Too many business books are marketing material for the services of authors. In general, they choose a particular aspect of what is involved in running the company and trumpet that “as a solution.” Worse still, some are praising songs of 20th-century obsolete management practices: they argue that firms can be successful as long as they take advantage of these ineffective practices.
The books chosen here highlight the need to do things differently. The books shed light on the various ways in which these new firms are able to thrive in a context of making changes in complex consolidation and growth, even though many older firms may choose to take the path of forgetfulness.
These five books are a must read for anyone interested in the real thing — the principles, procedures and practices of 21st century leadership management. The standard series of all books is the ability to thrive in a world of great change. This quality is sometimes called agility, or adaptivity, or innovation, or a strange word like Rendanheyi. The idea is global: firms combined by America, Europe and Asia. A few books were published before 2020, but their advance understanding is worth reading today.
Doing Agile Right
While many Agile management books focus on specific Agile approaches and practices in software development, Doing Agile Right: Transformation Without Chaos (Harvard Business Review Press, May 2020), written by Bain consultants Darrell Rigby, Sarah Elk and Steve Berez, discuss the topic in more detail for fast business. It shows how Agile thinking applies to all aspects of its business: in the construction of new products, in operations, in back-office activities, at corporate headquarters, in senior management, and even in the process of over-conversion. The book shows how a large company can use the Agile mindset and how to transform it in an organized way.
In a way, this book is an example of company anthropology. It provides insight into human behavior in Agile business, including a description of cultures, customs and values. It writes about how life is for managers and employees in the Agile business. It shows the nature of the things said and done in those businesses, while considering how they differ from the bureaucracy of 20th Century.
For 20th-century firms, planning generally looks at competitors and then looks at building a future that will enable them to advance in the competition. In contrast, 21st-century executives do the opposite: start with the customer and work backwards, as Amazon insiders Colin Bryar and Bill Carr explain in their upcoming book, Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon by
(Macmillan, February 2021). Both authors have held key leadership roles at critical times in Amazon history. They not only bring out the unique culture of the Amazon company but also show how this culture is built on the basic principles, procedures and management practices of the 21st century. It’s a deep dive into one of the most fascinating firms in the world.
In No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention (Penguin, 2020), Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer continue to impose unbreakable rules. They start with talent. “This is a very serious dot on the basis of the whole Netflix story. A fast and professional workplace is made up of what we call ‘amazing partners’ – people who are very talented, with a variety of backgrounds and ideas, with unique skills, who accomplish a significant amount of important work, and who work well together. In addition, no other terms may apply unless you verify that the first dot exists. “
They continue to have more rules: “increase transparency,” “remove controls,” “tighten talent,” “pump transparency,” “remove more controls,” “increase talent,” “increase authenticity,” and “eliminate more controls. ”In fact, Hastings and Meyer committed anti-bureaucracy, and eliminated the hammer as opposing chief of staff, developing talent and integrity and removing controls. It is not so simple, but along the way, this book creates a powerful debate on the principles, procedures and practices of 21st century leadership and administration.
It’s funny to hear Wall Street experts talk about “technology” companies, as if technology firms are building a different sector. It is similar to how one person in the early 20th century would have heard about “electronics companies.” Just as all companies in the early 20th century had no choice but to become “electrical companies”, so all firms today have no choice but to put bytes ahead of atoms and become technological companies. Bytes are faster, cheaper, easier and ultimately more valuable. Change or die.
Thus, the car no longer operates as a transporter into a computer with wheels. The quality of the car infotainment system has become as important as the driving signs in determining the interest of the car to the customers. The automotive industry is in the realm of software-based technology that is beginning to take over the electromechanical automotive industry.
While all managers see that the future is gas and electricity, they often miss out on the fact that new technologies have to be treated differently.
Although it has missed this understanding for many years, the stock market has now made it a shameful exposure. Tesla’s market capitalization ($ 554 billion) is therefore larger than Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW, and Toyota combined ($ 445 billion). How Tesla is able to move more than its main competitors is a story told by Charles Morris in his book, Tesla: How Elon Musk and Company Made Electric Cars Cool, and Remade the Automotive and Energy Industries (September 2020).
It is a pleasure for some that Tesla, which has been producing less than 300,000 cars a year, may be far more valuable than the companies that make about 25 million cars a year. The stock market, which measures future profits over previous operations, reflects its belief that the future of the automotive sector rests with Tesla, not the current major players. While the stock market is sometimes wrong, the book explains why that assumption, in Tesla’s case, might be right.
While Morris tells the story of Elon Musk and Tesla in more detail, a more structured account of why a company as a whole as Toyota should change its management is given in The Flow System: The Evolution of Agile and Lean Thinking in an Age of Difficulty (Aquiline Books | UNT, 2020) by John Turner, Nigel Thurlow and Brian Rivera.
Building on the findings of the Toyota Production System, the authors explain how car firms need to rethink how they operate in a “flow system” designed to empower organizations to manage and operate in complex environments. It is a framework for innovation and innovation, dealing with complex (and complex problems), and providing the customer with the highest amount of value and the fastest turnaround time. The book highlights the importance of the customer. It demonstrates the role of complex thinking, distributed leadership and team science.