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50 Business Classics: Your shortcut to the most important ideas on innovation, management, and strategy (50 Classics) Paperback – 5 Apr 2018
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Nobody explains the gist of books better than Tom Butler-Bowdon, as he demonstrates to great effect in 50 Business Classics. The revelations about the creation of wealth, the changing nature of work and employment and the impact of technological advancements are timely, practical and relevant. (Bruce Rosenstein, Managing Editor, Leader to Leader; Author, 'Create Your Future the Peter Drucker Way')
50 Business Classics provides an excellent base of management history, mission and goal development, and ethics. Highly recommended as a tool for business and personal growth. (Lawrence J. Danks, Assistant Professor of Business, Camden County College, New Jersey, author of 'Your Unfinished Life')
PRAISE FOR THE 50 CLASSICS SERIES (:)
Something of a modern classic in its own right. (E&T magazine on 50 Economics Classics)
About as good an introduction to the broad range of modern economic writing as one is likely to find. (Professor James K. Galbraith on '50 Economics CLassics')
Become acquainted with a dazzling array of the key works in psychological literature almost overnight. (Dr Raj Persaud, Gresham Professor for Public Understanding of Psychiatry, on '50 Psychology Classics')
A tremendous resource. (Stephen R Covey, author of 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People', on '50 Self-Help Classics')
From Peter Drucker to Sheryl Sandberg, from The Five Dysfunctions of a Team to Creativity Inc., here are the 50 most important titles on organizational and personal success. Brand new title in the bestselling series.See all Product description
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He has a target on his back because all of us -- or at least many of us -- will question selections and omissions. For example, I would never include The Art of the Deal because Donald Trump did not write it or even read the drafts that Tony Schwartz asked him to review. Also, I would have had IT and Innovation & Creativity categories as well as one devoted entirely to Entrepreneurship. Adding or revising categories would obviously affect the selections. Currently, there are none of Dave Ulrich's major works (e.g. The Leadership Capital Index) or Keith Sawyer's (e.g. Group Genius) or Charles Handy's (e.g.The Age of Paradox) nor individual works such as Anders Ericsson's Peak, Joseph Schumpeter's Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, Alvin Toffler's Future Shock, and Enterprise Architecture as Strategy, co-authored by Jeanne Ross, Peter Weill, and David Robertson. I think all are "must include" but so what? This is Butler-Bowdon's book, not mine. He could have discussed 100 books and there would still be quibbles, if not complaints.
Unlike authors of so many other books of this nature, Butler-Bowdon does not slavishly follow a template when organizing his material. To the extent humanly possible, he customizes his approach to each after two representative quotations and two reader-friendly devices, "In a nutshell" and "In a similar vein." Yes, he concludes each commentary with two other reader-friendly devices, "Final comments" and mini-bio. However, the four devices serve as bookends to his insightful comments. For example, here are three brief examples from his discussion of Ben Horowitz and his international bestseller, The Hard Thing About Hard Things. These comments suggest the thrust and flavor of Butler-Bowdon's lively narrative:
Quotation from Horowitz's book: "The Struggle is when you wonder why you started the company in the first place. The Struggle is when people ask you why you don't quit and you don't know the answer. The Struggle is when your employees think you are lying and you think they may be right."
Excerpt from Build a Good Company commentary: "There are two reasons why people quit their jobs. Horowitz observes: (1) they 'hated their manager,' and were appalled by the lack of guidance, career development, and feedback they were receiving'; and (2) 'They weren't learning anything: The company wasn't investing resources in helping employees develop new skills.'"
The value of this book will be determined almost entirely by the nature and extent of its material's relevance to each reader's needs and interests. That said, I am convinced that each reader will gain knowledge and wisdom that far exceed the cost of cost purchase. Moreover, if this book is a permanent reference work to be consulted when an important question needs to be answered or a serious problem needs to be solved, its ROI will continue to increase exponentially.
Hearty congratulations to Tom Butler Bowdon on his latest -- always brilliant -- contribution to thought leadership. Bravo!
This is a good anthology, perhaps, so far as it goes, and as other reviewers have said there is perhaps no accounting for differences of taste and idiosyncrasies when it comes to creating lists of favoured reads and the extracts there of. However, I just think that the other entries in the series, such as 50 philosophical classics or 50 psychological classics or 50 politics classics (my personal favourite and one of the latest editions bar this one) are so, so much better. If I were to pick one which was worse than this one I may choose the 50 self-help classics which I disliked so much as to give it away (there are just not as many examples of great and important authors in that otherwise saturated genre).
If you are familiar with the series you will know the format, otherwise it is an anthologising of different books/authors, each chapter opens with a selection of quotations, usually three of between two sentences or a paragraph in length each, there is a sentence long summary in bold under the heading "In a Nutshell" and books "in a similar vein" are listed too. Chapters are concluded with the autobiographical paragraphs.
The introduction subdivides the content using headings Entrepreneurship & Innovation; Management, Leadership and Effectiveness; and finally Strategy & Marketing. I thought this was interesting but disappointingly the actual contents page does not divide this way and the books/authors do not appear in the order outlined or subdivided there in the introduction.
Some of the selections I thought were a little interesting, to be honest, such as PT Barnum, legendary show man who I know for writing about "suckers" and considering "there's one born every minute", included in the same anthology as great writers of a much more academic or scientific bent such as Frederick Winslow Taylor's "The Principles of Scientific Management" (whose studies I know made break throughs not just for management theory but also pointed up some important observations for performing research studies). I am also not sure about some of the inclusions of what I would call "business biographies", as I tend to think of these as largely self-congratulatory material. Some of the worst examples of more recent popular business publishing are avoided, which I am glad to report, although, for me, there were enough remaining to spoil this a little.
Overall the read did make me think about what people write about business and who they could possibly be writing it for, whether it is a reading public of dreamers or enterprise promoting politicians and lifestyle gurus or actual business people (of the people I know who own or operate their own businesses I would not say many of them are likely to have a bookshelf of business reads). Books which turn out to be thought provoking reads are a good thing, even when they are a little disappointing. On the other hand, this could be precisely what you are looking for, popular business publishing for people for whom business is more than owning or running an enterprise and less academic in its character.
One omissions, given that it is business, I thought that there could have been a section on funds, trading and investment or finance. The Art of The Deal is included (although I thought it was ghost written rather than being penned by Donald Trump directly) but not in a section on business communication and negotiation, which I think could or would have been a good idea too, although what I would have included could be regarded as present elsewhere perhaps. Finally, although it is yet to gain the traction or respectability that it deserves maybe, corporate responsibility or publishing making the business case for employee well being at work I felt were some what omitted too.
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