Best IT Books of 2011

CIO Insight published their list of Best IT Books of 2011.  Like many top X lists these days, it was flooded with banner ads and required clicking through 10 slides to see the full list. Their slideshow has the picture, title, author, publisher, and one liner for each book.

I took their list, compiled in a single page, linked to their Amazon pages, and included the top 3 Kindle highlights of each book. These 10 books received high marks via Amazon’s ratings. The 27 highlights (one book doesn’t have highlights) provides you a succinct rundown of what readers found to be the best lines of what CIO insight found to be the top 10 IT books. Enjoy!

10. The Power of Convergence: Linking Business Strategies and Technology Decisions to Create Sustainable Success by Faisal Hoque

  • Convergence creates an environment where technology helps shape (rather than simply enable) strategic choices, leading enterprises to synchronize (rather than simply align) their business and technology decision making.
  • Technology is only as good as the imagination of business leaders who are focused on customers, markets, business models, threats, and opportunities, and who can make technology do what they need it to do.
  • In other words, business managers assume that they’re communicating when they’re actually just dictating; technologists assume that business managers will appreciate their technology when they are often just delivering greater complexity.

9. The Leader’s Checklist: 15 Mission-Critical Principles by Michael Useem

  • Honor the Room: Express confidence in and support for those who work for you. Communicate Persuasively: Communicate in ways that people will never forget. Place Common Interest First: Common purpose comes first, parochial concerns last.
  • Act Decisively: Make good and timely decisions, and ensure that they are executed.
  • Marine commanders learn to make do with a “70-percent” solution, not 100-percent consensus; explain unambiguous objectives and leave their subordinates to work out the details; tolerate mistakes if they point to stronger performance next time and are not repeated a second time; and view indecisiveness as a fatal flaw—worse than making a mediocre decision, because a middling decision, swiftly executed, can at least be corrected.

8. Better Under Pressure: How Great Leaders Bring Out the Best in Themselves and Others by Justin Menkes

  • Great leaders seek to fulfill their own potential but equally seek to fulfill the potential of those who work for and with them.
  • leaders’ ability to realize their maximum potential and the potential of their workforce is the most profound way that they can differentiate themselves.
  • You cannot be a great leader without understanding the importance of teaching the deep gratification that can only be attained through discipline.

7. Lessons in IT Transformation: Technology Expert to Business Leader by Larry Bonfante

  • Providing value to the organization is the primary purpose of information technology; everything else is secondary.
  • make people understand how what we are doing connects with what already inspires them.
  • technology and information have only one real purpose—that is, to promote the business objectives of the organization.

6. Higher Ambition: How Great Leaders Create Economic and Social Value by Michael Beer and Flemming Norrgren

  • Creating both social and economic value directly reinforces the primary motivators of people: purpose, autonomy, and mastery.
  • Creating social value unlocks the dormant creative energies that exist in all of us, which in turn creates outstanding financial results.
  • By superior social value, our leaders mean that they are building lasting institutions that both contribute to the social good (building a better world) and create social capital (relationships with employees, customers, communities, and others characterized by distinctive levels of trust and mutual commitment).

5. Unleashing the Power of IT: Bringing People, Business and Technology Together by Dan Roberts

  • increase your staff’s Competence, Confidence, Commitment, and Consistency
  • IT workforce that has the new mindset, skill set, and tool set necessary for success, such as communicating, relationship-building, collaborating, managing change, marketing, negotiating, and the like.
  • The recipe involves assessing your team’s strengths and weaknesses through external feedback, developing a plan to overcome weaknesses, choosing a handful of top priorities, promoting the success stories and then refreshing that plan every six months after you determine what’s working and what’s not.

4. IT’s All About the People: Technology Management That Overcomes Disaffected People, Stupid Processes, and Deranged Corporate Cultures by Stephen J. Andriole

  • No highlights from this $56 Kindle ebook

3. The Innovator’s Manifesto: Deliberate Disruption for Transformational Growth by Michael E. Raynor

  • Disruptive innovations are defined as products or services that appeal to markets or market segments that are economically unattractive to incumbents, typically because the solution is “worse” from the perspective of mainstream, profitable markets or market segments. Disruption predicts that leading incumbents with so-called sustaining innovations—innovations targeted at their most important customers—typically succeed. New entrants with sustaining innovations typically fail.
  • Third and finally, successful Disruptions culminate with the new frontier expanding enough that it allows Disruptors to deliver levels of nonprice value at a cost that incumbents simply cannotmatch.
  • First, the alleged Disruptor must have a new business model that defines a different frontier.

2. What to Ask the Person in the Mirror: Critical Questions for Becoming a More Effective Leader and Reaching Your Potential by Robert Steven Kaplan

  • Why do you work at this organization? You could work elsewhere; why do you work here? What do you love about this organization?
  • a key difference between those who reach their potential and those who don’t is how they deal with these periods of confusion and uncertainty. The trick lies not in avoiding these difficult periods; it lies in knowing how to step back, diagnose, regroup, and move forward.
  • What would you like this enterprise to look like in ten years? What would you hope to say that it accomplished? What are the distinctive competencies of this organization? What would the world lose, or forgo, if it didn’t exist?

1. Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee

  • Man is the lowest-cost, 150-pound, nonlinear, all-purpose computer system which can be mass-produced by unskilled labor.
  • The root of our problems is not that we’re in a Great Recession, or a Great Stagnation, but rather that we are in the early throes of a Great Restructuring.
  • They think it’s because the pace of technological innovation has slowed down. We think it’s because the pace has sped up so much that it’s left a lot of people behind. Many workers, in short, are losing the race against the machine.
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