A bunch of business book reviews: 5/31/16

May 31, 2016 | Reading Lists

“Leaders are readers.”

Yep, if you want to do that leading thing well, you need to read. One challenge is sorting through all the “leadership” and other business books to find good ones. This post should help. Here are some pointers to reviews of and excepts from recent leadership (in the broadest sense) books.

In this post I point you to reviews of the 3 Boxes of Life, An Everyone Culture, Ball Don’t Lie, and Kicking Butt in Computer Science: Women in Computing at Carnegie Mellon University.

From Michael McKinney: Balancing the 3 Boxes

“Dartmouth professor Vijay Govindarajan writes, ‘As much as we might pay lip service to the fact that the future will differ dramatically from the past, we often behave as though it will be exactly the same.’ There is a tension between and what we have to do now to continue on as an entity and what we need to be doing now to create our future along with the things that we are doing that get in our way of doing any of it. How do we create the future while managing the present?”

From Sarah Green Carmichael: Let Employees Be People

“Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey, both of Harvard, discuss what they’ve learned from studying radically transparent organizations where people at all levels of the hierarchy get candid feedback, show vulnerability, and grow on the job. Their book is An Everyone Culture.”

From IESE Insight Ball Don’t Lie: Making a Case for Core Stability

“Soccer fans: Real Madrid or Atlético Madrid? Basketball fans: Lakers or Celtics? IESE’s Massimo Maoret, professor of strategic management and 2014 recipient of a European Commission Marie Curie research fellowship, argues that these are not simply questions of sport allegiances, but rather fundamental strategic dilemmas faced by every firm. ‘These teams strategize about their human resource management in very different ways,’ Maoret says. Human resources are arguably the most overlooked aspect in business strategy nowadays, but they can be the key to unlock competitive advantage.”

From Carol Frieze and Jeria Quesenberry: Change culture, not curriculum, to get more women into computer science

“In 2014, the incoming computer science (CS) class at CMU comprised 40% women at a time when the national rate for female CS graduates was around 14%. We set out on a ten-year long research endeavor to understand the story of how CMU got here. We tell that positive story in our new book, Kicking Butt in Computer Science: Women in Computing at Carnegie Mellon University, and here we’ll share the six primary takeaways that contributed to this success, which we believe are applicable to other organizations and workplaces.”

Reading recommendations are a regular feature of this blog. Want more recommendations about what to read? Check out my Three Star Leadership blog, Michael McKinney’s LeadingBlog, and Bob Morris’ Blogging on Business.