Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency
By Tom DeMarco, Broadway, $23

Stop killing yourself. And stop killing everybody working for and with you. Wringing 100 percent of the productivity from organizations and people has long been management’s Holy Grail. Management consultant Tom DeMarco now says that’s wrong. The more efficient you are, he holds, the less flexible you are. Given that adaptability and responsiveness to change are among business’s most sought-after goals today, this claim warrants attention. DeMarco delivers, systematically defacing the ultra-efficiency banner and constructing a new sign that says adding downtime, dream time, and other slack will make companies more resilient and more productive.

Customer Winback: How to Recapture Lost Customers — and Keep Them Loyal
By Jill Griffin and Michael W. Lowenstein, Jossey-Bass, $28.95

Every year, a typical business loses 20 to 40 percent or more of its customers — and few try to win them back. Marketing savants Jill Griffin and Michael Lowenstein say it doesn’t have to be that way, and show why and how.

Building Trust: In Business, Politics, Relationships and Life
By Robert C. Solomon and Fernando Flores, Oxford University Press, $22

If a philosopher and a corporate CEO can overcome differences and write a book analyzing the nature of trust and how to achieve or regain and sustain it, they must be onto something.