Archive for the 'Management' Category

Competing Against Luck: The story of innovation and customer choice. Clayton M Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, & David S. Duncan.

Photo I took in Rochester, Minnesota 2005-12-3...

Competing Against Luck: The story of innovation and customer choice.  Clayton M Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, & David S. Duncan. .2016. ISBN  9780062435637.   As ever any book from Christensen is a delight to read. This one fleshes out the concept of a Job to Be Done as the driving force behind successful innovation.  Many successful and  innovative companies start out with a clear focus on the users job to be done and they are wildly successful. Later as this focus gets muddied by all the reams of data coming from the marketplace, many companies lose their way.   Using experience gained from the numerous companies they  have worked with over the years, the authors clearly show how the successful companies like Amazon, Intuit, The Khan Academy ,  The Mayo Clinic and others continue to stay focused on their North Star.  I recommend this book to anyone in a position of leadership to read, ponder , reread and implement.

Mistakes Millionaires Make. Lessons from 30 successful entrepreneurs. Harry Clark.

Spelling mistakes in Hebrew

Mistakes Millionaires Make.  Lessons from 30 successful entrepreneurs. Harry Clark. 2016. ISBN9781626343283.   The author, a member of EO went out to 30 others members/acquaintances who like him had built up and lost significant sums while running their businesses. He extracts extremely expensive lessons learned, how to recognize and avoid this issues and then inoculate yourself  against making those same mistakes.  The language is simple, unvarnished and concise.  The damage that these mistakes caused  to their business, family life , investors and friends was significant.  Each story is worth a read and a reread.  Every entrepreneur needs this book.

Pancakes in Paris. Craig Carlson.

Deutsch: Paris: Eiffelturm und Marsfeld

Pancakes in Paris. Craig Carlson. 2016. ISBN 9781492632122.  So a young American falls in love with all things France and Paris and through many twists and turns eventually finds his way back there to open up a Breakfast in America diner, since that is what he missed the most while living there.   His writing is very personal and human and he is totally unvarnished about the byzantine labor laws in France that make running a business a nightmare.    You will laugh and cry through this book as the author meets and then then gets through many incredible struggles. There are some good business and life lessons in this book.

Mastering the Complex Sale, Exceptional Selling , The Prime Solution , by Jeff Thull.

 

 

Cover of "Mastering the Complex Sale: How...

 

Mastering the Complex Sale, Exceptional Selling , The Prime Solution , by Jeff Thull.  2010,  2006,  2005.  This set of books which detail the Complex Sale process from the point of view of  delivering value are easily the most completely thought out approach I have read to date on selling value.

 

Thull starts with a a simple idea, that sellers /solutions need to tie their offer into solving valuable real measurable business problems , from the customers point of view to enable real measurable value outcomes .  Like any simple idea, the details of delivery have far reaching impacts on sellers and customers.  He has many phrases which stick with you,  like always going for the no,  spectacular success comes from unspectacular  preparation,  no problem/pain no sale,  no surprises, the salesperson is like a doctor.

 

Thulls four separate steps are

 

  1. Discovery
  2. Diagnosis
  3. Design
  4. Deliver

 

But the devil is  in the details.   Thull provides the details needed tofill in this framework.   This approach has the potential to set any seller far away from the pack of competitors as well as making  customer relationships very competitor proof.   Of any approach, this one truly recognizes the uniqueness of very customer and how to ensure the customer gets that value as well as recognizes it. This is a  transformative process not only for the customer but the sellers organization as well.   A must have for if you are the complex sales marketplace.

 

Nonsense. The Power of Not Knowing. Jamie Holmes

Knowing (film)

Nonsense. The Power of Not Knowing. Jamie Holmes. 2011 ISBN 9780385348379. One of those books full of unexpected treasures in knowledge.   And it does not stop at the notes pp. Like Christensen, the notes are  another intriguing book . Delightful.  The power of holding two or more separate conflicting ideas in your head have been shown before , but Holmes delivers even more good thought on the idea.   Eg Negative capability is not fixating/clutching on one aspect of a shifting complex reality. ( This is a good thing) . Prejudice is driven by a need for order, social order, where individuals can not tolerate ambiguity, having a desire to latch onto what is safe, familiar, simple and apparently definite.  Bigots fail to see all relevant sides to a problem and have a high need  for closure.  A very useful book  An essential part of your own journey toward a more enlightened and calmer self.

Start Small Finish Big. Fifteen key lessons to start and run your own successful business. Fred DeLuca.

English: Subway logo and slogan taken from mar...

Start Small Finish Big. Fifteen key lessons to start and run your own successful business. Fred DeLuca.  2000. ISBN 9781627040020. I have had this on my Kindle for a year and finally got to read it.  I enjoyed this book The author founded Subway with $1000 and a dream.  He details that journey and many others through interviews with selected founders.   These successful businesses are not all tech start-ups or flashy product companies. They provide a needed service or product that required the founders to work hard at the process, never give up and eventually break into national or regional powerhouses.   Its uplifting and realistic and I recommend it to anyone who wants to be their own boss.

Black Box Thinking. The surprising truth about success. Matthew Syed.

Black Box Thinking. The surprising truth about success and why some people never learn from their mistakes. . Matthew Syed. .  2015.  ISBN 9781473613775.  A very insightful book.  Ever wonder why airflight really learns from mistakes, while healthcare continues to make deathly mistakes every year ( despite tremendous leaps forward in medicine). You will be inspired and then dismayed by Syed’s book.  If you are any way involved in innovation, total quality, best practices and group productivity, this is a  book you need to read.  Funding/controlling bodies for institutions such as healthcare, governance, the legal system need to also read this book and act on it.  A compelling well written book.  Good for a four hour plane ride ,there and  back

how to kill a unicorn. How the world’s hottest innovation factory builds bold ideas that make it to market. Mark Payne.

English: New Builds

how to kill a unicorn. How the world’s hottest innovation factory builds bold ideas that make it to market. Mark Payne.2014. ISBN 9780804138734.   I really took my time with this book as it contains the kernel of how Fahrenheit 212 works.   It is easily one of the better innovation books on the market., right up there with Ed Cattmull’s,  Creativity Inc.    Payne explains exactly how they and you can follow their experience in getting to those breakthrough great ideas.  Key to it is their goal/ belief, ” Its more than great products, it’s  great businesses with products igniting them. ‘   A good cross  country read , that I am sure you will go back to many times to refresh your thoughts. The book  is applicable to all businesses.  Its also a concise, easy to read book.

The Lean CEO. Leading the Way to World-Class Excellence. Jacob Stoller.

English: John leading Lean and Mean

The Lean CEO. Leading the Way to World-Class Excellence. Jacob Stoller.   2015. ISBN 9780071833073.  This is the missing  book that puts together the plethora of lean successes across industries , public sector and geographies.  You will learn not only where Lean came from ( Deming and much more) , but how successful it has been in some many sectors and why it has not been more widely adopted in N America.  For tech companies after the Lean Startup you must  become the lean grownup to survive and grow. This book will help point the way.  Clearly written with  lots of examples makes this an engrossing book. Well worth anyone’s time to sit down and read it.

Contrepreneurs. Diane Francis.

Float from Mardi Gras 2009 in New Orleans, lam...

Contrepreneurs. Diane Francis. 1988. ISBN 0771599153.  Yes this is an older book, but the names of some of these blatant crooks seem to still pop up from time to time. This is the book that launched Diane Francis career of exposing the dirty underbelly of stock markets, banking, corruption and money laundering that still finds a home on Canada with these white collar criminals , who still remain at large and untouched. .  She has since become the author who details where the money and power is located in just a few powerful hands.  I recommend this book on the  Canadian stock markets as these tricks still continue. albeit with different players.