December 14, 2011

News & Opinion: Revisiting Malcolm Gladwell

By: Sally Haldorson @ 8:09 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

One of the most fascinating trends to follow in business literature is the continual expansion of what a business book actually is. The parameters have widened significantly from the influential management and theory books of the 1980s. While there are still books made available each year on such practical matters as team building, developing a social media strategy, making a new hire, and sensible budgeting, there are also a great number of books that study decision-making from a neuroscience angle or theorize about how social and environmental influences affect human behavior. Malcolm Gladwell is a pioneer of this type of book. In The 100 Best Business Books of All Time review of The Tipping Point, Jack writes:
The Tipping Point is the type of book that helps us make sense of the world around us. It is a practical, nonacademic guide to the social epidemics going on around us, and perhaps to how we might take advantage of them. As people try to stay in step with a rapidly evolving business landscape, they are turning to journalistic books that bring the big picture into focus, like Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat, Gladwell's next book, Blink, and Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner's Freakonomics. Not only is the context broader, but the writing is significantly better than in traditional business books. The Tipping Point is the book that started this trend, perhaps its own epidemic, and continues to carry the banner as the best.
And "the best" it nearly is. In our compilation of six years of data* from Nielsen BookScan of the 10 top selling business books, The Tipping Point comes in second (behind the aforementioned Friedman title.) Gladwell's Blink? Well, it is 3rd on the list. It may only be a matter of time before Gladwell's 2008 book, Outliers, makes the list. If it has been awhile since you've revisited Gladwell's writing, or you'd like to introduce someone to it, now all three of Gladwell's outstanding books are available in a new boxed set from Hachette, just in time to be the perfect gift for the business thinker in your life.

About Sally Haldorson

Sally Haldorson's job as 800-CEO-READ’s General Manager is to make 800-CEO-READ a great place to work for our employees, and a consistently high-performing customer service organization for our clients, authors, and our partners in the publishing industry. In addition to her General Manager duties ensuring collaboration, integration, and quality, she reads, writes, reviews, curates, and edits for the company. Helping craft The 100 Best Business Books of All Time used parts of both skill sets. Outside of work, she is most likely to be found hitting a tennis ball around or hanging out with her boys (husband, child, dog) at home.