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The 2019 Porchlight Business Book Awards Longlist

Dylan Schleicher

November 20, 2019

We are proud to announce the longlist for the 13th annual Porchlight Business Book Awards! These 40 books contain not only ideas that make businesses better, but a reflection of the entire biosphere that business exists within.

Reading through and discussing the (over 600) books we receive for our annual business book awards is always an exciting and thought-provoking time for our company. Books get shifted into new categories and passed around among the awards committee, and as individuals in a business that sells books, reading books about business, the conversations often become very meta and self-reflective as we consider what in these books may inform and be actionable within our own company.

With books that span in their focus from the individual to the organization, and from the organization to larger concerns of our time and place here on Earth, the eight categories we put books into sometimes bleed into one another. The books on personal development often demand we consider the life of the planet we live on, while books on current events call on conscious individuals (and knowledge of the past) to stand up and take notice—and individual action. Ranging from innovation and entrepreneurship to the effects of immigration and information technology on our economy and society (and the way bias and race affects how one navigates their role in both), the books on this year’s longlist contain not only ideas that make businesses better, but a reflection of the entire biosphere that business exists within. 

As our General Manager & Chief Strategist, Sally Haldorson, says:

Tune into any media site and the messaging is the same: we live in a time of “us versus them,” “cancel culture,” stratification rather than intersectionality. But there is no either/or in this complex world of ours, and these 40 books on this year’s longlist refuse such easy categorizations and elevate the depth of our discourse about what matters. And what matters, each book exclaims, are the people. We can celebrate technological advances and financial escapades—and these books do with aplomb, but each also considers how the human experience is made better or worse by such systemic accomplishments and offers strategies for coping and communing that are as individual as the people who contribute to them.

These forty books taken together, those we consider the very best of 2019, have a breadth that help us pull lessons from the past, dissect the present, and point to the future.

LEADERSHIP & STRATEGY

MANAGEMENT & WORKPLACE CULTURE

MARKETING & SALES

INNOVATION & CREATIVITY

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT & HUMAN BEHAVIOR

CURRENT EVENTS & PUBLIC AFFAIRS

NARRATIVE & BIOGRAPHY

BIG IDEAS & NEW PERSPECTIVES

We will announce our shortlist on December 18, and our overall winner on January 16, 2020, in New York City.

We will also be diving deeper into the books as our staff begins writing up the categories they curated beginning this week. Stay tuned here for more.

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About The Author

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of Porchlight since 2003. After beginning in shipping and receiving, he moved through customer service (with some accounting on the side) before entering into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the editorial and creative aspects of the company. Outside of work, you’ll find him volunteering or hanging out at his kids’ school, catching the weekly summer concert at the Washington Park Bandshell, or strolling through one of the many other parks or greenspaces around his home in Milwaukee (most likely in his garden). He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.

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