The Best Business Books of 2019 | The Melting Pot Newsletter | #67
TOP 10 BUSINESS BOOKS OF 2019
The holidays are upon us. A much-needed break to kick back, enjoy some downtime and catch up with some reading. 2019 has been a great year for business books so, if you fancy updating your knowledge and learning from the experts, here are my recommendations for your reading list…
Scaling Up and Creating Culture with Dominic Monkhouse
This week, we are turning the spotlight on… Dom himself. A couple of months ago Dom interviewed Carla and Imogen from FizzPopBANG – The Culture Consultancy on The Melting Pot. They, in turn, kindly invited Dom to be a guest on their PopCAST.
Now the interviewer has become the interviewee and it’s about time – Dom rarely talks about his background on the podcasts, focusing instead on the achievements and the expertise of his guests. So it’s a refreshing change to get a behind the scenes look at how Dom came to be fronting The Melting Pot, and what his career journey to date has been like.
In essence, Dom is a certified Scaling Up Coach with effective tools and techniques to help propel companies forward. He took Rackspace to £30 million in five years, and then at Peer 1, he took the business from nothing to £30 million in five years, and globally £19 million to £200 million. He works with tech businesses helping them scale up. These are businesses that typically have somewhere between £10 – £100 million. They have an ambitious CEO who wants to scale, but has sailed into choppy waters.
“I guess nobody rings me if everything’s going completely smoothly, so for one reason or another, the wheels are starting to wobble or something’s not quite right. And they get in touch and if there’s some chemistry then I get to help.”
Dom’s secret to scaling up? It’s always about the people and always about the culture.
Spoiler alert: there’s an ‘ish’-load of information about how to build thought leadership. How do you know what actually works? The Copy & Content podcast features episodes obsessed with helping thought leaders better serve their audiences. Keynote Content founder and Copy & Content host Jon Cook shares insight and interviews with leading voices in the areas of speaking, copywriting, content creation, branding, and marketing. Learn you-proof tactics and processes that actually work. Copy & Content isn’t for everyone; it’s only for thought leaders who give an ‘ish’ about their audience.
In my first startup, I dreamt of building a powerful brand that would earn its place next to iconic companies such as Apple, Google, and Facebook.
I decided to hire an agency to help us define our brand. We went through a number of classic exercises, like answering the question, ‘If your organisation was a car, what kind of car would it be?’ And at the end of the process, we were given a ‘brand book’ that provided guidelines on how we should use our new logo, and a list of words to include in our product messaging.
Christmas is next week, and depending upon your personality, you’re either finished with your Christmas shopping, or you’ve still got six days before you hit the stores. Regardless of which camp you call your own, there’s one question that everyone is asking lately: What do I get [that person] for Christmas? That person might be a co-worker, or a postal carrier, or even a friend, but whoever they are, we all want to be certain that we’re getting them a good present.
If you are simply aiming for a “good” culture at your organisation, you’re setting the bar too low. An organisation that embraces values like integrity and teamwork is really no different from any other. If you want to produce the kinds of specific outcomes that will allow you to differentiate your company, you need to define a unique culture that cultivates the necessary kinds of employee attitudes and behaviours.
Though technology has evolved at hyper speed over the past hundred years, management styles have mostly stayed the same. The higher-ups make the decisions, and the employees grind it out, often without knowing the endgame. In 1983, Jack Stack created a new game: The Great Game of Business. Get In The Game further explains the rules of this Game: to win, you must get everyone at all levels of the business as informed, involved, and engaged as the owner. This book offers a step-by-step guide on how to teach employees the numbers, show them the big picture, and let them have a say in the company’s future.
Once upon a time, brick-and-mortar video stores were king. Late fees were ubiquitous, video-streaming unheard of, and widespread DVD adoption seemed about as imminent as flying cars. These were the widely accepted laws of the land in 1997 when Marc Randolph had an idea. It was a simple thought – leveraging the internet to rent movies – and was just one of many more proposals, like personalised baseball bats and a shampoo delivery service, that Randolph would pitch to his business partner, Reed Hastings, on their commute to work each morning. But Hastings was intrigued, and the pair – with Hastings as the primary investor and Randolph as the CEO – founded a company. Netflix was born.
MEANINGFUL ACTION FOR MONDAY
Ask yourself this question – if I double my sales headcount am I confident I will double the value of sales? If you say yes, why aren’t you doubling the sales headcount? If you can’t say yes, you have an inefficient sales model in place. You don’t trust your sales engine. You need to do something about this in January. Read The Machine by Justin Roff-Marsh and listen to my interview with him by clicking below.
‘A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.’ Henry Ford