The Key: How corporations succeed by solving the world's toughest problems
A confession: I am a friend of the author. That's usually why I read books. But it doesn't mean I always like them or think they are useful, and this book gets both those votes. Professor Gratton (nearly 60, blonde, very agreeable, great shoes) has a unique insight into corporations and this book showcases her views on why business goals work best when aligned with a much broader world agenda. Huge problems such as income inequality can be solved, she thinks, by big companies. Thomas Piketty, I hope you've read it.
Napoleon the Great
I know and like this author too (although I have no view on his shoes) but when the book turned up, at 976 pages, I didn't know whether to read it or use it as a doorstop. I am glad I persevered, because it's a great read, balancing its research (Andrew had waded through 30,000 letters sent by the Emperor) with lively anecdotes. I especially enjoyed the glimpse of his early life.
Making It Happen
Fred Goodwin, RBS and the Men Who Blew up the British Economy
I know a lot of people in RBS, so this was a must-read. It's the best researched and most balanced book on the subject, and prompted me to email someone who worked there and had been mentioned in dispatches. His reply was: 'I'm very reluctant to heap the blame on Fred. The culture was wrong but everyone at RBS was over 21 and well paid, myself included. It's too convenient to blame just one man.' I couldn't agree more.