Books I Have Recently Read
Here are some books that I read last year, which have been significantly
shaping my thinking.
- American Spirit (Visions of a New Corporate Culture)
by Lawrence M Miller (Morrow, 1984).
This book, written by a successful and influential management
consultant, suggests that for a business to be successful,
it must have a purpose other than "maximizing shareholder
value", and the values and goals must be clearly communicated
throughout the organization.
- The Soul of a Business (Managing for profit and the Common Good)
by Tom Campbell (Bantam, 1993).
The author is the president of "Tom's of Maine", a company
best known for its "Silly Strawberries" toothpaste.
When Tom needed to think seriously about the directions
of his company, he went to - not business school, but -
Harvard Divinity School.
- You Can Negotiate Anything
by Herb Cohen (Lyle Stuart, 1980; Bantam Paperback, 1982).
Acclaimed as "the world's best negotiator", the author explains
that "Soviet style negotiations" may appear to bring short
term results, but are devastating to maintaining ongoing
relationships. Rather than get the best possible deal at
the expense of our "adversaries" we should strive to find
solutions where BOTH parties are winners ... or agree to
not make a deal.
- Earth in the Balance (Ecology and the Human Spirit)
by Al Gore (Houghton Mifflin, 1992).
Widely dismissed by people who have not read the book as
"an obsolete election campaign puff piece", this book
reveals the senator, now vice president, as a thoughtful man
deeply rooted in religious values, and with a good grasp of
earth sciences as well as statistics.
The program he outlines for a "Strategic Environmental Initiative"
remains a bold vision that will eventually have to be
undertaken. I am hoping for an updated edition next year.
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