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HBR'S 10 Must Reads: The Essentials Paperback – November 8, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

HBR's 10 Must Reads paperback series is the definitive collection of books for new and experienced leaders alike. Leaders looking for the inspiration that big ideas provide, both to accelerate their own growth and that of their companies, should look no further.

HBR's 10 Must Reads series focuses on the core topics that every ambitious manager needs to know: leadership, strategy, change, managing people, and managing yourself. Harvard Business Review has sorted through hundreds of articles and selected only the most essential reading on each topic. Each title includes timeless advice that will be relevant regardless of an ever-changing business environment.

Classic ideas, enduring advice, the best thinkers: HBR's 10 Must Reads.
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Product Details

  • Series: HBR's 10 Must Reads
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1 edition (November 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422133443
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422133446
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harvard Business Review is the leading destination for smart management thinking. Through its flagship magazine, 13 international licensed editions, books from Harvard Business Review Press, and digital content and tools published on HBR.org, Harvard Business Review provides professionals around the world with rigorous insights and best practices to lead themselves and their organizations more effectively and to make a positive impact.

Harvard Business Review Press is a leading global book publisher and a division of the Harvard Business Review Group. HBR Press publishes for the general, professional, and academic markets on the topics of leadership, strategy, innovation, and management. Recent bestselling titles include Playing to Win, A Sense of Urgency, Conscious Capitalism, The First 90 Days, and HBR Must Reads on Leadership. For more information, please visit hbr.org/books.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This volume is one of several in a new series of anthologies of articles that initially appeared in the Harvard Business Review, in this instance from 1960 until 2006. Remarkably, none seems dated; on the contrary, if anything, all seem more relevant now than ever before as their authors discuss what are (literally) essential dimensions of leadership and management.

More specifically, how to meet the challenges of disruptive change, compete on analytics, manage one's self, understand what all effective leaders share in common, put the balanced scorecard to work, what innovation's "classic traps" are and how to avoid or escape from them, why most transformations fail, what "marketing myopia" is and how/why it limits (if not prevents) success, what strategy is (and isn't) and what it does (and doesn't) do, and how/why the core competencies of the corporation determine the nature and extent of its success or failure.

Each article includes two invaluable reader-friendly devices, "Idea in Brief" and "Idea in Practice" sections, that facilitate, indeed expedite review of key points. Some articles also include mini-essays on even more specific subjects such as "Fitting the Tool to the Task" (Clayton M. Christensen and Michael Overdorf), "Going to Bat for the Stats" and "You Know You Compete on Analytics When" (Thomas H. Davenport), "Can Emotional Intelligence Be Learned?" (Daniel Goleman), "Building a Balanced Scorecard" (Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton), "The Lessons of Innovation" (Rosabeth Moss Kanter), "Japanese Companies Rarely Have Strategies" (Michael Porter), and "Vickers Learns the Value of Strategic Architecture" (C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel).
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By kiwi on January 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am towards the end of this book, and it is solid reading written by clear experts in the field of business strategy. Although I was never a business student, continuing education through books from Amazon such as this and beyond are crucial to future success no matter what your expanding interests are. This is one of my favorite books to this day, in fact, for several reasons.

The collection of articles contains pertinent case studies and references of notable companies, both current and now-obsolete, that have employed various strategies in their continuous growth or lack of. Many industries, such as the petroleum industry, are presented and little-known facts are included that help you form your own opinions and value-systems with a global view.

One reviewer had stated that the information is "hardly groundbreaking", but that is just the point. It requires/ allows you to create your own future using the wisdom and research of the past and current.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The first article, Meeting the Challenge of Disruptive Change" by Clayton Christensen. He points out that even before the Internet and globalization, big companies' track record for dealing with major, disruptive change was not good. For example, out of hundreds of department stores, only Dayton Hudson became a leader in discount retailers. Not one of the minicomputer companies succeeded in the personal computer business.

Three factors affect what an organization can/can't do - its resources (people, equipment, technologies, cash, product designs, information, brands, relationships with suppliers, distributors, and customers), processes (interaction, coordination, communication, product development, manufacturing, budgeting), and values (eg. achieve gross margins of 40%, how big an opportunity must be to be interesting - magnified when M&A suddenly makes it much larger).

Successful companies are good at responding to evolutionary changes in their markets - the problem comes with handling or initiating revolutionary changes. Sustaining innovations are nearly always developed and introduced by established industry leaders, but they never introduce or cope well with disruptive innovations. Disruptive innovations occur so infrequently that no company has a routine process for handling them; they also nearly also promise lower profit margins and are not attractive to the company's best customers. While start-ups lack resources, their values embrace small markets and their cost structures can accommodate low margins.

Christensen suggests that when an organization pursues disruptive innovations it spin out an independent organization and develop within it the new processes and values required. Some organizations create the new capabilities internally - eg.
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It has 10 important management articles from past HBR issues. It allows me to endure the time while my wife is spending our money at the slot machines.
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Selected topics from the best of HBR. Once you read this book, it will give you an insight into what other specialized topics in HBR to go after. Great book and my personal best was the article on Strategies. You don't have to read the book in an order and pick any topic you like to read.
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I found this book to be profoundly insightful,despite the articles being older than many current Harvard students. It is a good test of a work to see if it still seems current after many years. The Essentials passes with ease.
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