Here is a top shelf selection of management training books. These books are available from a wide selection of dealers. You can either order them directly online from Amazon Books, your local book dealer or some training media websites.
These are the kinds of books you'll want to read, pass on to a friend, and then demand back so you can review again later.
The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge into Action
The market for business knowledge is booming, as companies looking to improve their performance pour billions of dollars into training programs, consultants, and executive education. Why, then, are there so many gaps between what firms know they should do and what they actually do? Why do so many companies fail to implement the experience and insight they've worked so hard to acquire? The Knowing-Doing Gap is the first book to confront the challenge of turning knowledge about how to improve performance into actions that produce measurable results.
Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton, well-known authors and teachers, identify the causes of the knowing-doing gap and explain how to close it. The message is clear-firms that turn knowledge into action avoid the "smart talk trap." Executives must use plans, analysis, meetings, and presentations to inspire deeds, not as substitutes for action. Companies that act on their knowledge also eliminate fear, abolish destructive internal competition, measure what matters, and promote leaders who understand the work people do in their firms. The authors use examples from dozens of firms that show how some overcome the knowing-doing gap, why others try but fail, and how still others avoid the gap in the first place.
The Knowing-Doing Gap is sure to resonate with executives everywhere who struggle daily to make their firms both know and do what they know. It is a refreshingly candid, useful, and realistic guide for improving performance in today's business.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Jeffrey Pfeffer is the Thomas D. Dee Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business and the author of The Human Equation (HBS Press). Robert I. Sutton is a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford's School of Engineering, where he is co-director of the Center on Work, Technology, and Organization.
The Fifth Discipline : The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization
Peter Senge, founder of the Center for Organizational Learning at MIT's Sloan School of Management, experienced an epiphany while meditating one morning back in the fall of 1987. That was the day he first saw the possibilities of a "learning organization" that used "systems thinking" as the primary tenet of a revolutionary management philosophy. He advanced the concept into this primer, originally released in 1990, written for those interested in integrating his philosophy into their corporate culture.
The Fifth Discipline has turned many readers into true believers; it remains the ideal introduction to Senge's carefully integrated corporate framework, which is structured around "personal mastery," "mental models," "shared vision," and "team learning." Using ideas that originate in fields from science to spirituality, Senge explains why the learning organization matters, provides an unvarnished summary of his management principals, offers some basic tools for practicing it, and shows what it's like to operate under this system. The book's concepts remain stimulating and relevant as ever.
The Human Equation : Building Profits by Putting People First
Why is common sense so uncommon when it comes to managing people? How is it that so many seemingly intelligent organizations implement harmful management practices and ideas? With his provocative new book The Human Equation, bestselling author Jeffrey Pfeffer examines why much of the current conventional wisdom is wrong and asks us to re-think the way managers link people with organizational performance. Pfeffer masterfully builds a powerful business case for managing people effectively--not just because it makes for good corporate policy, but because it results in outstanding performance and profits.
Challenging current thinking and practice, Pfeffer:
- Reveals the costs of downsizing--and provides alternatives.
- Identifies troubling trends in compensation, and suggests better practices.
- Explains why even the smartest managers sometimes manage people unwisely.
- Demonstrates how market-based forces can fail to create good people management practices, creating a need for positive public policy.
- Provides practical guidelines for implementing high-performance management practices.
Filled with information and ideas, The Human Equation provides much-needed guidance for managing people more wisely--and more profitably.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeffrey Pfeffer is the Thomas D. Dee Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is the author of eight books, including Managing with Power and Competitive Advantage through People, both from HBS Press. He has consulted extensively for companies, universities, and industry associations in the U.S. as well as in 20 other countries.
The Leadership Challenge : How to Keep Getting Extraordinary Things Done in Organizations (The Jossey-Bass Management Series)
Completely revised and updated I not only enjoyed it...I found myself constantly nodding and saying to myself, 'That's right! That's how it's done! That's what it feels like!' You certainly captured the essence of what I've found is at the heart of transforming leadership.
-- Robert D. Haas, chairman and CEO, Levi Strauss & Co.
The leadership book that outshines them all, updated for today's new business realities. With an expanded research base of 60,000 leaders, this second edition captures the continuing interest in leadership as a critical aspect of human organizations. It offers a broader scope of leaders in every industry and walk of life, including the education and nonprofit fields, and examines the era's hottest issues -- the new cynicism, the electronic global village, evolving employee-employer relationships -- in keeping pace with our ever-changing world. The classic five-point guide to better leadership, however, remains as useful as ever.
The Wisdom of Teams : Creating the High-Performance Organization
This is the bestselling book that explores the remarkable benefits of teams at all levels of the organization. A look at the 30 virtues of good business that have inspired success in thousands of leaders, by the man voted Boss of the Year, 1994 by the National Organization for Women.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jon R. Katzenbach has been with McKinsey & Company, Inc., for more than three decades, and is considered to be one of the firm's leading thinks on issues or organization and performance.
Douglas K. Smith is a leading commentator and consultant on organization performance and change who has also co-authored two previous books: Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented and TheN Ignored the First Personal Computer and Sources of the African Past.
One of the world's foremost experts on business leadership distills 25 years of experience and wisdom in this visionary guide to what it will take to lead the organization of the 21st century. "Every business leader can profit from Kotters thinking on change."
--Larry Bossidy, Chairman and CEO, AlliedSignal, Inc. Available August 1996.
This book identifies an eight-step process that every company must go through to achieve its goal, and shows where and how people, good people, often derail. The eight-step process consists of establishing a sense of urgency by analyzing competition and identifying potential crises; putting together a powerful team to lead change; creating a vision; communicating the new vision, strategies, and expected behavior; removing obstacles to the change and encouraging risk taking; recognizing and rewarding short-term successes; identifying people who can implement change; and ensuring that the changes become part of the institutional culture for long-term transformation and growth.
First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently
The greatest managers in the world seem to have little in common. They differ in sex, age, and race. They employ vastly different styles and focus on different goals. Yet despite their differences, great managers share one common trait: They do not hesitate to break virtually every rule held sacred by conventional wisdom. They do not believe that, with enough training, a person can achieve anything he sets his mind to. They do not try to help people overcome their weaknesses. They consistently disregard the golden rule. And, yes, they even play favorites. This amazing book explains why.
Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman of the Gallup Organization present the remarkable findings of their massive in-depth study of great managers across a wide variety of situations. Some were in leadership positions. Others were front-line supervisors. Some were in Fortune 500 companies; others were key players in small, entrepreneurial companies. Whatever their situations, the managers who ultimately became the focus of Gallup's research were invariably those who excelled at turning each employee's talent into performance.
In today's tight labor markets, companies compete to find and keep the best employees, using pay, benefits, promotions, and training. But these well-intentioned efforts often miss the mark. The front-line manager is the key to attracting and retaining talented employees. No matter how generous its pay or how renowned its training, the company that lacks great front-line managers will suffer. Buckingham and Coffman explain how the best managers select an employee for talent rather than for skills or experience; how they set expectations for him or her -- they define the right outcomes rather than the right steps; how they motivate people -- they build on each person's unique strengths rather than trying to fix his weaknesses; and, finally, how great managers develop people -- they find the right fit for each person, not the next rung on the ladder. And perhaps most important, this research -- which initially generated thousands of different survey questions on the subject of employee opinion -- finally produced the twelve simple questions that work to distinguish the strongest departments of a company from all the rest. This book is the first to present this essential measuring stick and to prove the link between employee opinions and productivity, profit, customer satisfaction, and the rate of turnover.
There are vital performance and career lessons here for managers at every level, and, best of all, the book shows you how to apply them to your own situation.
Peak Performance: Aligning the Hearts and Minds of Your Employees
It takes a fired-up workforce to deliver consistently higher levels of performance than its competition. What fuels the fire? Emotional commitment to company success, says Jon Katzenbach. Drawing on an in-depth study of twenty-five enterprises -including Marriott International, The Home Depot, Hewlett-Packard, Southwest Airlines, and the U.S. Marine Corps-the author found distinct patterns in how companies engage their employees to capitalize on emotional energy.
At the heart of Peak Performance lies Katzenbach's identification of five balanced motivational paths: the Mission, Values, and Pride Path, the Process and Metrics Path, the Entrepreneurial Spirit Path, the Individual Achievement Path, and the Recognition and Celebration Path. He contends that these paths create a framework of options for managers about where and how to generate emotional energy and how to channel that energy to achieve higher performance. Essential to each path is leadership's commitment to strike a balance between enterprise performance and worker fulfillment.
Through its detailed case studies, Peak Performance highlights the various sources of emotional energy unique to each organization and the discipline companies need to follow their chosen paths. The book concludes with guidelines for managers seeking to reshape their practices to achieve better performance from their own workforces and gain the resulting competitive edge.
Serious Play : How the World's Best Companies Simulate to Innovate
Serious Play is about serious work: how the world's leading companies model, prototype, and simulate to innovate. Increasingly, prototypes are the key platforms and models are the core media for managing risk and creating value. They allow for cost-effective creativity, encourage profitable improvisation, and inspire organizations to collaborate in unexpected ways. Serious Play is a crisply written handbook for product, process and project leaders who are determined to manage their innovation initiatives successfully.
As digital technologies for modeling and simulation offer more value for less money, they provoke fundamental challenges to organizational culture and design. MIT research associate Michael Schrage asserts that conventional wisdom surrounding innovation gets turned inside out: What innovative companies choose not to model often proves more important than what they do. Contrary to the popular assumption that innovative teams generate innovative prototypes, in fact innovative prototypes generate innovative teams. How innovators play with their models and simulations invariably matters far more than what they actually plan. In fact, Schrage shows why innovative firms cannot seriously plan unless they seriously play.
Drawing upon a range of companies as diverse as Walt Disney, Boeing, Merrill Lynch, General Electric, IBM, IDEO, Microsoft, Royal Dutch Shell, DaimlerChrysler and American Airlines, Schrage identifies the common patterns and practices that distinguish productive prototyping cultures from pathological ones. He explores the intimate connection between how leading innovators model reality and how they actually manage it. He examines prototyping failures as rigorously as he explains prototyping successes.
The essential message of Serious Play is that tomorrow's innovations will increasingly be the byproduct of how companies and their customers behave-and misbehave-around this new generation of models, prototypes, and simulations. The distinction between serious play and serious work dissolves as technology gives innovators ever-increasing opportunities to simulate and prototype their ideas. As the media for modeling radically change, so will the organizations that use them.
With real-world examples and engaging anecdotes, Schrage argues that the future of prototyping is the future of innovation. A User's Guide included in the book helps readers quickly take away the innovation practices profiled throughout. A landmark book by one of the most perceptive voices in the field of innovation, Serious Play will lay serious claim to the hearts and minds of forward-looking business managers.
Common Knowledge: How Companies Thrive by Sharing What They Know
While external knowledge-about customers, about competitors-is critical, it rarely provides a competitive edge for companies because such information is equally available to everyone. But internal "know-how" that is unique to a specific company-how to introduce a new drug into the diabetes market, how to decrease assembly time in an automobile plant-is the stuff of which sustained competitive advantage is made. Nancy Dixon, an expert in the field of organizational learning, calls this knowledge borne of experience "common knowledge," and argues that in order to get beyond talking about knowledge management to actually doing it, companies must first recognize that all knowledge is not created-and therefore can't be shared-equally.
Creating successful knowledge transfer systems, Dixon argues, requires matching the type of knowledge to be shared to the method best suited for transferring it effectively. Based on an in-depth study of several organizations-including Ernst & Young, Bechtel, Ford, Chevron, British Petroleum, Texas Instruments, and the U.S. Army-that are leading the field in successful knowledge transfer, Common Knowledge reveals groundbreaking insights into how organizational knowledge is created, how it can be effectively shared-and why transfer systems work when they do.
Until now, most organizations have had to rely on costly "trial and error" to find a knowledge transfer system that works for them. Dixon helps managers take the guesswork out of this process by outlining three criteria that must be considered in order to determine how a transfer method will work in a specific situation: the type of knowledge to be transferred, the nature of the task, and who the receiver of that knowledge will be. Drawing from the successful-but very different-practices of the companies in her study and providing compelling illustrative stories based on the experiences of real managers, Dixon distills five distinct categories of knowledge transfer, explains the principles that make each of them work, and helps managers determine which of these systems would be most effective in their own organizations.
Common Knowledge gets to the heart of one of the most difficult questions in knowledge transfer today: What makes a system work effectively in one organization but fail miserably in another? Going beyond "one-size-fits-all" approaches and simple generalities like upper management involvement and cultural issues, this important book will help organizations of every kind construct knowledge transfer systems tailored to their unique forms of "common knowledge"-and in the process create the best kind of competitive advantage there is: the kind that can't be copied.
The Dance of Change: The Challenges to Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations
Since Peter Senge published his groundbreaking book The Fifth Discipline, he and his associates have frequently been asked by the business community: "How do we go beyond the first steps of corporate change? How do we sustain momentum?" They know that companies and organizations cannot thrive today without learning to adapt their attitudes and practices. But companies that establish change initiatives discover, after initial success, that even the most promising efforts to transform or revitalize organizations--despite interest, resources, and compelling business results--can fail to sustain themselves over time. That's because organizations have complex, well-developed immune systems, aimed at preserving the status quo.
Now, drawing upon new theories about leadership and the long-term success of change initiatives, and based upon twenty-five years
of experience building learning organizations, the authors of The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook show how to accelerate success and avoid the obstacles that can stall momentum. The Dance of Change, written for managers and executives at every level of an organization, reveals how business leaders can work together to anticipate the challenges that profound change will ultimately force the organization to face. Then, in a down-to-earth and compellingly clear format, readers will learn how to build the personal and organizational capabilities needed to meet those challenges.
These challenges are not imposed from the outside; they are the product of assumptions and practices that people take for granted--an inherent, natural part of the processes of change. And they can stop innovation cold, unless managers at all levels learn to anticipate them and recognize the hidden rewards in each challenge, and the potential to spur further growth. Within the frequently encountered challenge of "Not Enough Time," for example--the lack of control over time available for innovation and learning initiatives--lies a valuable opportunity to reframe the way people organize their workplaces.
This book identifies universal challenges that organizations ultimately find themselves confronting, including the challenge of "Fear and Anxiety"; the need to diffuse learning across organizational boundaries; the ways in which assumptions built in to corporate measurement systems can handcuff learning initiatives; and the almost unavoidable misunderstandings between "true believers" and nonbelievers in a company.
Filled with individual and team exercises, in-depth accounts of sustaining learning initiatives by managers and leaders in the field, and well-tested practical advice, The Dance of Change provides an insider's perspective on implementing learning and change initiatives at such corporations as British Petroleum, Chrysler, Dupont, Ford, General Electric, Harley-Davidson, Hewlett-Packard, Mitsubishi Electric, Royal Dutch/Shell, Shell Oil Company, Toyota, the United States Army, and Xerox. It offers crucial advice for line-level managers, executive leaders, internal networkers, educators, and others who are struggling to put change initiatives into practice.
Winning Through Innovation : A Practical Guide to Leading Organizational Change and Renewal
This book reveals why short-term corporate success often increases the chances of long-term failure and presents a complete management tool kit for overcoming the success syndrome. Explains how to identify and diagnose causes of performance gaps and develop action plans to attain leadership.
The experiences of managers in top companies like Disney, 3M, Compaq, and FedEx demonstrate that short-term success actually increases the chances of long-term failure. The authors present a framework for overcoming this "success syndrome" and for developing action plans to meet these challenges.
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