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Books on the bedside table

Posted Friday February 13th, 2015, 7:09 pm by

Books of Note

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.

New Books

  1.  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.
  2. 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.

Old Books

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.

  1. 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’.
  2. 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.

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