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10 Management Books Every CIO Should Read

Are you looking for some good CIO summer reads? David Wagner of InformationWeek offers 10 “classic” CIO books for your executive knowledge needs. It’ll be more fun than a trip to the library, and cheaper than a movie (well, not cheaper, but you’ll get more out of it and that’s a promise).

Problem Solving

For tackling those tough questions, there’s Ben Horowitz’s The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers. Though the title is self-explanatory, what you might not guess is that each page is full of unconventional, straight from the heart insights. And sometimes being a CIO is not so much hard as it is downright confusing. To untangle the mess that is your job, turn to The CIO Paradox: Battling the Contradictions of IT Leadership, by Martha Heller.

Workplace Culture

For a more civilized workplace, delve into Robert I. Sutton’s The No *sshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t. Even though the title doesn’t sound so civil, it’s a great guide to handling bullying managers and disrespectful coworkers – unless you are one! At a more institutional level, Burning the Ships is a fascinating story by Marshall Phelps and David Kline that chronicles the cultural transformation of Microsoft as it attempted to change its relationship with the open source community. For yet another goodie about workplace culture, read The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail, by Clayton Christensen.

Being a Boss

For leadership lessons, turn to The Un-Bossy Boss: 12 Powerful Questions to Make You a Great Manager by Gary Magenta. Another critical must-read for the business of “getting stuff done” is Peter Drucker’s The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done. Make no mistake; Drucker is the “grandfather” of all business literature.

Speculative Tech

But not all helpful literature is so factual. For a more metaphorical, contextually driven read, try Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford’s fiction novel, The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win. And if you’re more interested in speculative nonfiction, it’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee’s The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in A Time of Brilliant Technologies to the rescue. Continuing along the speculative vein, Makers: The New Industrial Revolution

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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