BOOK REVIEW

Abstract:

As we enter the opening stretch of 2015, Team BM takes a peek at a few random picks of last year, books penned on topics pertaining to management, corporate world, marketing mantras, career development, successful entrepreneurs et al.

Main Article:

WHAT GREAT BRANDS DO
Authored by Denise Lee Yohn
Published by Jossey –Bass,
262 pages
INR 599

As the title firmly points out, the book is a take on branding. The book has the subtitle ‘the seven brand-building principles’, describing what the work is all about in one sentence. Yohn, an in-demand consultant and speaker, makes a sincere effort to elaborate about the practicality of branding, trying to answer many of those questions that are often left in the realm of vagueness. In a warm conversational way, the book talks in detail about inspiring examples of organizations that have done it the right way and also about the cautionary tales of who have failed to make the cut. The founder of GigaOM, OM Malik, says “Yohn has bottled the elixir of brands and the magic behind brands in this book”.

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Dealing with the seven principles that represent a provocative view of branding, Yohn, who has worked with Burger King, Land Rover, Frito-Lay and Sony among others, tries to look at branding, commercial branding that is, with a new perspective, a fresh pair of eyes. Banking on compelling case studies and practical tools, the work demystifies the brand-building process. “When employees, vendors, customers and the community feel like a part of ,” the brand, that’s when the magic happens,” says Kip Tendell, chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Container Store. Yohn, a contributor to The New York Times, The Wall Street Review and Harvard Business Review, uncorks that magic for you with a book which serves as a guide for someone looking to grasp what branding is all about.

THE ROADSIDE MBA
Authored by Michael Mezzio, Paul
Oyer, Scott Schaefer
Published by Macmillan,
279 pages
UK pounds 12.99

The story behind the birth of the book itself is as enticing as the first thoughts leading to the establishment of a start-up firm. The author trio, economists and US professors who have taught thousands of MBAs at leading business schools, dropped into a shoe store in Mcine while travelling back from an economic conference together. They chatted to the staff and realized the strategic problems faced by small businesses are as rich and compelling as anything challenging Microsoft or GE. That visit provoked them to think differently and to undertake a journey to study cases of specific interest. In that learning series of drives, they meet diverse and versatile businessmen, including Mike Bodart in Indiana who bought the sports shop he adored as a kid and Vietnam veteran Phil Oakenshield, who is into the business of processing human waste.

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The book thus turns out to be a rollicking American road trip that is both a helpful initiation for business owners who haven’t done an MBA and an entertaining refresher dip for those who already holds a degree. The work discusses various topics including product differentiation, setting places, managing the brand, negotiating in an effective manner, the hiring part, incentive for employees and also on how to battle the big brothers around. The book comprises 10 chapters besides the prologue and epilogue. The book is a fantabulous guide on how to deal with issues surrounding small businesses regularly and advices on ways to challenge the bigger rivals and the art of dealing with employees.

LEADING DIGITAL
Authored by George Westerman,
Didier Bonnet, Andrew McAfee
Published by Harvard Business
Review Press, 292 pages
INR 1,250

Subtitled ‘turning technology into business transformation’, the book is not just confined to technology, media and entertainment and the title is slightly misleading from that point of view. The work highlights how large companies in traditional industries, from finance firms to manufacturing giants to pharma companies, are using digital power to gain strategic advantage in their respective field of play. The authors elaborately discuss principles and practices that lead to successful digital revolution. Based on the study of over 400 global firms including Asian Paints, Burberry, Caesar’s Entertainment, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Lloyd Banking Group, and Pernod Ricard, the book explains the transition in a clear two-part framework. After interviewing executives and examining the companies deeply, the book studies in detail how to invest in digital capabilities and how to lead the transformation.

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How to engage better with the customers, how to digitally enhance the operations of a particular company and how to create a digital vision are the other topics covered in the book. The Chief Executive Officer of Health Services, Siemens, opines that Leading Digital is “an exceptional contribution to strategy and management practice”. A step-by-step take for leaders to follow, the book is a sincere attempt dealing with the building process of digital capabilities including creating customer experience, exploring core operations and reinventing business models. Under the topic ‘building leadership capabilities’, subjects covered include crafty digital vision, developing the technology leadership capabilities and understanding the transformation from a closer distance.

BUSINESS ADVENTURES
Authored by John Brooks
Published by John Murray
Learning, 459 pages INR 399

The cover carries a catching quote by no less than Bill Gates, which itself makes you sit and think. Gates’ take is so compelling – “the best business book I’ve ever read”. The compilation of 12 classic tales from the world of Wall Street lives up to the high rating. It provides an entertaining look at the corporate and financial ilk in America. It hands over vital business lessons that could help the CEO of multinational and the aspiring founder of a start-up in equal measure. The $350 million Ford Motor Co disaster known as Edsel, the meteoric rise of Xerox as well as scandals in GE and Texas Gulf Sulphur become case studies in the book. Brooks quite fittingly proves that the fabulous and exciting accounts mentioned through various case studies are relevant in current world as they were in the past when the events happened, leading us to the labyrinths of corporate world. In narration of the accounts, there is enough drama involved and adventure galore, exposing the volatile nature in the world of finance.

BUDDING MANAGERS

FEBRUARY 2015 ISSUE


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Author:  admin
Posted On:  Friday, 27 February, 2015 - 17:32

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