Looking for a last minute perfect gift for someone who needs to manage technology, organizations, and people? How about a book that supports some of the key issues of T-O-P Management? Some of these books you can find in your local book store. I bet the rest are available as ebooks -- no shipping required! I prepared the following material as background for a book I'm doing -- Yes, you heard it here -- TOP Management: Driving Success with Today's Technology, Organizations, and People is in the proposal stage. The books below are complimentary in that they either highlight an organizational strategy that will benefit from TOP Management skills or they focus on a particular aspect required for TOP Management. Groundswell, Reality Check, Deep Smarts, and the already reviewed, The New How, highlight modern organizational strategies. I believe that managers and users will be more effective at implementing the discussed strategies to the extent that they have TOP Management skills. Change by Design, Emotional Intelligence, Grown Up Digital, Market Rebels (see prior comments on Market Rebels here), and Information Technology for Management each take on a particular dimension of TOP Management but do not try to explicitly work with technology, organization, and people simultaneously. Two books that do deal more explicitly with technology, organization, and people (Technology & Society and The Social Engagement of Social Science) are both focused on academic audiences. Happy shopping! (my comments regarding how these books relate to TOP Management are in italics - the rest of the information is pulled from Amazon. Links take you to the Google Books entry so you can see competitive pricing.) Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization's Toughest Challenges (Andrew McAfee). Hardcover: 240 pages. Publisher: Harvard Business School Press (November 16, 2009) From Amazon: "McAfee brings together case studies and examples with key concepts from economics, sociology, computer science, consumer psychology, and management studies and presents them all in a clear, accessible, and entertaining style. Enterprise 2.0 is a must-have resource for all C-suite executives seeking to make technology decisions that are simultaneously powerful, popular, and pragmatic." Where TOP Management is general, McAfee's presentation of Enterprise 2.0 is specific in that he addresses the strategic application of technology-enabled, often emergent, collaboration across customers and employees. While he understands the importance of working with all three at once, I do not see such an approach covered explicitly in his book. For example, in his Chapter 7, "Going Mainstream: A Road Map for Enterprise 2.0 Success," he presents organizational practices for implementing Enterprise 2.0. He also mentions technology dimensions in context with these practices and what we know of human perception. McAfee is practicing TOP Management, but doesn't explicitly describe the boundaries for organizational design and change in general. I see most of his book as opening up the strategic possibilities for Enterprise 2.0 and then Chapter 7 as applying TOP Management to the implementation -- but TOP Management in general is not his focus. Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools is required reading in my Organizational Analysis course. Enterprise 2.0 (Niall Cook). Hardcover: 180 pages. Publisher: Ashgate; illustrated edition edition (July 2008) From Amazon: ""Enterprise 2.0" is one of the first books to explain the impact that social software will have inside the corporate firewall, and ultimately how staff will work together in the future. Niall Cook helps you to navigate this emerging landscape and introduces the key concepts that make up 'enterprise 2.0'. The 4Cs model at the heart of the book uses practical examples from well known companies in a range of industry sectors to illustrate how to apply enterprise 2.0 to encourage communication, cooperation, collaboration and connection between employees and customers in your own company. Erudite, well-researched and highly readable, this book is essential reading for anyone involved in knowledge, information and library management, as well as those implementing social software tools inside organizations." This work is another focused on changing organizational strategies to take advantage of social media. This, like McAfee's treatment, is focused on a specific organizational approach with some discussion of implementation. Cook highlights the value of linking technology and organizational practice but doesn't take on an approach for weaving technology, organization, and people together more generally. Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (Li & Bernoff). Hardcover: 224 pages. Publisher: Harvard Business School Press; (April 21, 2008) From Amazon: "Corporate executives are struggling with a new trend: people using online social technologies (blogs, social networking sites, YouTube, podcasts) to discuss products and companies, write their own news, and find their own deals. This groundswell is global, it is unstoppable, it affects every industry and it's utterly foreign to the powerful companies running things now. When consumers you've never met are rating your company's products in public forums with which you have no experience or influence, your company is vulnerable. In Groundswell, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff of Forrester, Inc. explain how to turn this threat into an opportunity." Li & Bernoff provide an interesting description of the modern environment. While they lay out many of the organizational choices managers make about social technologies, they do not provide an overview for how to think of these organizational changes systematically. My goal in TOP Management is to help managers get through these and future trends. Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition (Kawasaki). Hardcover: 496 pages. Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (October 30, 2008) From Amazon: "In Silicon Valley slang, a “bozo explosion” is what causes a lean, mean, fighting machine of a company to slide into mediocrity. As Guy Kawasaki puts it, “If the two most popular words in your company are partner and strategic, and partner has become a verb, and strategic is used to describe decisions and activities that don’t make sense” . . . it’s time for a reality check.... Now, Kawasaki has compiled his best wit, wisdom, and contrarian opinions in handy book form. From competition to customer service, innovation to marketing, he shows readers how to ignore fads and foolishness while sticking to commonsense practices." Kawasaki's book provides a perspective on modern times and is entertaining. Do your Reality Check, see the need to make adjustments, and then look to TOP Management to help you with developing the needed skills to succeed. The New How: Building Business Solutions Through Collaborative Strategy (Merchant). Hardcover: 288 pages. Publisher: O'Reilly Media; (January 4, 2010) - Link is to O'Reilly site as this is pre-release. From Amazon: "Once in a generation, a book comes along that transforms the business landscape. For today's business leaders, The New How redefines the way companies create strategies and win new markets. Management gurus have always said "people matter." But those same gurus still relegate strategy to an elite set of executives who focus on frameworks, long presentations, and hierarchical approaches. Business strategy typically has been planned by corporate chiefs in annual meetings, and then dictated to managers to carry out. The New How turns that notion on its head. After many years of working with Apple, Adobe, HP, and many other companies, Nilofer Merchant discovered the secret sauce: the best way to create a winning strategy is to include employees at all levels, helping to create strategy they not only believe in, but are also equipped to implement. In The New How, Nilofer shows today's corporate directors, executives, and managers how they can transform their traditional, top-down approach to strategy planning and execution into collaborative "stratecution" that has proven to be significantly more effective.
- Enhance performance and outcomes by deflating the "air sandwich" between executives in the boardroom and employees
- Recognize that strategy and execution are thoroughly intertwined
- Understand how successful strategy is founded in effective idea selection-a pile of good ideas doesn't necessarily build good strategy
- Create company strategy and link it to targeted execution, using the practical models and techniques provided"