Dear Bev: I'm looking for some great business books for Christmas gifts. Any suggestions?
Media execs I talked to at companies ranging from Google to Time Inc., CBS to OMD had plenty. Following are a selection that focus on strategy. Watch for upcoming columns featuring recommendations for books on leadership, change and negotiating.
Lessons in strategy from the playing field, the battlefield and even the operating room.
Moneyball by Michael Lewis
"Oakland A's General Manager Billy Beane disregards conventional wisdom, embraces insights from data and wins a lot of baseball games." -Mike Steib, Director, Google Emerging Platforms & TV Ads
The Art of War by Sun-Tzu
The Art of War, compiled in the 6th century B.C., is the world's oldest surviving military treatise. Long revered as the definitive guide to strategy and tactics on the battlefield, it offers timeless wisdom to today's managers.
Recommended by Christopher Simon, EVP Sales, CBS Television
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande
In riveting stories, Gawande takes us from drowning victims to deadly hospital infections, explaining how checklists actually work to prompt striking and immediate improvements. He follows the checklist revolution into fields well beyond medicine, from homeland security to investment banking, skyscraper construction and businesses of all kinds.
"The author may be a doctor, but the bottom line is all of these lessons apply to everything you do, regardless of the business you're in." -Arlene Manos, President National Advertising Sales at Rainbow Media
Warfighting: The US Marine Corps Book of Strategy -by US Marine Corps Staff
"Argues that organizations should grant a high degree of decision-making to people low on the chain of command. If you decide quickly, act fast to implement, and interpret responses immediately, you are on your way to success before competitors can react."
- Mark Piesanen, Director, Strategic Partnerships, Google TV Ads
Rules for Revolutionaries - by Guy Kawasaki
The former chief evangelist at Apple Computer and an iconoclastic corporate tactician is back in print with his seventh book, a "Capitalist Manifesto for Creating and Marketing New Products and Services." It lays out Kawasaki's decidedly audacious (but personally experienced) strategies for besting the competition and triumphing in today's hypercharged business environment.
Recommended by Leslie Picard, SVP Corporate Sales & Marketing, Time Inc
Nelson's Trafalgar-by Roy Adkins
"In 1805, only the British Royal Navy stood between England and invasion byNapoleon's armies. Lord Nelson combined unorthodox tactics with the fundamental superior fighting skills of the Royal Navy, crushed the combined French and Spanish fleet, and saved England from invasion. I prefer reading military history to business books, now more than ever. Threat, innovation, and focusing on what you do better to win is always a great business lesson." - Avery Stirratt, President-Advertising, Forbes Media
Book summaries taken from Amazon.com.