Posts Under: Book Reviews

Execution – How Top CEOs Lead World Class Companies

September 17, 2012 Book Reviews, Business and Management 1 comment

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How do companies like GE, Wal-Mart and Honeywell succeed? What is the secret of Jack Welch, one of the most legendary CEO in the business world today?

The answer, according to Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan, is Execution. Subtitled The Discipline of Getting Things Done, the New York Times bestseller emphasises the importance of execution in business, how companies with an execution culture conduct their business affairs, and its three core processes: people, strategy and operations.


Who Killed Change? – Book Review

September 13, 2012 Book Reviews no comments

Written by Ken Blanchard of “The One Minute Manager” fame, together with his co-authors John Britt, Pat Zigarmi and Judd Hoekstra, “Who Killed Change?” is a whodunnit with a business twist. The slim volume is easily read in one sitting and imbues one with useful pointers when implementing change management.

The plot goes like this. Somebody in the ACME organisation has killed Change. In this case, Change of course represents Change Management – a very necessary ingredient for enduring organisational effectiveness when things no longer become business as usual.


Warren Buffett’s Management Secrets: Review

September 2, 2012 Book Reviews 2 comments

Known as the “Oracle of Omaha”, Warren Buffett was once the richest man in the world. With an uncanny ability to sniff out good companies that beat the market time and again, Buffett was able to amass an amazing fortune of US$44 billion. What’s amazing is that he also intends to give most of it away to charity. Buffett’s company, the world famous Berkshire Hathaway group, own some 88 businesses and employ 233,000 workers worldwide.

What few people know is that Buffett is not just a savvy investor but a great manager and business leader. In the audio book, “Warren Buffett’s Management Secrets”, Mary Buffett (Buffett’s former daughter-in-law) and David Clark depicts some of the management philosophies behind the billionaire’s success.


Talent is Overrated: Book Review

August 10, 2012 Book Reviews 1 comment

Bruce Lee Quote Deliberate Practice

Bruce Lee obviously knows the value of deliberate practice.

How does one become a world class performer in any field? Can we improve our chances of success despite being born to adverse conditions?

With an eye-catching title and an alluring subtitle – “What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else” – Fortune editor-at-large Geoff Colvin’s book “Talent is Overrated” provides excellent food for thought in today’s knowledge economy.


An Innocent Story: Book Review

August 2, 2012 Book Reviews no comments

Written by writer and brand consultant John Simmons, Innocent narrates the brand story of how Cambridge graduates Jon Wright, Adam Balon and Richard Reed built a “tasty little juice company” with a unique culture founded on strong values.  Embodying the informal, casual wit of the company, the founding of Innocent is summarised on their website in the form of a charming story as follows:

“We started innocent in 1999 after selling our smoothies at a music festival. We put up a big sign asking people if they thought we should give up our jobs to make smoothies, and put a bin saying ‘Yes’ and a bin saying ‘No” in front of the stall. Then we got people to vote with their empties. At the end of the weekend, the ‘Yes’ bin was full, so we resigned from our jobs the next day and got cracking.”


Rubies in the Orchard: Book Review

July 19, 2012 Book Reviews no comments

Serial entrepreneur and billionaire Lynda Resnick’s book “Rubies in the Orchard” provides a fascinating glimpse into the marketing strategies behind brands like POM Wonderful, FIJI Water, Teleflora and the Franklin Mint. Part autobiography and part business book, the highly readable tome chronicled how Lynda rose from rags to riches and deployed her marketing smarts to seed and grow four highly successful businesses.

Written in a witty and conversational fashion, Rubies in the Orchard presents an in-depth glimpse into four very different industries. In the section on Teleflora, Lynda described how marketing is “all about listening. You want to be the equivalent of a good friend”. She then described how an attribute can be a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) based on the following:


Predictably Irrational: A Book Review

May 29, 2012 Book Reviews no comments

Debunking conventional wisdom that human beings are rational and logical beings, Predictably Irrational by behavioural economist Dan Ariely provides an entertaining and enlightening read in the market-tested tradition of authors like Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner (Freakonomics series), Malcolm Gladwell, and Ori and Ron Brafman (Sway). Using the results of empirical research conducted at MIT and other university campuses, Ariely explains why we do the things we do despite their contrary effects on our health, wealth and long-term success.

Written in a light-hearted, jargon-free prose, Predictably Irrational takes us through several themes. They include the fallacy of supply and demand (ie why pricing can be so arbitrary in certain markets), the overwhelming power of FREE, the danger of turning social norms into market norms (or why you shouldn’t pay your mother-in-law for cooking a delicious family dinner), the effects of expectations (what you visualise is what you get), and two chapters on honesty and dishonesty in humans, among others.


Steve Jobs: Lessons from a Legend

May 1, 2012 Book Reviews 7 comments

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Image from Mashable.com

Everybody knows Steve Jobs.

Icon, innovator, brilliant entrepreneur and creator of “insanely great” products, Jobs was the founder and CEO of Apple.

Creator of legendary products like the Macintosh computer, iPod, iTunes Store, iPhone and iPad, Jobs founded the Disney beating Pixar Animations (which was later sold to the behemoth), and opened the much lauded Apple Store.