Business, Leadership & Personal Finance Books 2022

Diversity It’s not a new word in the corporate lexicon, but upcoming books hint at a change in how seriously it’s being taken. In fact, before the murder of George Floyd triggered a widespread racial reckoning, improving diversity in the workforce was a good thing at best, adjacent but not primary to the basic tenets of most organizations. Business. Publishers are seeing a new push to embed DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) efforts into corporate DNA and provide role models for achieving these goals.

The call comes from inside the house

Some publishers saw a change in books being released in the wake of summer 2020. Whereas previous works simply championed a diverse workforce and aimed to educate managers on why embracing differences was good for the bottom line, the authors of these books assume that their audiences are already on board.

“A lot of the pitches I used to get were about ‘why diversity is important’ and ‘why it should be on the agenda,’” says Lucy Carter, editor of Kogan Page. “Well, it’s already there, right on top of the agenda. People want to know what to do about it.” your acquisition The key to inclusion (July) “It’s about how to make diversity a core part of your overall business strategy, just like developing a budget.” Edited by Stephen Frost, who led inclusion programs for the London Olympics and taught inclusive leadership at Harvard Business School, the book also includes sector-specific guidance and advice on how to implement inclusive practices in industries such as technology, finance and media.

While social movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo have shaped much of the discussion around DEI’s efforts, Kogan’s next project positively purple (October), by disability activist Kate Nash, reminds business leaders that building an inclusive corporate culture also means ensuring the workplace is accessible to employees with disabilities. The book notes that about 10% of workers have a visible or invisible disability. Beyond overcoming physical barriers, Nash writes that much of the comfort of disabled employees at work comes down to company culture. Among her advice to managers, she recommends listening to employees with disabilities to learn how to best support them and she advocates for leadership to proactively raise awareness of how employees can request accommodations in the workplace.

Matt Holt, editor-in-chief of a label of the same name at BenBella, also sees a shift in the way companies approach DEI initiatives. This time it feels different, says Holt, because for many companies the call for change comes from internal staff. “Things are reaching a critical point. Corporations recognize that they need to do this because their workforces demand it.” Holt acquisition Rebuilding Inclusion (BenBella/Holt, Oct.) by Amri B. Johnson, CEO and founder of the consulting firm Inclusion Wins, argues that for many years, most corporate approaches to DEI settled for cosmetic change rather than systemic change. Johnson goes back to the drawing board in his book. He breaks down the concepts of diversity and inclusion into fundamental principles and shows companies how they can integrate them into their organizational processes. This approach provides a framework that is workable and sustainable, says Holt.

the power of the people

While management is responsible for codifying DEI into a company’s core values, people at all levels of the workforce must play a role in creating a more inclusive environment. Several upcoming books speak directly to staff, providing guidance for collective action toward change and navigating the corporate challenge as a member of a disadvantaged demographic.

In shared brotherhood, to be published in October by Harvard Business Review Press, co-authors Tina Opie, a consultant and professor of management at Babson College, and Beth Livingston, a professor of management and entrepreneurship at the University of Iowa, warn that while companies may be moving toward gender equity in boardrooms and closing pay gaps, progress remains relatively elusive for women of color. Opie, who is black, and Livingston, who is white, “really live what shared brotherhood means; they are so close,” says Melinda Merino, editorial director of the Harvard Business Review, describing the energy between the two women that she attracted to the editor. The authors insist that women must act collectively so that all can advance professionally and not just a few. “It’s a really radical idea that they’re teaching. Gender equity will not be fully realized without racial equity,” says Merino.

The growing demand for these books reflects the fact that most companies accept that they will have to fundamentally change their structures to get closer to a meritocratic ideal. Delving into workforce data reveals that one sector of the workforce consistently faces more obstacles than any other: Black women report substantially less interaction, substantive or informal, with senior leadership than any other group, according to Lean In, a nonprofit organization that advocates for more equitable workplaces. .

The importance of such interactions and how they shape success are the crux of a forthcoming pair of Berrett-Koehler books written by Black women who have risen through the corporate trenches into leadership roles. In intelligence is not enough by Carice Anderson (October), and please sit there By Francine Parham (August; see our Q&A with Parham), the authors draw on their personal experiences to caution that a black person cannot rely solely on their formal education to advance in the workplace. “These two books talk a lot about the unspoken rules one needs to learn to navigate in order to move forward,” says Steve Piersanti, founder and senior editor at Berrett-Koehler. “There aren’t as many role models in the organization, and black women aren’t given the same road map as their white colleagues.”

But how do you do it?

Reflecting the sense of urgency to produce results, many upcoming titles skip altruistic mission statements in favor of practical game plans. PV praised Deanna Singh, founder of the social enterprise organization Flying Elephant, for doing just that in her review of Actions speak louder (May), whose advice he called “concrete and actionable.” Singh first guides readers through a series of self-examination exercises to define their social identities and discover ways they can leverage a position of privilege to benefit everyone in the workplace. It then focuses on strategies for organizational operations, such as recruiting, hiring, and onboarding, that enable DEI to take root and shape the workplace to be less harmful to people who may experience generational trauma due to historical injustices.

Setbacks are inevitable, so companies are better off viewing their commitment to greater inclusion as a journey rather than a finite program, says Ella Washington in the Harvard Business Review statement. the necessary journey (Nov.). Washington chose to demonstrate some of the pitfalls companies face along the way through 10 stories of success and failure at organizations like Slack, Kaiser Permanente, and PwC.

This season’s business titles guide those who want to make a difference through what may seem like uncharted waters. “Stories are how people learn,” says HBR’s Merino. “Washington makes an emotional connection in each chapter through a company’s story at a different point in its journey. Readers see leaders going beyond saying, ‘Okay, this is something we need to do,’ to ‘This is something we need to do.’ ”

Mina Kelemen, a writer in Houston, has covered business, travel, and other nonfiction books for PV since 2018.

Here’s more on business, leadership, and personal finance books:

Get in the game: PW talks with Francine Parham
In ‘Please Sit Over There’, Francine Parham examines power, exclusion and success in the workplace.

Work Well: Business, Leadership, and Personal Finance Books 2022
New books help managers and employees deal with stress and mental health challenges.

Building Wealth Your Way: Business, Leadership & Personal Finance Books 2022
Upcoming personal finance books reject single financial recipes.

A version of this article appeared in the 05/09/2022 issue of weekly editors under the title: Do the right thing

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