Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Top 5 eBooks Every IT Professional

Top 5 eBooks Every IT Professional Should Have on Their Kindle

Taken from the Society for Information Management's 2011 book list for canidaates in the Leadership Development Program, here are five new titles this year that any IT pro ought to take a look at.

1. Switch: How to change things when change is hard. Chip and Dan Heath have stumbled across a truth few are willing to admit, but everyone knows deep down: change is only hard when we don't want to do it. After all, thousands of people get married every day—to say nothing of having kids—which is perhaps the biggest life change of all, as they point out. Figuring out how to apply this truth to corporate America is a little harder, but the authors' use of real-life stories such as abusive parents who were able to change their ways and the resurrection of Target from the retail graveyard makes it fun to read.

2. The Future of Management. Gary Hamel is one of the most forward-thinking management thinkers out there today, and his latest book is bound to challenge leaders and managers alike. Drawing on case studies of business practices at Google and Whole Foods, he distills lessons for the new management style that is needed in America. The Dilbert-culture management style that Americans have come to know and loathe is clearly on its way out, and Hamel's suggestions for what will come next are as good a guess as anyone, and probably better than most.

3. Winners Never Cheat. To the uneducated outside observer, Winners may seem like just another collection of tired platitudes. But when you know a little bit more about Jon M Huntsman's credentials—founder of a billion dollar chemical company, donator of another billion dollars to philanthropic organizations, and cancer survivor to boot—you begin to see that these are really hard-won lessons from the battlefield, available to anyone who is willing to listen. If the CEOs of AIG and Lehman Brothers had had a copy of this on their executive desk, there probably wouldn't have been a 2008 financial crisis.

4. The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America. What? A book about poetry on a an IT professional booklist? Yes, and it has actual poems, too. For too long have we taught college students that the building blocks to success are a degree, a Hummer in the driveway, and a McMansion. Success was never defined financially until corporate America sold its soul, and author David Whyte's reflections on the important things in life will be like a breath of fresh air to the unfulfilled corporate masses.

5. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. The most influential teachers have always used stories to make their points: Jesus, Gandhi, Mohammed. The latest offering in the J-B Lencioni series uses the same technique, telling a story about a washed-up corporate exec who is given a second chance at the head of a high-tech firm in trouble. Her restoration of the teamwork mentality necessary to success forms the crux of the second part of the book, in which Lencioni distills five pitfalls that must be overcome if a leader is going to be effective.


Dave Turner writes on many subjects including, how to find the best PhD in Information Systems programs.

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