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Pulp non-fiction: the worst business books of 2022

Some 10,000 business books are published annually in the US, the world’s biggest market. Almost all are unputdownable, of course, but inevitably just a few clunkers slip through publishers’ rigorous filters. Here are some (entirely imaginary) examples of titles to avoid in 2022.

Cozy Up To Your Co-Worker! An academic and a coach with zero hands-on management experience serve up just under 300 pages of wishful thinking about how a combination of purpose, empathy, diversity, inclusion — and hugs! — will put a smile on the face of your exhausted subordinates and enable you to delay their long overdue pay rise for a few more months.

The ME in Team. The recently retired chief executive of a company you have never heard of has spent a tiny fraction of his multimillion-dollar pay-off to hire a ghostwriter. The outcome is this tone-deaf account of his heroic military service and subsequent seamless rise to the top, glossing over embarrassments, lawsuits, profit warnings and repeated rounds of redundancies. History written by the victor.

Square Pegs: Smash Your Strategy into Shape. Seven partners from a well-known management consultancy turn their PowerPoint slides and the confidential insights you provided as their client into what looks ostensibly like a brand new way to do strategy. The good news: you now know where your fees went. The bad news: you are about to receive a box of complimentary copies for you and your executive team, the world’s heaviest and least…

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