This got me thinking about which business books that have influenced me the most. Not necessarily the best written business books I've read, but the ones which have had a strong influence of my life. Here they are:
- Slack, by Tom DeMarco. The first really good business book I read. Made me realize that management, when it is done right, is both sensible and fun.
- eXtreme Programming Explained, by Kent Beck. Software development is business, so I think this book qualifies. (Anyway, this is my list, so I'll add whichever book I want.) This is the book that got me interested in agile software development.
- Lean Software Development, by Tom and Mary Poppendieck. This book sparked my interest in Lean.
- Agile Management for Software Engineering, by David Anderson. This is the book that got me interested in the Theory of Constraints.
- The Goal, by Eliyahu Goldratt. An eye opener.
- Thinking for a Change, by Lisa J. Scheinkopf. The first TOC Thinking Process I read. I have read and practiced the Thinking Process almost every day since.
- The Logical Thinking Process, by William Dettmer. This book gave me the tools to significantly improve the work I did for a client recently, and it has had a strong influence on the strategic planning for my own company.
- Brainpower Networking, by William Dettmer. Crawford Slip brainstorming has become one of the most used tools in my toolkit. I use it mostly for group brainstorming sessions, and sometimes to get my own thoughts organized.
- Throughput Accounting, by Steven M. Bragg. I have found that this is one book that I often refer to while designing measurement systems for new organizations.
- The Heart of Change, by John P. Kotter. I have had strong reservations about most change processes I have seen, but Kotter's ideas make sense. The best thing about this book is that it has opened the door for further study and learning.
If you've got a blog of your own, post a list of the books that have influenced you the most. Then we'll link up. Create a backlink from this post. If you haven't got a blog, just comment on this post, and list your favorites in the comment.
I have made a follow-up post with links to everyone that responded to my suggestion above. There is some good reading to be found in those lists.