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50 Business Books Summaries | Panview

Death by Meeting – P.Lencioni

´Death by meeting´ is a short fable about a company that designs virtual golf games. The owner of the company is a famous golf player and therefore has great knowledge on golf and which leads to super innovative and profitable products. Even though the sales figures are going through the roof, it turns out the management team is not as engaged and passionate about their work as before. When the company is bought by a bigger organization that then sends over an external manager, it turns out the problem of this lack of energy can be found in meetings.
Fortunately, there is the intern Will, who has studied at the film academy and can improve the meetings of the organization while constantly making references to the movie industry.

Coach Yourself to Succes – T. Miedaner (summary)

Coach yourself to success by Talane Miedaner contains 101 tips, divided over 10 categories, to attract success in your life. Why would you hire a professional coach, when you can coach yourself? According to Miedaner, positive energy and self-confidence are the two most important factors for achieving success. Whoever feels good radiates success, and whoever radiates success will be more successful.
Most tips in this book therefore suggest small things to make you feel better, by taking better care of yourself, thinking about the future, setting goals for the future and stop doing things that do not bring joy to your life.
This article will address all 10 categories, and a few of the tips of each category summarized. Working on these categories in this specific sequence will help you reach your personal success faster.

Getting Things Done – D.Allen (summary)

In his book Getting things done, David Allen describes a system which helps to achieve a life with ´mind like water´, which is the secret of productivity. When something is thrown into a glass of water, the water wrinkles, but in the end, the water finds its peace back. This is how our mind should react as well. Whenever our thoughts are triggered by an external event and starts wrinkling, it should have time to find back the balance.
In today’s worlds however, people are occupied more and more with everything that they have or want to do, which keeps their mind wrinkled continuously.  These people do not have a mind like water.
In this book, Allen describes a system which helps people getting back their mind like water. His system is based on two principles: defining the next executable action for every theme and log your actions in a system which can be trusted. The system itself contains 5 steps: collecting, processing, organizing, reviewing and doing.

7 Habits of highly Effective People – S. Covey (summary)

The seven Habits of highly effective people is Stephen Coveys most famous book, in which he describes 7 habits a person needs to be highly effective. The seven habits are derived from literature written in the last 200 years and divided in three parts; striving to independence (1), choosing for mutual dependence (2) and ´sharpening the saw´(3).
The principles are based in the I-paradigm, where the power of the individual and the influence the individual has on its environment are acknowledged. Everyone has a choice on how he spends his time, on the actions he does and can be hold accountable for personal success.

The Goal – E.M.Goldratt (summary)

In his book ´The goal´, Eliyahu Goldratt describes a new method to optimize production environments: the Theory of Constraints (TOC). Where traditional efficiency theories are focused on maximizing machine outputs to gain advantages of large scale production, the TOC focusses on the utilization of the Bottleneck machines only, to help the organizations reach its goal: generating mony to make sure the company can exist in the nearby future. In this novel, a production manager (Alex Rogo) is mentored by management guru (Jonah) to help optimizing Alex´s Plant and prevent it from closing down.

The Fifth Discipline – P.Senge (summary)

The title of Peter Senge´s book the Fifth Discipline cites one of the five Disciplines to create a Learning Organization. These five disciplines: A shared Vision (1), Mental Models (2), Team Learning (3), Personal Mastery (4) and System Thinking (5).The fifth Discipline, System Thinking, is the one discipline that binds the other four and therefore the discipline where the focus of Change Management should be.
The 5 disciplines will shortly be addressed in this article, as well as three levels of explanations, seven learning constraints and nine system archetypes which will help practicing Systems Thinking.

Creating a Lean Culture – D.Mann (summary)

David Mann describes in this book (in his own words) the missing part in many Lean implementations: a Lean Management system. Tools and Configuration changes in production, for instance Kanban or Heijunka, include only 20% of the potential the Lean philosophy has to offer. The other 80% are captured in the Lean Culture, which can be facilitated by implementing the right Management system.
A Lean management system consists of three parts: Standard Work for Managers (1), Visual Signals (2) and a defined responsibility structure (3).
Next to these three parts of the Lean management system, Mann describes three tools to sustain the Lean Culture: Gemba Walks (1), an improvement suggestionsystem (2), and self-audits (3).


The Lean Manager – F.Ballé & M.Ballé (summary)

In ‘The Lean Manager’,  Ballé & Ballé distinguish two different management styles: Traditional management (management through systems) and Lean Management (Management-based on solving problems). In this novel, a factory in France undergoes a Lean transformation in which the seven steps of management based on problem solving are completed. In addition, the three principles of continuous improvement are described: creating clear goals (1), five questions to manage Kaizen (2) and Genchi Genbutsu (3).

Toyota Kata – M. Rother (summary)

“Toyota Kata” by Mike Rother (2010) distinguishes itself from other books on the Toyota Production System in the way he describes the means of the tools that are used in Lean implementations. Tools like Heijunka (leveling of production) and Kanban are used within Toyota not with the goal to be implemented, but as a tool to find the next improvement.
The continuous learning necessary to implement the tools is described by Rother as the improvement Kata, where Kata is Japanese for ‘organizational routines’. In addition to the improvement kata Rother also describes a Coaching Kata, which describes the need to coach people in sustaining the improvements in their processes.

The Toyota Way – J. Liker (summary)

‘The Toyota way’ by Jeffrey K. Liker is about Toyota’s unique approach to Lean Management. To create a learning enterprise, Liker describes 14 management principles an organization should embrace. These 14 principles are divided and discussed using a 4P model: Philosophy, Process, People & Partners and Problem Solving. This article will focus on the second part of the book, in which each of the four P’s are described in a section with the underlying principles that fit within that category.  The 14 principles are shortly described at the end of this article.

I would recommend this book to all managers who want to change their organization into a Lean organization. Liker explains that the worldly known Toyota Production System (TPS) is not only about the tools, which fit only the Process part of the 4P model, but also about culture. Without going in to much detail on how the organization should facilitate change, Liker describes very clearly what should be done in order to succeed.

Lean for the Process Industry – P. King (summary)

‘Lean for the process industries’ by King (2009) is structured in four parts. It starts with general Lean theory and introduction of wastes in the first part and how to address and ‘see’ wastes in the second. The third part then describes general Lean tools that need little adjustments when used in the process industries, while the fourth and largest part describes tools that need a different approach in process industries.

The Toyota Product Development System – J.M.Morgan & J.K.Liker (summary)

In the Toyota Production Development System, James M. Morgan and Jeffrey K. Liker explain how Toyota can develop a new car in 15 months while their competition needs at least 24. From this book, we learn that Toyota does more than Lean manufacturing, they also have Lean Product Development System (LPDS). In this book, the authors describe 13 Lean development principles, divided in three categories: people, process and technology, which are necessary to be able to deliver customer value.
This article will discuss each of them shortly.

Office Kaizen – W.Lareau (summary)

In his book Office Kaizen, William Lareau describes a lean model which helps eliminating waste in an office environment. For me, the most interesting part of the book describes the different types of waste Lareau describes, the non-value adding activities that prevent flow. Lareau defined this list of wastes, because many people find it difficult to translate the traditional 8 wastes to their office environment.
In this article, I will describe 9 different types of office waste for which all employees can are responsible and four types of waste that result from a lack of leadership, for which responsibility lies more with management.
We will start with the first group of wastes, of which I describe three of the categories Lareau describes: human waste, process waste and information waste.

Managers as Mentors – C.R.Bell (summary)

Managers as Mentors describes the four phases of an evolving coaching relationship (surrendering, accepting, gifting and extending). Understanding these phases can help any mentor to be more effective.
The foundation for a good mentoring conversation is the relationship between the mentor and his or her protégé. The largest part of this book therefore describes ideas to improve this type of relationship, so that both parties can learn.
Among others, this article describes the 4 steps of creating a bond, 4 steps for advising your protégé, 4 techniques for asking questions and 4 methods of showing that you have really listened and understood to your protégé.

Nonviolent Communication – M.Rosenberg (summary)

In Nonviolent communication, Marshall Rosenberg describes a way of communicating with empathy and focus on personal needs, and without judgement. Nonviolent means to bring out the best in yourself by letting the way you communicate be led by love, respect, understanding, appreciation, compassion and care, instead of letting it be led by egocentrics, greed, prejudices and aggression.
This article describes: the four elements of nonviolent communication, the importance of perceiving without judging, the difference between feelings and interpretations, and how to take matters into your own hand by thinking in terms of choice rather than must.

Creating Mixed Model Value Streams – K.J.Duggan (summary)

Creating Mixed model Value Streams, by Kevin J. Duggan, is a sequel of Rother & Shook´s Learning to see (1999). Where Rother and Shook describe the basics of Value Stream Mapping, Duggan describes 10 challenges one might encounter when mapping a more complex value stream in which multiple product families are produced on the same resources (the so called mixed model Value Streams).
These topics include the definition of product families, defining the production interval, balancing operator work cycles and balancing the flow of the product mix. In this article, all 10 challenges described in the book are shortly addressed.

The Corporate Athlete – K.Gonnissen & A.Goudsmet (summary)

In The Corporate Athlete, Koen Gonissen and Alain Goudsmet describe a holistic approach for maximal personal performance. In this book, the authors present a model in which every person has three batteries: for mental, emotional and Physical resistance. Each of these batteries can be strengthened, improved and need to recharged.
A few basic principles which are connected to this model are: manage your energy, not your time (1), you are as strong as your weakest battery (2) and take good care of yourself to be able to recharge your batteries faster (3).

Drive – D. Pink (summary)

In his book drive, Daniel Pink (2010) describes how people are motivated. In the past decennia, different theories have been developed to answer the question: where do people get their Drive from?  Motivation theory 1.0 describes that people are motivated when their existence is threatened. Motivation theory 2.0 describes that people are motivated by reward and punishment, the metaphorical carrot and stick. This is where most organizations base their policies on. Motivation theory 3.0, the latest one, describes that people only act when they are intrinsically motivated, when they can act on their strengths for instance, or feel that they can make a difference.
In this book, Pink describes why Motivation theory 2.0 is outdated and how motivation theory 3.0 can be used to motivate people.

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