Sunday, January 20, 2008

You Can Even Learn from the Summary

Every year about a thousand business books are published. No one can read them all. (Although Seth Godin points out that if you aren't reading something, you are missing out. You should at least read my book!) But you can learn a lesson just from the titles in some cases. The Miami Herald has list of their Best of 2007 Business Books. The titles say something:

  1. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath.
  2. Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott.
  3. The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin.
  4. Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose by Rajendra Sisodia
  5. The Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner
  6. Beyond Buzz: The Next Generation of Word-of-Mouth Marketing by Lois Kelly

In other cases, the summary can be enough to get the idea the book was going to express:

  1. Edison on Innovation: 102 Lessons in Creativity for Business and Beyond by Alan Axelrod In this fascinating exploration of one of the most celebrated and innovative minds, best-selling author Alan Axelrod cuts through the myths and reverence surrounding Edison's "genius" to show how the inventor was, in fact, an ordinary man who created extraordinary work. While many of us believe that creativity, like genius, is something that just happens by chance or destiny, Edison's life demonstrates that creativity of the very highest order can indeed be summoned up at will, and even reduced to a reliable working method and set of principles. The lesson here is that anyone can be Creative. Also, the key to success is a system, process, or method.
  2. Delighting Your Customers: Delivering Excellent Customer Service Without Breaking the Bank by Avril Owton Your relationship with your customers is probably one of the most important you'll ever have. No business can survive without them, and reaching customers is a big challenge for small companies. This book offers you advice on key issues such as: understanding your customers, creating a customer service strategy, hiring the right people, setting up and implementing complaint processes, and adding a personal touch. The lesson is twofold: You need a Process for everything AND you need to Hire the Right People.

  1. What book did you read last year?
  2. What did you take away from it?
  3. Did you implement that take-away?

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