01 Sep 2015
Alumni and Faculty Books for September 2015Re: Evan Baehr (MBA 2011); Bill Barnett (MBA 1971); Forrest Cook (AMP 67); Lindsay McGregor (MBA 2013); Juan Enriquez (MBA 1986); Mike Farmer (MBA 1971); Gareth Jones (AMP 184); Bob Hacker (MBA 1972); Naina Kidwai (MBA 1982); Roger Martin (MBA 1981); Steve Pease (MBA 1967); Chris Penn (MBA 1962); Chris Yeh (MBA 2000); Jessica Schmidt (MBA 2009); Shea Smith (MBA 1941); Alan Stewart (MBA 1993); Gayle Lemmon (MBA 2006); James Heskett; W. Earl Sasser; Meg RithmireTopics:
Get Backed: Craft Your Story, Build the Perfect Pitch Deck, and Launch the Venture of Your Dreams
by Evan Baehr (MBA 2011) and Evan Loomis
(Harvard Business Review Press)
Now that you have your big idea, how will you find and convince your first investor? You need a pitch deck, the perfect set of slides to convince investors to back you and your venture. The authors, veterans of the startup world, show you how to create a compelling pitch deck and how to plan and execute a fundraising road show to garner financial support for your business.
The Strategic Career: Let Business Principles Guide You
by Bill Barnett (MBA 1971)
(Stanford Business Books)
Barnett approaches the construction of a long-term career plan by looking at the main challenges professionals will face: developing and reaching long-term targets, surfacing opportunities, assessing career decisions, and staying on track. Underpinning his advice with research and illustrating it with stories from others’ successes, Barnett lays out practical, step-by-step processes to help readers realize their goals.
Money, Murder, and Madness: A Banking Life
by Forrest Russell Cook (AMP 67, 1973)
Cook makes the case that the Clinton and Bush administrations and members of Congress of both parties pursued an extreme affordable-housing agenda that led to the failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. If Fannie and Freddie had not failed, requiring government intervention and the largest bailout in US history, it’s likely the crisis would have been avoided, Cook argues. Six years after the government takeover of Fannie and Freddie, taxpayers continue to own and heavily subsidize one of the largest companies in the world.
Primed to Perform: How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures through the Science of Total Motivation
by Neel Doshi and Lindsay McGregor (MBA 2013)
The authors show how to use cutting-edge psychology to unlock people’s innate desire to innovate, experiment, and adapt so as to produce higher sales, more loyal customers, and more passionate employees. Their new measurement tool, the Total Motivation Factor, enables managers to measure the strength of the company culture and track improvements over time. They explore their original research into how Total Motivation leads to higher performance in iconic companies, from Apple and Starbucks to Southwest Airlines.
Evolving Ourselves: How Unnatural Selection and Nonrandom Mutation Are Changing Life on Earth
by Juan Enriquez (MBA 1986) and Steve Gullans
The authors survey how humans are changing the course of their evolution, seen, for example, in rising rates of obesity, autism, and food allergies. As humans began cooking, bathing, and using antibiotics, the bacteria in our bodies changed dramatically and became far less diverse. Though these changes are unsettling, the authors argue that we are also in an epoch of tremendous opportunity. New advances in biotechnology help us mitigate the forces of natural selection and enable us to take control of our genes. We will be able to alter our own species and many others—a good thing, the authors suggest, given that our eventual survival will require space travel and colonization, enabled by a fundamental redesign of our bodies.
Madison Avenue Manslaughter: An Inside View of Fee-Cutting Clients, Profit-Hungry Owners, and Declining Ad Agencies
by Michael Farmer (MBA 1971)
Farmer, formerly a director of Bain & Company, describes the key trends that have weakened ad agencies in recent years—the shift from commissions to fees, brand globalization, the rise of holding companies, client obsessions with shareholder value, the digital and Internet revolutions—and outlines the steps senior agency executives need to take to restore health to their organizations and improved results to their clients.
Why Should Anyone Work Here? What It Takes to Create an Authentic Organization
by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones (AMP 184)
(Harvard Business Review Press)
The authors make six key recommendations leaders should follow to transform their organizations to attract the right people, keep them, and inspire them to do their best work: let people be themselves; practice radical honesty; magnify people’s strengths; stand for authenticity (more than shareholder value); make work meaningful; and make simple rules. Theauthors also provide ways of assessing how a company is doing.
Direct Marketing Doesn’t Have to Make Sense. It Just Has to Make Money
by Robert C. Hacker (MBA 1972)
(North American Publishing Company)
Nobody has more stories than agency account people. Having been inside hundreds of clients’ organizations and six agencies and seen it all, Hacker couldn’t share these tales when he was running an agency, but he can tell them now. Most successes and failures in direct marketing are based on people, not rules. This book details what the best ones do and how they do it and shows what the worst ones do, as mistakes to avoid.
30 Women in Power: Their Voices, Their Stories
edited by Naina Lal Kidwai (MBA 1982)
Thirty women in power answer questions that confront all working women, from how best to balance the personal and the professional to how to dismantle gender biases. The essayists consider seminal issues that concern every committed professional, man or woman: What are the qualities that define a leader? Where does one find a mentor? What are the ingredients in the recipe for success?
Getting beyond Better: How Social Entrepreneurship Works
by Roger L. Martin (MBA 1981) and Sally R. Osberg
(Harvard Business Review Press)
The authors argue that social entrepreneurs are agents of change who recognize various kinds of “equilibria”—systems in need of change— in our current reality and then advance social progress by transforming these systems, ultimately replacing what exists with a new equilibrium. They set out a framework for understanding how successful social entrepreneurs actually go about producing transformative change. There are four key stages: understanding the world; envisioning a better future; building a model for change; and scaling the solution.
The Debate over Jewish Achievement: Exploring the Nature and Nurture of Human Accomplishment
by Steven L. Pease (MBA 1967)
Following on Pease’s 2009 compendium, The Golden Age of Jewish Achievement, this book explores the “why” behind the “what” of Jewish achievement. Pease evaluates the major theories offered to explain the phenomenon of so many achievements from such a small population. While he invites readers to keep an open mind, he comes down on the side of culture as the most important influence behind Jewish achievement.
The Nicholas Brothers & A.T.W. Penn: Photographers of South India 1855-1885
by Christopher Penn (MBA 1962)
(Bernard Quaritch Ltd.)
HBS at 40
edited by Lindsey Mead Russell and Chris Yeh (MBA 2000)
Reflections on life from the HBS Class of 2000.
The Energized Executive: How to Get Focused, Strong, and Calm. 25 Easy Tools for Peak Performance in Business and Beyond
by Jessica Schmidt (MBA 2009)
(Amazon Digital Services)
This book explains how to lead a more calm and focused life at work and at home.
Nonprofit Strategic Planning
by Shea Smith III (MBA 1941)
Strategic planning for nonprofits is often ineffective. There are mainly two reasons for this: The effort often lacks good leadership, and too much time is spent on a multitude of problems and opportunities instead of key issues. So the first task for planners must be to identify the key issues, followed by homing in on the best alternatives for handling those issues without getting sidetracked by nonessential concerns. This book lays out the organization, procedures, and guidelines for doing this.
Approved! An Insider’s Guide to Getting Your Bank Loan Approved
by Alan R. Stewart (MBA 1993)
This guide to the world of small business banking is designed to give both inexperienced and experienced entrepreneurs alike the tools they need to grow their business. Stewart, an award-winning CFO and veteran entrepreneur, shares his expertise and insights to help entrepreneurs more fully understand how a bank thinks about them and their business as a credit risk and a loan customer.
Ashley's War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield
by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (MBA 2006)
In 2010, the Army created Cultural Support Teams, a secret pilot program to insert women alongside Special Operations soldiers raiding insurgent compounds in Afghanistan. The Army reasoned that only women could gain some measure of trust from the mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives living at the compound. The CSTs were able to search adult women for weapons and gather crucial intelligence. They could build relationships—woman to woman—in ways that male soldiers in an Islamic country never could. The author uses on-the-ground reporting and an understanding of war’s complexities to tell the story of CST-2, a unit of women handpicked from the Army to serve in this highly specialized and challenging role.
What Great Service Leaders Know and Do: Creating Breakthroughs in Service Firms
by James L. Heskett, W. Earl Sasser, and Leonard A. Schlesinger
Based on decades of collective field experiences, the authors present anecdotal evidence in support of eight things that great service leaders know and do. Great service leaders (1) take steps to ensure repeated memorable service encounters; (2) focus on the few things that produce results and experiences for the right customers; (3) foster “both/and” thinking in designing winning operating strategies; (4) hire for attitude and train for skills; (5) ensure that the leverage and edge are reached that produce win, win, win results—the “service trifecta”; (6) use technology to elevate the most important and eliminate the worst service jobs; (7) take steps to develop a core of customers who are “owners”; and (8) build agile service organizations that learn, innovate, and adapt.
What You Really Need to Lead: The Power of Thinking and Acting Like an Owner
by Robert Steven Kaplan
(Harvard Business Review Press)
Professor Kaplan explains that leadership is accessible to all of us, and it starts with an ownership mind-set. Acting like a leader is a function of three key questions: (1) Do you work to figure out what you believe as if you were an owner? (2) Do you take action based on those beliefs? (3) Do you focus on adding value to others and take responsibility for the effect of your actions on others? Leadership is a lifelong journey of learning for which you must take responsibility, Kaplan writes. It’s about learning to ask the right questions and learning to understand yourself.
Political Standards: Corporate Interest, Ideology, and Leadership in the Shaping of Accounting Rules for the Market Economy
by Karthik Ramanna
(Univ. of Chicago Press)
Some institutions underlying our modern market-capitalist system are largely outside the public’s interest and understanding—e.g., rulemaking for bank capital adequacy, actuarial standards, accounting standards, and auditing practice—and in these areas, corporate managers, auditors, and bankers possess the technical expertise necessary for informed regulation, enjoy strong economic interests in the outcome, and face little resistance to their lobbying activities from the general public. These areas are known as “thin political markets” to distinguish them from more vibrant, competitive “thick” political processes (e.g., healthcare regulation). Assistant Professor Ramanna explores the political processes determining our system of accounting rules by which corporate profits are reliably measured. He shows how some corporate interests, to increase profits, have been manipulating the definition of profit by changing accounting rules. The ethics of profit-increasing behavior are premised on the logic of competition, and this logic breaks down in thin political markets. The result is a structural flaw in the determination of critical institutions of our capitalist system, which, if ignored, can undermine the legitimacy of the system. The book closes with ideas on how to fix the problem.
Land Bargains and Chinese Capitalism: The Politics of Property Rights under Reform
by Meg Rithmire
(Cambridge University Press)
Assistant Professor Rithmire explores the political logic of Chinese reforms to land ownership and control, accounting for how land development and real estate have become synonymous with economic growth and prosperity. Tracking land reforms and urban development nationally and in three cities in one Chinese region, the study reveals that the initial liberalization of land was reversed after China’s first real-estate bubble in the early 1990s and that local property-rights arrangements varied widely according to different local strategies for economic prosperity and political stability.