals monotheism. We all inhabit this fascinating place. But its deep logic, its cultural potential, and its societal impact often elude us. In this deep and thoughtful book, Virginia Heffernan presents an original and far-reaching analysis of what the Internet is and does.
Life online, in the highly visual, social, portable, and global incarnation rewards certain virtues. The new medium favors speed, accuracy, wit, prolificacy, and versatility, and its form and functions are changing how we perceive, experience, and understand the world.
The Digital Marketing Divide: Reconciling Data-Driven and Creative Marketing Styles by Ericka Wilcher, Wiley
Strike the ideal balance between art and analytics with strategies for the modern marketing paradigm.
The Digital Marketing Divide sparks a discussion on the value of marketing decisions made from a place of balance between art and science. With a deep dive into the movement toward analytics, this book tests the assumption that marketing is moving toward data-based decisions—but also questions how to get there. You'll peek inside the trend to see what happens within marketing teams as analytics gains momentum, and learn which skills will only become more and more critical. The discussion is based on survey data and qualitative interviews, but goes beyond theory to suggest strategies for finding a middle ground between artistic and analytic disciplines, and provides suggestions for slowing down and taking more intentional approach to marketing metrics. You'll learn how to identify the relationships between analytics, technology, and creativity, and how to manage each to create a strategic plan for the future.
Plenty of books justify analytical marketing, but few examine the hallmark struggles that mark the journey toward true implementation. Tools and technology are important, but people and their behaviors are critical to the change. This book describes a proactive approach that helps you formulate the ideal strategy for your team and your brand. For many, the attraction of marketing is that it accommodates certain creative freedom while remaining grounded in solid business acumen. The increasing tilt toward analytics is changing the face of the industry, and The Digital Marketing Divide gives you a roadmap for a smoother journey.
Pathways to Possibility: Transforming Our Relationship with Ourselves, Each Other, and the World by Rosamund Stone Zander, Viking
The author of the 600,000+ copy bestseller The Art of Possibility returns with a new vision for achieving true human fulfillment.
In this powerful and inspiring book, family systems therapist and executive coach Rosamund Stone Zander invites readers to shed the childhood stories that hold us back, and enter a realm of true maturity and fulfillment, where limitless growth becomes possible. She illuminates how breaking old patterns and telling a new story can transform not just our own lives, but also our relationships with others—whether in a marriage, a classroom, or a business. And she demonstrates how, with this new understanding of ourselves and our place within an interconnected world, we can take powerful action in the collective interest, and gain a sense of deep connection to the universe.
This galvanizing book expands our notions of how much we can grow and change, whether we can affect others or the world at large, and how much freedom and joy we can experience. Stimulating and profound, it is the perfect companion to her beloved first book, The Art of Possibility.