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Recommended Reading List


Drucker, Peter F.  Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  Harper Business, 1993.

 The first book to present innovation and entrepreneurship as purposeful and systematic discipline, which explains and analyzes the challenges and opportunities of America's new entrepreneurial economy. A superbly practical book that explains what established businesses, public survey institutions, and new ventures have to know, have to learn, and have to do in today's economy and marketplace.

 Goldratt, Eilyahu M.  The Goal.  North River Press, 1992.

 Used by thousands of companies and hundreds of business schools! Required reading for anyone interested in the Theory of Constraints. This book, which introduces the Theory of Constraints, is changing how America does business. The Goal is a gripping, fast-paced business novel about overcoming the barriers to making money. You will learn the fundamentals of identifying and solving the problems created by constraints. From the moment you finish the book you will be able to start successfully addressing chronic productivity and quality problems.

 Johnson, Spencer.  Who Moved My Cheese?  G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1998.

 Change can be a blessing or a curse, depending on your perspective. The message of Who Moved My Cheese? is that all can come to see it as a blessing, if they understand the nature of cheese and the role it plays in their lives. Who Moved My Cheese? is a parable that takes place in a maze. Four beings live in that maze: Sniff and Scurry are mice--non-analytical and nonjudgmental, they just want cheese and are willing to do whatever it takes to get it. Hem and Haw are "littlepeople," mouse-size humans who have an entirely different relationship with cheese. It's not just sustenance to them; it's their self-image. Their lives and belief systems are built around the cheese they've found. Most of us reading the story will see the cheese as something related to our livelihoods--our jobs, our career paths, the industries we work in--although it can stand for anything, from health to relationships. The point of the story is that we have to be alert to changes in the cheese, and be prepared to go running off in search of new sources of cheese when the cheese we have runs out

 Peters, Tom.  The Pursuit of Wow!  Vintage Books, 1994.

 A dozen years ago, Peters and co-author Robert Waterman woke up corporate America with In Search of Excellence. Once more the "unconventional" Peters stimulates corporate thought processes. Along with the best of his columns, Peters includes questions and rebuttals that come from readers and listeners, as well as his own candid responses. A "must" read for every business person

 Popcorn, Faith.  The Popcorn Report.  Harper Business, 1992.

 Faith Popcorn's (slightly unusual) name is synonymous with consumer trends. The woman who spotted and named the "cocooning" movement advises clients from Campbell Soup to American Express to IBM on consumer attitudes, emerging patterns, and positioning. As Popcorn herself noted, "trends never end," and so she has updated her best selling book The Popcorn Report: Faith Popcorn on the Future of your Company, your World, your Life, for its first paperback edition. In her new update, Popcorn again demonstrates her acute sensitivity to the cultural and social pulse, and she identifies these new directions in consumer attitudes and behavior

Popcorn, Faith, Marigold, Lys  Clicking : 17 Trends That Drive Your Business -- And Your Life.  Harper Business, 1997.

 Faith Popcorn is back! Along with Marigold, a creative director at Popcorn's marketing consulting firm, BrainReserve, the two serve up their insights into the popular culture. Ten of their 16 trends were profiled previously in The Popcorn Report (1991), and Clicking seems an attempt to run unpopped kernels through the microwave again. Admittedly, the authors bring us up to date on such phenomena as cocooning, cashing out, vigilante consumerism, and ergonomics. Newer ideas include icon toppling and a look at evolving changes in gender roles with FemaleThink and mancipation. One may argue that Popcorn does not actually forecast trends. She is, rather, particularly adept at spotting them and, more importantly, labeling them with catchy, sound-bite names that appeal to lifestyle commentators and headline writers. The result is more attention to her and her "predictions" so that they become self-fulfilling prophesies. And the authors' cleverly chosen title, with its many levels of meaning, will undoubtedly "click."

 Semler, Ricardo.  Maverick.  Warner Books, 1995.

 What makes for a successful company? In a sometimes breathless, often boyish manner, Semler, a counselor of a Brazilian company (Semco), relates the transformation of a traditionally structured business into one quite literally without walls and rules. Semler details his not-so-easy steps in the metamorphosis: abolishing dress codes and regulations; decentralizing plants; getting rid of paperwork and titles (hence, his appellation as counselor, not CEO); and creating a consultative democracy in which employees set their own salaries and work hours and vote on managerial candidates, among other responsibilities. If it sounds too much like utopia, Semler admits that Brazil's economic downturn has impacted Semco and that, yes, being born with a silver spoon certainly colors his vision. Nonetheless, his is a philosophy that merits some serious thought by managers and workers alike.

Gerber, Michael E.  The E Myth Revisited:  Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It.  Harper Business, 1995.

In this first new and totally revised edition of the 150,000-copy underground bestseller, The E-Myth, Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. Next, he walks you through the steps in the life of a business--from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed--and shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether or not it is a franchise. Finally, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in. your business. After you have read The E-Myth Revisited, you will truly be able to grow your business in a predictable and productive way.

Moore, Geoffrey A.  Inside the Tornado  Harper Business, 1995.

Inside the Tornado the long-awaited sequel to Crossing the Chasm by Silicon Valley marketing strategist Geoffrey Moore, follows its predecessor as required reading material for today's leading business schools and industry luminaries. The book focuses on the market dynamics of hyper-growth, with a behind-the-headlines look at how companies such as Microsoft and Netscape capture dominant market shares and leap into prominence

O'Shea, James and Madigan, Charles  Dangerous Company  Time Business (Random House), 1997.

Dangerous Company relies on extended case histories to demonstrate how some of the most prominent consulting firms conduct business. The authors' unsurprising conclusion: Used carefully, consultants can revitalize a moribund company; allowed to run amok, consultants can drive successful businesses into the ground. Think before you spend, they suggest. The utility of Dangerous Company isn't so much in its stunningly obvious conclusion as in the individual stories. Case studies such as the degradation of Figgie International and the resuscitation of Sears, provide entertaining, instructive examples of the importance of keeping a tight grip on your consultants' reins. Unfortunately, the authors' decision to presents several such stories in detail means that the fascinating glimpses they provide into the corporate cultures of Andersen Consulting and McKinsey & Co., the book's two best examples of penetrating the inner sanctum of consultancy, are frustratingly brief. (Review by Ron Hogan)

Norman, Donald A. The Invisible Computer: Why Good Products Can Fail, the Personal Computer Is So Complex, and Information Appliances Are the Solution, MIT Press, 1998. ISBN: 0262640414

From Publishers Weekly
The personal computer industry is still in its "rebellious adolescent stage," says Norman, who asserts that it is time for it to "grow up" and "enter the... world of consumer appliances" A convenient, versatile, pleasurable tools with potential to communicate with each other in a global information matrix. Norman (The Design of Everyday Things; Things That Make Us Smart), an established voice in the field, explains why and offers prescriptions for how such changes are to come about, together with specific ideas about what kinds of information devices might emerge. He synthesizes wisdom from the history of technology, industrial social sciences, product design and marketing to support his vision of information appliances. The key reform he advocates is human-centered product design emphasizing user experience in addition to technology and marketing considerations. Norman's provocative analysis is laced with analogies and anecdotes, and is augmented by 128 illustrations. Though all the subtitle's claims are addressed in distinct chapters, some portions seem superfluous. Because "usability often lies in the details," the argument can occasionally get bogged down in minutiae or broad-stroke summaries of motion study and other historical innovations. Stylistic glitches aside, however, Norman offers an enlightening and pragmatic account of the interrelated currents and riptides affecting product development in the computer/information industry. Readers who digest this analysis will be well rewarded.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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