Top 21 Biz Books worth an MBA
If I were to recommend a maximum of three books for each of the biz topics below, these would be my choices.
Geoffrey Moore is a must-read author for those marketing new technologies: Crossing the Chasm and Inside the Tornado feature the Technology Adoption Lifecycle, and how to navigate its different stages. The chasm is the gap that exists between the early adopters of a technology and the pragmatic users in the mainstream, with totally different motivations. How to make a new product cross the chasm and go into mainstream is what these books are about.
Intel’s insider Davidow provides a manual for new technologies product management with Marketing High-Tech.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship:
Clayton Christensen, from Harvard, is one of the athorities in Innovation. His first book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, analizes disruptive innovations through industry business cases. It shows how important is to give full autonomy to teams in charge of specific innovations programs, as IBM did for the creation of the PC, creating a virtual separate organization. The book points out the difficulties that disruptive innovation brings to technology companies: moving to lower margins, getting the best people to work on riskier areas that generate less revenue, and being able to ignore requirements of current customers, to go disruptive.
Moore´s Dealing with Darwin analyzes the different types of innovation a company should focus, depending con different criteria, such as the stage of the technology lifecycle.
On Entrepreneurship, Gerber´s E-myth Revisited insists on entrepreneurs owning rather than running the business, as a key to success.
Michael Porter’s Competitive Strategy is a classic. Some would say a bit old fashion, yet it introduces basic principles on strategy. Hamel and Prahalad, with Competing for the future, provided insight into concepts such as core competencies or the need to actively create new competitive landscapes.
In recent years, Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne Blue Ocean Strategy, urge companies to create-redefine uncontested markets, or blue oceans, setting your value proposition apart from competitors.
Peter Drucker, the father of management as a academic discipline, has a large numbers of works. Being selective I would pick The Essential Drucker and Management challenges for the 21stcentury.
The One Minute Manager by Blanchard and Johnson, though simplistic, is a short book I recommend to my employees when moving them
to leading a team.
Ted Levitt’s Marketing Imagination, brings concepts such as whole product management and relationship deficit. Al Ries and Jack Trout, Marketing Warfare and Positioning are two easy-to-read pieces, plenty of examples to highlight the importance of Positioning, versus pure ad creativity, to win the battle for customer mind.
A classic since 1935, The Elements of Style by Strunk and White is a book to keep as reference. On Writing Well by William Zinsser is a delight to read.
More than a communications book, Robert Cialdini’s Influence is a classic on the psychology of persuasion.
Selling the Invisible, by Harry Beckwith, High Trust Selling by Todd Duncan, and SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham.