I approach book reviews with a little trepidation, especially when they focus on business and success in the same mouthful, you have to take a deep breath because you know you know you’ll be faced with a barrage of dry material. Well not here, not in The Greatest Planet in the Universe by Neville Lake.

It does all the things that business promise, talks about delivering business success, presents cutting edge ideas but when I started to read it I actually had to force myself to put it down.

This is a novel way to write a business book, as a novel. It is extremely entertaining and lets you enjoy it as a bit of leisure activity while at the same time teaching you a lot about business, including the business of advanced manufacturing. It’s almost subliminal.

There’s chapters that talk about lean manufacturing, leadership, problem solving but as the author said, The reason I wrote it as a novel is that stories sell a message much better than any other way of conveying information. Also stories stick. Years after reading a story a person can repeat it, but a string of facts is typically forgotten within a few days.

Neville interviewed a host of people including business founders, millionaire entrepreneurs, heads of government departments, agents for celebrities and an Oscar winner among many others.

Neville has been a strategic and business consultant for the past 25 years. He understands what makes organisations work at the operational, tactical and strategic levels. He knows what really drives success.