Business Book Summaries

  • This work offers a summary of the book «HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE: The All-Time Classic Manual Of People Skills» by Dale Carnegie.
    How to Win Friends and Influence People is a classic, bestselling book that has set the bar for people skills manuals. It should be part of every businessperson's bookshelf, but is also useful for anyone looking to improve relationships.

    Dale Carnegie posits that no matter your occupation, goals, ambitions of position in a company, dealing with people is your biggest challenge. If you learn how to do so effectively, though, you will reap the rewards in profitability, productivity and morale. It's much better to work together with people, rather than against them. Carnegie explains the best way to criticize people, how best to motivate them and how to become a good conversationalist. He urges the reader to be interested in other people, and strive at all times to make a good first impression. Remember people's names, he suggests, and try to avoid arguments at all costs.

    How to Win Friends and Influence People is based on a simple foundation: you cannot change other people, only change the way you relate to them. Dale Carnegie has laid out a watershed blueprint for how to do that.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «AWAKEN THE GIANT WITHIN: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical & Financial Destiny» by Anthony Robbins.

    If you are in search of a motivating, mood enhancing, go-get-'em, the-world-is-your-oyster kind of read, then this is for you. The fundamental maxim of this summary is that by making a few alterations to what we believe, each one of us has the power to take fate into our hands and to get exactly what we want in any area of our lives.

    The summary devotes one page to the subject of identity - how we see ourselves and how others see us. Our personal identity has a huge influence on our future actions, and this too is something that Robbins believes we have the power to choose and self-correct. The final section of the summary is entitled «A lesson in destiny». It invites us to take full advantage of our time on earth, living each day as if it were the last. It may sound cliché, but it's true. Replete with inspiring quotes by famous thinkers - from Marcus Aurelius to Benjamin Disraeli - this is an inspiring read which will empower you with the right attitude and actions to master your destiny.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «THE LONG TAIL: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More» by Chris Anderson.

    Chris Anderson is editor-in-chief of Wired magazine. He previously worked for seven years for The Economist and six years for Nature and Science magazines.
    In The Long Tail, Anderson demonstrates that the real mother lode of commercial success for twenty-first century businesses will be in multiple-niche marketing rather than trying to score a few mass market hits.

    According to Anderson, a new business model is arising based on the economics of abundance rather than scarcity. This new model rests on the idea it will be better and more profitable to sell a few copies each into a million niche markets than it will be to try and develop one product which you sell two or three million copies. The great success stories of the future will be the companies which are aligned with the long tail of the demand curve rather than those which bring hit products to market.

    In this interesting book, Anderson manages to explain a murky trend in clear language. The Long Tail makes entrepreneurs and the rest of us think about this new business model.

  • This ebook offers a summary of the book "THE CHECKLIST MANIFEST - HOW TO GET THINGS RIGHT" by Gawande.

    When solving problems, it's easy to get caught up in the complexities whilst ignoring the obvious, simple solutions. Atul Gawande suggests that every business sector can take some tips from the commercial aviation industry's emphasis on checklists: «Avoidable failures are common and persistent, not to mention demoralizing and frustrating, across many fields. the volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correctly, safely, or reliably. Knowledge has both saved us and burdened us. That means we need a different strategy for overcoming failure. And there is such a strategy - though it will seem almost ridiculous in its simplicity. It is a checklist.» Atul Gawande has case studies in both arenas to demonstrate its brilliant commonsense. We have developed such sophisticated, complex systems, that we cannot prevent error by memory alone. Despite the growth of superspecialisation, steps are sometimes missed, which demonstrates that problems often exist not because of a lack of knowledge, but just because routine can create complacency. One especially compelling case is the construction industry, which by using checklists has reduced building failures to 0.00002 percent: given such statistics, why would any business not follow suit?

  • This ebok offers a summary of the book "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries.

    Why do so many startups fail? The business myth says: A lone entrepreneur - beavering away in a lab or a garage somewhere - through hard work, grit and sheer perseverance develops a great product which then becomes a blockbuster hit. That sounds appealing but the reality is most startups tend to burn through their resources and then disappear because they never get around to seeing what their potential customers think of what they're developing. They worry about the product first and assume customer demand will be there automatically.

    To succeed with a startup, you've got to manage it differently. Instead of developing a business plan, find ways to accelerate your learning and validate customers demand. The best way to do this is to build a prototype (with minimal features) and sell it to some early adopters. Then change the product repeatedly - daily if necessary - and keep supplying your customers with the new and improved versions. Listen to their feedback and use those ideas to make a better version and then get more feedback on that. Keep iterating until you get a fully featured product which your customers love.

    In other words, go through the Build-Measure-Learn loop as often as you can. If you make validated learning the real aim of your startup, you stand a better chance of success. Focus on what customers want, utilize an extremely fast cycle time and take a scientific approach to making decisions. That's the essence of the Lean Startup approach.

    ERIC RIES is an entrepreneur and blog author. He is a cofounder and chief technology officer of IMVU, a virtual community developer. He is also a frequent keynote speaker and is currently entrepreneur-in-residence at Harvard Business School. The Lean Startup methodology has been written about in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review and the Huffington Post.

  • This work is a summary of the book «WINNING» by Jack Welch and Suzy Welch.

    In Winning, J. Welch and S. Welch raise a question: «What does it take to win?» This is the sole question everyone in business should be focused on each day. When your business wins, there are many great flow-on effects and benefits - people have the opportunity to grow, more jobs are created, more taxes are paid, shareholders get a return on their investment and the list goes on and on. Winning companies are literally the engine of a healthy economy, and the pinnacle of the free enterprise system.

    In Winning, the authors encourage the readers to develop a personal business philosophy, and advise them on how to look at their company and their competition and how to build their company.

    Pure and simple companies and people have to find a way to win day-in and day-out. There are no easy formulas that can be used, or any exotic or mysterious shortcuts involved. Winning can be brutally hard to achieve but when everything comes together and you win, great things happen. As Jack Welch puts it: «Business is a game, and winning that game is a total blast».

  • This work offers a summary of the book "EXECUTING YOUR STRATEGY: How to Break It Down and Get It Done" by Mark Morgan, Raymond Levitt and William Malek.The days when executives could concentrate on formulating brilliant corporate strategy which was then left to others to work out how to execute are probably gone forever. Today, corporate strategy needs to be carefully aligned with the actual day-to-day activities of the organization and deliberate investment in the right projects in order to produce superior results.To be more specific, strategic execution will only happen when six essential domains are in alignment with each other and also with the external environment. These six domains are Ideation, Nature, Vision, Engagement, Synthesis and Transition (I-N-V-E-S-T). In this practical guide, the authors explain the reader how to create better alignment between these imperatives.Packed with real-world examples and fresh insights, Executing Your Strategy reveals how to get things done in your own organization. A powerful resource guide for any strategist or project leader.

  • This work offers a summary of the book "FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE: A Manager´s Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really Mean" by Karen Berman and Joe Knight."We have worked with thousands of employees, managers, and leaders in American companies, teaching them about the financial side of business. Our philosophy is that everyone in a company does better when they understand how financial success is measured and how they have an impact on the company´s performance. Our term for that understanding is `financial intelligence´. Greater financial intelligence, we´ve learned, helps people feel more involved and committed. They understand better what they are a part of, what the organization is trying to achieve, and how they affect results. Trust increases, turnover decreases, and financial results improve." (Karen Berman and Joe Knight)According to coauthors Karen Berman and Joe Knight, everyone in business should acquire a set of skills and attitudes about finance. Packed with entertaining stories of actual businesses, this book provides, in a very accessible style, the financial knowledge necessary to become financially intelligent. Financial Intelligence is an excellent guide for non-financial managers wishing to gain a better understanding of the basics of finance.

  • This work offers a summary of the book "FIVE MINDS FOR THE FUTURE" by Howard Gardner.Howard Gardner is professor of cognition and education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is the recipient of twenty-one honorary degrees from universities and colleges in a number of countries. Dr. Gardner was selected by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines as one of 100 most influential public intellectuals in the world in 2005.The marketplace of the twenty-first century is certain to feature accelerating globalization, rapid increases in the amount of information which is available and stunning breakthroughs in science and technology. What will it take to succeed in that kind of world? According to the author, there are five types of cognitive abilities which are certain to command a premium in the years ahead: these are the disciplined mind, the synthesizing mind, the creative mind, the respectful mind, and the ethical mind. If you plan on excelling in the future, read this book and cultivate the five ways of thinking espoused by Howard Gardner.

  • This work offers a summary of the book "GETTING TO PLAN B: Breaking Through to a Better Business Model" by John Mullins and Randy Komisar. Lots of companies start with one business plan in mind (their Plan A) but end up being successful doing something entirely different (applying a Plan B or a Plan C). With this in mind, don´t wait until you´re almost broke to get around to developing your Plan B. According to John Mullins and Randy Komisar, you need to speed up the process of discovery. In fact, even before you put pen to paper to write your business plan, stress test the five key components of your proposed business model and get them right first. Then you can write a business plan that works (a Plan B style plan) rather than something which looks promising but has no basis in reality (a Plan A)."We´d like to see your venture turn out to be one of the standouts, one that promises - with evidence and, ultimately, performance, to back up your promises - the kind of economic and social returns that entrepreneurs are so capable of delivering worldwide. Let´s get on with our journey."Filled with real-life examples and useful tips, Getting to Plan B is the guide you need if you are willing to build a successful business.

  • This work offers a summary of the book "COMPETING ON ANALYTICS: The New Science of Winning" by Thomas Davenport and Jeanne Harris.
    Thomas Davenport is professor of information technology and management at Babson College. He specializes in analytics, knowledge management, process management and business innovation. Jeanne Harris is director of research at Accenture´s Institute for High Performance Business. She also leads Accenture´s business intelligence, analytics, performance management, knowledge management and data warehousing consulting practices.
    At one time, business leaders prided themselves on gaining a competitive advantage by making good decisions on the strength of their gut instincts. Then at a later stage, competitive advantage for a business was earned by having a better product or a more efficient supply chain than everyone else in your industry.
    Those days are gone. Today, competitive advantage accrues to those organizations which out think their rivals by using "analytics" - sophisticated analysis of data to model and accurately forecast what customers will want in the future based on everything that is known about them at the present time.
    Competing on Analytics reveals how to generate impressive business results by using a powerful weapon: Analytics. A must read for businesspeople in small and large companies.

  • This work offers a summary of the book "COPYCATS: How Smart Companies Use Imitation to Gain a Strategic Edge" by Obed Shenkar.
    Ober Shenkar is professor of management and human resources at the Ohio State University College of Business. In addition to consulting with numerous firms, he has worked with the governments of Israel, China, Korea, Japan and the United Kingdom.
    Innovation gets all the good press. However, according to Shenkar, "imitation is not only more abundant than innovation, but actually a much more prevalent road to business growth and profits".
    With this in mind, companies should approach imitation in a more disciplined and systematic manner rather than leaving this to chance. In fact, if you're smart, you'll fuse innovation and imitation together to generate "imovation" - great ideas which have already been proven to work elsewhere combined with innovative new thinking. If you can learn to make a conscious decision when to innovate and when to build on the capabilities which exist in the various platforms and products which are now available, you´ll be far more creative and pragmatic at the same time.
    In Copycats, Shenkar suggests you shoudn´t look at imitation as an embarrassing nuisance: "Bring it front and center and do it with pride".

  • Key Points
    1 - Hidden Opportunities for Growth and Innovation
    Traditionally, companies have approached innovation from an “inside out” perspective – develop better products and you’ll automatically attract more customers and your business will thrive. Therefore, companies:
    • Try and differentiate their product offerings – which is fine except everyone gets so busy making marginal improvements nobody looks beyond current offerings for new growth opportunities.
    • Organize the marketplace into tidy segments – which is helpful except when new segments arise which nobody has even dreamt of.
    • Attempt to grow by merger and acquisition – which is alright except everyone focuses on making the marriage work rather than accessing new markets.
    • Extend their brands into adjacent markets – which is okay for incremental growth but no good for accessing dynamic and emerging new markets.
    • Listen to their customers – which again is fine except customers only evaluate the future by what they are already familiar with. They won’t demand what they don’t know is technically feasible.
    All of these practices are valuable to a point but they share a fundamental weakness – they are all using the organization’s point-of-view and perspective. They never go beneath the surface and examine what it is customers want. Lacking this big-picture perspective, it’s easy for companies to miss growth opportunities which are literally right before their eyes.
    A much better way to innovate is to work from the “outside in” – understand what it is customers are trying to achieve and then deliver on the customer’s unexpressed desires, dreams, fantasies and so forth.

  • This work offers a summary of the book "HIDDEN VALUE: How Great Companies Achieve Extraordinary Results With Ordinary People" by Charles O´Reilly III, Jeffrey Pfeffer.
    Hiring new people takes time, and therefore money. A far more effective strategy, O´Reilly and Pfeffer suggest, is to do everything possible to utilize existing talent. They encourage every business to be a people centered company that "allows every employee to become a star producer." Great companies have managers who are leaders, not overseers.
    Hidden Value explains how to cultivate this philosophy, using concrete examples from real life companies. Southwest Airlines, for example, has a policy that no employee is ever punished for using good judgment when accommodating a customer irrespective of any other guidelines; everyone has information on how the business is doing - so they can act like owners rather than employees. They have a collective pay system with profit sharing and stock ownership. Employees are always suspicious of management who say one thing and do another; do not fall into that habit.
    O´Reilly and Pfeffer demonstrate that with simple measures, it´s possible to maintain vibrancy, create loyalty and have clear, well-articulated values which will permeate through your organization. Hidden Value is crucial reading for managers and entrepreneurs everywhere.

  • This work offers a summary of the book "HOW I MADE MY FIRST MILLION ON THE INTERNET...And How You Can Too!" by Ewen Chia.
    The Internet, though an extraordinarily powerful marketing machine, should be approached in the same way as real life business models. Ewen Chia explains the five business principles: 1. Find your market. 2. Create an offer. 3. Drive traffic to your offer. 4. Exploit the back end. 5. Duplicate.
    Chia suggests how to apply these measures to Internet marketing. Never go into a completely cold market, for example, but target a niche within a market that already exists. A profitable market will have the following online features: popular sellers on eBay/Amazon, they will be present on trend watchers such as, the business keywords will rate highly on search engines. Relationships are especially important in online marketing: people receive so many spam offers they want to be able to trust you before buying. Focus on the problem your product solves, rather than the product itself. When people contact you, be swift in your reply, even if that means they get an autoresponder first.
    As you see from this small section, Chia´s approach follows commonsense business strategies already proved successful by good companies everywhere. However, he takes the model and helps the reader apply it to the Internet marketplace, step-by-step.

  • This work offers a summary of the book: "The Road Ahead: How the Emerging Technologies of the Digital Age will Transform Everyone´s Lives" by Bill Gate.
    Summary of the ideas in Bill Gate´s book "The Road Ahead" explains how the emerging technologies of the information highway have the ability to transform the life of every person on the planet. This summary points out the road in 12 points:
    1. A revolution begins 2. The beginning of the information age 3. Lessons from the computer industry 4. Applications and appliances 5. Paths to the Highway 6. The content revolution 7. Implications for business 8. Friction-free capitalism 9. Education: the best investment 10. Plugged in at home 11. Race for the gold 12. Critical issues Added- value of this summary:
    O Save time o Understand the key concepts To learn more read "The Road Ahead" and understand why the information-based economy will forever change the way everybody does business, works, learns and communicates.

  • This work offers a summary of the book "THE MANAGEMENT MYTH: Why the Experts Keep Getting It Wrong" by Matthew Stewart.
    The "management myth" is that business management is a body of discrete and specialized technical expertise which is a formal academic discipline. According to Stewart, this is an illusion which has been created by self-proclaimed business gurus, business book authors and the business school industry. Management is at best a pseudoscience, the latest iteration of the long held American tradition of trying to offer technological solutions to far-reaching political and moral problems.
    Matthew Stewart came to the management consulting industry as a complete outsider as he had a doctorate in philosophy rather than an MBA. Regardless, Matthew worked for ten years first as a management consultant and then as a founding partner of a new consulting firm. He analyzed business training and the business schools who award 140,000 MBAs every year. In The Management Myth, he draws conclusions based on his experience. According to Stewart, "a good manager is nothing more or less than a good and well educated person".
    The Management Myth presents an innovative thinking. This well-written book will interest anyone wanting to achieve success in business and other organizations.

  • This work offers a summary of the book: « Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn: Life´s Greatest Lessons Are Gained from Our Losses » by John C. Maxwell.
    Summary of the ideas in John C. Maxwell´s book: « Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn » explains that you learn more from your losses than from your successes. Hence, the key is to approach your losses the right way. This summary highlights 11 steps to learn from your losses:
    1) Be humble - have the spirit of learning 2) Accept reality as the bedrock of learning 3) Be responsible- always a great first step 4) Stay focused on learning to improve 5) Be optimistic that better days lie ahead 6) Always be teachable and wiling to learn 7) Use adversity as a catalyst for learning 8) View problems as opportunities to learn 9) Let bad experiences give perspective 10) Be willing to pay the price and change 11) Have the maturity you value all you learn Added- value of this summary:
    O Save time o Understand the key concepts To learn more read « Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn » and enjoy the full-time informal school called life.

  • This work offers a summary of the book "GROWING YOUR COMPANY´S LEADERS: How Great Organizations Use Succession Management To Sustain Competitive Advantage" by Robert Fulmer and Jay Conger.
    Robert Fulmer is academic director for Duke Corporation and a visiting professor at Pepperdine University. He is widely regarded as an expert in business leadership. He specializes on future management challenges, strategy implementation and leadership development. Jay Conger is professor of organizational behavior at the London School of Business and a senior research scientists at the University of Southern California at Los Angeles´s Center for Effective Organizations.
    Due to the fact it is now commonplace for executives to change from one organization to another during their careers, succession management has moved from the background into headline status. What was once an issue of interest only to the human resources department is now a potential source of competitive advantage for organizations large and small. Quite simply, whoever can win the war for executive talent stands the best chance of prospering in the future.
    In this excellent guide, Fulmer and Conger explore the seven key elements of a robust succession management system. Peppered with dozens of examples, Growing Your Company´s Leaders is an easy-to-read and well-researched book.

  • This work offers a summary of the book "HONDA MOTOR: The Men, the Management, the Machines" by Tetsuo Sakiya.
    Tetsuo Sakiya explains the business strategies and culture of Honda, and suggests why they are successful, especially in comparison to the Western model (where car companies are struggling). It´s a compelling read, and demonstrates clearly how company values - instilled at an early stage - can affect the business, decades after their introduction. Sakiya charts the beginnings of Honda to the successful, multinational it is today.
    He shows, for example, that early success was predicated on meshing different expertise: Honda had technological vision; Fujisawa had business vision. Both of them were willing to take risks: Fujisawa invested in a lightweight motorcycle, when others thought he was mad, but he was proved right; Honda had ideas ahead of its time, and was willing to invest in them.
    Honda Motor is a story of overcoming prejudice (against Japanese people after the Second World War), of putting money into creative marketing and PR, and having an international vision very soon after inception. The legacy of the founders was to marry two seemingly contradictory notions - a willingness to expand and change, but also core values that remain constant - which has become a winning formula. A fascinating read.