Many of these books are about managing
change. For me, this is the single greatest challenge in any
business. The better you understand it, the better you'll plan and
survive its effects. The more you can appreciate the nature of
change the better it will help to achieve your objectives and understand
the effects on you, your organization and you clients.
Teaching the Elephant to Dance
A fairly easy to read book (~250pages),
with a simple model at its heart. You may find it
rather American if your a UK reader. Lots of case examples quoted
to back up the principles espoused in the book. This book is a
practical look at how change can be enabled in organizations by
considering together the Vision, the preparation, and the change that
will enable you to create the tomorrow you have planned.
Managing Strategic Change
This can be heavy going, but provides one
of the most powerful models for understanding change of any kind that I
have come across. The TCP (Technical, Cultural, Political) model
can be applied to almost any circumstance you can envisage. It
helps ensure that you really cover the bases in thinking through
strategic and simple changes in any system.
The Fifth Discipline
Senge's book has been very influential as organizations
struggle to find ways to re-invent themselves for the 21st century.
The book promoting the concept of learning organization and the skills
needed to enable it. By adopting these ideas organizations should
be better equipped to break out ineffective behaviours of the past.
I found the soft systems models particularly effective aids to
understanding cause/effect cycles.
Written like a novel, this little gem was a
book I found hard to put down when I first was passed a copy. The
book describes the trials of a production manager and is a great lesson
that the most obvious approach to managing is not always the
best. A unique way of learning the Optimized Production Technology
(OPT) approach to manufacturing.