I read a lot of business books, not just because I want to know what the competition is up to but because I’m always hungry for new insights and understanding. Sadly, many are so packed with frameworks, matrices and checklists that the moment I put them down, I’ve forgotten them. They may be great advertisements for the author’s consulting practice, but often they’re badly written and packed with errors –instead of memorable sources of inspiration or action. So when a good one comes along, it makes a deep impression. A few can even change your game. Here are my top five, each of which changed how I work in some way:
Hidden Value by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Charles O’Reilly. I think this is my all-time favorite because it’s well written, well researched and contains a message that never ages. Pfeffer’s argument is that the people you hire contain more value than most companies ever tap. And he backs it up with great stories and data. Why does SAS Institute needs half the number of quality assurance people that Microsoft requires? Because they treat their people better. In a recession, this argument matters more than ever. This book gave me the evidence I needed to run things the way I wanted to.
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Author: Margaret Heffernan