Best Business Books List, Version 2

One of my most important lists, is my Best Business Books list.  It’s where I round up all of the best business books I’ve read and put them in a single list at your finger tips. 

Sure there are lots of lists of the best business books, but this list is unique.   It’s organized by “hot topic” buckets so you can rapidly scan for specific books on an area or challenge you want to tackle.  It also features an A-Z list at the end, where you can rapidly compare this list with any of other best business books lists. 

But the most important difference is that these business books are not based on popularity.  I hand-craft this list based on books that I use to make an impact at work.   I’ve had many great mentors who have recommended many books to me.  I’ve read them all.  I’ve learned to read books faster in the process, but more importantly to turn them into action, and get results.

These are the books I’ve used for everything from doing rapid product design to building raving fans to innovating in work processes to deliver things better, faster, cheaper.   I’ve used these business books to better understand competitive differentiation and how to find blue ocean opportunities.  I’ve also used these books for understanding trends in the market and to better anticipate market disruptors.

Here are some of the challenges and opportunities that my best business books list helps you address:

  • How to start a business
  • How to create a better business
  • How to innovate in your business
  • How to figure out your vision, mission, and values
  • How to do strategic market analysis
  • How do to competitive analysis
  • How to design a more effective organization
  • How to build a business that lasts
  • How to drive change
  • How to create products and services that matter

I need to warn you up front.  This list is massive.  It’s not a “happy-go-lucky” list of fun business books to read (though, you could use it for that.)  It’s a serious and significant compilation and synthesis of the best business books that you can use to amplify your business impact.

That said, because of the Getting Started section, Top 10 Best Business Books, categories, and A-Z list, you should be able to easily find your way around and manage the large list.  Here are the categories I used to slice and dice the best business books down to size:

  • Branding
  • Business, Business Models, and Value Chains
  • Change and Change Management
  • Competition
  • Culture
  • Customer Focus, Service Delivery
  • CxO, Executive
  • Decision Making
  • Effectiveness
  • Entrepreneurs, Start Ups
  • Excellence
  • Execution
  • Finance
  • Globalization
  • Home Business
  • Innovation
  • Knowledge Management, Performance Management, Training
  • Management
  • Marketing, Sales
  • Motivation
  • Negotiation
  • Organizational Design
  • Outsourcing
  • Productivity
  • Strategy, Purpose
  • Strengths
  • Survival, Longevity
  • Systems
  • Teamwork
  • Trust
  • Vision, Mission, and Values
  • Work-Life Balance

One way to use the best business books list more effectively is to find three new books you want to read for the new year.   While you may already know many of the classics like Good to Great, by Jim Collins, or In Search of Excellence, by Tom Peters, have you heard of The Starfish and the Spider, by Rod A. Beckstrom?  It helps you build a federated community with shared goals and values, a key in today’s social and connected world.  Have you heard of Managing the Design Factory, by Donald G. Reinertsen?  It’s probably one of the best books on how to design teams and systems to be more effective in terms of building product lines and product-line architectures.  Have you heard of A Simple Statement, by James Grady?  It’s probably the single best book on how to create compelling vision and mission statements.  It’s the book that taught me mission is “who you are”, and vision is “where you want to go.”

If somehow you’ve seen them all before or none of the books on my best business books list catches your attention, then take my other list for a test drive:

30 Best Business Books that Influenced Microsoft Leaders

It’s a list of the best business books that various Microsoft leaders of all levels told me significantly shaped their success.


Comments (1)

  1. Sudhir says:

    As a reader, I do suggest my favorite book –

    Added Value – the life stories of Indian Business Leaders ( “) and

    Added Value – the Life Stories of Leading South East Asian

    Business People –

    These are wonderful books to read.

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