In the first part of this series, I've suggested several books about how the biggest and the most successful tech businesses work. In this piece, you'll find books that do not immediately come to mind when someone says "big tech". Often you can learn much more from those.
Are you surprised? What does it do on this list? Aren't they making cars, not software? Yes, Toyota might be an odd choice for this selection. It's an "old" company, they mainly make physical products and they're from Japan. At the same time, Toyota is one of the biggest and the most successful car manufacturers in the world. Their quality and execution excellence is legendary.
"The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership: Achieving and Sustaining Excellence Through Leadership Development" is the book describing the ways of working in Toyota. It's a generous account explaining the company's philosophy, practices and outcomes. Almost every chapter could be a book and a university course on its own.
Learn, among others - Why acting in the best interest of your customers is always the winning business strategy.
Again, a mostly manufacturing company. However, their story is the most interesting, with numerous twists, pivots, ups and downs. The book I want to suggest you read about Intel is not history or a memoir. It's a practical management guide from their long-serving CEO Andrew S. Grove.
"High Output Management" should be a desk reference book of any leader. It's full of practical advice and tools to effectively grow your team. In addition to that, you can clearly get from the book why Intel was so successful for such a long period of time. It's always up to the people on board and the way those people are treated.
Learn, among others - Why there are no bad employees, only incompetent managers.
Netflix is always fun to talk about. The company went on a real hero's journey from a tiny struggling startup with a big dream to a media mogul whose name became a verb. If you read anything about Netflix before you'd know the company has a very distinct and strong corporate culture. Their culture deck was in open access for years and still well might serve as their main recruitment tool.
In "No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention" authors Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer finally composed everything about the famous Netflix culture in one place. It's a history, specification, ready-made templates and case studies, all in one. You'll learn how they hire and nurture talent. How they set goals and make decisions. What it means to lead, especially in tough times.
Learn, among others - Why scrapping rules might lead to more overall responsibility and ownership.
What unites all the big and successful companies? They want to continue growing and earning even more money. Each has a different approach and ideas on how to stay on top while sharing some of the principles.
"Always Day One: How the Tech Titans Plan to Stay on Top Forever" is going deep into the principles applicable to most if not all of "big tech". It talks about the mindset you need to have in order to keep learning, experimenting and innovating. This growing mindset needs to be at the core of your corporate culture. Then you'll have chances to compete with companies for who it's always "day one".
Learn, among others - Why "never done" is exciting!
Those are only some of the books worth reading on my "big tech" shelf.