14 Diverse Business Books worth Reading

14 Diverse Business Books worth Reading

Books in list (14)


Title: All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis

"Hell is empty, and all the devils are here."--Shakespeare, The Tempest As soon as the financial crisis erupted, the finger-pointing began. Should the blame fall on Wall Street, Main Street, or Pennsylvania Avenue? On greedy traders, misguided regulators, sleazy subprime companies, cowardly legislators, or clueless home buyers? According to Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, two of America's most acclaimed business journalists, the real answer is all of the above-and more. Many devils helped bring hell to the economy. And the full story, in all of its complexity and detail, is like the legend of the blind men and the elephant. Almost everyone has missed the big picture. Almost no one has put all the pieces together. All the Devils Are Here goes back several decades to weave the hidden history of the financial crisis in a way no previous book has done. It explores the motivations of everyone from famous CEOs, cabinet secretaries, and politicians to anonymous lenders, borrowers, analysts, and Wall Street traders. It delves into the powerful American mythology of homeownership. And it proves that the crisis ultimately wasn't about finance at all; it was about human nature. Among the devils you'll meet in vivid detail: • Angelo Mozilo, the CEO of Countrywide, who dreamed of spreading homeownership to the masses, only to succumb to the peer pressure-and the outsized profits-of the sleaziest subprime lending. • Roland Arnall, a respected philanthropist and diplomat, who made his fortune building Ameriquest, a subprime lending empire that relied on blatantly deceptive lending practices. • Hank Greenberg, who built AIG into a Rube Goldberg contraption with an undeserved triple-A rating, and who ran it so tightly that he was the only one who knew where all the bodies were buried. • Stan O'Neal of Merrill Lynch, aloof and suspicious, who suffered from "Goldman envy" and drove a proud old firm into the ground by promoting cronies and pushing out his smartest lieutenants. • Lloyd Blankfein, who helped turn Goldman Sachs from a culture that famously put clients first to one that made clients secondary to its own bottom line. • Franklin Raines of Fannie Mae, who (like his predecessors) bullied regulators into submission and let his firm drift away from its original, noble mission. • Brian Clarkson of Moody's, who aggressively pushed to increase his rating agency's market share and stock price, at the cost of its integrity. • Alan Greenspan, the legendary maestro of the Federal Reserve, who ignored the evidence of a growing housing bubble and turned a blind eye to the lending practices that ultimately brought down Wall Street-and inflicted enormous pain on the country. Just as McLean's The Smartest Guys in the Room was hailed as the best Enron book on a crowded shelf, so will All the Devils Are Here be remembered for finally making sense of the meltdown and its consequences.
Author(s): Bethany McLean
ISBN 13: 9781591843634
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Title: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn´t cover, based on his popular ben´s blog. While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he´s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in. Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz's personal and often humbling experiences.
Author(s): Ben Horowitz
ISBN 13: 9780062273208
Pages: 304
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Title: Winning through Innovation: A Practical Guide to Leading Organizational Change and Renewal

Tushman and O'Reilly examine how leadership, culture, and organizational architectures can be both important facilitators of innovation and, not uncommonly, formidable obstacles. They demonstrate how to clarify today's critical managerial problems, use culture and commitment to promote innovation and implement strategy, and deal with changing innovation requirements as organizations evolve.
Author(s): Michael L. Tushman
ISBN 13: 9781578518210
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Title: The 10 Laws of Trust: Building the Bonds That Make a Business Great

Trust is the glue that holds an organization together. It turns deflection into transparency, suspicion into empowerment, and conflict into creativity. With it, a tiny company like John Deere grew into a worldwide leader. Without it, a giant corporation like Enron toppled. In The 10 Laws of Trust, JetBlue chairman Joel Peterson explores how a culture of trust gives companies an edge. Consider this: What does it feel like to work for a firm where leaders and colleagues trust one another? Freed from micromanagement and rivalry, every employee contributes his or her best. Risk taking and innovation become the norm. And, as Peterson notes, "When a company has a reputation for fair dealing, its costs drop: Trust cuts the time spent second-guessing and lawyering." In clear, engaging prose, highlighted by compelling examples, Peterson details how to establish and maintain a culture of trust. Steps include: Start with integrity - Invest in respect - Empower everyone - Require accountability - Create a winning vision - Keep everyone informed - Budget in line with expectations - Embrace conflict - Forget "you" to become an effective leader - And more With this book in hand, you'll be able to plant the seeds of trust--and reap the rewards of reputation, profits, and success.
Author(s): Joel Peterson
ISBN 13: 9780814437452
Pages: 128
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Title: Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks

Have you ever wondered how one day the media can assert that alcohol is bad for us and the next unashamedly run a story touting the benefits of daily alcohol consumption? Or how a drug that is pulled off the market for causing heart attacks ever got approved in the first place? How can average readers, who aren't medical doctors or Ph.D.s in biochemistry, tell what they should be paying attention to and what's, well, just more bullshit? Ben Goldacre has made a point of exposing quack doctors and nutritionists, bogus credentialing programs, and biased scientific studies. He has also taken the media to task for its willingness to throw facts and proof out the window. But he's not here just to tell you what's wrong. Goldacre is here to teach you how to evaluate placebo effects, double-blind studies, and sample sizes, so that you can recognize bad science when you see it. You're about to feel a whole lot better.
Author(s): Ben Goldacre
ISBN 13: 9780865479180
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Title: Change or Die: The Three Keys to Change at Work and in Life

Change or Die. What if you were given that choice? If you didn't, your time would end soon—a lot sooner than it had to. Could you change when change matters most?

This is the question Alan Deutschman poses in Change or Die, which began as a sensational cover story by the same title for Fast Company. Deutschman concludes that although we all have the ability to change our behavior, we rarely ever do. From patients suffering from heart disease to repeat offenders in the criminal justice system to companies trapped in the mold of unsuccessful business practices, many of us could prevent ominous outcomes by simply changing our mindset.

A powerful book with universal appeal, Change or Die deconstructs and debunks age-old myths about change and empowers us with three critical keys—relate, repeat, and reframe—to help us make important positive changes in our lives. Explaining breakthrough research and progressive ideas from a wide selection of leaders in medicine, science, and business (including Dr. Dean Ornish, Mimi Silbert of the Delancey Street Foundation, Bill Gates, Daniel Boulud, and many others), Deutschman demonstrates how anyone can achieve lasting, revolutionary changes that are positive, attainable, and absolutely vital.

Author(s): Alan Deutschman
ISBN 13: 9780061373671
Pages: 256
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Title: The Fissured Workplace

For much of the twentieth century, large companies employing many workers formed the bedrock of the U.S. economy. Today, on the list of big business's priorities, sustaining the employer-worker relationship ranks far below building a devoted customer base and delivering value to investors. As David Weil's groundbreaking analysis shows, large corporations have shed their role as direct employers of the people responsible for their products, in favor of outsourcing work to small companies that compete fiercely with one another. The result has been declining wages, eroding benefits, inadequate health and safety conditions, and ever-widening income inequality. From the perspectives of CEOs and investors, fissuring--splitting off functions that were once managed internally--has been a phenomenally successful business strategy, allowing companies to become more streamlined and drive down costs. Despite giving up direct control to subcontractors, vendors, and franchises, these large companies have figured out how to maintain quality standards and protect the reputation of the brand. They produce brand-name products and services without the cost of maintaining an expensive workforce. But from the perspective of workers, this lucrative strategy has meant stagnation in wages and benefits and a lower standard of living--if they are fortunate enough to have a job at all. Weil proposes ways to modernize regulatory policies and laws so that employers can meet their obligations to workers while allowing companies to keep the beneficial aspects of this innovative business strategy.
Author(s): David Weil
ISBN 13: 9780674725447
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Title: The Language of Food

Why do we eat toast for breakfast, and then toast to good health at dinner? What does the turkey we eat on Thanksgiving have to do with the country on the eastern Mediterranean? Can you figure out how much your dinner will cost by counting the words on the menu? In The Language of Food, Stanford University professor and MacArthur Fellow Dan Jurafsky peels away the mysteries from the foods we think we know. Thirteen chapters evoke the joy and discovery of reading a menu dotted with the sharp-eyed annotations of a linguist. Jurafsky points out the subtle meanings hidden in filler words like "rich" and "crispy," zeroes in on the metaphors and storytelling tropes we rely on in restaurant reviews, and charts a microuniverse of marketing language on the back of a bag of potato chips. The fascinating journey through The Language of Food uncovers a global atlas of culinary influences. With Jurafsky's insight, words like ketchup, macaron, and even salad become living fossils that contain the patterns of early global exploration that predate our modern fusion-filled world. From ancient recipes preserved in Sumerian song lyrics to colonial shipping routes that first connected East and West, Jurafsky paints a vibrant portrait of how our foods developed. A surprising history of culinary exchange; a sharing of ideas and culture as much as ingredients and flavors; lies just beneath the surface of our daily snacks, soups, and suppers. Engaging and informed, Jurafsky's unique study illuminates an extraordinary network of language, history, and food. The menu is yours to enjoy.
Author(s): Dan Jurafsky
ISBN 13: 9780393351620
Pages: 256
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Title: The Digital Transformation Playbook

Every business begun before the Internet now faces the same challenge: How to transform to compete in a digital economy? Globally recognized digital expert David L. Rogers argues that digital transformation is not about updating your technology but about upgrading your strategic thinking. Based on Rogers's decade of research and teaching at Columbia Business School, and his consulting for businesses around the world, The Digital Transformation Playbook shows how pre-digital-era companies can reinvigorate their game plans and capture the new opportunities of the digital world. Rogers shows why traditional businesses need to rethink their underlying assumptions in five domains of strategy―customers, competition, data, innovation, and value. He reveals how to harness customer networks, platforms, big data, rapid experimentation, and disruptive business models―and how to integrate these into your existing business and organization. Rogers illustrates every strategy in this playbook with real-world case studies, from Google to GE, from Airbnb to the New York Times. With practical frameworks and nine step-by-step planning tools, he distills the lessons of today's greatest digital innovators and makes them usable for businesses at any stage. Many books offer advice for digital start-ups, but The Digital Transformation Playbook is the first complete treatment of how legacy businesses can transform to thrive in the digital age. It is an indispensable guide for executives looking to take their firms to the next stage of profitable growth.
Author(s): David L. Rogers
ISBN 13: 9780231175449
Pages: 296
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Title: Clay Water Brick

She shares her own story of founding Kiva with little more than a laptop and a dream, and the stories and the lessons she has learned from those across the globe who are doing the most with the least. -- Publisher description. Patrick, Blessing, Constance, and many others are among the poorest of the world’s poor. And yet they each had crucial lessons to teach Jessica Jackley—lessons about resilience, creativity, perseverance, and, above all, entrepreneurship. For as long as she could remember, Jackley, the co-founder of the revolutionary microlending site Kiva, had a singular and urgent ambition: to help alleviate global poverty. While in her twenties, she set off for Africa to finally meet the people she had long dreamed of helping. The insights of those she met changed her understanding. Today she believes that many of the most inspiring entrepreneurs in the world are not focused on high-tech ventures or making a lot of money; instead, they wake up every day and build better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities, regardless of the things they lack or the obstacles they encounter. As Jackley puts it, “The greatest entrepreneurs succeed not because of what they possess but because of what they are determined to do.” In Clay Water Brick, Jackley challenges readers to embrace entrepreneurship as a powerful force for change in the world. She shares her own story of founding Kiva with little more than a laptop and a dream, and the stories and the lessons she has learned from those across the globe who are doing the most with the least.
Author(s): Jessica Jackley
ISBN 13: 9780679643760
Pages: 224
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