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Change is the one constant in business, and we must adapt or face obsolescence. Yet certain challenges never go away. That's what makes this book "must read." These are the 10 seminal articles by management's most influential experts, on topics of perennial concern to ambitious managers and leaders hungry for inspiration--and ready to run with big ideas to accelerate their Change is the one constant in business, and we must adapt or face obsolescence. Yet certain challenges never go away. That's what makes this book "must read." These are the 10 seminal articles by management's most influential experts, on topics of perennial concern to ambitious managers and leaders hungry for inspiration--and ready to run with big ideas to accelerate their own and their companies' success. If you read nothing else - full stop - read: Michael Porter on creating competitive advantage and distinguishing your company from rivals John Kotter on leading change through eight critical stages Daniel Goleman on using emotional intelligence to maximize performance Peter Drucker on managing your career by evaluating your own strengths and weaknesses Clay Christensen on orchestrating innovation within established organizations Tom Davenport on using analytics to determine how to keep your customers loyal Robert Kaplan and David Norton on measuring your company's strategy with the Balanced Scorecard Rosabeth Moss Kanter on avoiding common mistakes when pushing innovation forward Ted Levitt on understanding who your customers are and what they really want C. K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel on identifying the unique, integrated systems that support your strategy


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Change is the one constant in business, and we must adapt or face obsolescence. Yet certain challenges never go away. That's what makes this book "must read." These are the 10 seminal articles by management's most influential experts, on topics of perennial concern to ambitious managers and leaders hungry for inspiration--and ready to run with big ideas to accelerate their Change is the one constant in business, and we must adapt or face obsolescence. Yet certain challenges never go away. That's what makes this book "must read." These are the 10 seminal articles by management's most influential experts, on topics of perennial concern to ambitious managers and leaders hungry for inspiration--and ready to run with big ideas to accelerate their own and their companies' success. If you read nothing else - full stop - read: Michael Porter on creating competitive advantage and distinguishing your company from rivals John Kotter on leading change through eight critical stages Daniel Goleman on using emotional intelligence to maximize performance Peter Drucker on managing your career by evaluating your own strengths and weaknesses Clay Christensen on orchestrating innovation within established organizations Tom Davenport on using analytics to determine how to keep your customers loyal Robert Kaplan and David Norton on measuring your company's strategy with the Balanced Scorecard Rosabeth Moss Kanter on avoiding common mistakes when pushing innovation forward Ted Levitt on understanding who your customers are and what they really want C. K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel on identifying the unique, integrated systems that support your strategy

30 review for HBR'S 10 Must Reads: The Essentials (HBR's 10 Must Reads)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carolina Esteves de Andrade

    I just invested in myself with the HBR’S 10 Must Reads Collection by Harvard Business Review Press. This series is really good because each book has 10 of the best articles published by Harvard University on each topic. I think it is a must read for any ambitious manager, new or experienced leader. It is easy to read, each book has approximately 300 pages. Each chapter is an article from great authors such as Peter F. Drucker, Theodore Levitt, Robert S. Kaplan, David P. Norton and others. One of I just invested in myself with the HBR’S 10 Must Reads Collection by Harvard Business Review Press. This series is really good because each book has 10 of the best articles published by Harvard University on each topic. I think it is a must read for any ambitious manager, new or experienced leader. It is easy to read, each book has approximately 300 pages. Each chapter is an article from great authors such as Peter F. Drucker, Theodore Levitt, Robert S. Kaplan, David P. Norton and others. One of the things that I liked on these books is that each chapter has a box called Idea in Brief, which gives you an idea of the basic concept of the chapter and most of them has very interesting case studies as well. I highly recommend you to get this collection because will inspire you with ideas and knowledge that will accelerate both your own growth and company. Each title includes timeless advice that will be relevant regardless of an ever-changing business environment. The titles include: Leadership, Managing Yourself, The Essentials, Change Management,Managing People and Strategy. One of my favorite articles were: What Makes an Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker (HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Leadership) Putting the Balanced Scorecard to Work by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton (HBR’S 10 Must Reads The Essentials) Managing Oneself by Peter F. Drucker (HBR’S 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself) The Real Reason People won’t Change by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey (HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Change Management ) What Great Managers Do by Marcus Buckingham (HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Managing People) The Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution by Gary L. Neilson, Karla L. Martin, and Elisabeth Powers (HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Strategy) “Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes “ Peter F. Drucker “The ability to change constantly and effectively is made by high-level continuity.” Michael E. Porter

  2. 4 out of 5

    Arjen

    My boss invited me to join the firm's "Marketing & Strategy" team. Don't do that to me. I get excited, hit Amazon and order a pile of books on the subject. This is one of the books that came in a Harvard Business Review box set and seamed like a good place to start filling my brain with business related theory. It's ten essays / articles bundled under the title 'Essentials' and that's exactly what it is. Read this and you'll be able to hold your ground among the wannabe CEO/CTO/CFO/Cwhateverr My boss invited me to join the firm's "Marketing & Strategy" team. Don't do that to me. I get excited, hit Amazon and order a pile of books on the subject. This is one of the books that came in a Harvard Business Review box set and seamed like a good place to start filling my brain with business related theory. It's ten essays / articles bundled under the title 'Essentials' and that's exactly what it is. Read this and you'll be able to hold your ground among the wannabe CEO/CTO/CFO/CwhateverrocksyourboatO of any company. Good stuff. If you're into the whole business kind of thing. Actually, when you're not into the whole business kind of thing, read this as well so you know what you're not into.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Only a few of the articles were interesting but not "must reads" for a business person. Perhaps the articles were novel at the time they were published. Since then, many of the insightful topics have been expanded into books. A business person would recognize some of the authors like Peter F. Drucker ("The Effective Executive"), Jim Collins ("Good to Great"), and Daniel Goleman ("Emotional Intelligence").

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stephan Pire

    A good way to get a glimpse at Kaplan Norton. Not a big fan of the 2 first summaries: "Meeting the Challenge of Disruptive Change" and "Competing on Analytics", they tend to turn out obsolete

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kylewong

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 1.Meeting the challenge of disruptive change: Sustaining versus disruptive innovation – sustaining technologies are innovations that make a product better in ways that customers in the mainstream market already value; disruptive innovations create an entirely new market through the introduction of a new kind of product, one that’s actually worse, initially, as judged by the performance metrics that mainstream customers value. Industry leaders seldom successfully cope with or introduce disruptive i 1.Meeting the challenge of disruptive change: Sustaining versus disruptive innovation – sustaining technologies are innovations that make a product better in ways that customers in the mainstream market already value; disruptive innovations create an entirely new market through the introduction of a new kind of product, one that’s actually worse, initially, as judged by the performance metrics that mainstream customers value. Industry leaders seldom successfully cope with or introduce disruptive innovations. Because most established firms get their people working on innovation within organizational structure designed to surmount old challenges – not ones that the new venture is facing. To avoid this mistake, ask: “does my organization have the right resources?” “does my organization have the right processes?” “does my organization have the right values? “what team and structure will best support our innovation effort? (metric based on process and value)” Other chapters: Migration of capabilities – over time, the locus of the organization’s capabilities shift its processes and values. Creating capabilities through acquisitions 2. Competing on analytics Analytical competitor: using sophisticated data-collection technology and analysis to wring every drop of value from all business process Anatomy of an analytics competitor Widespread use of modeling and optimization An enterprise approach (these organizations don’t gain advantage from one killer app, but rather from multiple applications. Senior executive advocates Their sources of strength The right focus – supply chain, costumer selection, pricing, human capital, product quality, financial performance, R&D (with examples) The right culture The right people The right technology The long road ahead – it is always very long-term, e.g. after collecting data, it takes time You know you compete on analytics when you… apply analysis not only to core capability but also to a range of functions not only recognize the importance but also make them a primary focus treat is as a part of culture that’s constantly emphasized not only consume data, but create a “tests and learn” culture based on small exp. 3. Marketing oneself (know thyself) 4. What makes a leader by Daniel Goleman Emotional intelligence matters – self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, social skills 5. Putting the balanced scorecard to work what makes a balanced scorecard special? It is a top-down reflection of the company’s mission and strategy It is forward looking It integrates external and internal measures It helps you focus Mainly four aspects To my shareholders – financial perspective To my customers – customer perspective e.g. satisfaction and market share With my internal management process – internal business perspective Innovation and learning perspective 6. Innovation strategy mistakes: hurdles too high, scope too narrow process mistakes: controls too tight structure mistakes: connections too loose, separations too sharp skills mistakes: leadership too weak, communication too poor 7. Leading change transformation is a process, not an event. Common errors: 1. not establishing a great enough sense of urgency 2. not creating a powerful enough guiding coalition 3. lacking a vision 4. under-communicating the vision 5. not removing obstacles to the new vision 6. not systematically planning for, and creating short-term wins 7. declaring victory too soon 8. not anchoring changes in the corporation’s culture 8.Marketing myopia every major industry was once a growth industry, but many are in the shadow of decline. The reason is not because the market is saturated, but there has been a failure of management. “the railway company is not only in the railway industry, but the transportation industry.” (striking idea) A common mistake for companies is that they tend to view themselves as providing products instead of serving customers. Common myths: 1. an ever0expanding and more affluent population will ensure our growth (there are rivals) 2. there is no competitive substitute for your industry’s major product 3. we can protect ourselves through mass production (there is a difference between selling and marketing – selling focuses on the seller while marketing on the buyer) 4. R&D will ensure our growth (the problem of engineers) “why should the oil companies do anything different? Would not chemical fuel cells or solar energy kill the present product lines? The answer is that they would indeed, and this is precisely the reason for the oil firms having to develop these power units before their competitors do, so they will not be companies without an industry” creative destruction – destroying their own highly profitable assets, e.g. petrol companies recognize the customers’ need of not wanting to refuel; thus they start to produce a long-lasting fuel 9.what is strategy operational effectiveness is not a strategy. It is necessary, but not sufficient. You can make a company perform more efficiently, but there are some problems: rivals can easily learn from you; there will be competitive convergence (which makes companies indistinguishable) strategy is deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value. There are three bases variety based (based on the choice of product or service varieties) needs-based (target customer) access-based (customer geography or customer scale) position requires trade-offs (people need to choose!) fit drives both competitive advantage and sustainability the growth trap – people are afraid of positioning because of a seemingly limiting market size. In fact, revenue will rise but profit will fall 10.the core competence of the corporation core competency – the company’s collective knowledge about how to coordinate diverse production skills and technologies (which can be used to produce a large range of seemingly unrelated products)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alvaro Alcocer Sotil

    Para un principiante en cuestiones de la gestión y administración de empresas como yo, es un libro esencial dado la experiencia y conocimiento de los autores. Puedo concluir que ante todo una persona debe mantenerse en sus principios y valores éticos, ademas de abrirse su mente y ver el bosque y no solo quedarse en un árbol. Totalmente recomendado.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    A collection of HBR's top reads from the past 20 (yes 20) years. I'm fortunate that through my work I've already come across much of the content - for those less familiar, this will be a much more engaging read than it was for me. 3.5 stars if I could.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Academically intriguing!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Interesting stuff. Some of the material did feel a bit dated, but overall it was a decent broad introduction to some key business concepts and ways of thinking.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Devrim Keklik

    Every Leader should somehow read these literature

  11. 5 out of 5

    Noel Hayes

    Interesting, not revolutionary. Just good food for thought before starting a business role

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mohamed Ibrahim

    Before going reading this, you may need to watch this excerpt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbIkb...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Miłosz Taracha

    The book description says that 'change is the one constant in business'. I guess that's true since the main takeaway from the articles is how fast ideas become trivial or obsolete.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Attila

    Some foundational timeless articles definitely worth a read, but there is content in there that shows a slight age.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kaushik Sekar

    Great book on basics of how to setup and manage business including a range of topics like Leadership, Innovation, etc. Must read for MBA aspirants.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Captain063

    Great Articles. I believe HBR is a substantial leader on business initiatives as well as establishing concepts in order to improve business. Why deduct Do I deduct one star? Unfortunately, I have read the articles in different language and the publisher (Obaikan) translated the series of HBR (The essentials, on strategy, on leadership...etc) in a bad way. They translated the words instead of clauses and so we ended up read something like google translation without any editings.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anshul Thakur

    They are definitely a good read if you are looking for guidance. While some articles (mainly collaborations or case studies of how the programs devised by the authors worked wonders) did beat around the bush, it is the veterans like Christensen Clayton, Kaplan and Norton, Kotter, Peter Drucker and many others who moved my heart through beautiful prose in argument. A real story is often more influential than those with ‘A construction company in America’ type of themes and yet some researchers ha They are definitely a good read if you are looking for guidance. While some articles (mainly collaborations or case studies of how the programs devised by the authors worked wonders) did beat around the bush, it is the veterans like Christensen Clayton, Kaplan and Norton, Kotter, Peter Drucker and many others who moved my heart through beautiful prose in argument. A real story is often more influential than those with ‘A construction company in America’ type of themes and yet some researchers have used the latter. To me, this reduced the credibility, though I understand that the research might be under a Non-Disclosure Agreement. If we analyze closely, many of the features have just been given different names, sold under different change management initiatives by different people, but actually, they are the same, revolving around the top 4 points (and Emotional Intelligence). Read complete review at Aesthetic Blasphemy And do tell me what you think :)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ben Kream

    I think most people will have trouble distilling value from this anthology. The conceptual/case-oriented articles, which form the bulk of this collection, are more applicable to large businesses than to small-businesses and entrepreneurs. A layperson picking up this book would find substantiation for many of their pre-conceived criticisms of management "science" as too abstract and esoteric. There are a handful of entries in this books - namely, Peter Drucker's - that are relevant to everybody, al I think most people will have trouble distilling value from this anthology. The conceptual/case-oriented articles, which form the bulk of this collection, are more applicable to large businesses than to small-businesses and entrepreneurs. A layperson picking up this book would find substantiation for many of their pre-conceived criticisms of management "science" as too abstract and esoteric. There are a handful of entries in this books - namely, Peter Drucker's - that are relevant to everybody, although these articles tend to be more self-help oriented than business-focused. These articles are valuable and reinforce the notion that business school is essentially about honing soft skills and passing on wisdom versus intellectual concepts. However, I am not sure the 2-3 articles in this book that are universally germane are worth the 7-8 that aren't applicable outside of large-scale organizations.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mohamed Shehab

    "The Essentials" is an epic book discusses the best 10 articles published on management, business and marketing in Harvard Business Review (HBR) magazine. I belive that the pillars highlighted in this book are indispensable for very manager needs to improve his career. These are very hort notes on these articles : 1)How to deal with a disruptive change. 2)The importance of analytics ans statistics in business 3)How to manage oneself 4)Leaders' charactaristics 5)The Balnced Scorecard (BSC) 6)Traps o "The Essentials" is an epic book discusses the best 10 articles published on management, business and marketing in Harvard Business Review (HBR) magazine. I belive that the pillars highlighted in this book are indispensable for very manager needs to improve his career. These are very hort notes on these articles : 1)How to deal with a disruptive change. 2)The importance of analytics ans statistics in business 3)How to manage oneself 4)Leaders' charactaristics 5)The Balnced Scorecard (BSC) 6)Traps of innovations ( How innovations could be wrongly understood) 7)A Scheme for change management 8)The most famous marketing myopia 9)Defenition of strategy and fit across activities 10)Core competencies of coorportions

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anil Gudipati

    This book is a compilation of some of the best business articles published by HBR magazine. These are hard to read, dry and involves complex business concepts that are sine qua non for businesspeople or wanna be leaders in their industry. It's hard to say for me which article is better than the other. Every article is essential, comprehensive and intellectually invigorating. I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in learning business concepts and yearning to be successful in their in This book is a compilation of some of the best business articles published by HBR magazine. These are hard to read, dry and involves complex business concepts that are sine qua non for businesspeople or wanna be leaders in their industry. It's hard to say for me which article is better than the other. Every article is essential, comprehensive and intellectually invigorating. I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in learning business concepts and yearning to be successful in their industry. Each article is a beacon of light that takes you into an amazing, intriguing, challenging universe of human enterprise and entrepreneurial endeavors.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Antariksa Akhmadi

    Intended as a reading for business-people in companies, this collection of articles can also be useful for any other people in other organizations. Many articles get overly technical such as "Marketing Myopia" and "Balanced Scorecard", but more are fairly translatable in general organizational discussion.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Preston Kutney

    Great collection of articles on 10 enduring management ideas. Very helpful for those like myself with no formal business education, who want to talk the talk. I really enjoyed Peter Drucker's article on Managing Oneself and Daniel Goleman's on What Makes a Leader.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    I found several of these articles extremely helpful to current projects at work. Most of the articles are available on the internet. I recommend: "Innovation: The Classic Traps" by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, "What Is Strategy?" by Michael E. Porter, and "Managing Oneself" by Peter F. Drucker.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Yanuar Rohim

    Walaupun beberapa artikelnya ada yang jadul, tetep masih relevan dlm konteks kekinian. Nah, bagi yang terjun ke dunia bisnis, buku ini saya rekomendasikan karena dapat membentuk mindset yang lebih stratejik.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Some of this work is now out of date, and has been superceded, hence it loses a star, however a number of the articles are hugely useful. This book is a must read as a jumping o point into the rest of HBR's series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    David Forster

    Interesting summary, but some articles maybe a bit outdated. But still very helpful to get a bigger picture of management.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    Some very interesting ideas. Worth reading if you want to improve your leadership and professional communication skills...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Al Price

    Love this series, although some parts of this book were less relevant to me in the non profit world. However, still got some great perspective from it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mark Lange

    Love this book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vincent

    Best chapter is Porters

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