Summer Books of 2022: Business

The power of regret: How Looking Back Moves Us Forward
by Daniel Rose, Canongate £16.99 / Riverhead Books $28

Pink claims regret as a motivator at work, in her career, or in life in general. The book is peppered with insights into loss, disappointment and paths not taken, gleaned from extensive surveys of people’s deepest regrets, but ends with the optimistic moral that it’s almost never too much. late to correct course.

The office from nowhere: Reinventing work and the workplace of the future
by Julia Hobsbawm, Hatchet €18.99

Cleverly timed for one of the great post-pandemic debates, it’s a short, spirited primer on the future of work, which Covid-19 has abruptly accelerated into the present. It’s too early to tell which of Hobsbawm’s predictions will come true, but she makes a compelling case for seizing the opportunity to recast the old way – and place – of work.

All that we are: Discovering the hidden truths behind our behavior at work
by Gabriella Brown Piatkus €16.99

In a series of case studies drawn from her work as a consultant and psychoanalyst, Braun unearths truths about what motivates workers and the critical connections to their lives outside the workplace. The FT reviewer said the book was “remarkable” and its insights into work strain were “absolutely gripping”.

The knot: How leaders become strategists
by Richard Rumelt Profile Books £16.99 / Public Affairs $30

A straightforward and invigorating guide to the pitfalls of strategy, based on a rock climbing metaphor (the “crux” is the hardest part of a boulder climb). Strategy is a journey “through, over, and around a sequence of challenges,” Rumelt writes, drawing on a wide range of real-world business dilemmas to illustrate how to solve them.

25 million sparks: The Untold Story of Refugee Entrepreneurs
by Andrew Leon Hanna, Cambridge University Press €14.99

A resolutely current and original exploration of the extraordinary entrepreneurial dynamism of refugees, around the stories of three Syrian case studies. Hanna weaves the romantic narrative of their stories with a broader analysis of the scale of the global refugee crisis which, along with the war in Ukraine, has only worsened since the end of the book.

The Non-Club: Ending women’s dead-end work
by Linda Babcock, Brenda Peyser, Lise Vesterlund and Laurie Weingart, Little, Brown Book Group £14.99 / Simon & Schuster $27.99

Four academics are using their research on so-called “unpromoted jobs,” for which women volunteer (or are volunteering), as the basis for a guide on how to solve an underappreciated work problem. Learning to say no is only part of it: they also identify organizational and structural flaws that subtly maintain gender imbalance.

Summer books 2022

All this week, FT writers and critics are sharing their favourites. Some highlights are:

Monday: Economics by Martin Wolf
Tuesday: Business by Andrew Hill
Wednesday: Fiction by Laura Battle
Thursday: Story by Tony Barber
Friday: Politics by Gideon Rachman
Saturday: Critics’ Choice

Redesign work: How to transform your organization and make hybrid work for everyone
by Lynda Gratton Penguin Business £14.99 / The MIT Press $19.95

Drawing examples from the global network of innovative employers she works with, Gratton, professor and consultant, draws an engaging and practical roadmap for the world of hybrid work. Reviewing the book for the FT, Kevin Ellis, chairman of PwC UK, said it sent a clear message: ‘Don’t leave the future of work to chance’, because the redesign of work and the workplace requires rigor and discipline.

world butler: How Britain Became the Handmaiden of Tycoons, Tax Evaders, Kleptocrats and Criminals
by Oliver Bullough, Profile Books £20

A razor-sharp reworking of PG Wodehouse’s Jeeves as a darker metaphor for Britain’s post-imperial role as lackeys of the super-rich. Bullough analyzes the range of ways in which British institutions have repositioned themselves to whitewash reputations and lubricate financial machinations. A “very readable” account, according to the FT magazine.

The power law: Venture capital and the art of disruption
by Sebastien Mallaby, Allen Lane £25 / Penguin Press $30

Mallaby traces the venture capital industry’s revolution from its origins in the 1950s to today, where it stands behind some of the biggest names in tech, from Facebook to Amazon. He argues that despite the occasional stumble of venture capitalists, their risk-taking and vision have helped change the world for the better. A “profound and authoritative story”, according to the FT review.

The man who broke capitalism: How Jack Welch gutted the Heartland and crushed the soul of corporate America – and how to undo his legacy
by David Gelles Simon & Schuster £19.99 / $28

An ambitious, hard-hitting, and decidedly one-sided critique of the career and broader legacy of Jack Welch, the late CEO of General Electric, once dubbed the “manager of the century.” New York Times journalist (and former FT) Gelles describes how “welchism” has poisoned not just corporate capitalism, but the broader American economy and politics.

tell us what you think

What are your favorites on this list – and what books did we miss? Tell us in the comments below

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Colin L. Johnson