Book recommendations for business leaders: Jobs to Be Done Edition

Nov 10, 2016 | Reading Lists

Stephen King says that if you want to be a writer, there are two things you must do: read a lot and write a lot. This is about the “read a lot” part. I include reading lists and book reviews that will help you do business more effectively and write better for business.

In this post I point you to reviews of three books about Jobs To Be Done.

From Oliver Staley: Innovation guru Clayton Christensen’s new theory is meant to protect you from disruption

“Christensen is possibly the most influential management thinker in Silicon Valley. His 1997 book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, was embraced by Intel’s Andy Grove, quoted by Steve Jobs, and called one of the six best business books ever by The Economist. In it, Christensen introduced his theory of disruption, which explains how established, successful companies leave themselves vulnerable to competition from upstarts by abandoning the lower end of the market. Transistor radios, for example, were sold cheaply to teenagers and eventually overtook the expensive, high-quality vacuum-tube radios that once dominated the market. A more recent example might be AirBnb’s assault on the hotel industry.”

Wally’s Comment: In addition to the books in this post you may want to check out two Harvard Business Review Articles: “Know Your Customers’ ‘Jobs to Be Done’” and “Know the Job Your Product Was Hired for (with Help from Customer Selfies)”

From Bob Morris: Jobs to Be Done

“It was Clayton Christensen who posed the ‘innovator’s dilemma’: the same practices that lead a business to be successful in the first place can — and often do — result in their eventual demise. Whereas in one of his recent books, Marshall Goldsmith suggests that ‘what got you here won’t get you there,’ worse yet, Christensen suggests, ‘what got you here will probably doom you to failure.’ How to resolve that dilemma? Stephen Wunker, Jessica Wattman, and David Farber respond in Jobs to Be Done.”

From Bob Morris: Lead and Disrupt

“‘Why do successful firms find it so difficult to adapt in the face of change – to innovate?’ Charles O’Reilly and Michael Tushman respond to the question they pose in Lead and Disrupt: ‘The book was written to help organizations tackle the challenge of innovating in a way that is consistent and repeatable, using Jobs to Be Done as the cornerstone of a rigorous framework. Our view is that to create innovation, it’s necessary to focus as much on the approach taken as on the ideas themselves. In fact we argue that getting the ‘how’ of innovation right will in large part determine the quality of the ‘what’ — the solutions that organizations ultimately produce. Through a detailed but straightforward approach, which we call the Jobs Roadmap, companies can navigate the various requirements of innovation and consistently come up with winning solutions.”

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.