Summer Books 2021: Business


Think about: The power to know what you don’t know
by Adam Grant, WH Allen £ 20 / Viking £ 28

Grant invites readers to take a scientific approach, learn from their mistakes, and adapt to new evidence in order to improve themselves and better exchange ideas. It is a thoughtful and research-rich invitation to keep an open mind and, if necessary, rethink previous convictions.

More demanding: Why diversity and inclusion don’t happen and what you can do about it
by Sheree Atcheson, Kogan’s Page £ 14.99 / $ 19.95

Born in Sri Lanka but adopted by a working-class family in Northern Ireland, Atcheson’s name and accent give no indication of her color or origins. Her background, however, gives her plenty of personal experience and perspective on diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace, in this straightforward collection of tips and interviews with experts.

How to change: The science of getting from where you are to where you want to be
by Katy Milkman, Wallet $ 28

Change is “a chronic rather than a temporary challenge” and should be treated as such, according to Milkman, a behavior scientist with an engaging ability to revel in her own findings about how habits are formed and changed. An entertaining race through the best and the latest science on change and how to make it happen.

Cross the continents: A story of Standard Chartered Bank
by Duncan Campbell-Smith, Allen Street £ 40

A weighty account of Chartered Bank and Standard Bank, which then combined to form Standard Chartered, where they came from and what they have become. As an authoritative story, the book may inevitably mitigate StanChart’s more recent troubles but, making a review for the FT, Philip Augar hailed it as a “compelling imperial and post-imperial banking record, responsible white men and the lives they led ”.

Amazon unrelated: Jeff Bezos and the invention of a global empire
by Brad Stone, Simon & Schuster £ 20 / $ 30

Amazon’s growth over the past decade justifies this sequel to Stone’s bestselling Amazon’s early years, The store of everything. The book is chock-full of new details about how its founder turned the ‘flywheel’ of customer-centric demand and repeated innovation, and inevitably encountered new political and business controversy in the world. the process of creating a vast technological empire.

Framers: Human advantage in the age of technology and disruption
by Kenneth Cukier, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Francis de Véricourt, WH Allen £ 20

It is a well-written prescription for intelligent thinking based on our unique ability to frame or reframe problems, “to exploit mental models to elicit options” to find better solutions. It starts out as a conventional mix of research and storytelling. It turns into a bold call to reinject pluralism and progressive human values ​​into a decision-making process increasingly and dangerously dominated by algorithms or instinct.

Tell us what you think

What are your favorites from this list – and which books have we missed? Tell us in the comments below

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty
by Patrick Radden Keefe, Doubleday $ 32.50 / Pan Macmillan £ 20

A gripping and in-depth investigation of the Sackler Dynasty saga and the addicting pain reliever OxyContin, developed and marketed by Purdue Pharma, the company owned by two of the Sackler brothers and their families. John Gapper of the FT wrote that Keefe brought to this “tour de force,” a “coldly pursuit style of prose backed by voluminous research” into the Sacklers’ connections to drugs and the philanthropy that tarnished their reputation.

Grave: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell
by John Preston, Viking € 18.99

The media mogul’s colorful career and mysterious death – did he fall from his yacht in 1991, or did he jump? – are captured in this detailed account of Maxwell’s motivation, from the horror and chaos of the Holocaust and its aftermath, to head-on competition with Rupert Murdoch in the 1980s. “The strength of the book is to tell the great sweep of an extraordinary life, ”wrote Bronwen Maddox in her review of the FT.

The world for sale: Money, power and traders who trade the Earth’s resources
by Javier Blas and Jack Farchy, Random House Business £ 20 / Oxford University Press $ 29.95

This story of the rise of commodity traders from the 1970s to the supercycle of the 2000s also tells the story of the broad geopolitical trends that enriched them, including nationalization in the Middle East and rampant privatization in the Soviet Union. in the process of disintegration. Former FT reporters Blas and Farchy give colorful details that give the book “thriller quality,” Felix Martin wrote in his review.

How Tables Work: And how they can function better in a chaotic world
by Dambisa Moyo, Bridge Street Press £ 25 / Basic Books $ 30

As a non-executive on multiple boards, Moyo offers a thoughtful insider briefing on how to deal with the dilemmas of modern boardrooms, including the challenges of changing corporate culture and instilling greater diversity and a purpose. John Plender of the FT said the book provided “thoughtful analysis and reform proposals against which board experts can usefully test their hypotheses.”

Andrew Hill is the management editor of the FT

Summer books 2021

All week FT writers and critics are sharing their favorites. Some highlights are:

Monday: Undertaken by Andrew Hill
Tuesday: Economics by Martin Wolf
Wednesday: Politics by Gideon Rachman
Thursday: Story by Tony Barber
Friday: Laura Battle Fiction
Saturday: Critics’ Choice

Join our online reading group on Facebook at FT Books Coffee

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