I'm a self-driven learner and taught myself mySQL and Python. I read widely to keep up and act on best practices and proven sound advice. Here are some books that I've read and would like to share with you. I hope you will find them as valuable as I have. Did I miss any?
The incredible autobiography of Debbi Fields, a mother who had 3 children by the age of 21 and no formal education about finance or business, successfully built a multi-million dollar empire of 500+ stores in 5 countries across 4 continents. Lessons and tips are also included in this concise read.
A light overview and introduction into team dynamics and organizational behaviour. I found this book overly simplistic and not overly insightful. Of course, I am biased as my background, training, and education(BCom, MBA) have already introduced me to these concepts and ideas. I recommend this book as a short intro that can be finished in an afternoon sitting over coffee or during a business flight. A better book with greater insights would be "Group Dynamics for Teams" by Daniel Levi.
Paradigm changing insights come from bringing together and holding opposing ideas and mental models rather than choosing one and refuting the other. The nature of one's profession, education, and experience makes it impossible to consider features of a problem that might be relevant to another profession. No one model is perfect, they all make logical sense - from a particular angle.
"Opposing models are the richest source of new insight into a problem. We learn nothing from someone who sees the problem exactly as we do"
Excellent companion book for Marketers, Brand Managers, and Consultants on the role of Experience Design. Great resource of Facts, Stats, Data, and Anecdotes for Sales Collateral. Several Frameworks are presented for use.
A brief, high level introduction into what Design Thinking is. While it is not a How-to book, this does provide a quick overview of what Design Thinking is and it's applications. A short and simplistic read(3-5hrs) suitable for airport reading or for a weekend afternoon read.
A slow start but a strong finish is how I characterize this book. This book explores the author's thoughts on the business side of running a startup. The author highlights the critical role of product management, marketing, sales, and branding in the success of a tech startup. Too many founders ignore or pay too little attention to the customer.
One of the best books out there on Technology Product Management for Product Managers. This is really a compilation of knowledge, lessons learned, and words of wisdom on being a product manager. Several chapters are too light but nevertheless serve as a starting point to learn more. Better books are available that provide deeper dives on topics this book only lightly touches on. Essential “intro” book for aspiring Product Managers.
An essential how-to book for practitioners such as product managers, product marketers, marketing professionals to better understand their users in online communities through Applied Ethnography. From understanding and managing online communities to learning how your product/services are perceived, this book details methods to gather, analyze, and interpret data for User Research, User Discovery, and Needs Discovery. Written by Schulich MBA prof Robert V. Kozinets.
The most comprehensive book on negotiation there is and yet, concise and easy to read and follow for the practitioner. Theories are covered with an emphasis on real world application. Responding to Take it or Leave it approach, Manufactured Anger, working with more powerful sides, etc are all covered. I had the good fortune to study and practice under Kevin Tasa, the book's author and instructor for my Schulich MBA negotiation class.
An essential read. The book reveals, in an unvarnished way, what life in the C-suite can be like. While b-school grads will not learn anything new and will easily recognize concepts, the value from reading this book is in learning how those concepts play out in the real, fast paced, competitive world of a tech business. This book made me realize just how valuable a b-school education is especially in HR and Organizational Behaviour. Many lessons the author learned the hard way could have been learned in the b-school classroom.
THE essential book on practical pricing strategies that all product managers and product marketers should have. Incredible detail and insights at just the right level for both the novice and the seasoned. Well structured and not overly academic or theoretical. Essential resource for product managers to have with examples of applications and use cases.
A great read for anyone thinking of starting their own business. Though overly simplistic, it provides evidence, resources, tips, and stories of how others have started up microbusinesses or side businesses alongside their primary career. A short, simple, intro book into entrepreneurship.
Excellent book on product marketing strategy for the technology world. The book describes and offers proven strategies for overcoming one of the key problems that tech companies face affecting their survival - getting a product into the mainstream market after successfully winning over Innovators and Early Adopters. Primarily aimed for B2B, the ideas and concepts can also be applied to B2C as well. Essential must read for those in tech or who want to get into tech. Get the 3rd edition.
Details how in organizations common sense, especially business sense and analysis, can actually work against and serve as disincentive towards innovation. Should be required reading for all business professionals - regardless of position or role.
The essential book that all aspiring entrepreneurs and product managers should read. While the concepts(Lean, JIT, Toyota Production Systems, Continous Improvement, etc.) are not new for MBAs, what is new is how they are applied in the startup entrepreneurial environment
An excellent book that shows readers how to deal effectively with change, postive or negative, in personal and professional life. Highly recommended!
THE book that teaches how to effectively assert yourself, set boundaries in uncomfortable situations, and protect yourself from unwanted requests in life. This book has been awarded The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Self-Help Seal of Merit - an award given to self-help books that incorporate scientifically tested and validated strategies for overcoming difficulties.
This is THE book that describes what Emotional Intelligence(EQ) is and how it differs from IQ. Reveals the 5 key skills necessary to build personal and professional relationships necessary for success in life and in career. Cannot recommend this book enough.
What separates ordinary companies from great companies? How can a good company become a great company such as GE, Coca-Cola, and Intel? Though the book is dated, the concepts are still valid today.
Everything you've ever wanted to know about Competitive Advantage from the man himself: Michael Porter.
Nambonkaha is a land with no electricity - a land where sorcerers, witch doctors, and mysticism dominate society and are held in higher reverance than modern science and doctors. Part biography and documentary, Sarah Erdman, a Healthcare Peace Corps volunteer, joins the social fabric of a village and finds the brutality of AIDS and poverty. Wonderfully written.
This book is the single best resource I have found on the topic of teamwork especially in high-performance settings. The book provides a blend of theory and relevant applications in organizational settings in addition to case studies, activities, tools, and advice to help you work effectively as a team member or team leader. Also covered are challenges that teams face including team culture, emotional intelligence, decision making, and problem solving.
This book transformed my understanding of organizational and interpersonal conflict by describing in detail why conflict happens and how it can be managed through tools and techniques to ensure conflict is constructive, not destructive. Additionally, the book describes how the concept of hero, villain, and victim is formed which ultimately shapes our perceptions, behaviors, and actions for better or for worse.
Brilliantly and concisely describes how to increase your potential by changing your mindset from Fixed to Growth mindset. Backed with data, anecdotes, and research by Standford PhD Carol Dweck. Essential read for Product Managers and Leaders who want to promote Innovation and prevent risk-adverse cultures from developing.
A insightful strategy book all Product Managers and MBAs should read. The authors have conducted indepth research and provided practical analytical tools and frameworks for immediate use. Essential resource for Turnarounds, New Product development, and Startups.
The author provides a short introduction on the value of understanding the psychology and sociology of your customers when it comes to Branding, Consumer Insights, and Product Management. Most Marketing and MBA students are already familiar with the concepts as they are discussed in depth in their respective programs. An excellent segway into Branding, Marketing, Consumer Insights, and Product Management.
This book convincingly shows how small events can have a big impact from social change to phenomenal business success. How do ideas and innovation spread and become “sticky” throughout society? Using sociological forces behind human behaviour, such as Mavens, Connectors, and Influencers, can help us engineer social change and product acceptance. Incredible book that all Product Managers, Marketers, Social Entrepreneurs, and Change Agents should read.
The book provides detailed Step by Step directions on scientifically proven methods how to effectively build and inspire trust from your employees, colleagues, and your bosses. Not all trust building approaches are common knowledge.
An amazing book resulting from the Harvard Negotiation Project, a group that deals with all levels of negotiation and conflict resolution. This book provides proven, step-by-step strategy for coming to mutually acceptable interests-based agreements in every sort of conflict.
We all want to get to yes, but what happens when the other person keeps saying no?
How can you negotiate successfully with a stubborn boss, an irate customer, or a deceitful coworker?
William Ury of Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation offers a proven breakthrough strategy for turning adversaries into negotiating partners.
One of the most concise, well written books on managing technology and innovation that I have come across. Theory is blended seamlessly with real world implications and applications. Easily readable with plenty of examples, cases, and suggestions for further reading. Whether you are a product manager/strategist, marketer, consultant, senior manager, analyst, or student, this book provides the skills, knowledge, and tools to analyze and formulate strategy for technology companies.
A good introduction and reference manual for anyone who will assume responsibility for building a training program from the ground up. Some chapters dive too deeply on theory and a few chapters could be easily condensed.
An excellent reference book for Business Analysts, Consultants, Project Managers, Strategists, Marketers, Business Development/Sales or Managers who bear Profit/Loss responsibility. This book was very helpful in applying and understanding the day to day and strategic implications of the many concepts I learned in Accounting and business courses.
Backed up with well researched statistics, this is an incredible read on the strategy and thinking of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. Essential read for Product Managers, MBAs, Analysts, and Consultants.
A concise introductory textbook on Marketing that introduces theory and on real world applications. Complete with cases, key questions, and sample marketing plans. This book is light on Pricing and B2B marketing, however. Essential resource for Product Managers.