Best books of 2022: Business

Book cover of 'Dead in the Water'

Dead in the Water: Murder and Fraud in the World’s Most Secretive Industry
by Matthew Campbell and Kit Chellel, Portfolio $27/Atlantic Books £18.99

An attack on a tanker off Yemen, an unsolved murder and courtroom revelations of fraud and financial shenanigans are woven into a thriller-like narrative that sheds light on the global shipping industry and its enablers. Shortlisted for this year’s Financial Times Business Book of the Year Award.

Book cover of 'Influence Empire'

Empire Influence: The Story of Tencent & China’s Tech Ambition
by Lulu Chen, Hodder & Stoughton £25

A timely exploration of how Tencent, developer of China’s “everything app” WeChat, rose to prominence, and how its elusive and enigmatic founder Pony Ma has managed to maintain its influence in the highly politicized world of Chinese technology and entrepreneurialism. A finalist in the 2022 FT Business Book of the Year Award.

Book cover of 'Talent'

Talent: How to Identify Energizers, Creatives, and Winners Around the World
by Tyler Cowen and Daniel Gross, John Murray Press £20/St Martin’s Press $14.99

A practical guide from economist Tyler Cowen and venture capitalist Daniel Gross on how to navigate the tight market for creative and innovative staff, with tips about how recruiters can ensure they fish in the deepest and most diverse pool of candidates, using tools from interviews to incentives .

Book cover of 'Power Failure'

Power Failure: The Rise and Fall of General Electric
by William D Cohan, Allen Lane £35/Portfolio $40

William D Cohan goes deep into the root causes of the rise and recent extraordinary decline of GE, once a seemingly impregnable bellwether for the US industrial and corporate sector. This is a heavyweight cautionary tale about how the reputation of one-time corporate titans such as Jack Welch can be floored by over-reach and ambition.

Book cover of 'Butler to the World'

Butler to the World: How Britain Became the Servant of Tycoons, Tax Dodgers, Kleptocrats and Criminals
by Oliver Bullough, Profile £20/St Martin’s Press $28.99

HAS polemical take on how the UK’s post-imperial institutions — banks, law firms, public relations companies, schools and universities — rushed to serve the corrupt super-rich, laundering individuals’ reputations and washing their dirty money so they can enlarge their fortunes still further.

Books of the Year 2022

All this week, FT writers and critics share their favorites. Some highlights are:

Monday: Business by Andrew Hill
Tuesday: Environment by Pilita Clark
Wednesday: Economics by Martin Wolf
Thursday: Fiction by Laura Battle
Friday: Politics by Gideon Rachman
Saturday: Critics’ choice

Book cover of 'The Power of Regret'

The Power of Regret: How Looking Forward Moves Us Forward
by Daniel H Pink, Canongate £16.99/Riverhead Books $28

Daniel H Pink memorably describes regret as the “photographic negative” of a good life. Based on wide surveys of regret, his book recasts it as an indispensable emotion that, provided we don’t wallow in the past, allows us to atone for losses and disappointments, retraces our steps and even try the path not taken.

Book cover of 'The Nowhere Office'

The Nowhere Office: Reinventing Work and the Workplace of the Future
by Julia Hobsbawm, Hatchet £18.99

The pandemic brought the future of work rapidly closer, raising questions about the status of the traditional office and the behavior of workers who used to flock there. This lively primer unabashedly concludes that Covid-19 and the ensuing lockdowns have wrought a permanent and beneficial change in how and where we work.

Book cover of 'The Crux'

The Crux: How Leaders Become Strategists
by Richard Rumelt, Profile £16.99/PublicAffairs $30

Another straight-talking guide to corporate strategy and how to frame and pursue it from veteran professor and consultant Richard Rumelt. The “crux” is the hardest part of a boulder-climb and aptly illustrates his point that strategy is not a woolly vision but a journey “through, over, and around a sequence of challenges”.

Tell us what you think

What are your favorites from this list — and what books have we missed? Tell us in the comments below

Book cover of '25 Million Sparks'

25 Million Sparks: The Untold Story of Refugee Entrepreneurs
by Andrew Leon Hanna, Cambridge University Press £14.99

It takes a lot to kill off entrepreneurial drive. Andrew Leon Hanna finds that it thrives in the most challenging of environments in refugee communities. His original telling of the stories of three Syrian women is interspersed with a wider analysis of the sheer scale of the global refugee problem. Based on a book proposal that won the FT and McKinsey’s Bracken Bower Prize for young business authors in 2018.

Book cover of 'Redesigning Work'

Redesigning Work: How to Transform Your Organization & Make Hybrid Work for Everyone
by Lynda Gratton, Penguin Business £14.99/The MIT Press $19.95

Professor and consultant Lynda Gratton seeks out real-world examples of how innovative employers, from Fujitsu to HSBC, are creating and managing hybrid and flexible working. With characteristic verve, she lays out four practical steps towards reshaping your business for the imminent arrival of the future of work.

For further recommendations, see Summer Books 2022

Join our online book group on Facebook at FT Books Cafe

Leave a Comment