Off the Management Racks

The top reads in corporate corridors proclaims that it is the year of Jack. And perhaps it is, for in an America still reeling under the impact of the September 11 attacks, Jack Welch still sells. His book, Jack: Straight from the gut, has made it to the top five American non-fiction hardbacks. And that's not at all! It's at number five on the "100 titles customers couldn't live without in the last 24 hours".

In the book that takes us from the locker room to the GE boardroom, Welch, with Business Week journalist John Byrne, relives a career that helped to make GE one of the most successful companies of the last century.

At number 38, on the Top 100 is the new business bestseller from James C Collins and Jim Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't. Collins and his team of researchers have investigated a list of 1,435 companies to identify common traits that mark great companies. Some of these challenge many of the conventional notions of corporate success. In a book peppered with case studies, the authors put forward their finding - at the heart of truly great companies lie corporate cultures that rigorously incorporate discipline.

Also on the shelves is The Essential Peter Drucker. The book attempts to condense the best of sixty years of Peter Drucker's essential writings on management. A reader sums up the collection on, "the Essential Drucker can act as a short refresher on many of Drucker's important concepts without having to go back and reread all of the original books". While nothing can replace the insight of reading the original, the book is an interesting buy for anybody who'd like to pick up the gist of Drucker in a hurry.


Meanwhile, Dr Spencer Johnson's Who moved my cheese? continues to take America by storm. Three years after it was released, the Publishers Weekly rates it among the top 10 current non-fiction bestsellers in America. It has been an unlikely success story for the 94-page parable on two mice and two "littlepeople". But at the heart of the book is the concept of change and the loss of the old familiar boundaries.

In an interview on Barnes & Noble, Johnson says on the success of his book that has sold 10 million hardcover copies sold in its first three years of publication, "there's something in the simplicity and the non-threatening nature of the story that people can basically interpret for themselves and get what they want to get out of it. And that seems to be a lot more powerful than reading a book that tells you what the answers are and what you ought to be doing".


As corporates continue to buy copies of the book in bulk for their employees, Who moved my cheese? has also spilled over to the Web…with a plethora of "cheesy" websites and forwards making an appearance. In an age where life is fast paced, change is routine and mergers mundane. Who moved my cheese? like most of our other business best sellers, belongs to a new genre of management writing where authors must appeal to executives souls while speaking to their minds.


The Amazon top 10 business bestsellers of 2001

#1. Jack: Straight from the Gut. By Jack Welch, John A Byrne.
#2. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't. By James C Collins, Jim Collins.
#3. Who moved my cheese? By Spencer Johnson, Kenneth H Blanchard.
#4. Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results. By Stephen C Lundin Ph D, et al.
#5. The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization. By Thomas L Friedman.
#6. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. By Stephen R Covey.
#7. First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently. By Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman.
#8. Now, Discover Your Strengths. By Marcus Buckingham, Donald O, Ph D Clifton. By Jeffrey A Krames.
#9. The Jack Welch Lexicon of Leadership: Over 250 Terms, Concepts, Strategies & Initiatives of the Legendary Leader.
#10. The Art of War. By Sun Tzu, Samuel B Griffith (Introduction)