When calling to mind some of today’s great business leaders, the following names may come to mind: Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Howard Schulz (Starbucks), Larry Page (Google), Tim Cook (Apple), and Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo). These executives are brilliant, savvy, and innovative. One thing that these, and all successful, business leaders have in common is that they never stop learning.
One common way to learn is reading. What are these successful business leaders reading? SupplyChainOpz compiled a list of resources “used in the real world by successful business leaders”. Below are the Top 5 operation management books mentioned with brief descriptions from Amazon:
1. The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement, recommended by Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon)
Written in a fast-paced thriller style, The Goal, a gripping novel, is transforming management thinking throughout the world. It is a book to recommend to your friends in industry - even to your bosses - but not to your competitors. Alex Rogo is a harried plant manager working ever more desperately to try improve performance. His factory is rapidly heading for disaster. So is his marriage. He has ninety days to save his plant - or it will be closed by corporate HQ, with hundreds of job losses. It takes a chance meeting with a professor from student days - Jonah - to help him break out of conventional ways of thinking to see what needs to be done. The story of Alex's fight to save his plant is more than compulsive reading. It contains a serious message for all managers in industry and explains the ideas, which underline the Theory of Constraints (TOC), developed by Eli Goldratt.
2. The Six Sigma Way: How to Maximize the Impact of Your Change and Improvement Efforts, listed as the 25 most influential business management books by TIME Magazine
Upon its publication in 2000, The Six Sigma Way was among the very first books to clearly explain the impressive benefits of Six Sigma’s improvement-driven and customer-centric approach to business leaders and managers. It revealed how GE, Motorola, and other companies used Six Sigma to fine-tune products and processes, improve performance, reduce costs, build customer loyalty, and increase profits. Corporate leaders around the world heeded the call and began implementing the tools of this world-changing performance improvement. In short, this book changed the world of business and organization improvement forever. Now, this author dream team has revisited the subject to bring you fully up to date about how Six Sigma has been used―for better and for worse―during the past 14 years.
3. Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution, voted by the panel of experts in the survey conducted by Forbes Magazine
The most successful business book of the last decade, Reengineering the Corporation is the pioneering work on the most important topic in business today: achieving dramatic performance improvements. This book leads readers through the radical redesign of a company's processes, organization, and culture to achieve a quantum leap in performance. Michael Hammer and James Champy have updated and revised their milestone work for the New Economy they helped to create—promising to help corporations save hundreds of millions of dollars more, raise their customer satisfaction still higher, and grow ever more nimble in the years to come.
4. Competing Against Time: How Time-Based Competition is Reshaping Global Markets, recommended by Tim Cook (CEO of Apple Inc.)
Today, time is the cutting edge. In fact, as a strategic weapon, contend George Stalk, Jr., and Thomas M. Hout, time is the equivalent of money, productivity, quality, even innovation. In this path-breaking book based upon ten years of research, the authors argue that the ways leading companies manage time--in production, in new product development, and in sales and distribution--represent the most powerful new sources of competitive advantage. With many detailed examples from companies that have put time-based strategies in place, such as Federal Express, Ford, Milliken, Honda, Deere, Toyota, Sun Microsystems, Wal-Mart, Citicorp, Harley-Davidson, and Mitsubishi, the authors describe exactly how reducing elapsed time can make the critical difference between success and failure.
5. Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, recommended by Andrew Liveris (CEO of The Dow Chemical Company)
When Execution was first published in 2002, it changed the way we did our jobs. By analyzing the discipline of getting things done, it helped thousands of business people to make the final leap to success. Now, Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan reframe their empowering message for a world in which the old rules have been shattered and radical change is becoming routine. For the foreseeable future:
Growth will be slower, but the company that executes well, will have the confidence, speed and resources to move fast as new opportunities emerge
Competition will be fiercer, with companies searching for any possible advantage in every area
Governments will take on new roles in their national economies and companies that execute well will be more attractive as partners and suppliers, and better prepared to adapt to new waves of regulation
Risk management will become a top priority for every leader, and every company will be looking for the edge in detecting new internal and external threats
Forget formulating a 'vision', then leaving others to carry it out: Execution shows you how to link together people, strategy and operations - the three core elements of every organization - and create a business based on dialogue, intellectual honesty and realism. With case histories from the real world - including such recent examples such as the diverging paths taken by Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase and Charles Prince at Citigroup. Execution provides the realistic and hard-nosed approach to business success that could only come from authors as accomplished and insightful as Bossidy and Charan.