Best business books to help your business script a turnaround

By Lionel Alva

As an entrepreneur, have you ever felt like your business has hit a roadblock? Is business continuity still a challenge in 2021? Your business may have managed to bounce back but it feels like it is still not out of the red yet. You spend sleepless nights looming over business decisions and investments.  Building sustainability, agility, and resilience may come across as a daunting task when the odds seem stacked against you.

In 2021, an environment of high risk and uncertainty still prevails, and small businesses continue to struggle to acquire money from banks and other investors. The difficulty is much greater for businesses in turnaround mode. In such a scenario, you need a catalyst that can help you look at things from a fresh perspective to enable better decision-making. Based on insights, we have curated a list of books that can help you widen your horizons, get a fresh outlook, and re-imagine/re-invent if necessary.

No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention

If you intend to focus on re-invention, the rules put forth by Erin Meyer and Reed Hastings are ironclad. Talent is something that they place emphasis on and becomes a starting point.  Undoubtedly, for the Netflix story, talent is a critical element. An inventive and effective workplace is made up of people we refer to as “amazing co-workers”—exceptionally talented people from varied backgrounds and views who are extraordinarily creative, do substantial quantities of essential work, and communicate well. Furthermore, none of the other principles will operate unless the initial dot (talent) has been established. No Rules Rules expounds upon these facets as well as others if you intend to re-imagine your business or are starting from scratch.

The Haier Model

Changing the status quo isn’t easy. Household appliances were the quintessential 20th-century product, and the sector was one of the most commercially uninteresting until the Haier Group made its foray. The Haier Group demonstrated what can be accomplished when entrepreneurship and innovation are taken seriously at scale. Haier is the world’s largest appliance maker, having grown from a small insolvent refrigerator business in 1984. It has a brand value of $16 billion and sales of $28 billion in 2019. Haier’s success story is not one that is told often and has many lessons for entrepreneurs who are seeking to have a business turnaround for the better.

The Silicon Valley Model

Management for Entrepreneurship in the Silicon Valley Model (Springer, 2016). Professors Annika Steiber and Sverker Alänge discuss the management approach of companies that started in Silicon Valley, California, and have flourished across the world. They point out that the success model of these companies isn’t exclusive to Silicon Valley. The authors discovered a remarkable confluence of management concepts and practises in these Silicon Valley firms: dynamic capabilities, a constantly changing organisation, a people-centric approach, ambidexterity, an open and networked organisation, and a systems approach.

The Power of Broke

Entrepreneurs who have overcome adversity to establish a firm from the ground up and achieve renown make for interesting stories. Everyone loves a good underdog tale, and Shark Tank star and Fubu Founder Daymond John epitomises this with his genesis storey in The Power of Broke. He covers how to get scrappy and how to utilise the skills, people, and resources available to you to establish a successful business on a tiny budget in this business book. He highlights how establishing a business while you’re broke encourages you to think outside the box and make the most of your limited resources.

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