Ultra’s ERP consulting team instituted a tradition about a year ago. As a group, we select and read a timely business book. The book selections relate to the work we do serving mid-market manufacturers, plus the books share practical guidance to help us work more effectively as a team. When we gather as a company, we then conduct a guided discussion of the book.
This tradition is one that we not only enjoy, but it is a way for us to keep abreast of current ideas and strategies we can use to help our clients, their teams and their companies.
Here’s a list of some of the current books we’ve been reading, with a short summary and reflections by the Ultra team.
Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by G. Wickman: Ultra consultants consider this information packed book “a practical guide to business” that is well worth the read. Especially suited to entrepreneurs and business leaders, the book offers a practical method for achieving business success. Wickman shares simple yet powerful ways to run a company for more focus, more growth, and more enjoyment. The Ultra team especially likes the fact that the book is a “how to” with specific tactics and strategies that can be put into immediate action in any sized organization.
Getting Naked: A Business Fable about Shedding the Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty by P. Lencioni Ultra selected Lencioni’s “business fable” book as the first selection the team read by this popular author. The main theme of the book is the importance of fostering a vulnerable, authentic and caring focus. Ultra’s group discussions about this book centered on the concept of vulnerability. For a leader to embrace the concept of vulnerability as a strength, they must take the focus off of their own needs/goals, and instead make the organization’s need the priority. The book discussion also talked about the fears the author showcased in the “business fable” section of the book, including overcoming the fear of losing status or respect, and replacing that fear with a focus on authenticity. Learn more about this interesting book via the authors website.
Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable About Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors by P. Lencioni Ultra enjoyed the previous book so much, we tackled another of the author’s books. This one is all about silos – those invisible barriers that separate work teams, departments and divisions, causing people who are supposed to be on the same team to work against one another. In the work we do with our clients, our team appreciated the powerful advice on how to eliminate the structural obstacles that derail organizations. Our book discussions talked about the importance of working together, and how finding a “common thematic goal” that the entire organization to use offers clarity, unity and alignment in any organization. Amazon provides more information about this book here.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by P. Lencioni if you see a pattern, you’re right! In this book selection, Ultra again turns to the “business fable” format this author offers. Through a series of fables or “business parables,” the author helps the reader identify, understand and overcome the most common dysfunctions seen in typical workplace teams. He then provides strategies to help manage those five dysfunctions, which are made up as follows: absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and finally – inattention to results. Our group knows the power of effective team building. We’re currently reading this book, and we look forward to the discussions. Check out more information on the author’s website.
The Benefits of a Good Book
Our team of independent ERP consultants knows the value of staying current with the latest in business thought — both on a personal and professional level. Keeping current helps us rethink the best way to run a business, and expands our ideas about success.
While we all know the benefits of reading business books, the hard reality is that it can be a challenge to find the time. Many on our team use their Kindle, tablet or e-reader to downoad and read these materials while traveling, which can be a more handy and practical way to make it happen.
Instituting a quarterly business book program is a way to help organization’s make this effort part of the culture, and keep current with business best practices.
Has your company instituted a “Business Book Club?” Please share with us your suggests for good business reads.