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Jeff Bezos Favorite Business Books

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"The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement" by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox

The last book is very different from the two previous ones. It's not a classical business book based on a series of studies of a real-world company, but is instead a novel about a manager tasked with turning around a failing manufacturing plant. It sounds strange, but it was a best-seller and has helped spawn business theories in its own right. 

the effective executive

From Amazon:

What makes an effective executive?

The measure of the executive, Peter F. Drucker reminds us, is the ability to "get the right things done." This usually involves doing what other people have overlooked as well as avoiding what is unproductive. Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge may all be wasted in an executive job without the acquired habits of mind that mold them into results.

Drucker identifies five practices essential to business effectiveness that can, and must, be learned:

  • Managing time
  • Choosing what to contribute to the organization
  • Knowing where and how to mobilize strength for best effect
  • Setting the right priorities
  • Knitting all of them together with effective decision-making

Ranging widely through the annals of business and government, Peter F. Drucker demonstrates the distinctive skill of the executive and offers fresh insights into old and seemingly obvious business situations.

Peter Drucker quote plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into work

plans quote

Peter Drucker quote

From Barnes and Noble:

OverviewThis book takes the radical position that great companies can fail precisely because they do everything right. It demonstrates why outstanding companies that had their competitive antennae up, listened astutely to customers, and invested aggressively in new technologies still lost their market leadership when confronted with disruptive changes in technology and market structure. And it tells how to avoid a similar fate. Using the lessons of successes and failures of leading companies, The Innovator's Dilemma presents a set of rules for capitalizing on the phenomenon of disruptive innovation. These principles will help managers determine when it is right not to listen to customers, when to invest in developing lower-performance products that promise lower margins, and when to pursue small markets at the expense of seemingly larger and more lucrative ones.

This lucid and provocative analysis of corporate failure should be required reading for CEOs and managers. It`s not about small or mismanaged companies, but of sterling national and international corporations that failed in large measure because they were customer-oriented and did everything right. This is succinctly pointed out by the author in the subtitle of his publication, `When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail`. Herein lies the crux of the dilemma as Dr. Christensen analyzes not only why great companies fail, but also discusses and examines the concepts and issues of managing disruptive technological change. Certainly incompetence, arrogance and bureaucracy deserve a share of the credit, but the patterns of failure are far more fundamental and go deeper. Dr. Christensen is associated with the Harvard Business School.

clayton christensen innovator's dilemma quote

the goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

From Amazon:

Revised third edition!Alex Rogo is the manager of a failing manufacturing plant who receives an ultimatum from corporate headquarters: Turn the situation around in three months or the plant will be scrapped. With help from a mysterious mentor, Rogo discovers a revolutionary new way to do business—a way for people in any field of endeavor to increase productivity, profitability, and personal fulfillment.A business book disguised as a novel, a love story about the manufacturing process, and an exhilarating adventure in human potential, The Goal is changing how America does business. First published in 1984, it became an underground bestseller; today it's used by thousands of companies and taught in hundreds of business schools. Includes the author's personal story, "My Saga."This third edition includes case study interviews. Professional readers recreate interviews that David Whitford, Editor at Large with Fortune Small Business, conducts with the author Eli Goldratt and with business professionals from General Motors, Thomson-Shore, Security Federal Banks and others who put the principles of The Goal into action.

Thank you Carrol!

Drucker is consistently valuable.  His work offers the most actionable advice out there.  And even though it's decades old, it's still fresh, concise and powerful:  

Drucker is like Yoda, a master with secrets, insights and principles on how to access and blend with The Force...



...but unlike Yoda, he's got plenty of books anyone can read today.

Brilliant bookend to this thread, if it is a bookend.  Or even if it's not.

I never realized how much Drucker looks like Yoda. That's awesome.

yoda there is no try

Biz Insider not even trying?

The original source link (that BI helpfully supplies) lists the Innovator's Solution, not Innovator's Dilemma.  Both are by the same author.

Innovation's Solution is a better book than Innovator's Dilemma.

You're right, Business Insider is regularly lazy about double checking facts and links.

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