Don’t have time to go back to school? Read these four management books instead.
Good to Great
by Jim Collins
The Built to Last author and his team found 11 Fortune 500 firms that showed a decade in the wilderness (good) followed by 15 years of outperformance (great). What they have in common: Like the hedgehog curling into a ball to defend against a fox, all these companies pursued one strategy, stuck to it doggedly–and succeeded.
Blue Ocean Strategy
by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
Heard of “value innovation”? Then you’ve been subconsciously influenced by this theory, which advises sidestepping the bloody turf wars of existing markets (it’s 2014–can you really make a better toaster?) and creating your own market (it’s 2010, and you’re Apple–can you make a better iPad than…oh, right).
by Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright
Banish your visions of Iron John-style retreats and drum circles; these aren’t the tribes you’re looking for. Instead, the authors describe and rank five types of naturally forming workplace groups, and outline ways to encourage employees to “tribe up” to achieve nirvana–or at least the coveted “life is great” stage.
The Smartest Guys in the Room
by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind
Arguably the best example in corporate history of what not to do, this tale of hubris and accounting chicanery should be on every MBA program’s syllabus. Not all Enroners were crooks, and the real lesson here is how to avoid becoming so isolated and inward-looking that you believe your own spin.