Great new business books arrived at Wellington City libraries

Syndetics book coverThe network imperative : how to survive and grow in the age of digital business models / Barry D. Libert, Megan Beck, Jerry Wind.
“Digital networks are changing all the rules of business. New, scalable, digitally networked business models, like those of Amazon, Google, Uber, and Airbnb, are affecting growth, scale, and profit potential for companies in every industry. But this seismic shift isn’t unique to digital start-ups and tech superstars. Digital transformation is affecting every business sector, and as investor capital, top talent, and customers shift toward network-centric organizations, the performance gap between early and late adopters is widening.

So the question isn’t whether your organization needs to change, but when and how much.

The Network Imperative is a call to action for managers and executives to embrace network-based business models. The benefits are indisputable: companies that leverage digital platforms to co-create and share value with networks of employees, customers, and suppliers are fast outpacing the market. These companies, or network orchestrators , grow faster, scale with lower marginal cost, and generate the highest revenue multipliers.

Supported by research that covers fifteen hundred companies, authors Barry Libert, Megan Beck, and Jerry Wind guide leaders and investors through the ten principles that all organizations can use to grow and profit regardless of their industry. They also share a five-step process for pivoting an organization toward a more scalable and profitable business model.

The Network Imperative , brimming with compelling case studies and actionable advice, provides managers with what they really need: new tools and frameworks to generate unprecedented value in a rapidly changing age.”
(Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book coverThe founder’s mentality : how to overcome the predictable crises of growth / Chris Zook & James Allen.
“Three Principles for Managing–and Avoiding–the Problems of Growth. Why is profitable growth so hard to achieve and sustain? Most executives manage their companies as if the solution to that problem lies in the external environment: find an attractive market, formulate the right strategy, win new customers.
But when Bain & Company’s Chris Zook and James Allen, authors of the bestselling Profit from the Core , researched this question, they found that when companies fail to achieve their growth targets, 90 percent of the time the root causes are internal, not external–increasing distance from the front lines, loss of accountability, proliferating processes and bureaucracy, to name only a few. What’s more, companies experience a set of predictable internal crises, at predictable stages, as they grow. Even for healthy companies, these crises, if not managed properly, stifle the abilityto grow further–and can actively lead to decline.

The key insight from Zook and Allen’s research is that managing these choke points requires a “founder’s mentality”–behaviors typically embodied by a bold, ambitious founder–to restore speed, focus, and connection to customers:

* An insurgent’s clear mission and purpose
* An unambiguous owner mindset
* A relentless obsession with the front line

Based on the authors’ decade-long study of companies in more than forty countries, The Founder’s Mentality demonstrates the strong relationship between these three traits in companies of all kinds–not just start-ups–and their ability to sustain performance. Through rich analysis and inspiring examples, this book shows how any leader–not only a founder–can instill and leverage a founder’s mentality throughout their organization and find lasting, profitable growth”.
(Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOptimize your strengths : use your leadership strengths to get the best out of you and your team / James Brook and Dr Paul Brewerton.
“Discover your unique edge. Each of us has our own set of strengths, abilities and skills that allow us to shine and deliver exceptional results. These are our underlying qualities that energise us and we are great at (or have potential to become great at). But how do you understand and build upon your strengths and how do you inspire others to do the same?

Optimize Your Strengths provides a proven strengths-based approach to achieving peak performance for you and your team. You’ll discover your core strengths and learn how to use these to bring out the best in yourself and inspire passion, innovation and engagement in those you lead. Using the Stretch Leadership Model, leadership and organisational development experts, James Brook and Paul Brewerton, show you how to lead beyond boundaries and develop positive habits that drive you to continuously improve and take advantage of new opportunities.

Through a fictional narrative that brings the subject to life; follow the journey of Joe (a leader facing both personal and professional crises), as you learn to:

Discover, analyse and grow you and your team’s natural strengths and abilities in pursuit of a compelling vision Develop an energising and powerful leadership approach based on strengths, solutions and possibilities Use a Stretch Toolbox of six step-by-step models to uncover your leadership edge and grow into an inspiring leader Get hands-on experience working through chapter exercises on an accompanying website Take real action to continually enhance your strengths and improve your weaknesses” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBreaking the trust barrier : how leaders close the gaps for high performance / JV Venable.Breaking the Trust Barrier: How High-Performance Teams Lead Together
“Build Extraordinary Trust and Lead Your Team to a Higher Plane. For former US Air Force Thunderbirds’ commander and demonstration leader JV Venable, inspiring teamwork was literally a matter of life and death. On maneuvers like the one pictured on the cover, the distance between jets was just eighteen inches. Closing the gaps to sustain that kind of separation requires the highest levels of trust.

On the ground or in the air, from line supervisor to CEO, we all face the same challenge. Our job is to entice those we lead to close the gaps that slow the whole team down–gaps in commitment, loyalty, and trust. Every bit of closure requires your people to let go of biases and mental safeguards that hold them back. The process the Thunderbirds use to break that barrier and craft the highest levels of trust on a team with an annual turnover of 50 percent is nothing short of phenomenal. That process is packaged here with tips and compelling stories that will help you build the team of a lifetime”.
(Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDifference makers : a leader’s guide to championing diversity on boards / Dr Nicola Howe, Alicia Curtis.
“‘Outstanding insight into how to effectively embrace diversity … a roadmap for creating better organisations, better companies and a better society.’ – Rhys Williams, 2015 Young West Australian of the Year ‘…includes practical tools, checklists and activities for both the aspiring and experienced director.’ – Angie Paskevicius, CEO, Holyoake ‘If you seriously want to make a difference – you must read Difference Makers.’ – David Koutsoukis, founder of the Exceptional Teams Academy ‘I recommend this book to all those who believe we deserve better organisations.’ – Rabia Siddique, international humanitarian, author and advocate ‘…a sound rationale highlighting the importance of diversity in achieving good governance … a nuanced and thoughtful resource designed to help meet the challenge.’ – Professor David Gilchrist, director, Curtin University Dr Nicky Howe is a CEO and leadership and management expert, with a doctorate of business administration from the University of Western Australia, and postgraduate qualification in management from Flinders University. Nicky has a passion for building the capacity of individuals, organisations and communities. She is author of Better Relationships with Those You Lead, a handbook of practical skills and strategies for leaders and managers. Alicia Curtis is one of Western Australia’s most inspiring young social and business entrepreneurs, an award-winning speaker and leadership facilitator. Alicia established Alyceum in 2002 developing innovative transformational leadership programs. Alicia has a master’s degree in business leadership and was named one of the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence in 2014. Together Nicky and Alicia founded the Engaging Young Leaders on Aged Care and Community Boards governance program, and as a consequence they were driven to share their findings and experiences in this fascinating book.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDesign to grow : how Coca-Cola learned to combine scale and agility (and how you can too) / David Butler and Linda Tischler.Design to Grow: How Coca-Cola Learned to Combine Scale and Agility (and How You Can Too)
“Expert advice from Coca-Cola’s vice president of Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Learn how Coca-Cola uses design to grow its business by combining the advantages of scale with the agility to respond to fast-changing market conditions.
In today’s world, every company is at risk of having a “Kodak Moment”-watching its industry and the competitive advantages it has developed over years, even decades, vanish overnight. The reason? An inability to adapt quickly to new business realities. Established companies are at risk, but it’s no easier being an agile startup, because most of those fail due to their inability to scale. Tomorrow’s business winners-regardless of size or industry-will be the ones that know how to combine scale with agility.

In Design to Grow , a Coca-Cola senior executive shares both the successes and failures of one of the world’s largest companies as it learns to use design to be both agile and big. In this rare and unprecedented behind-the-scenes look, David Butler and senior Fast Company editor, Linda Tischler, use plain language and easy-to-understand case studies to show how this works at Coca-Cola-and how other companies can use the same approach to grow their business. This book is a must-read for managers inside large corporations as well as entrepreneurs just getting started.” (Syndetics summary)

Great evening with Henry Lee from Ascendency

There was a good sized group of small business owners at Central Library last night (30th June) to hear Henry Lee from Ascendency. The event “how do you build a $1M business” took the form of an interactive workshop with attendees breaking off into small groups to discuss different topics, and then reporting back to the whole group. There was a discernible buzz around the workshop, so I hope that attendees enjoyed the event.
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If you do have ideas for topics you would like to hear speakers on, please do get in touch with me.