In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies
What We're Saying
There is no shortage of books written to explain the success of companies. In Search of Excellence and Good to Great are the best known for using this technique. There are not many books that do the opposite—look at why companies failed. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
This has potential to start a bit of dialogue. There's a recently published book out there refuting some of the big business books such as Good to Great and In Search of Excellence. Phil argues that he has. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
Business historian Alfred Chandler passed away last week. The Wall Street Journal ran a thorough piece on his life and work in their Weekend Edition. Strategy and Structure is a title most look to as a hallmark in the study of business management. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
The Management Myth: Why the "Experts" Keep Getting It Wrong by Matthew Stewart, W. W. Norton & Company, 352 Pages, $27. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
Channel Insider recently posted a slide show of 21 Must Read Books for Business Success. It was compiled by asking "successful solution providers what books have both inspired them and shaped their approach to making their businesses a success. " You can get detailed descriptions of the books by viewing the slide show, but the list itself, with links, below. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
Jack reviewed a great book a few years ago called The Management Myth: Why the “Experts” Keep Getting It Wrong. It is a serious book critiquing what the author calls "the pseudoscience of management theory," a call for us to look at management theory not as a science, but as a philosophy. A question at the heart of that book is the efficacy of business jargon—that is, does the language we invent around business topics really produce a better understanding of those topics, or simply make the speaker of that language sound more clever, studied and imbued with expertise. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
If the book of the 80's was In Search of Excellence by Peters and Waterman, then book of the 90's was Reengineering the Corporation by Michael Hammer and Jim Champy. We were saddened to hear Michael Hammer died this week at age 60. The best way we can think of to acknowledge his impact is by announcing the inclusion of Reengineering The Corporation in our upcoming book. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
Steven Levitt on his Freakonomics blog takes a shot at Good To Great and the recent performance of GTG standouts Fannie Mae, Circuit City, and Wells Fargo. A purchase of either Fannie Mae or Circuit City at the time of the book's publication would have netted you an 80% loss in your investment today. Not so good. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
POST & WIN! Post a reaction or question for Erika in one of her Thinker in Residence posts, and not only will Erika pop by for the discussion, but we'll randomly pick one participant to win a copy of Leading So People Will Follow! In our past two Thinker in Residence posts featuring the thoughtful and motivating work of Erika Andersen, we introduced you to her newest book on leadership, Leading So People Will Follow, and also shared an in-depth Q&A with Erika about strategy. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
Happy [belated] anniversary to Tom! 25 years ago, In Search of Excellence was published. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
If you know who Jeff Hayzlett is, it is probably from his appearances on television or his Twitter footprint. But the chief marketing officer of Kodak is now venturing into the wonderful world of analog with his new book, The Mirror Test: Is Your Business Really Breathing? , being released by Business Plus in May. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
The Wall Street Journal yesterday had a major feature titled "New Breed of Business Gurus Rises. " The article provides a ranking of the thought leaders in business today. The ranking system is based on the 2003 book What's the Big Idea? READ FULL DESCRIPTION
We last covered Tim Harford here when Random House released his last book, The logic of Life, which we reviewed as a Jack Covert Selects. But you may have heard his name more recently because of the press that his new book, Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure, has been getting. There was an excerpt on Slate last week entitled The Airplane That Saved the World: What the RAF's World War II Spitfire Can Teach Us About Nurturing Innovation and Radical Ideas. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
In another installment from the annual review of business books we produced last year, we have an article from friend and former president of the company, Todd Sattersten. In it, he discusses the meta-themes in business thought that he and Jack uncovered as they spent 18 months compiling, reading, choosing and writing The 100 Best Business Books of All Time. ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊ The Five Universal Themes in Business BY TODD SATTERSTEN What happens when you spend 18 months reading the best in business literature? READ FULL DESCRIPTION
Carol Hymowitz over at the WSJ shared her list of business books for holiday reading (you may need to log in). On it, were these books: Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams. This is what we've all been talking about in the past few years and even more so since the rise of Wikipedia. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
Penguin's Portfolio imprint specializes in business books, and their Portfolio Javelin blog ("Business, Business Books, and the Business of Books") is a great read for any of us business book geeks. Yesterday, Will Weisser, Vice President and Associate Editor of Portfolio, wrote an entry inspired by a post in the Guardian's blog in which the author, Robert McCrum, confessed, despite his education and exposure to great books, that he had never read Middlemarch by George Eliot (if you too have not read Middlemarch, I highly recommend remedying that this summer--it's one of my favorites. ) McCrum then invites readers to share their book humiliations by listing the books that they regret never having read. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
Our third installment of articles from past issues of In the Books, our annual review of the finest business books, comes from the indomitable spirit of Erika Andersen, founder of Proteus International. Erika is a friend of the company, and I've always thought of her as our cool and world-wise aunt. She is one of those people that teaches you something about yourself every time you meet her and, lucky for us, she does so for organizations as well. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
A growing wave of critics is taking shots at Jim Collins and his book, Good to Great, questioning the research and Collins' oft-followed path for corporate success. The arguments against Collins are nicely summarized in a Boston Globe article written by Drake Bennett titled "Luck Inc. " Jim Collins is quoted, pushing back on some of the counterclaims to his contribution to "business-success literature. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
The "Greatest Business Book of All Time" (Bloomsbury UK), In Search of Excellence has long been a must-have for the boardroom, business school, and bedside table.
Based on a study of forty-three of America's best-run companies from a diverse array of business sectors, In Search of Excellence describes eight basic principles of management -- action-stimulating, people-oriented, profit-maximizing practices -- that made these organizations successful.
Joining the HarperBusiness Essentials series, this phenomenal bestseller features a new Authors' Note, and reintroduces these vital principles in an accessible and practical way for today's management reader.