My friend and former colleague, Frank Buytendijk of Oracle, posted his “My Top Fives” list on his blog today and asked a few of us to do the same. So here goes:
Top 5 Management Books You Should Read
• Atlas of Management Thinking (Pelican) – Edward deBono. I have kept a dog-eared copy of this for almost 20 years now, and it never fails to deliver. It boils down management concepts to their bones and gives you a way to think about process, interactions, cause & effect, dependencies, and so on.
• What the CEO Wants You to Know – Ram Charan. I blogged about it here in December. (And just so I can cheat, I’m adding “What the Customer Wants you to Know” also by Charan, which spawned this blog entry.)
• The Berkshire Hathaway Owner’s Manual – by Warren Buffet. Also blogged about it.
• Enterprise Architecture as Strategy – Ross et al. Okay, while not a real ‘management’ book per se, more of an information-as-an-asset management book, but I’m keeping it on my list (it’s not about IT). See my blog on it here.
• And the last two (of my increasingly-misnamed list of 5) are two I haven’t actually read, but were highly recommended to me last week at Ohio State University (where we were delivering EPM training for consulting professionals): “The Complete Lean Enterprise: Value Stream Mapping for Administrative and Office Processes"” by Keyte and Locher and “How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of "Intangibles" in Business">” by Hubbard.
Top 5 Management Buzzwords
Okay, Frank’s list is “Top 5 Management Buzz Words I Don’t Want to Hear Anymore,” but I learned from the best, so I will be the contrarian here and offer the five that I find quite useful:
• Holistic – we (business people) really do tend to think narrowly, in silos, and so our systems and processes are built to mirror our thinking (see “Lessons in Grid Computing: The System Is a Mirror"> by Stuart Robbins.). So while the buzzword can be annoying when overused, the concept of including breadth and depth of an enterprise is quite appealing.
• Alignment: yes, it’s overused & abused, but it is everywhere: strategy/execution, business/IT, the front end of my car, and so on. Isn’t this the essence of communication and collaboration?
• Synergy: for this one, I don’t care for it in management-speak (like ‘synergistic’), but rather in M&A financial terms. How much redundant cost can we take out of the newco and still reap the benefit of combined brands, products, innovators, R&D, etc.
• Enablement: I keep coming back to this one. When I speak about strategy, I get to “how is it enabled” (EPM is part of the answer). When I speak about processes, I ask “how are they enabled” (mostly in technology & governance). When I talk about people, I talk about how they are enabled by BI and EPM, and so on.
• GRC: Governance, Risk & Compliance (I cheated again – 2 extra words) is a holistic alignment of synergistic enablement. Just kidding. This is a growing trend of including three areas often overlooked by management that directly influence the success (or lack of it) in executing strategy.
Top 5 Technology Breakthroughs I’d Like to See
• A Quantum Computer laptop
• Artificial Intelligence for Administrative Tasks (with voice recognition). “Book Travel to Denver” would know all my preferences, get the best prices, send my itinerary to concerned parties, make the bookings, file my expenses and talk to my tax return next year.
• Ultra-small batteries (smaller than a coin and will power my computer for 8 hours)
• Malware-free computing & internet
• Teleportation (then I wouldn’t need AI for Admin as much!)
• Automatically generated Top 5 lists (that would keep track of the actual number of elements in each list and make sure they didn’t exceed 5)
That’s it for me. Check back at Frank’s Blog to see how the others are getting along.