There are thousands of books on the market providing - allegedly - the answer to any manufacturing excellence, change management, people development or other issue you might have. With apologies to the many good books that are not included, the list below provides details of relevant, interesting books that are actually worth the time it takes to read them.
As managers are promoted through the layers of an organisation they need to recognise and practice new skills, and equally need to let go of skills which have served them well in the past.
This book describes the critical passages that every leader goes through and helps to clarify the changes needed. Reading it is like having a lightbulb go on in your head - suddenly all sorts of issues that you have noticed subconsciously, either about your own performance or that of others, start to click into place and make sense. And the book also makes suggestions on what to do about it!
A book which analyses, amongst other things, why Hush Puppies regained their street-cred, and other facinating trends. Gladwell pulls together all sorts of research and historical information to present his ideas in a way that manages to be immensely readable.
In a small organisation, everyone knows everyone else and things can get done fairly informally. However as the team grows the dynamics change and suddenly NOT knowing everyone else, and not knowing what they are doing, starts to become an issue. Suddenly people start to talk about ‘poor communication’. If your organisation is nearing 150 people – or is above 150 people and is already suffering – then it is likely that you will find some of the thoughts in this book very interesting.
Machiavelli watch out! This book takes a totally amoral look at ways that you, your friends or your colleagues may gain, retain or lose power. Fascinating, informative and slightly scary.
Some of the tactics described in the book are not ones you are likely to use yourself or come across in business. However reading about them certainly encourages you to have a re-think about some of the means you are using to achieve your goals.
Most directors will at some point face an issue in their role where they struggle to work through issues involved to arrive at the best solution. This book does provides real-life case studies with a commentary about the nature of the dilemma and the issues involved in solving it. Recommended to directors of all sizes of company.
This is a small paperback which focuses on the role of – primarily – line managers in providing counselling to their teams. It contains guidance on the basic skills required, many of which also cross over into other areas of ‘managing people’, and is written in language which is in general readily acceptable to line managers. For any line manager who is reluctant to counsell their staff, for whatever reason, or who simply wants to reflect on how they currently perform and pick up ideas to improve further, this book is recommended.
A bit different to all the other books listed here, as this is not a ‘management’ book. However it is here for a reason - professional material needs to be presented professionally, with the correct spelling, grammar and punctuation, otherwise your client or boss will spend all their time picking up errors rather than listening to your message.
If grammar and punctuation is not your forte then this book might convince you of the need for a good proofreader. And it happens to be a fun read as well.