In the most recent edition of the Wall Street Journal, the publication announced its top books of the year in both fiction and non-fiction categories (December 10-11, p. C-11).
In my review of the non-fiction selections, only one appears to be a business book. It is entitled The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War by Robert J. Gordon (Princeton University Press, 2016). I can conclude, therefore, that this is de facto, its best business book of the year.
My research uncovered that this was on the New York Times best-seller list, and in addition to appearing on the WSJ list, it also was:
#36 on Bloomberg’s “50 Most Influential” List
One of the Strategy+Business Best Business Books 2016 in Economy
Shortlisted for the 2016 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award
Longlisted for the 2016 Cundill Prize in Historical Literature, McGill University
Here is how it is summarized on Amazon.com:
“In the century after the Civil War, an economic revolution improved the American standard of living in ways previously unimaginable. Electric lighting, indoor plumbing, motor vehicles, air travel, and television transformed households and workplaces. But has that era of unprecedented growth come to an end? Weaving together a vivid narrative, historical anecdotes, and economic analysis, The Rise and Fall of American Growth challenges the view that economic growth will continue unabated, and demonstrates that the life-altering scale of innovations between 1870 and 1970 cannot be repeated. Gordon contends that the nation’s productivity growth will be further held back by the headwinds of rising inequality, stagnating education, an aging population, and the rising debt of college students and the federal government, and that we must find new solutions. A critical voice in the most pressing debates of our time, The Rise and Fall of American Growth is at once a tribute to a century of radical change and a harbinger of tougher times to come.”
Who is Robert J. Gordon? From his speaker’s bureau listing, we learn: “Robert J. Gordon is one of the world’s most influential economists. He has attracted worldwide attention from academics, print media, and the blogosphere by his controversial analysis predicting that future economic growth in the U. S. will be a mere fraction of its historic rate. He was selected for the Politico 50, those shaping the political debate in 2016 and on Bloomberg’s Fifty Most Influential 2016 list. In 2013 he was selected one of Bloomberg’s Top 10 Most Influential Thinkers.”
We did not present this book in 2016 at the First Friday Book Synopsis, but will give it very strong consideration for one of our sessions in 2017.
As of this writing, it is still a very strong best-seller, as it is # 1 in three Business and Money books as tracked by Amazon.com categories, including Economic Development and Growth, Economic History, and Economic Conditions.
On Friday, August 5, I present a synopsis of the best-selling business book, Small Data: The Tiny Clues that Unocover Huge Trends” (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2016) at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas. You can register by clicking HERE.
But, you may not know much about the author, Martin Lindstrom. Here is a bio from the Washington Speakers’ Bureau that represents him (see citation below).
“Martin Lindstrom was named one of TIME magazine’s “World’s 100 Most Influential People” and is the author of several New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling books, including Buyology (Doubleday, New York, 2008), Brandwashed (Crown, New York, 2011) and Small Data (St. Martin’s Press, 2016). He is a trusted brand-and-innovation advisor to numerous Fortune 100 companies, including McDonald’s Corporation, PepsiCo, American Express, Microsoft, Nestlé, The Walt Disney Company and GlaxoSmithKline.
“Lindstrom is recognized as one of the world’s leading brand experts, having pioneered the introduction of brands on the Internet (1994), using our five senses in branding (2004), introducing neuroscience in advertising (2007) and exploring the next generation of subconscious communication (2010). He was named a top “Thinkers50 Global Management Thinker” in 2015.
“Due to his groundbreaking work, Lindstrom often features in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Economist, Harvard Business Review, The Independent, The Guardian and Der Spiegel. He regularly appears on ABC, CNN, CBS, FOX and the BBC.
“Buyology was voted “pick of the year” by USA Today, and it appeared on ten of the Top 10 best seller lists in the U.S. and worldwide, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. His book BRANDsense was acclaimed by The Wall Street Journal as “…one of the five best marketing books ever published.” His books on branding have been translated into more than 50 languages and published in more than 70 countries worldwide.
“Lindstrom is a regular contributor to Fast Company, TIME and NBC’s Today with his popular “Main Street Makeover” TV series.”
On Friday, August 5, at our First Friday Book Synopsis, I will present a book entitled Touchpoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments (2011, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass). The book is part of the Warren Bennis series.
This book is co-authored by Douglas Conant, who is the retiring President and CEO of Campbell Soup, and Mette Norgaard, who is a strategic leadership consultant.
The new CEO of Campbell Soup is Denise Morrison. She starts her new job on Monday, August 1. You can read about her at this link from the June 27 issue of Bloomberg Business Week:
As you will read in that article, the task she faces is formidable. Not only is soup consumption down, but her own company sales have been down and no better than flat. Nothing the company has done seems to satisfy consumers.
I don’t drink soup in the summer. It doesn’t sound good to me.
And, I don’t like soups that remove the sodium. As you read in this article, Campbell tried that, and it violated the taste expectations of its consumers.
Let’s watch the developments here. What will she do?
What do you think? Let’s talk about it really soon!