The holidays are approaching. It’s time to catch up on your reading or, why not, to start afresh. So here is a list of business oriented books to slip into the suitcase between the sunscreen and swimsuit…
Are you committed?
“Are you fully charged?” writes success author Tom Rath, focusing on professional commitment and workplace well-being. In this book, released earlier this year, the researcher points up three things that he says contributes to this: making sense of your actions, promoting interaction and putting health first. In his usual manner, the author has document his book and draws many parallels with his personal life. Written in a familiar style, the book is very readable.
Making big decisions
In “Wiser: getting beyond group think to make groups smarter”, published in 2015, Reid Hastie and Cass Sunstein unravel the reasons why a working group may or may not make an important decision. Organized into two sections, the book first relates the errors made and situations in which they occur, to disclose in the second section best practises and implementation. Published by Havard Business Press, the book is full of wit and remains easy to read.
Being fully aware
“Mindful work: how meditation is changing business from the inside out”, came out this year from the pen of New York Times writer David Gelles. It shows how meditation is capturing more and more attention from companies, providing benefits both to employees, since it reduces their stress, and therefore also to employers. The author, supporting and illustrating his demonstration with data, addresses both sceptics and believers.
Managing difficult personalities
“Dealing with difficult people: 24 lessons for bringing out the best in everyone” is a 2003 publication written by Rick Brinkman and Rick Kirschner. In this 48-page book, the authors list the ten most common difficult behaviours such as grouchiness, indecision, arrogance, the know-it-all… And for each problematic personality there is a double page of instructions on how to manage and bring out the most positive part.
Work within the rules
The head of Google personnel operations, Laszlo Bock, has also released a book this year relating to the professional sphere. Soberly titled “Work Rules”, it sets out certain problems relating to human resources. Although it explains how others are wrong, it recounts what Google is doing well. If you are in HR, read Bock’s suggestions, even if some can only be envisaged in Google. They are good for Google, and you might draw some useful lessons from them.
In “Work happy: what great bosses know”, released last year, Jill Geisler evokes the problems that bosses are confronted with. The author also gives an overview of how to overcome these challenges and indicates how to improve your human management. An extra: the book has been supported by the leadership guru of Harvard University’s Kennedy School, Marty Linsky.
Management has borrowed heavily from theatrical techniques in recent years. This is still the case, as evidenced by the recent book from Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton: “Yes, and – lessons from the Second City”. In it, there are actors from the Second City improvisation theatre and school, which unveils their tips relating to listening techniques, co-creation and collaboration. Improvisation lessons also punctuate this book.
Fun with the economy
“When to rob a bank: … and 131 more Warped suggestions and well-intended rants” was written by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, the very popular authors of the Freakonomics.com blog. So these are the most instructive posts which are reproduced here and are accompanied by entertaining and well produced podcasts.