African Interest

African Interest

  • The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

    The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

    Ksh 2099

    Brief Summary Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business. The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute. Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs - in companies of all sizes - a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

  • Zero to One by Peter Thiel

    Zero to One by Peter Thiel

    Ksh 1499

    Brief Summary If you want to build a better future, you must believe in secrets. The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One , legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things. Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself. Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique. Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places" " "

  • Good to Great by Jim Collins

    Good to Great by Jim Collins

    Ksh 2399

    Brief Summary The Challenge Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the verybeginning. But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness? The Study For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great? The Standards Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck. The Comparisons The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good? Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness — why some companies make the leap and others don't. The Findings The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include: Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness. The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence. A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology. The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap. “Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.” Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings? "Some of the key concepts discerned in the study," comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people." Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?"" "

  • How The Mighty Fall by James Collins

    How The Mighty Fall by James Collins

    Ksh 2299

    Brief Summary Decline can be avoided. Decline can be detected. Decline can be reversed. Amidst the desolate landscape of fallen great companies, Jim Collins began to wonder: How do the mighty fall? Can decline be detected early and avoided? How far can a company fall before the path toward doom becomes inevitable and unshakable? How can companies reverse course? In How the Mighty Fall, Collins confronts these questions, offering leaders the well-founded hope that they can learn how to stave off decline and, if they find themselves falling, reverse their course. Collins' research project—more than four years in duration—uncovered five step-wise stages of decline: Stage 1: Hubris Born of Success Stage 2: Undisciplined Pursuit of More Stage 3: Denial of Risk and Peril Stage 4: Grasping for Salvation Stage 5: Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death By understanding these stages of decline, leaders can substantially reduce their chances of falling all the way to the bottom. Great companies can stumble, badly, and recover. Every institution, no matter how great, is vulnerable to decline. There is no law of nature that the most powerful will inevitably remain at the top. Anyone can fall and most eventually do. But, as Collins' research emphasizes, some companies do indeed recover—in some cases, coming back even stronger—even after having crashed into the depths of Stage 4. Decline, it turns out, is largely self-inflicted, and the path to recovery lies largely within our own hands. We are not imprisoned by our circumstances, our history, or even our staggering defeats along the way. As long as we never get entirely knocked out of the game, hope always remains. The mighty can fall, but they can often rise again" "

  • Start up Nation

    Start up Nation

    Ksh 1599

    Brief Summary START-UP NATION addresses the trillion dollar question: How is it that Israel-- a country of 7.1 million, only 60 years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources-- produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada and the UK? With the savvy of foreign policy insiders, Senor and Singer examine the lessons of the country's adversity-driven culture, which flattens hierarchy and elevates informality-- all backed up by government policies focused on innovation. In a world where economies as diverse as Ireland, Singapore and Dubai have tried to re-create the "Israel effect", there are entrepreneurial lessons well worth noting. As America reboots its own economy and can-do spirit, there's never been a better time to look at this remarkable and resilient nation for some impressive, surprising clues." "

  • Swim with the Sharks

    Swim with the Sharks

    Ksh 1399

    Brief Summary This straight-from-the-hip handbook by bestselling author and self-made millionaire Harvey Mackay spells out the path to success for readers everywhere. They will learn how to: Outsell by getting appointments with people who absolutely, positively do not want to see you, and then making them glad they said "yes!" Outmanage by arming yourself with information on prospects, customers, and competitors that the CIA would envy - using a system called the "Mackay 66." Outmotivate by using his insights to help yourself or your kids join the ranks of Amercia's one million millionaires. Outnegotiate by knowing when to "smile and say no" and when to "send in the clones." This one-of-a-kind book by a businessman who's seen it all and done it all has sold almost 2 million copies, and is the essential roadmap for everyone on the path to success."

  • Like a Virgin by Richard Branson

    Like a Virgin by Richard Branson

    Ksh 1399

    Brief Summary Business advice from the best in the businessLooking for advice in setting up your own company, improving your career prospects, or developing your leadership skills? Why not ask Richard Branson?In Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School, Richard distils and shares the wisdom and experience that have made him one of the world's most recognised and respected entrepreneurs. From his top tips on succeeding in business to some hard-hitting opinions on the global finance crisis, this book brings together his best advice on all things business.It's business school, the Branson way.

  • Our Iceberg Is Melting

    Our Iceberg Is Melting

    Ksh 1799

    Brief Summary  Our Iceberg Is Melting is a simple fable about doing well in an ever-changing world. Based on the award-winning work of Harvard’s John Kotter, it is a story that has been used to help thousands of people and organizations.  The fable is about a penguin colony in Antarctica. A group of beautiful emperor pen¬guins live as they have for many years. Then one curious bird discovers a potentially devastating problem threatening their home—and pretty much no one listens to him.  The characters in the story, Fred, Alice, Louis, Buddy, the Professor, and NoNo, are like people we recognize—even ourselves. Their tale is one of resistance to change and heroic action, seemingly intractable obstacles and the cleverest tactics for dealing with those obstacles. It’s a story that is occurring in different forms all around us today—but the penguins handle the very real challenges a great deal better than most of us.  Our Iceberg Is Melting is based on pioneer¬ing work that shows how Eight Steps produce needed change in any sort of group. It’s a story that can be enjoyed by anyone while at the same time providing invaluable guidance for a world that just keeps moving faster and faster.     "

  • Start with Why by Simon Sinek

    Start with Why by Simon Sinek

    Ksh 1499

    Brief Summary  Why do you do what you do? Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?  People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why. It was their natural ability to start with why that enabled them to inspire those around them and to achieve remarkable things.  In studying the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way -- and it's the complete opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be lead, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.  Any organization can explain what it does; some can explain how they do it; but very few can clearly articulate why. WHY is not money or profit-- those are always results? WHY does your organization exist? WHY does it do the things it does? WHY do customers really buy from one company or another? WHY are people loyal to some leaders, but not others?  Starting with WHY works in big business and small business, in the nonprofit world and in politics. Those who start with WHY never manipulate, they inspire. And the people who follow them don't do so because they have to; they follow because they want to.  Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire. This book is for anyone who wants to inspire others or who wants to find someone to inspire them.     " " "

  • Small Giants by Bo Burlingham

    Small Giants by Bo Burlingham

    Ksh 1699

    Brief Summary How maverick companies have passed up the growth treadmill — and focused on greatness instead.It’s an axiom of business that great companies grow their revenues and profits year after year. Yet quietly, under the radar, a small number of companies have rejected the pressure of endless growth to focus on more satisfying business goals. Goals like being great at what they do . . . creating a great place to work . . . providing great customer service . . . making great contributions to their communities . . . and finding great ways to lead their lives.In Small Giants, veteran journalist Bo Burlingham takes us deep inside fourteen remarkable companies that have chosen to march to their own drummer. They include Anchor Brewing, the original microbrewer; CitiStorage Inc., the premier independent records-storage business; Clif Bar & Co., maker of organic energy bars and other nutrition foods; Righteous Babe Records, the record company founded by singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco; Union Square Hospitality Group, the company of restaurateur Danny Meyer; and Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, including the world-famous Zingerman’s Deli of Ann Arbor.Burlingham shows how the leaders of these small giants recognized the full range of choices they had about the type of company they could create. And he shows how we can all benefit by questioning the usual definitions of business success. In his new afterward, Burlingham reflects on the similarities and learning lessons from the small giants he covers in the book. " "

  • Billion Dollar Game by Peter Bazalgette

    Billion Dollar Game by Peter Bazalgette

    Ksh 1599

    Brief Summary Billion Dollar Game: How Three Men Risked It All and Changed the Face of Television In the mid-1990s, three men had three unique and revolutionary ideas for television shows entitledCash Mountain, Survive, and Project X. Time and time again, they were each rejected by major the networks as theor projects were declared unfit for production. Rather than give up on their dreams, Paul Smith, Charlie Parsons, and John de Mol instead pushed ahead and went on to produce shows which quickly became the biggest and most successful programs on Earth: Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, Survivor, and Big Brother. This is the compelling story of how three men defied overwhelming odds to take the television industry by storm, make personal fortunes, and transform the map of popular culture.

  • Scaling Up Excellence

    Scaling Up Excellence

    Ksh 1299

    Brief Summary In Scaling Up Excellence, bestselling author Robert Sutton and Stanford colleague Huggy Rao tackle a challenge that determines every organization’s success: scaling up farther, faster, and more effectively as a program or an organization creates a larger footprint. Sutton and Rao have devoted much of the last decade to uncovering what it takes to build and uncover pockets of exemplary performance, to help spread them, and to keep recharging organizations with ever better work practices. Drawing on inside accounts and case studies and academic research from a wealth of industries – including start-ups, pharmaceuticals, airlines, retail, financial services, high-tech, education, non-profits, government, and healthcare -- Sutton and Rao identify the key scaling challenges that confront every organization. They tackle the difficult trade-offs that organizations must make between “Buddhism” versus “Catholicism” -- whether to encourage individualized approaches tailored to local needs or to replicate the same practices and customs as an organization or program expands. They reveal how the best leaders and teams develop, spread, and instill the right mindsets in their people -- rather than ruining or watering down the very things that have fueled successful growth in the past. They unpack the principles that help to cascade excellence throughout an organization, as well as show how to eliminate destructive beliefs and behaviors that will hold them back. Scaling Up Excellence is the first major business book devoted to this universal and vexing challenge. It is destined to become the standard bearer in the field. "

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