21-ideas-for-managers21 Ideas for Managers: Practical Wisdom for Managing Your Company and Yourself by Charles Handy

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Celebrated the world over for his gentle wit and keen insight into human behavior, Charles Handy is widely regarded as one of today’s best social and business philosophers. This latest collection of Handy’s work groups twenty-one of the revered BBC commentator’s best essays on why organizations and the people in them behave the way they do. Beginning with “A World of Differences,” which voices Handy’s fresh take on diversity in the workplace, each essay is a bite-sized bit of humor and wisdom that sheds new light on what motivates people on the job. As useful as they are incisive, these twenty-one ideas should be heard by anyone seeking fresh perspectives on how better to manage themselves and others.


the-new-alchemistsThe New Alchemists: How Visionary People Make Something Out of Nothing by Charles Handy

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The world needs new ideas, new products, new kinds of associations and institutions, new initiatives, art and designs. But these new things seldom come from established organizations. They come from individuals — Charles Handy calls them the New Alchemists, and he has talked to a range of extraordinary people — from Trevor Baylis and Richard Branson to Jane Tewson and Terence Conran — to hear from them the secret to turning basic ideas into creative gold. Elizabeth Handy has used her new style of composite portraits to highlight aspects of all the different alchemists in their particular environments.


the-elephant-and-the-fleaThe Elephant and the Flea: Reflections of a Reluctant Capitalist by Charles Handy

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The Elephant and the Flea is both a poignant personal memoir and a deep reflection on the past and future of world capitalism, with all its possibilities and pitfalls. In a tone that is at once learned, genial, witty, and wise, Handy takes us on his life’s journey, looking back to his childhood and education and how they prepared (or, rather, did not prepare) him for a career in business, the changing nature of organizational life within the context of the old economy and the new, the great variety of capitalism around the world, and through it all, his struggle to find meaning and fulfillment in work. Handy uses the quirky, powerful metaphor of the elephant and the flea to describe vividly and critique the great shift from the prevalence of behemoth, slow-moving, bureaucratic organizations that provided a lifetime of security and not much freedom or room for creativity, to a world in which we are much more independent and flea-like, flitting from job to job, latching onto elephants when we need to, but mostly flying solo and without a net.


built-to-lastBuilt to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras

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Drawing upon a six-year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras took eighteen truly exceptional and long-lasting companies and studied each in direct comparison to one of its top competitors. They examined the companies from their very beginnings to the present day – as start-ups, as midsize companies, and as large corporations. Throughout, the authors asked: “What makes the truly exceptional companies different from the comparison companies and what were the common practices these enduringly great companies followed throughout their history?” Filled with hundreds of specific examples and organized into a coherent framework of practical concepts that can be applied by managers and entrepreneurs at all levels, “Built to Last” provides a master blueprint for building organizations that will prosper long into the 21st century and beyond.


good-to-greatGood to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

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In his new book, Collins has chosen to research an entirely new line of inquiry. Is transformation really possible? Are there mediocre companies that have turned themselves around and achieved sustained excellence after a decade of more of ordinary performance? And what is it about these companies that can explain their success? For nearly five years, Collins and his research team undertook a massive study of every company that has made the Fortune 500 since the advent of that listing in 1965—over 1400 companies in all. The result of that research was astounding—only 11 companies had successfully turned a mediocre enterprise into a true long term champion. The surprising secrets of how they did it—and how any company can—are brilliantly unlocked in this visionary new work.


How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In by Jim Collins

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Every institution, no matter how great, is vulnerable to decline. There is no law of nature that the most powerful will inevitably remain at the top. Anyone can fall and most eventually do. But, as Collins’ research emphasizes, some companies do indeed recover – in some cases, coming back even stronger – “even after having crashed into the depths of Stage 4.” Decline, it turns out, is largely self-inflicted, and the path to recovery lies largely within our own hands. We are not imprisoned by our circumstances, our history, or even our staggering defeats along the way. As long as we never get entirely knocked out of the game, hope always remains. The mighty can fall, but they can often rise again.


Great By Choice by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen

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Jim Collins returns with another groundbreaking work, this time to ask: Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not? Based on nine years of research, buttressed by rigorous analysis and infused with engaging stories, Collins and his colleague, Morten Hansen, enumerate the principles for building a truly great enterprise in unpredictable, tumultuous, and fast-moving times.


Beyond Entrepeneurship: Turning Your Business into an Enduring Great Company by Jim Collins and William C. Lazier

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This work provides entrepreneurs with building blocks to help their companies sustain high performance, play a leadership role in their industries, and remain successful for generations. Readers will discover the five key elements involved in guiding a company to lasting success, a blueprint for managing a thriving company, and plenty of real-world examples.


Managing for the Future: The 1990s and Beyond by Peter F. Drucker

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Drucker brings clear-sighted analysis and practical inspiration to an interesting array of subjects: the end of the era of the blue-collar worker; the ultimate bankruptcy of economic pump priming by the federal government; the myths about the Japanese economic juggernaut; the lessons that nonprofit enterprises can teach big business; the changing attitudes of middle managers as the doctrine of company loyalty gives way to the demand for rewarding achievement; and many more.


the-effective-executiveThe Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F. Drucker

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The measure of the executive, Peter F. Drucker reminds us, is the ability to “get the right things done.” This usually involves doing what other people have overlooked as well as avoiding what is unproductive. Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge may all be wasted in an executive job without the acquired habits of mind that mold them into results. Drucker identifies five practices essential to business effectiveness that can, and must, be learned: Managing time; Choosing what to contribute to the organization; Knowing where and how to mobilize strength for best effect; Setting the right priorities; Knitting all of them together with effective decision-making. Ranging widely through the annals of business and government, Peter F. Drucker demonstrates the distinctive skill of the executive and offers fresh insights into old and seemingly obvious business situations.


managing-for-results-economic-tasks-and-risk-taking-decisionsManaging for Results: Economic Tasks and Risk-Taking Decisions by Peter F. Drucker

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The effective business, Peter Drucker observes, focuses on opportunities rather than problems. How this focus is achieved in order to make the organization prosper and grow is the subject of this companion to his classic work, “The Practice of Management.” “Managing for Results” shows what the executive decision maker must do to move his enterprise forward. Drucker again employs his particular genius for breaking through conventional outlooks and opening up new perspectives for profits and growth.


Managing in a Time of Great Change by Peter F. Drucker

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’It is not so very difficult to predict the future. It is only pointless…what is always far more important are fundamental changes that happened though no one predicted them or could possible have predicted them.’ (quote taken from this book) It is these unpredictable and irreversible changes from the past, and their effect on the role of the executive which Peter Drucker examines in his latest book. The management of change is a subject which has been, undoubtedly, the principal preoccupation of management thinkers in the 1990s. Peter Drucker, the guru’s guru, brings together a group of his own original essays and interviews on this vitally important topic. As ever, he provides invaluable food for thought for all executives and students of business and management.


The Art of War by Sun Tzu

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The ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu is universally recognized as the greatest military strategist in history, a master of warfare interpretation. This condensed version of his influential classic imparts the knowledge and skills to overcome every adversary in war, at the office, or in everyday life.


the-future-of-leadership-today's-top-leadership-thinkers-speak-to-tomorrow's-leaders

The Future of Leadership: Today’s Top Leadership Thinkers Speak to Tomorrow’s Leaders by Warren G. Bennis / Gretchen M. Spreitzer / Thomas G. Cummings

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A stellar cast of the world’s foremost leadership gurus comes together in one place to offer their thoughts on leadership in the new economy. Edited by renowned leadership expert Warren Bennis, the book addresses issues that Bennis identifies as the ones that “keep CEOs up at night”, including why we tolerate bad leaders, why leadership is everyone’s business, and how ethics will play into new leadership. With contributions from Charles Handy, Tom Peters, Barry Posner, Jim Kouzes, and Warren Bennis-as well as from such young entrepreneurs as Michael Klein and Tara Church-no other book includes the caliber of authors and the range of thinking found in The Future of Leadership.


On Becoming a Leader by Warren G. Bennis

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Deemed “the dean of leadership gurus” by “Forbes” magazine, Warren Bennis has for years persuasively argued that leaders are not born – they are made. Delving into the qualities that define leadership, the people who exemplify it, and the strategies that anyone can apply to achieve it, his classic work “On Becoming a Leader” has served as a source of essential insight for countless readers. In a world increasingly defined by turbulence and uncertainty, the call to leadership is more urgent than ever.


Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History by Milton Friedman

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Friedman makes clear once and for all that no one is immune from monetary economics-that is, from the effects of its theory and its practices. He demonstrates through historical events the mischief that can result from misunderstanding the monetary system.


Harvard Business Review on Measuring Corporate Performance by the Harvard Business School Press

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The works collected in Harvard Business Review on Measuring Corporate Performance – including the three groundbreaking articles on the balanced scorecard by Kaplan and Norton – offer managers practical guidance for measuring their intangible assets (customer relationships, internal business processes, and employee learning) and aligning corporate strategy accordingly.


Hiring & Firing: Straight Talk from the World’s Top Business Leaders by the Harvard Business School Press

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Deciding who to hire is a perennial challenge for every executive. Will the person be a good fit? Will they perform up to expectations? How can you predict just who will succeed? And, if they do not, when do you decide it’s time for them to move on? This collection of fourteen first-hand accounts gives you insight into how some of the world’s top-business leaders tackled both the uncertainty of hiring and the difficult task of letting someone go.


The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn

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