Everywhere you look, business books are heralded as part of the success equation. Many books are released during any calendar year and we have collected a list of the best business books released during 2022, which you should have on your 2023 reading list. We will give a short synopsis of each book on our list, particularly looking at why the book makes good reading. In no particular order, here are the 10 business nooks we should read in 2023.

The Crux: How Leaders Become Strategists by Richard P. Rumelt

The breakthrough concept of this book focuses on leaders becoming effective in the execution of strategy by focusing on overcoming specific challenges rather than on sometimes arbitrary goals. It seems a bit simple, but it’s so simple there is evidence it works. Considering the Zimbabwean situation for businesses overcoming the challenges we come across, whatever their source brings more significant success than chasing goals that may sometimes be out of context.

The Upside of Uncertainty: A Guide to Finding Possibility in the Unknown by Nathan Furr and Susannah Harmon Furr

Starting or running a business involves dealing with uncertainty. While uncertainty provides palpable levels of anxiety, it also presents opportunities for advancement when viewed and tackled with the right approach. The Upside of Uncertainty is a book that teaches us tools and techniques to approach uncertainty correctly. We have seen time and again in our own environment that the winners tend to be those who adjust fastest to changes brought about by uncertainty.

Deep Purpose: The Heart and Soul of High-Performance Companies by Ranjay Gulati

The conversation around purpose in business is synonymous with gurus and motivational speakers. In the pursuit of communicating purpose, it is often conflated with strategy and vision. While there is a meeting point with those matters purpose is distinct from them. More importantly, Gulati communicates that purpose when espoused in the right manner will improve business performance and satisfaction of stakeholder groups including customers, suppliers and employees.

The Burnout Challenge: Managing People’s Relationships with Their Jobs by Christina Maslach and Michael P. Leiter

After two years of curtailed activity, thanks to the pandemic, one thing many people in business cited in 2022 was burnout. It wasn’t easy going back to activity levels somewhat near normal. We have started to accept that wellness is part of the performance plan rather than a distraction from it. Sustainability not just in our operations but in our greatest resource, our people, is what the Burnout Challenge is all about. This includes how we look at it in ourselves and our teams.

Power and Prediction: The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb 

At this point, we should all be somewhat familiar with Clayton Christensen’s concept of disruptive innovation, where new technologies and approaches cause a shift in how business is done. The internet has been a big disruptor, and artificial intelligence is one of the forces competing to be the next big disruptor. While there are powerful forces in its cohort, and it may not be the sole actor in the next disruption, this book will help us grasp where we are heading with AI and what shifts to look out for.

Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away by Annie Duke

Sometimes the right decision is to walk away or not get into something in the first place. However, when time and other resources have been expended down a particular path, the decision to walk away from something is complicated. This book is about making the critical decision and being able to do it sooner while ensuring it’s the right decision. This can save us immeasurably in resources and energy that could otherwise be dedicated to other pursuits. Not the sort of advice we usually give each other, but sometimes it’s the advice we need.

Unreasonable Hospitality: The Remarkable Power of Giving People More Than They Expect, Will Guidara

While the book comes from a hospitality background, there is a good lesson for all businesses here; it’s about value. Value doesn’t always look the same in every situation. Sometimes value is offering customers a comfortable seat to enjoy their coffee, while other times, it’s offering them the ability to get their coffee and go. A lot comes down to understanding the customer, and this book does a great job of showing us examples of that. The concept transformed a hospitality business and can transform yours too.

The Voltage Effect: How to Make Good Ideas Great and Great Ideas Scale By John List

Building a successful business is simple in theory. You need a good product, a good offer and scalability. That last part is the struggle, especially doing it while keeping things profitable. The voltage effect is the ability of a business idea to scale to a large number of users while remaining profitable. This book looks at successes and failures in scaling to draw lessons from them for those who want to create great scalable businesses.

No Bootstraps When You’re Barefoot: My Rise From a Jamaican Plantation Shack to the Boardrooms of Bay Street By Wes Hall

The bootstrapping gospel has been spread far and wide to every corner of the business world. How do you bootstrap when you’re barefoot? Metaphorically speaking, this book poses the question of how we bootstrap environments that are not relatively as endowed as those where bootstrap legends made their mark. This is excellent reading, particularly for our environment.

Growing the Elephant: Increasing Earned Advantage for All By Chris Altizer and Gloria Johnson-Cusack

Success in life and business comes down to how well we utilise our advantages. But not all advantages are created equal. There are unearned advantages, such as the country and families we are born into with the opportunities they provide. Then there are earned advantages from what we have worked for and created. This book is about harnessing these advantages and recognising how to do so for each. Our earned advantages are more in our control, so more focus is placed there.

10 2022 released business books to add to your 2023 reading list. Any other recommendations you can think of that should’ve made the list?