Author Joel Kurtzman has good connections. The former editor of Harvard Business Review has compiled a storehouse of great management thinking by rounding up contributors like junk bond king Michael Milken, Segway inventor Dean Kamen and Harvard's strategy star Michael Porter. The result is MBA in a Box: Practical Ideas from the Best Brains in Business. With short, thought-provoking chapters on innovation, human resources, strategy and leadership, the book covers every topic a business person needs. MBA in a Box strives to balance fun and practicality. It succeeds most of the time, but some of the famous contributors will leave readers wanting. For instance, Porter's look at the power of location and Milken's take on capital structure feel like school lectures. However, Kamen starts the book off right with a compelling comparison of invention versus innovation. The finance and accounting section (one of Kurtzman's favorites) includes Les Livingstone's deft explanation of the pros and cons of the recent Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Robert Metcalf's powerful defense of stock options. Kurtzman is proud that he "thought inside the box" to create a toolkit for professionals, but his book will still shake up readers' thinking and stretch minds.
Stephanie Swilley will receive her MBA this month from Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School of Management.