February 2, 2005
News & Opinion: HBR's Books to Watch for 2005
HBR Reading List: 2005 in Books
by John T. Landry (Senior Editor at HBR)
In 2004, business books told us how to put drama into meetings, predict which country would be the next economic juggernaut, treat promotions as setbacks, and leverage our inner pirates. Here's what publishers have in store for the coming year.
Career Imprints: Creating Leaders Across an Industry
Monica C. Higgins
Drawing on her study of the biotech industry, Higgins, a Harvard Business School professor, warns boards to pay close attention to the values and habits that CEOs hired from outside carry over from their previous corporate cultures.
The Next Global Stage: Challenges and Opportunities in a Borderless World
(Wharton School Publishing, March)
Strategist Ohmae's latest pro-globalization argument focuses on the dynamics of two engines: the rise of regional states and the spread of international platforms such as Microsoft Windows.
House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then
Tell You the Time
(Warner Business Books, March)
A comedy writer turned consultant draws on skills from his former career to explain the machinations of his current calling. Depending on your perspective, it's either funny or painful.
The One Thing You Need to Know.About Great Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success
(Free Press, March)
The author of Now, Discover Your Strengths expands on the argument that focus trumps balance, urging managers to find one essential truth about their work and keep it squarely in their sights.
Hot Property: The Stealing of Ideas in an Age of Globalization
Western governments are beefing up protection of their citizens' intellectual property, but elsewhere, the vultures are gathering. Economist Choate describes how Western companies are losing out to pirates and counterfeiters, with adverse consequences for profits-and for society.
Moral Intelligence: The Key to Enhancing Business Performance and Leadership Success
Fred Kiel and Doug Lennick
(Wharton School Publishing, April)
Ethics is not so different from other business competencies. Two consultants offer metrics and other tools for developing the skills and habits of moral effectiveness.
The Silicon Eye: How a Silicon Valley Company Aims to Make All Current Computers, Cameras, and Cell Phones Obsolete
The telecom bust hasn't muted Gilder's enthusiasm for emerging technology. He goes behind the scenes at Foveon, an innovative leader in digital photography.
The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century
Thomas L. Friedman
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, April)
Technology may be a boon for terrorists, says New York Times columnist Friedman. But it also allows smart entrepreneurs in developing countries to compete and collaborate with Western companies in surprising ways.
Make Your Own Luck: 12 Practical Steps to Taking Smarter Risks in Business
Eileen C. Shapiro and Howard H. Stevenson
A consultant and a professor advise executives to apply the techniques of skilled gamblers and develop "predictive intelligence," including an ability to process varied information and act decisively in uncertain times.
Made in China: What Western Managers Can Learn from Trailblazing
Donald Sull with Yong Harry Wang
(Harvard Business School Press, June)
In the midst of China's turbulent growth, a few audacious companies have thrived despite government restrictions and without competing on low-cost labor alone. Their entrepreneurial verve, says Sull, a London Business School professor, offers lessons for companies everywhere.
The Sack of Rome: How Silvio Berlusconi Took Over Italy
(Penguin Press, July)
This is a serious journalistic look at how Silvio Berlusconi has controlled much of the Italian media and government. Media magnates in other Western countries may try to do the same, Stille argues.
Competition Demystified: A Radically Simplified Approach to Business Strategy
Bruce Greenwald and Judd Kahn
Michael Porter's "five forces" have dominated the thinking on positioning in recent decades. Greenwald, a professor at Columbia Business School, says we're better off with a simpler framework centered on barriers to entry within industries.
The Care and Feeding of the Knowledge Worker
Thomas H. Davenport
(Harvard Business School Press, September)
Structured processes and top-down decision making demoralize knowledge workers. Davenport, a Babson professor who studied the species in its natural habitat, suggests effective ways to manage these employees.
How Industrial Dynasties Work
In The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, Landes, a Harvard professor emeritus, laid out why entire countries get rich or stay poor. Here, he casts a historian's eye on companies. Once again, culture is at the forefront of his analysis.
A veteran Silicon Valley journalist examines the strategy and culture of the search-engine industry. Could Google's privileged position as a Web hub give it extraordinary leverage over Internet commerce?
The Broken Windows Theory for Business
(Warner Business Books, November)
A popular law-enforcement theory holds that communities can reduce crime by addressing quality-of-life issues. This consultant wonders whether fixing the little things that bother employees will motivate them to tackle the big issues more effectively.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.