Thursday, January 13, 2005

More Books

I'm working my way through a pile of books that I got for Christmas. I already wrote about First, Break All the Rules, which is now one of my favorites. I have finished two other books and am working on another.

One of the two books I recently finished is What the CEO Wants You to Know: How Your Company Really Works by Ram Charan. It's an excellent primer on business taken from the mean streets of India and the board room of GE. I think this book ought to be required reading for non-business majors because it lays out the basics that every business must master to be successful. It has served as interesting discussion material for the group of developers that I manage.

The other book I just completed is Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. I didn't like the fact that there are no chapters or other organizational helps in the book. It just runs on and on from the beginning to the end without any change in formatting. It's also pretty fluffy, but what do you expect from a mainstream book on customer service? In between all the fluff are three main points/steps to customer service: First, decide what you want; second, ask the customers what they want; and third, deliver plus one percent. These ring true to me. They are amazingly simple, but rarely followed. Too bad for us consumers.

Finally I have broken from my pattern of reading business books to read the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. What an interesting guy.

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