Each year members of the Walker School of Business & Technology read and review dozens of books. Some are purely academic. Some are purely theoretical. And some are just great reads about business, leadership or the economically charged world we live in. For 2010, five books stand out as our favorites. These are ones we enjoyed reading, writing about and sharing with friends and colleagues. These are also the ones that have generated the most response from readers like you. We hope you share their passion.
When B is Better Than A by John Mullins and Randy Komisar
Plan B is a place no one wants to go. In our society, a Plan B isn’t synonymous with success. Even its name comes off as the also-ran, the “next best” thing or the back-up when all else fails. The truth is many Plan B’s are better than their alpha predecessors and those “also rans” could be your answer to beating the odds to succeed.
Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed
Liaquat Ahamed’s book gives us a glimpse into a history we are repeating today by following the story of the Lords of Finance, those bankers of the 1920s who made the decisions surrounding the Great Depression. The parallels between their generation and ours are unsettling.
Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance by Nouriel Roubini and Stephen Mihm
Crisis Economics is another book to reflect on the world’s current economic turmoil. Nouriel Roubini and Stephen Mihm investigate more than the housing bubble. Securitization, the self-governing of financial firms and the refusal by the Federal Reserve to use it power to regulate markets are just a few of the avenues they explore and take to task for their part in the collapse.
The Deviant’s Advantage: How Fringe Ideas Create Mass Markets by Watts Wacker and Ryan Mathews
Innovation isn’t a luxury to authors Watts Wacker and Ryan Mathews. It’s essential. In The Deviant’s Advantage, the authors trace the origins of innovation and found its source began with a deviant idea in the mind of a person who marches to the beat of a different drummer. Sound like any success story you know? Wal-Mart’s Sam Walton, Twitter’s @Jack Dorsey(Webster’s 2009 Person of the Year), or our February speaker Robert Croak who created SillyBandz, maybe? Being ahead of the curve means embracing the deviants because their ideas are the ones that will move from fringe to front and center.
Never By Chance by Chuck Feltz, Joe Calloway and Kris Young
“Never By Chance: Aligning People and Strategy Through Intentional Leadership” is a leadership book for our time. Now is when everyone is doing more with less. That means intentional moves and a mindset that every resource will be valuable is crucial. By demanding a return on resources, businesses can accelerate their strategy and turn their culture into a spirited benefit.