Review of HBR'S 10 Must Reads: The Essentials by Harvard Business Review and others
If you are looking for a collection of the most influential and timeless articles on management and leadership, you might want to check out HBR'S 10 Must Reads: The Essentials by Harvard Business Review and other renowned authors. This book features 10 seminal articles by experts such as Peter Drucker, Clayton Christensen, Michael Porter, Daniel Goleman, and more, on topics that every manager and leader should know.
In this review, I will briefly summarize each article and share some of the key insights and takeaways that I found useful.
Meeting the Challenge of Disruptive Change by Clayton M. Christensen and Michael Overdorf
This article explains why established companies often fail to innovate successfully when faced with disruptive technologies or business models. The authors argue that companies have three factors that determine what they can and cannot do: resources, processes, and values. Resources are the tangible assets such as people, equipment, and money. Processes are the patterns of interaction and coordination that enable work to be done. Values are the criteria by which decisions are made, such as profitability, growth, and customer satisfaction.
The authors suggest that companies can cope with disruptive change by creating separate units or spin-offs that have different resources, processes, and values from the core business. These units can then experiment with new technologies or markets without being constrained by the existing organizational culture and capabilities.
Competing on Analytics by Thomas H. Davenport
This article shows how some companies use data and analytics to gain a competitive edge in their industries. The author defines analytics as the extensive use of data, statistical and quantitative analysis, explanatory and predictive models, and fact-based management to drive decisions and actions. He identifies five stages of analytical maturity: analytically impaired, localized analytics, analytical aspirations, analytical companies, and analytical competitors.
The author also outlines the characteristics of analytical competitors, such as having a senior executive who leads the analytics initiative, having a distinctive capability or asset that provides a unique source of data, having an enterprise-wide approach to analytics, having a culture that values data and evidence over intuition and experience, and having a willingness to change the way they do business based on analytical insights.
Managing Oneself by Peter F. Drucker
This article is a classic guide on how to manage your own career and performance. The author advises that you should know your strengths, values, preferred ways of working, and contribution goals. He also suggests that you should seek feedback from others to validate your self-assessment and identify areas for improvement. He also recommends that you should plan your own development by finding opportunities to learn new skills, taking on challenging assignments, and seeking mentors or coaches.
The author also stresses the importance of managing your relationships with others, especially your boss. He advises that you should understand your boss's strengths, weaknesses, values, and work style, and adapt your communication and expectations accordingly. He also cautions that you should not try to change your boss or expect him or her to change for you.
What Makes a Leader by Daniel Goleman
This article introduces the concept of emotional intelligence (EI) as a key factor for effective leadership. The author defines EI as the ability to recognize and manage your own emotions and those of others. He identifies five components of EI: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill.
The author argues that EI is more important than IQ or technical skills for leadership success. He cites research that shows that EI accounts for more than 80% of the variation in leadership performance among senior managers. He also provides examples of how leaders can develop their EI skills through feedback, coaching, training, and practice.
Putting the Balanced Scorecard to Work by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton
This article explains how to use the balanced scorecard (BSC) as a strategic management tool that links performance measures to strategy. The BSC is a framework that translates an organization's vision and strategy into four perspectives: financial, customer, internal process, and learning and growth. Each perspective has objectives, measures, targets, and initiatives a474f39169