McKinsey on Books

Explore this month’s best-selling business books prepared exclusively for McKinsey Publishing by NPD and a collection of books by McKinsey authors on the management issues that matter, from leadership and talent to digital transformation, corporate finance, and more. For our series of interviews with authors of books on business and beyond, check out Author Talks. The Financial Times unveiled the 2021 long list of the annual FT/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award on August 16 and the shortlist on September 23; the winner will be revealed on December 1, 2021.

 

September’s best-selling business books

Explore the latest rankings of best-selling business books in the US, prepared exclusively for McKinsey Publishing by NPD BookScan.

Register for shortlist announcement event on September 23 for the Financial Times Business Book of the Year. #BBYA

Featured Insights

 
Video

Laugh more, lead better

– Naomi Bagdonas and Connor Diemand-Yauman, lecturers at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, hilariously explore the power at the intersection of humor, business, and leadership. It’s no joke.

For your reading list: The 2020 Business Book of the Year shortlist

– Here are the six books contending for the FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year.

We know what you’re reading this summer

McKinsey’s annual reading list is back—reimagined for this pandemic year.

From three-ring binder to bestseller: Valuation returns for a seventh edition

– Co-author Tim Koller explains why the definitive guide to valuing companies endures and what’s new in this latest edition.

Author Talks

Author Talks features insightful conversations with authors on crucial management topics including leading through a crisis, unleashing innovation, achieving work-life balance, fine-tuning communication skills, coping with organizational culture shifts, and more.

Leadership & Organization

Beyond Performance 2.0

Scott Keller and Bill Schaninger

2019Beyond Performance 2.0 more than doubles your odds of successfully leading significant, sustainable change by applying equal levels of insight and rigor to the “hard” and “soft” elements that matter.

Leadership at Scale

Claudio Feser, Michael Rennie, and Nicolai Chen Nielsen

2018Leadership at Scale provides leaders with the systematic and fact-based leadership development approach they need to unlock organizational performance in today’s fast-paced business environment.

Leading Organizations: Ten Timeless Truths

Scott Keller and Mary Meaney

2017 Leading Organizations identifies the most challenging organizational issues leaders face, providing the hard facts, big ideas, and practical “how to” steps to address those issues.

When Execution Isn’t Enough: Decoding Inspirational Leadership

Claudio Feser

2016 – Inspired people have the energy and persistence needed to achieve extraordinary results and transform organizations. This book shows what it takes to win the minds and hearts of the people you lead.

Connect: How Companies Succeed by Engaging Radically with Society

John Browne, Robin Nuttall, and Tommy Stadlen

2016 – Drawing on the experience of John Browne, the former CEO of BP, and the insight of two McKinsey experts, this book articulates and explores the recurring rift between big business and society, offering a practical manifesto for reconciliation.

Centered Leadership: A Breakthrough Program for Leading with Purpose, Clarity, and Impact

Joanna Barsh and Johanne Lavoie

2014 – By studying the stories of leaders and working with Fortune 100 companies, Joanna Barsh and Johanne Lavoie explore why some talented people rise to the top and create positive and sustained impact, while others stop short of their full leadership potential.

How Remarkable Women Lead: The Breakthrough Model for Work and Life

Joanna Barsh, Susie Cranston Hamilton, and Geoffrey Lewis

2011 – This book presents unique ideas about successful leadership. Personal stories and related insights show how success results from combining the five elements of centered leadership: meaning, framing, connecting, engaging, and energizing.

Mobilizing Minds: Creating Wealth from Talent in the 21st-Century Organization

Lowell Bryan and Claudia Joyce

2007 – By tapping into employees’ talents, knowledge, and skills, you can earn tens of thousands of additional dollars per employee, and manage the barriers that prevent real achievements. This can only be done through organizational design and redesign.

Digital

Fast Times: How Digital Winners Set Direction, Learn, and Adapt

Arun Arora, Peter Dahlstrom, Klemens Hjartar, and Florian Wunderlich

2020 – Today’s technology demands lightning-fast changes. But speed without purpose is not progress. McKinsey leaders cut through the hype to provide an inside look into what digital winners do best: set direction, learn, and adapt faster than anyone else.

Digital @ Scale: The Playbook You Need to Transform Your Company

Jürgen Meffert and Anand Swaminathan

2017 – Value in the next phase of the digital era will go to those companies that don’t just try digital but also scale it. This book examines what it takes to break through the gravitational pull of legacy organizations and capture the full value of digital.

Beyond Cybersecurity: Protecting Your Digital Business

James M. Kaplan, Tucker Bailey, Derek O’Halloran, Alan Marcus, and Chris Rezek

2015 – Founded upon proprietary research, client experience, and interviews with over 200 executives, regulators, and security experts, this text arms your company against devastating online security breaches.

Strategy

Bulletproof Problem Solving: The One Skill that Changes Everything

Charles Conn and Robert McLean

2019 – This book outlines a seven-step, systematic approach to creative problem solving that will work in any field or industry, helping to transform the way you approach problems and take you to the next level of business and personal success.

Go Long: Why Long-term Thinking Is Your Best Short-Term Strategy

Dennis Carey, Brian Dumaine, Michael Useem, and Rodney Zemmel

2018 – Inspired by an annual off-the-record gathering of chief executives organized by the authors, Go Long reveals how some of the world’s most prominent business leaders resisted short-term pressures to successfully manage their organizations for the long term.

Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick: People, Probabilities, and Big Moves to Beat the Odds

Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt, and Sven Smit

2018 – Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick is about unlocking big moves because that’s what it takes to beat the odds in business. Anchored in empirical evidence from 1000s of companies, it reveals what really matters and what doesn’t for exceptional performance.

No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends

Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel

2015 – The world not only feels different. The data tell us it is different. This book is a timely and important analysis of how we need to reset our intuition as a result of four forces colliding and transforming the global economy.

In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best Run Companies

Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman

2006 – Based on a study of 43 of America’s best-run companies from a diverse array of business sectors, this book describes eight basic principles of management that made these organizations successful.

Talent, Culture & Change Management

Talent Wins: The New Playbook for Putting People First

Ram Charan, Dominic Barton, and Dennis Carey

2018 – Written for CEOs and leaders across the organization, Talent Wins provides a much-needed framework for transforming how companies acquire, manage, and deploy talent—for today’s agile, digital, analytical, technologically driven strategic environment.

YOU: The Positive Force in Change!

Eileen Rogers and Nick van Dam

2018 – The human brain is wired to resist change. In this book, leadership experts Eileen Rogers and Nick van Dam share insights and methods to making the transition to a more consultative, “emotionally intelligent” approach to leading change.

Mastering Coaching: Practical Insights for Developing High Performance

Max Landsberg

2016 – This book summarizes the most important research in areas such as neuroscience, sports psychology, mindfulness, and goal-setting and offers a practical guide to how this new thinking can help coaches and managers to develop their own coaching practice.

How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life

Caroline Webb

2016 – In How to Have a Good Day, economist and former McKinsey partner Caroline Webb shows readers how to use recent findings from behavioral economics, psychology, and neuroscience to transform our approach to everyday working life.

Primed to Perform: How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation

Neel Doshi and Lindsay McGregor

2015 – Primed to Perform explains the counter-intuitive science behind great cultures, building on over a century of academic thinking.

The Tao of Coaching

Max Landsberg

1996 – To get the most out of individual employees, companies and managers are turning to coaching as a means of enhancing performance. This practical guide shows how to develop the necessary habits and skills needed to become a good coach.

Marketing & Sales

Marketing Performance: How Marketers Drive Profitable Growth

Thomas Bauer, Tjark Freundt, Jonathan Gordon, Jesko Perrey, and Dennis Spillecke

2016 – This book addresses the most pressing marketing performance questions for CMOs who have an investor’s mindset. This isn’t a work of theory. It’s a hands-on guide to better marketing, neatly packaged into ten concise chapters.

Power Brands: Measuring, Making, and Managing Brand Success

Jesko Perrey, Tjark Freundt, and Dennis Spillecke

2015 – What distinguishes a brand-name product? How can companies enhance the value of their brands? What steps can executives take to manage their brands successfully? Answers to these and other questions can be found with McKinsey’s BrandMatics-Konzept.

On McKinsey

The Minto Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing, Thinking, and Problem Solving

Barbara Minto

1996 – This work has been designed as an aid to the logical presentation of business communications. Topics covered range from the difference between deductive and inductive reasoning to a discussion of how to highlight the structure of information.

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Acknowledgments

Mike Borruso, Torea Frey, Eleni Kostopoulos, Charmaine Rice, Dan Redding, and Dana Sand, of McKinsey Global Publishing, helped build and maintain this books database.

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