This is my personal reading list for 2018. It reflects this year focus on building a new business as well as a comprehensive research into people and organisations. Many of the books this year contributed and shaped my thinking as I was creating the Adaptive Futures Framework. There are also some sidetrack books that I found intriguing on a personal level.

I hope you enjoy it!

#11 DIAGNOSING AND CHANGING ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE by Kim S. Cameron & Robert E. Quinn Based on the competing values framework this book describes a way to assess organisational culture on two main dimensions: External Vs Internal focus AND Stable Vs Flexible. It is easy to understand and implement and can be a useful tool as part of organisational change agents.

How deep do you need to go?

#10 WHEN: THE SCIENTIFIC SECRETS OF PERFECT TIMING by Daniel H Pink.

Daniel Pink is known for his books about motivation and human psychology. In this book, he demonstrates using research that timing is everything. When you make the decisions during a day or in critical points in your life, timing will determine the quality and future success. Great book to read over the holidays

people schedule

#9 THE FUTURE OF THE PROFESSIONS by Daniel and Richard Susskind

The trends described in this book that are already influencing the work we do and have been covered many times before. But the inescapable logic of this book and the level of details and examples, makes it worth reading for everyone who thinks that these trends are someone’s else’s challenge.

the end of the professions

#8 THE LEAN STARTUP by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup describes a set of practices for helping entrepreneurs increase their odds of building a successful startup. At the core is the principle of going as fast as possible through the loop of ideation to learning. Lean practices are now common in organisations and are aiming at eliminating waste and increasing value, faster. The book takes these practices and uses these in the startup context. It is been a useful book to start with for anyone who is not familiar with Lean or innovation cycles.

#7 ZERO TO ONE by Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Paypal and Palantir,  a venture capitalist and one of the early investors in Facebook. The book describes an interesting view on building a successful startup the one that goes from Zero to One as opposed to from One to N.  The book contradicts some very common beliefs in the world of silicon valley startups, venture capitalism and disruption. With Peter’s track record of success, it is definitely a worthwhile book to read.

Zero to one notes

#6 HOMO DEOS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF TOMORROW by Yuval Harari

The author of Sapiens, Yuval Harari is not a futurist but rather a historian. Noting that Humans have managed to almost solve the top three issues that were on people’s agenda for thousands of years (famine, plague and war), he examines what might occupy us next.  Understanding human’s psyche based on our history,  he draws a fascinating discussion on what is predictable and what is possible. The picture is not always in our favour.

#5 21 LESSONS FOR THE 21st CENTURY by Yuval Harari

Looking at the past and the future in his previous books, this book explores the now. The book explores questions ranging from why we are confused and how to explain the wave of nationalism in the west, to the ethical questions raised by technology, big data and artificial intelligence. There is an urgency in discussing many of the points raised in this book as we are in the midst of human relevance, climate and nuclear crises.

AI and ethics

#4 DEEP WORK by Cal Newport

Another book to reflect over the coming holidays. In a world that just get noisier, we add open space, constant gratification, “always on” etc. Can we actually do any work? Deep Work, a term coined by the author, claims we have to develop the ability to concentrate and focus on learning new stuff and doing real work.  A great tribute to flexible working arrangements and online timeouts.

# 3 FIND YOUR WHY: A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR DISCOVERING PURPOSE FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM By Simon Sinek and David Mead

This books follows Simon popular book of START WITH WHY. If you haven’t heard Simon talk about purpose, culture and leadership you should start with his videos. Great speaker. While most organisations know what they do, some know how they do it, only few know why they do what they do. This book is a template to help you find your personal purpose in life through a set of exercises and also provides a useful and easy to follow process for discovering the organisation purpose if it has been lost (which many times happen’s when the founder leaves).

 

# 2 TRIBAL LEADERSHIP by Dave Logan

One of the best books on organisational culture change I have read. Dave Logan describes the journey a person, a leader and an organisations have to go  through in order to create the desired impact in the world. The book has a refreshing view of leadership, its source and its strength that comes from the unity and vision of the tribe. It explains many of the weaknesses we see in the current organisations culture, why we are “stuck” and how to move forward.

# 1 BECOMING by Michelle Obama

An optimistic and insightful book on the way of becoming the person you meant to be, a must read. The main message is that while success later in life (contributing to the world in some meaningful way) is what we do with our life, it is our early context that gives us a chance. As Michelle summarises in her book “My early successes in life were, I knew, a product of the consistent love and high expectations with which I was surrounded as a child, both at home and at school”.