All week we’ll take a look at the best business books ever published.
Today’s theme is “business strategy.”
I welcome your thoughts on my selections and if you feel like I left any deserving books off the list, please leave a comment below or send me an email at [email protected]
20. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable (Jossey-Bass; April 2002)
Background: Why do some organizations fail to reach their potential? What are the roadblocks that hinder teams from being successful? Author Lencioni identifies five key reasons: Absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results. Through his story, which is told in a parable format, Lencioni delivers a vocabulary that team leaders can adopt when talking with team members. In addition, he offers a clear model to implement this new communication strategy.
Takeaway: Lencioni shows how teams fail to function as a team and what an insightful leader can do to remove “individuals” and restore teamwork.
Quote: “For all the attention that it has received over the years from scholars, coaches, teachers and the media, teamwork is as elusive as it has ever been within most organizations.”
Up next: Out of the Crisis
19. Out of the Crisis (Massachusetts Inst Technology (February 2, 1982)
Background: There was a certain point in the business vernacular when you couldn’t have a conversation about the economic production without mentioning Total Quality Management. Somewhere in a landfill in Alabama is a paper I wrote on the topic. We’re probably all better off that it is reduced to mottled nothingness among the refuse. But TQM is another topic. Deming is credited with introducing quality measurement techniques to Japanese manufacturers in the 1960s and his book, Out of the Chaos, brought those methods to American companies.
Takeaway: By focusing on a cycle of continuous improvement in management and manufacturing cycles, Deming, created a blueprint of “quality management strategies” that would be adopted by companies over the next several decades.
Quote: “Failure of management to plan for the future and to foresee problems has brought about waste of manpower, of materials, and of machine-time, all of which raise the manufacturer’s cost and price that the purchaser must pay.”
Up next: Built to Last
18. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (HarperBusiness; (November, 2004)
By Jim Collins and Jerry Porras