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Posted Sept. 18, 2006 1:03 p.m. by jack
In Lists - 800 CEO Read Blog
The shortlist for the 2006 FT/Goldman Sachs book award has been announced. Here are the award criteria:
"To identify the book that provides the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues, including management, finance and economics."
What I personally like about the mission statement is the use of the word enjoyable That term is missing from far too many business books.
Here is the list in random order:
January 2006 story adapted from the book called "The Man Who Said No to Wal-Mart"
What I have done is put all the content we have posted about these books so you can have all the information in one place.
This is a superb list of very readable, extremely well written books that could change your outlook of the world. Read them.
Two Book Webinars this Thursday
Posted May 9, 2006 10:16 a.m. by tom-ehrenfeld
In General Management - 800 CEO Read Blog
Both events are free to participants.
Bill and Bo on Small Giants
Posted March 8, 2006 2:47 a.m. by tom-ehrenfeld
In Small Business - 800 CEO Read Blog
I would love Small Giants even if I didn't know the author, Bo Burlingham. After all, Burlingham has been the co-author of several of the best business books of the past two decades, The Great Game of Business and A Stake in the Outcome, not to mention the force behind the editing and writing of literally hundreds of important articles for Inc. magazine.
As Burlingham said at a recent reading/discussion for Small Giants, "This book challenges people to think about what makes a great company." How? He focuses on 14 dynamic companies that all made conscious decisions not to growbut rather to control their size so as to concentrate on more important matters such as the soul of the company, the ties to the community, the community of employees, the quality of the work. In so doing the companies retained that quality of charisma that makes them so attractiveand which in turn drives so many great companies to make bad choices when faced with the tradeoffs from growth.
The huge crowd included Fast Company Founding Editor Bill Taylor, who posed Bo a provocative question. Bill (who recently completed a book of his own that will be published later this year) kindly shared his question, which follows. And Bo has been good enough to reply.
Here's Bill Taylor's question: It's easy to understand what your small giants gain by choosing not to grow as fast as they might. But did many of the entrepreneurs you chronicle--or did you yourself--think about what these companies give up by staying small? I'm not thinking about money, I'm thinking about impact--the chance to have a big effect on the world. Imagine if Herb Kelleher of Southwest had decided to stick to flying routes within the southwest. Or if John Mackey, the cofounder of Whole Foods Market, had decided to stop at a couple of stores in Austin, rather than spread across the country--and, in so doing, raise the bar for nutritional standards, the treatment of animals, the future of organics. Isn't it almost selfish, in a sense, or at least a missed opportunity, if you're a passionate company-builder who believes in what you're doing and thinks it's important, to do less than what's possible, to have less of an impact than you might have otherwise?
Bo Burlingham replies: First, let me be clear about one thing: In no way do I mean to suggest that a company cant be great if it grows fast, gets big, goes public, does acquisitions, and so forth. The two companies you cite are prime examples of great, publicly traded companies, although its worth noting that they are striking exceptions to the rule. They have been able to resist the pressures to compromise their values only because they have so far managed to deliver consistently great returns to shareholders, who have thus been willing to let the companys management teams operate as they see fit. Most other companies that have started out with similar valuesThe Body Shop, Ben & Jerrys, and People Express come to mindhave eventually been forced to make compromises that have utterly transformed their cultures and ways of doing business.
Its also important to recognize that there are always trade-offs. Although Southwest and Whole Foods are both great corporate citizens, neither one is rooted in a community anymore, and theyve both lost some of the workplace intimacy they had when they were smaller, not to mention the intense relationships with customers and suppliers. My point is simply that there are sacrificeslost opportunitiesno matter what you decide to do. Company owners have to choose which opportunities they want to focus on and which pressures they want to deal with.
That said, it may be true that a couple of the Small Giants owners/leaders have given up an opportunity to have a greater impact on the world by choosing to remain private and closely held and by staying (relatively) small. I say a couple because extremely few people are capable of building a Whole Foods Market or a Southwest Airlines without losing control of the company along the way. In any case, I certainly wouldnt describe the decision to remain small and private as selfish. For one thing, most of these people work extremely hard to make the greatest contribution they can to their employees, their customers, their communities, and the world.. Saying their decision is selfish implies that people who try to get their companies as big as possible, as fast as possible, are somehow being selfless, or at least less selfish. We both know that the motivations of company-builders, even the greatest ones, are far more complicated than that, and that altruism or selflessness seldom enters into the equation.
Bo Burlingham/Small Giants Interview
Posted Feb. 27, 2006 3:16 a.m. by todd-sattersten
In Audio - 800 CEO Read Blog
This week, we have a loooong interview with Bo Burlingham. Bo has written a great book called Small Giants: Companies That Choose To Be Great Instead of Big. He also knows a bit about the subject. Bo has been at Inc. since 1983 and reported on small companies. He now serves as the editor-at-large for Inc.
Bo and I went on so long that I have divided the podcast into three segments.
- Segment 1: mp3, 15:25, 14.1MB - We talk about what it means to be an editor-at-large, the significant changes that have taken place at Inc. in the last year, and "What is a Small Giant?"
- Segment 2: mp3, 32:55, 30.1MB - We talk through the 14 companies Bo profiles as Small Giants in the book
- Anchor Brewing Company (San Francisco, CA)
- Citi-Storage (Brooklyn, NY)
- Clif Bar (Berkeley, CA)
- Ecco (Boise, ID)
- Hammerhead Productions (Studio City, CA)
- Rhythms and Hues (Los Angeles, CA)
- O.C. Tanner Co. (Salt Lake City, UT)
- Reell Precision Manufacturing (St. Paul, MN)
- Righteous Babe Records (Buffalo, NY)
- Selima Inc. (Miami Brach, FL)
- The Goltz Group (Chicago, IL)
- Union Square Hospitality Group (New York, NY)
- W.L Butler Construction Inc. (Redwood City, CA)
- Zingerman's Community of Businesses (Ann Arbor, MI)
- Segment 3: mp3, 37:35, 34.4MB - In the final segment, we spend time on the qualities of a Small Giant. There are interchanges on mojo, local involvement, and the importance of the leaders at these companies.
- Bo's Small Giants website
- Small Is The New Big (An adapted excerpt from Inc. magazine by Bo about Jay Goltz)
- Book Excerpts (via Small Giants site)
- Bo's Cool Friends Interview with tompeters.com
- Book Review from The Miami Herald's Richard Pachter
- Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business, the Story of Clif Bar, Inc by Gary Erickson
- Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating: How to Choose the Best Bread, Cheeses, Olive Oil, Pasta, Chocolate, and Much More by Ari Weinzweig
- The Street Smart Entrepreneur: 133 Tough Lessons I Learned the Hard Way by Jay Goltz
- A Stake in the Outcome -- What can go right and what can wrong in small, closely held businesses when equity is shared broadly.
- First, Break All the Rules -- One perspective on what people really look for in a workplace and what makes a company great to work for.
- Good to Great -- What it takes to be successful in the long term. We especially love the hedge hog concept.
- Small Giants -- A look at successful entrepreneurs who care more about success and lifestyle than revenue and growth.
- The Discipline of Market Leaders -- An understanding of the strategy behind some of the biggest and most successful companies in the last 30 years.
- The Goal -- Introduces revolutionary concepts related to managing a manufacturing company. Goldratts project management finance philosophy mirrors our own.
- Great Game of Business -- The philosophy and elements of teaching everyone about the numbers, sharing them on a regular basis, and sharing equity. Some would say this is true financial transparency.
- Maverick -- An even more radical approach to opening the books, including salary information and performance reviews. Not for everyone, but the employee manual at the end of the book is worth the read.
- Open Book Management -- Great insights and stories about successful companies that opened the books.
- Relevance Lost -- An explanation of why managerial accounting has gone in the wrong direction in the last 50 years.
- The Interpretation of Financial Statements -- A look at how great investment thinkers of our time looked at financials. Buffett looked to Graham as his financial mentor.
- The Warrant Buffett Portfolio -- Lots of financial analysis, so it isnt for everyone. But great insight into how Buffett thinks and invests.
Additional Recommended Finance Reading
Posted Jan. 12, 2006 8:36 a.m. by karen-berman-and-joe-knight
In Finance and Economics - 800 CEO Read Blog
We believe, of course, that every manager should read Financial Intelligence. However, as we said in the book, a good manager shouldn't just look at the numbers to understand his or her business. So, here are a few books we recommend to round out your reading list:
If you want to read more about finance, then try the books listed below. We've included a few about a concept called open book management, an approach to managing a company that has to do with the numbers, as well as with communication and education, and is in alignment with our philosophy.
Finally, if you want a good financial analysis text (if you really want to get in depth into the subject of finance), we recommend the book below. However, there are many more good ones out there.
Corporate Finance by Ross and Westerfield