I don’t know about you, but I am a voracious reader of just about every imaginable business book. My preference lies in reading books having to do with conducting business across borders. Here are 10 – some old, some new – books on globalization that you should read and put to good use in your import and export activities.
Books on globalization: 10 must-reads for business
1. “The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger” by Marc Levinson
If you are interested in learning more about shipping containers and who containerized cargo (an American by the name of Malcolm P. McLean), read this book. It’s a fascinating read.
2. “Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands” by Terri Morrison
Not sure what you should or shouldn’t be doing before traveling to or conducting business in an overseas market? This book will help you figure things out in a heartbeat.
3. “Think Outside the Country: A Guide to Going Global” by John Yunker
We’ve been following John for years with his annual Web Globalization Report Card, which is highly regarded by web globalization experts for its thorough analysis and identification of the best global websites. With “Think Outside the Country,” no matter what languages your online visitors speak, this is one of the best books on globalization when you want to build a successful global gateway and learn how to become a global generalist.
4. “Leading with Cultural Intelligence: The New Secret to Success” by Dr. David Livermore
Dr. Livermore provides solid academic research, backed by years of experience, in how to become more adept at managing business across cultures. His other books are worth a look, too. You can find them all here.
5. “The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World” by Ruchir Sharma
What determines whether countries succeed or fail? Sharma sets out to answer that posing question in this interesting read. All in all, this book is a good guide on the global economy of today.
6. “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity” by Katherine Boo
A New Yorker writer and recipient of a Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur “Genius” grant, Katherine Boo captures life in a Mumbai slum and puts it into words. This is a nonfiction work that provides a bird’s-eye lens into human social interaction in India. The story uncovers insight into what connects people who are different. It’s worth a read because the characters are compelling and the writing is phenomenal.
7. “Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably” by Laurel Delaney
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my own book (2nd edition) for conquering how to take a business global.
This title is for entrepreneurs and small business owners who are new to international trade and are ready to take their business to the next level of growth.
It is also for those who currently export, but are looking for new market insights and have a desire to expand into other countries. Finally, it is for those who know that the internet and social media offer opportunities for exporters, but want to see how to best leverage their skills and the newest technologies for greater sales and profits.
8. “Competing in a Flat World” by Victor K. Fung, William K. Fung and Yoram Wind
The authors explain how to build an enterprise for a flat world in this book. They have plenty of experience, as the Fung brothers are founders of one of the largest trading companies in the world – Li & Fung – and Yoram Wind is a Lauder and marketing professor at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
9. “The Global Brain” by Satish Nambisan and Mohanbir Sawhney
This book on globalization offers a great explanation of innovation and how it works through the world of a network-centric strategy. The authors are the world’s foremost authorities on the topic. (Note: Professor Sawhney teaches in my hometown of Chicago, at Northwestern University.)
10. “Globality: Competing with Everyone from Everywhere for Everything” by Harold L. Sirkin, James W. Hemerling and Arindam K. Bhattachary
Globality is about what happens next. The authors present living proof that the economic climate in which we have lived is going to change in unprecedented ways – and it has since the book’s 2008 publication date. If you want to stay relevant in the next phase of globalization and take advantage of it, this is the book to read.
While there are plenty of books on globalization, these 10 are a great place to start when trying to take your business international. Pick and choose which ones are most relevant to your endeavors, and then sit back, relax and let yourself fall into the world of globalization.