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5 Best Business Books

November 17, 2015, 2:00 PM UTC
Books are displayed at the annual Paris book fair
Books are displayed at the annual Paris book fair March 14, 2008. Israel is the guest of honour of the Paris book fair. REUTERS/Charles Platiau (FRANCE) - RTR1YFGT
Photograph by Charles Platiau — Reuters

Celeb CEO pick
Uncontainable, by Kip Tindell

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The Container Store (TCS) has fans as avid as Apple’s (AAPL) and a workplace as appealing as Google’s (GOOG)—despite selling wastebaskets and closet organizers. It has a staff turnover of less than 10% and turns away 96% of applicants. In Uncontainable, its co-founder and chairman shares the blueprint of how the Container Store has pulled it off. Read this book now and shamelessly steal the great ideas that keep the retailer on Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For list every year.

Team of Teams, by Gen. Stanley McChrystal

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There’s a revolution afoot in the military. The very organization that gave us the command-and-control structure is abandoning it in the face of new, quick-moving opponents. So should you if you want your business to survive 21st-century competition. Drawing on the model used by Navy SEALs, retired four-star general McChrystal will show you how to reorganize your company into teams of autonomous leaders capable of making the split-second decisions necessary to winning today.

Buyer Personas, by Adele Revella

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Most companies rely on generic (big) data or outright guessing to understand how their customers make buying decisions. But this only scratches the surface. Sophisticated marketers need to understand how to assemble accurate customer profiles that give better insight into the why and the how behind their buying decisions. Revella’s systematic approach takes you beyond the usual demographic descriptions so you can probe the minds of seemingly similar clients who are actually very different.

Exponential Organizations, by Salim Ismail

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Every business in every industry faces threats from upstart competitors who do things better, faster, and cheaper. That doesn’t mean you have to stand by and let the next unicorn trample you. This hard-hitting manifesto will show you exactly how to fight back. Ismail has worked closely with some of the world’s most innovative companies at Singularity University, where he was founding executive director. He unlocks the strategies of these exponential organizations, or ExOs, as he calls them, so we mere mortals can adopt them to achieve 10x growth.

The Automatic Customer, by John Warrillow

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Repeat customers are crucial. Warrillow explains how to turn them into an even more precious resource—subscribers—who will smooth your cash flow so you sleep better. Any company can do this by using one of the nine subscription models he identifies. The predictable revenue this drives will significantly amp up what a buyer will pay for your business. Companies with subscription models are valued at three to five times revenue—a significant premium over what most companies get.

Verne Harnish is the author of Scaling Up.

A version of this article appears in the December 1, 2015 issue of Fortune.