Showing items tagged with "Books of note" - 5 found.
Our book shelf is bulging with books collected over the last thirty years. What is interesting is how many new books are like old wine in new bottles. Few truly ground breaking books have been published in the last few years, possible exceptions being Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century. Instead of buying any new books over the past few months we have been re-reading some golden oldies. Here is our pick of the top five. If you have not read them, they should be on your holiday reading list.
- The 7 habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Covey helps you understand yourself, your goals and the world within which you operate. He provides templates and guidelines to enable you to build on your strengths and overcome your weaknesses which may be holding you back.
- The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen. Christensen demonstrates how a new unforeseen technology break through can knock existing established players out of the game. Written 1997 it is still highly relevant. Witness the demise of the Blackberry when the iPhone arrived.
- The Dilbert Principle by Scott Adams. It will keep you sane and make you laugh in these trying times when the news is all doom and gloom.
- The Age of Unreason by Charles Handy. First published in 1989, it remains the bible for anyone who wants to understand organisational culture, how they work and change how to flourish in the different types of culture.
- Competitive Strategy by Michael Porter. First published in 1980 it provides a simple but fundamental five point model to identify an organisation’s strengths and weaknesses and how they can be used to gain and maintain competitive advantage. Thirty years on it remains unsurpassed in the insight it provides into the core principle of creating organisational competitive strategy. Unless of course an unknown innovator comes along but if you read Competitive Strategy you might be able to pre-empt them.
What are your golden oldies?
Tags: Books of note, Charles Handy, Clayton Christensen, Michael Porter, Scott Adams, Stephen Covey
The forthcoming festive season is a great time to read and plan ahead for the new year. Here are five books which we cannot wait to get stuck into.
- Reclaiming conversations by Sherry Turkle. How few of us live in the present moment. At a recent formal dinner I was dismayed to see half the table checking their iPhones (and alike) and completely disengaged with conversations at the table. The art of conversation has been forsaken for connectivity. Sherry Turkle explores the pluses and minus of this change in social dynamics and consequences for our lives (positive and negative).
- The Letter by Kathryn Hughes. An example of how a self-published e-book can become a paperback hit. Just a page turner but you need them from time to time.
- Engaged; the neuroscience behind creating productive people in successful organizations by Amy Brann. With an academic bias, it provides a different insight into understanding how our brain govern how we behave. Using this insight, Amy provides practical tips on how to apply this knowledge to develop more productive people and organizations.
- Alive, Alive Oh! by Diana Athill. Now in her late nineties, another collection of observations and reflections on life. It is a rude reminder of how wonderful excellent writing can create a crystal clear picture with word alone. Anyone struggling to engage their employees in the art of writing good emails should give this as a Christmas present to the offenders.
- Mindfulness: 25 ways to live in the moment through art by Christophe André. Exquisite pictures which help you clear your head and hence practice mindfulness. A fresh approach and lots of simple, practical exercises to help you relax and chill out not just now but later when the stress builds up again.
What’s on you reading list?
Tags: Amy Brann, Books of note, Christophe André., Diana Athill, Kathryn Hughes, Sherry Turkle
June books of note
Five books caught our attention over the last few weeks.
- The Power of Meditation by Sharon Salzberg. A 28 day plan to reduce stress and induce a calmer approach to life. It’s relatively jargon free and easy to follow. Does it work? Ask us next month!
- It’s All in Your Head:True Stories of Imaginary Illness by Suzanne O’Sullivan. A very controversial book, but provides plenty of food for thought about how we cope with illness and especially some illnesses which some like O’Sullivan, feel are psychosomatic.
- The Weather Experiment by Peter Moore. Part history, part thriller. The story of the development of weather forecasting techniques and especially the barometer.
- A Curious Friendship by Anna Thomasson. The story of the relationship between the blue stocking Edith Oliver and bright young thing Rex Whistler. Again a historical drama which is engrossing if not a little long.
- Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung: A companion by Stewart Spencer and Barry Millington. OMG you may well say. This is because one of the team is going to hear The Ring later this year.
Tags: Anna Thomasson, Books of note, Meditatio, Sharon Salzber, Stewart Spencer and Barry Millington, Suzanne O'Sullivan, Wagner's Ring
Books of Note
The last few months have been spent catching up with the backlog from November and December especially the Innovators by Walter Isaacson. In addition to a digital history lesson, it contains many lessons in how to manage technology innovation and the people associated with it. This month is a mix of new and old books which warrant mention.
- The Organized Mind by Daniel Levitin. This is perhaps my book of the year. Have you found yourself unable to make a decision because of the choice of options, for example buying breakfast cereal, a fibre tip pen etc? Choice is good as it provides a competitive environment, but it is also creating massive information overload. Levitin’s main proposition is that mobile devices are shrinking our brain power because they offer so many distractions. As a result we find ourselves unable to focus and through acute information overload. Levitin offers an insight to how our brains function and why email addiction is so prevalent. Through case histories he offers some practical advise to improve help us regain our power to think strategically and improve our performance.
- It’s Complicated – the social lives of networked teens by Danah Boyd. Do you want to understand the digital world through the eyes of the millenials and for that matter your own children? What attracts them on-line and what turns them off? This book provides some answers and a useful insight in to the on-line behaviour of the youth of today.
For a client assignment, I recently re-read two classics on change management. Both are short and written over ten years ago. However, the underlying themes and guidance on why and how to change still resonate. Indeed they feel even more current in today’s world where the pace of change is now so fast that if you take a month off you might find you need to re-skill or worse still extinct.
- Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson. Written as a parable – it’s very amusing and thought provoking about the need to let go and move on, otherwise you might find ‘you become extinct’.
- Our Iceberg Is Melting by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber. Similarly written as a fable this time about penguins. It has a useful eight step change management plan and an underlying theme of reverse mentoring.
Tags: Books of note, Change management, Danah Boyd, Daniel Levitin, email addiction, information overload
A trip to the USA means some unusual books made their way onto the table last month.
The Map Thief by Michael Blanding. An esteemed dealer who becomes an obsessive thief of rare maps. A must for any map collector but also a good read for those who like intrigue.
The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide. A delightful story set in Japan with a very good insight in to Japanese culture and life.
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. Frank Lloyd was an inspirational architect and very naughty. Not a new book but new to us.
Zingerman’s Guide to Good Eating by Ari Weinzweig. Zingermans is an institution in Ann Arbor MI and this wonderful book is by one of its founders.
Adventures in Stationery: a journey through your pencil case by James Ward. They say the history of stationery is the history of civilisation. How true. This book also gives a history of some of the key inventors in the world of stationery such as Mr Biro.
The Innovators: how a group of hackers, geniuses and geeks created a digital revolution by Walter Isaacson. Any new book by Isaacson is a must read and this is no exception for those interested in the evolution of the information age.
What’s on your bedside table (conventional or as an e-book)?
Tags: Ari Weinzweig, Books of note, Frank Lloyd, James Ward, Michael Blanding, Nancy Horan, Takashi Hiraide, Walter Isaacson, Zingermans