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The New Year has dawned and for many it’s time to do some serious reading.  This winter I’ll have lots of time to read and thought you might like a few suggestions that will keep you engaged.  Some of these are old favorites and some are new.  The one thing they all have in common is you’ll want a highlighter as you read them.

Management - Peter Drucker.  I believe this book is required reading for anyone that’s serious about management.  One of the factoids I found very interesting is that in the early 1980’s the average CEO pay was 10 to 20 times the pay of workers in their companies.  Today that number is close to 350 times.  No wonder we have a problem with the middle class disappearing.

Jump Start your Business Brain - Doug Hall.  Without innovation your business will die.  Doug gives you a systemized method of making your company an innovation machine.  This is a great companion for Doug’s innovation workshop that is being sponsored around the country by many Manufacturers Exchange Partnerships.

Out of Crisis - W. Edwards Deming.  Another classic.  This was the first book I read on quality control.  While re-reading it earlier this year I remembered how important it was.  If you’re thinking about putting a lean system in your company or you’ve started down that road, read this book.  If you’re not thinking about it, read this book and then ask yourself why you’re not using these principles in your company?  Deming’s 14 points have made a huge difference in how I’ve run companies that I’ve been involved with.

Getting the Right Things Done - Pascal Dennis.  Another great book on installing Lean in your company.  If you want to cut waste in your company, this book is for you.  Just remember that as you read you’ll want to bring your highlighter along for the ride.  There are tons of practical tips that you can apply in any company.  As you think about changes you want to make, go slow and only make one change at a time.  You’ll thank me if you do.

Traction - Gino Wickman.  I’ve saved the best for last.  I love simplification as part of managing a company.  Gino has put together a book that outlines how to create a great company using simple systems.  Too many smaller businesses try to operate a business using big company systems.  If you own a smaller business you don’t have the time or resources to do what big companies do.  Following Wickman’s advice can help you improve your outcomes without using all the resources your company has.

The Impact Equation - Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.  This is your bonus book.  We all need a platform for us to communicate with the outside world.  Chris and Julian use the metaphor of developing your own television station to communicate who and what you are.  I love the metaphor.  With all the noise that our world is full of we need to have strategies to break through the noise.  You just might find some ways of doing this with this highly entertaining book.

All of these books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or could probably even be ordered from your local bookstore.  You could listen to them on CD or through your smartphone.  I recommend reading and making sure you have a highlighter handy.  The nuggets discover are ones you’ll want to remember.

Speaking of things to think about, we’ve put together a Periodic Table of Business Elements.  We’ve assembled 56 strategies for you to consider if you own a business.  If you’re interested in getting our Periodic Table, click on the button below.

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Topics: value creation, enterprise value, value, winter reading

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