Having spent a large part of my career as a business writer and editor, one of my passions as Safari’s editor-in-chief is to help our users develop their business and management skills alongside their tech chops. I believe strongly that successful professional careers, whether they include formal management roles or not, are driven as much by organizational effectiveness and business savvy as they are by personal talent and skills. To that end, I am particularly excited about the new business books we are adding to Safari this week, which include a number of true must-reads for anyone set on improving their management acumen. Add these to your queue and you won’t regret it.
The Daily Drucker by Peter Drucker
Here are 366 doses of wisdom from the greatest mind in management theory and practice. A true visionary, Peter Drucker consistently saw the future of organizations and competition, often decades ahead of anyone else. His ideas stand the test of time. Each short daily insight is followed by an “Action Point.” For example, here is your Drucker to-do for March 3:
“Identify at least one change that has originated outside your industry that either has transformed or has the potential to transform your enterprise. Look for ideas in other industries that can be used profitably in your industry.”
And (spoiler alert!) his directive to answer these two questions on May 28 strikes a powerful chord with me.
“What do I need to learn to keep abreast of the knowledge I am being paid to know? And what do my associates have to know and understand about my knowledge area and about what it can and should contribute to the organization and to their own work?”
There are few better ways to begin your day than by spending five minutes with Peter Drucker. I highly recommend you do just that.
The Upside of Turbulence by Donald Sull
Donald Sull has been among my favorite management thinkers since I first encountered his research into “active inertia” more than 10 years ago. While you may not be familiar with the term, you have undoubtedly witnessed its effects. Active inertia is the tendency, shared by far too many organizations, to assume that what has worked in the past will continue to work in the future, even when circumstances change dramatically. Indeed, in the face of new threats, many organizations accelerate their inward focus and harden their attachment to rigid dogma when only innovation, improvisation, and agility can save them. Sull captures this concept brilliantly in his seminal Harvard Business Review article Why Good Companies Go Bad.
As its title implies, in The Upside of Turbulence Sull looks at disruption through a different lens. For every organization that is undone by an unforeseen threat, others are empowered by change. Based on more than a decade of research, The Upside of Turbulence draws lessons from companies that have repeatedly recognized and exploited opportunities that their rivals have missed.
More to come!