Taken as a whole, the Best Business Books of 2006 reflect the political, social, technological, and economic churn that is reshaping the way business is done. In media, old and new forms of communication are both converging and coming into conflict. In governance, following Enron’s example (we’re still digesting it), the rules of the boardroom seem on the cusp of upheaval. In marketing, true accountability is replacing such fuzzy concepts as “mindshare.” In warfare, mercenaries play an increasingly prominent role. Everywhere, the players, dynamics, and rules of traditional systems are in flux.
How can a corporate leader make sense of all this? Our reviewers, all eminent authors and thinkers in their fields, have singled out those books that incisively portray the causes and implications of the gyrations roiling today’s business environment. As readers of our perennially popular “Best Business Books” feature already know, being able to see the patterns hidden behind events is one of the most useful powers for any leader. This year’s best books — and the 11 essays in this section — can help identify patterns in the seemingly unpredictable.
The Business of Defense
Illustrations by Joyce Hesselberth