Published On May 02, 2018
in Leadership & Development
In less than a month, more than 35,000 people will head to Las Vegas for ICSC’s RECon conference. With that travel often comes waiting time at the airport – and a perfect opportunity to catch up on reading. I thought I’d share my top five recent reads to help you pick a book for your travels. If you’re not headed to RECon, summer is coming and always a good time to catch up on your reading list.
Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works
By A.G. Lafley, former CEO of Proctor & Gamble and Roger L. Martin, a strategic advisor and dean of the Rotman School of Management
This play-by-play explanation of strategy and how to develop a winning strategy for your business is currently a required read for all leaders at Phillip Edison. This is for good reason. Defining the core principles of strategic planning and its effective implementation is illustrated in P&G’s fascinating and successful turnaround story to. Their method revolves around asking people and organizations to make specific choices, starting with where to play and how to win. I highly recommend this book not only to any business leader looking to elevate their competitive edge, but also to business unit managers and professionals in need of a more focused and actionable plan for their teams or individual careers.
Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy
By Alex Moazed, founding CEO of Applico, and Nicholas L. Johnson, Head of Platform at Applico
Moazed and Johnson share the knowledge and insights they gained partnering with the best of the best in tech – from start-ups to industry giants – and making Applico into a successful, industry-leading enterprise. Comparing today’s Technological Revolution with the Industrial Revolution, the authors make a strong case for the as-yet unrealized extent to which technology will continue to effect massive changes in our businesses, the economy and our lives.
Moazed and Johnson focus primarily on the concept of “platforms”, defined as a solution that creates value by connecting two or more groups (consumers, producers, buyers, sellers, etc.) and allows them to exchange goods, services or information. For example, Airbnb connects homeowners and travelers, iOS and Android connect consumers and developers and Uber connects passengers and drivers. Unlike big businesses that drove the economy of the past, today’s platforms don’t “make things”, they connect them. Modern Monopolies discusses how and why this has happened, where it’s going and how businesses can be successful in this new environment.
Encounters with the Archdruid
By John McPhee
This non-fiction narrative chronicles environmentalist David Brower’s encounters and interactions with three men who hold widely differing world-views. The book’s three narratives cover Brower’s triumphs and failures as he fights for land conservation with mineral engineer Charles Park over the Glacier Peak Wilderness; real estate developer Charles Fraser regarding development at Cumberland Island in Hilton Head, South Carolina; and US Bureau of Reclamation commissioner Floyd Dominy on the river-damming at Glen Canyon.
This engaging tale of deeply divided ideals and philosophies explores the factual events surrounding Brower’s efforts while weaving in the men’s deeply held and wildly different relationships with the environment.
A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America
By Pulitzer Prize-winning writer David K. Shipler
Shipler draws on his experience as a journalist, interviewing people of different backgrounds about their perspectives and emotions regarding racial biases, stereotypes and discrimination. He posits that often, attitudes and misunderstandings are so ingrained, that many people don’t even realize when they are offending someone of a different background. We are ignorant of our own prejudices.
A thought-provoking exploration of how everyday Americans see each other and interpret each other’s behaviors, this book exposes the ease at which bias can insidiously seep into our lives and culture and asks us to examine not only what we do and say, but what we don’t do or say on the topic.
The Land of Enterprise: A Business History of the United States
By Benjamin C. Waterhouse, historian
This book charts the history of business and enterprise in America and ties economic and industrial events to changing social and political landscapes. Starting with the colonial times, Waterhouse tells the story of executives, bankers, farmers and politicians who built our country. He examines the motives and perspectives of key historical players and how their actions and attitudes impacted the average American way of life.
A great read for any history-lover, this book will also appeal to business leaders interested in learning from the past as they face modern-day economic changes and concerns.