There are several common problems with business presentations, including failure to relate the message to the lives of the audience, failure to prepare adequately, and trying to cover too much information in too little time, according to Luis Cubero in his book Business Storytelling Guide: Creating Impactful and Compelling Business Presentations Using Storytelling Techniques. Each of these problems can be addressed by taking a storytelling approach to the presentation.

My full review of the book is available at my business book reviews website.

Organizations must learn how to drive innovation from both the technology side and the customer side. The challenge for companies is how to get better at bringing those two sides together, according to Marion Debruyne in her book Customer Innovation: Customer-Centric Strategy for Enduring Growth. The essence of customer innovation is that the organization and its ecosystem are a united force in addressing a market demand.

My full review of the book is available at my business book reviews website.

Intel’s greatest strength has been its willingness to take huge risks, even betting the company, according to Michael Malone in his book The Intel Trinity: How Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore and Andy Grove Built the World’s Most Important Company. On the occasions when those bets have failed, the company has clawed its way back into the game through superhuman effort and will,… and then immediately gone on to take yet more risks.

My full review of the book is available at my business book reviews website.

You can listen to strategic advice for leading virtual teams such as “build a culture of trust” or “encourage social interactions among your team” all day long; but if you don’t get specific tactical steps that you can implement straight away, those strategies won’t be of much help, according to Hassan Osman in his book Influencing Virtual Teams: 17 Tactics That Get Things Done with Your Remote Employees. Hence the author provides a range of tactics, rather than strategies.

My full review of the book is available at my business book reviews website.

Too often, leadership is a Faustian bargain. Most leadership experts play off your ego. Few actually help shape your ego, which must be neither too large nor too small in order to manage effectively and to get out with your soul intact, according to Rob Ashgar in his book Leadership is Hell: How to Manage Well – And Escape with Your Soul. The book aims to help the reader find the right balance for his or her own life.

My full review of the book is available at my business book reviews website.

Last century the communications environment was typified by hierarchy, information control, broadcast and audience passivity. In the current century, communications are characterised by interconnectedness, speed, transparency, surveillance, and diversity, according to David Cowan in his book Strategic Internal Communication: How to Build Employee Engagement and Performance. The book aims to provide advice on internal corporate communications in the new information space.

My full review of the book is available at my business book reviews website.

By changing what decisions are made in the business model, when they are made, who makes them, and why they are made, you will be able to come up with business models that better manage information and incentive risks and, as a result, outperform existing business models, disrupt established ways of doing business, and lead to a sustainable competitive advantage, according to Karan Girotra and Serguei Netessine in their book The Risk-Driven Business Model: Four Questions That Will Define Your Company.

My full review of the book is available at my business book reviews website.

When you are facing a future that cannot be predicted with any accuracy, traditional approaches for problem solving (e.g., forecasting, planning, in-depth research) don’t help you much. You need to acknowledge that and find alternatives, according to Charles Kiefer, Leonard Schlesinger and Paul Brown in their book Own Your Future: How to Think Like an Entrepreneur and Thrive in an Unpredictable Economy.

My full review of the book is available at my business book reviews website.

Leadership requires crafting an agenda, working in a deeply political world and working closely with other people. Schools do not teach this. Business school fails dismally to teach this, and most corporate training swings wildly between technical training (accounting and systems) and tree hugging, raft building and team building on the other side, according to Jo Owen in her book The Leadership Skills Handbook: 50 Essential Skills You Need to Be a Leader.

My full review of the book is available at my business book reviews website.

Leadership might not be the first thing you think of when you hear Billy Graham’s name, but his role as a leader of leaders has been central to his ministry. Billy Graham’s lifetime of vigorous leadership invites every leader to engage with the same spirit, to consider his example, and to dig, as he did, into the rich resources of leadership literature that resonate with biblical examples, according to Matt Woodley in his book Billy Graham: Leading With Love: 5 Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders.

So what sorts of leadership lessons can we learn from Billy Graham? The author looks at five different aspects of leadership:

  • The character of a leader: Early in his ministry, Billy and his team created a written covenant, the Modesto Manifesto, detailing how they were going to deal with temptations.
  • The mission of an organization: Billy’s clear focus on his calling has led him to reject good opportunities which were not directly aligned with his mission.
  • The importance of teamwork: By finding the right chemistry, Billy led a team which stayed together for decades.
  • Common challenges faced by leaders: By offering his critics kindness rather than vengeance, Billy won some powerful allies.
  • How faith in God has shaped Billy’s life as a leader: Humble openness made Billy a lifelong learner on the Christian journey.

There is something awkward about books which lionize individual Christians, and I was also slightly uncomfortable about the way the book speaks of Billy Graham in the past tense rather than the present. Nonetheless, the book is filled with many interesting stories from Billy’s life, and there is a great deal of wisdom to be learnt from his experiences.