Strategy and Business just released a list of the 10 "most significant books" published between 2001 and 2010. They looked back and selected one book for each year. I am pleased to announce that, for 2006, they picked the book that Jeff Pfeffer and I wrote about evidence-management. Here is what they said:
Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management, by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton (Harvard Business School Press). By explaining the causes of common managerial errors (casual benchmarking, repeating what worked in the past, and following unexamined ideologies), Pfeffer and Sutton pointed the way to better decision making.
Jeff and I are delighted the selection; we believe that, although some organizations are making progress toward using evidence rather than making bad gut decisions, doing what they have always done, or mindlessly imitating seemingly successful organizations, that our workplaces would be far more effective if decision-makers made a commitment to using evidence-based practices when possible, especially when making important decisions (unfortunately, they seem to do the opposite too often).
If you want to listen to a fun interview about the power of evidence-based management, check out the recent Planet Money interview with Harrah's CEO Gary Lovemen, who we talk about a lot in Hard Facts. It starts out with a quote/joke from Gary that also appears in our book, something like "There are three ways to get fired at Harrah's: Stealing, sexual harassment, and not having a control group." Although he is joking a bit, taking an evidence-based approach has given Harrah's a huge competitive advantage.
Here is the rest of the list. You can read about each in more detail here in the original story.
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don’t, by Jim Collins
Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan
Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? Inside IBM’s Historic Turnaround, by Louis V. Gerstner Jr
Changing Minds: The Art and Science of Changing Our Own and Other People’s Minds, by Howard Gardner
The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits, by C.K. Prahalad
Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction, by Thomas K. McCraw
Redefining Global Strategy: Crossing Borders in a World Where Differences Still Matter, by Pankaj Ghemawat
Managing, by Henry Mintzberg (Berrett-Koehler). The iconoclastic Canadian professor made the best case of his career for a more holistic, humane view of managing, which he convincingly declares is as much art as science. 2010
Chasing Stars: The Myth of Talent and the Portability of Performance, by Boris Groysberg
We are honored to be included in such a great group. Of this list, my favorite three are probably "Who Says Elephants Can't Dance," "Prophet of Innovation," and "Chasing Stars." My candidates for the best books of 2011 are The Progress Principle and, because of impact, Steve Jobs of course.