The best books of 2022: Business

dead in the water: Murder and fraud in the world’s most mysterious industry
by Matthew Campbell and Kit Chellel, Portfolio $27/Atlantic Books £18.99

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

influence empire: 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, managed to assert his influence in the highly politicized world of Chinese tech and entrepreneurship. A finalist in the 2022 FT Business Book of the Year Awards.

talent: How to identify energizers, creators 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 navigating the tight market for creative and innovative employees, with tips on how recruiters can ensure they can fish in the deepest and most diverse pool of candidates by using tools from Use interviews to incentives.

Power failure: The rise and fall of General Electric
by William D Cohan, Allen Lane £35/Portfolio $40

William D. Cohan delves deep into the causes of the rise and recent extraordinary decline of GE, once a seemingly impregnable frontrunner for US industrial and corporate sectors. This is a serious cautionary tale about how exaggeration and ambition can shatter the reputations of former corporate titans like Jack Welch.

Butler for the world: How Britain became the servant of tycoons, tax evaders, kleptocrats and criminals
by Oliver Bullough, Profile £20/St Martin’s Press $28.99

A polemical take on how the UK’s post-imperial institutions – banks, law firms, public relations firms, schools and universities – rushed to serve the corrupt super-rich, laundering individuals’ reputations and laundering their dirty money so they could Wealth can increase further.

Books of the year 2022

All week long, FT writers and critics share their favourites. Some highlights are:

Monday: Andrew Hill’s business
Tuesday: Surroundings of Pilita Clark
Wednesday: Economics by Martin Wolf
Thursday: Fiction by Laura Battle
Friday: Politics by Gideon Rachman
Saturday: The Critics’ Choice

The power of regret: How looking backwards brings us forward
by Daniel H Pink, Canongate £16.99/Riverhead Books $28

Daniel H Pink memorably describes regret as the “photographic negative” of the good life. Based on wide-ranging surveys of regret, his book articulates it as an indispensable emotion that allows us to atone for loss and disappointment, retrace our steps, and even try the path we didn’t take, provided we don’t wallow in the past.

The Nowhere Office: Reinventing work and the workplace of the future
by Julia Hobsbawm, Hachette £18.99

The pandemic quickly brought the future of work closer, raising questions about the status of the traditional office and the behavior of the workers who used to flock there. This lively introduction unabashedly concludes that Covid-19 and the lockdowns that have followed have brought about a lasting and beneficial change in the way we work and where we work.

the cross: How executives become strategists
by Richard Rumelt Profile Books £16.99/PublicAffairs $30

Another direct guide to corporate strategy and how to formulate and follow it, from veteran professor and consultant Richard Rumelt. The “crunch point” is the most difficult part of a boulder climb and aptly illustrates his point that strategy is not a vague vision but a journey “through, over and around a set of challenges”.

Tell us what you think

What are your favorites from this list – and which books did we miss? Tell us in the comments below

25 million sparks: The Untold Story of Refugee Entrepreneurs
by Andrew Leon Hannah Cambridge University Press £14.99

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

redesign work: How to transform your organization and make hybrid work for everyone
by Lynda Gratton, Penguin Business £14.99/The MIT Press $19.95

Professor and consultant Lynda Gratton seeks real-world examples of how innovative employers, from Fujitsu to HSBC, are creating and managing hybrid and flexible ways of working. With characteristic panache, she shares four practical steps to reshape your organization for the future of work ahead.

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