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If you read nothing else, read these 10 articles from HBR‘s most influential authors:
1) “Meeting the Challenge of Disruptive Change,” by Clayton M. Christensen and Michael Overdorf, explains why so few established companies innovate successfully.
2) “Competing on Analytics,” by Thomas H. Davenport, explains how to use data-collection technology and analysis to discern what your customers want, how much they’re willing to pay, and what keeps them loyal.
3) “Managing Oneself,” by Peter F. Drucker, encourages us to carve our own paths by asking questions such as, “What are my strengths?” and “Where do I belong?”
4) “What Makes a Leader?” Not IQ or technical skills, says Daniel Goleman, but emotional intelligence.
5) “Putting the Balanced Scorecard to Work,” by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, includes practical steps and examples from companies that use the balanced scorecard to measure performance and set strategy.
6) “Innovation: The Classic Traps,” by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, advocates applying lessons from past failures to your innovation efforts. She explores four problems and offers remedies for each.
7) “Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail,” by John P. Kotter, argues that transformation is a process, not an event. It takes years, not weeks, and you can’t skip any steps.
8) “Marketing Myopia,” by Theodore Levitt, introduces the quintessential strategy question, “What business are you really in?”
9) “What Is Strategy?” by Michael E. Porter, argues that rivals can easily copy your operational effectiveness, but they can’t copy your strategic positioning-what distinguishes you from all the rest.
10) “The Core Competence of the Corporation,” by C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel, argues that a diversified company is like a tree: the trunk and major limbs its core products, branches its business units, leaves and fruit its end products. Nourishing and stabilizing everything is the root system: its core competencies.
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Here’s a link to HBR’s 10 Must Reads: The Essentials.