Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

About 10,000 business books are published annually in the US, the world’s largest market. Of course, almost all of them are unproductive, but inevitably only a few clowns slip through publishers’ strict filters. Here are some (completely imaginary) examples of titles to avoid in 2022.

Cozy for your co-worker! An academic and a coach with no practical management experience earn just under 300 pages of wishful thinking on how to combine goal, empathy, diversity, inclusion – and hugs! – will put a smile on the face of your exhausted subordinates and enable you to postpone their long overdue salary increase for a few more months.

The EC in team. The recently retired CEO of a company you’ve never heard of has spent a small fraction of his multimillion-dollar down payment to hire a ghostwriter. The outcome is this toned-down version of his heroic military service and subsequent seamless rise to the top, disguising embarrassments, lawsuits, profit warnings and repeated rounds of layoffs. History written by the conqueror.

Square pens: break your strategy into shape. Seven partners from a well-known management consulting firm turn their PowerPoint chips and the confidential insights you provided as their client into what seems like a brand new way of doing strategy. The good news: you now know where your fees went. The bad news: you’re about to receive a box of complimentary copies for you and your executive team, the world’s heaviest and least welcome business card.

Who stole my fable? A funny story of forest creatures who find a way to end their long-standing feuds and embark on a miracle of co-creation that increases the forest’s return on investment while combating climate change. Tell in one- and two-letter words, broken up by blank pages and bad cartoons. Aesop, it’s not. $ 30 in hardcover from an airport bookstore near you. Will sell millions.

Kill Them: Leadership Lessons from the Tyrants. There is much to be said for autocrats and dictators, but in the past it has mainly taken the form of unconvincing praise from collapsing followers. Now, finally, a slim guide that summarizes the true business benefits of an iron fist management style that puts the bullets back in bullet points, from Attila the Hun to Stalin.

Rich, Richer, Richest. Who knew it would be so easy to join the hyper-rich? Incredibly attractive co-authors with a much-followed Instagram account explain the secrets of crypto and meme trading, and invite you to play your hard-earned retirement savings on their Twitter-led investment strategy and become the next Warren Buffett or Elon Musk . Hurry, before they pull up the ladder and the whole Ponzi scheme collapses.

The Bumper Book of Branding. Text is so 2021. Enjoy this massive picture book, complete with hand-drawn graphics and shiny custom photography, all in an unattainably large format suitable only for display on the atrium coffee tables of the marketing agency that funded it. Coupled with an online course in reputation management and a global motivational tour (tickets on sale now, provided Omicron allows it).

The deepest dive: the scandal that briefly disrupted global capitalism. Three American newspaper reporters who never really got along in the first place were persuaded to turn their unreadably detailed, award-winning series of investigative reports into a very, very long book. Each chapter begins with a limousine pulling in front of a luxury hotel. After this, the writers will stop journalism for PR and never talk to each other again. Only close family members.

Push me when I fall asleep. Famous social science experiments retell for the thousandth time in the kind of upbeat tone that suggests they contain the secret of life itself. You will learn how to be constantly excited about trivial breakthroughs! You’ll understand for the first time how a coach revived an obscure American sports franchise! You will wonder why the authors make more money than the associate professors who did the research in the first place! You will never buy another behavioral science book again.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho: The unimaginable future of work. Did you know we spend more time at work than we do sleeping? You have? No matter: this book will allow you to spend the time you are not spending at work reading about work and maybe, if you are lucky, dreaming about it. Gig workers: goggle to the idea of ​​a utopia where you have a real job again. Full-time workers: tremble at the thought of a dystopia where gig workers take your job. Base: remember that reading business books during business hours is a degradable offense.

Andrew Hill helped filter books for the FTs Business Book of the Year Award since 2005, and, fortunately, has never had a shortage of potential winners.

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