The Globotics Upheaval: Globalisation, Robotics and the Future of Work
This book is one of my favourites go to on the topic of the future of work. Richard Baldwin, one of the world’s leading globalisation experts, argues that the inhuman speed of this transformation threatens to overwhelm our capacity to adapt. The main question the book raises is what measures will people and governments take in response to such a tectonic economic and cultural shift? How do we avoid the prospect of undermining the very foundations of prosperity?
While when reading the book you can’t argue with the actual changes that are happening, in the “real world” in my view we are experiencing the same conversations we had a few years ago about climate changes. “It is a theoretical negative view”, “history does not support the predictions”, “yes, but here in New Zealand, we don’t need to worry as much…”. I do hope that action is taken before it is too late.
Get off the Grass: Kickstarting New Zealand’s Innovation Economy
Recommended by a colleague, I agree, a must-read for anyone interested in New Zealand future. Shaun Hendy and Paul Callaghan explore how New Zealanders can learn to live off knowledge rather than nature. The key to increasing New Zealand’s prosperity, they argue, is innovation in high-tech niches. To catch up with the countries that lure young Kiwis away, New Zealand needs to start innovating like a city of four million people; it needs to start taking science seriously; it needs to start seeing its people as people of learning, not just of the land. So if you needed the numbers to prove that we are lagging, that we should move of primary industries and that there is a future if we start now, read this book. It goes together with The Globotics Upheaval and what will happen wif we don’t. Wake up New Zealand is the ultimate message here!
Finite and Infinite Games
With the latest publicity of the concept promoted
by Simon Sinek new book with the same title, I decided to go back to the
source. A theoretical book, sometimes hard to follow but with a profound view
of life, business and the game we play. It is clear that the main game most
companies are playing is the finite game; the aim is to win to end the game. But
what happens if we change our mindset and choose to participate in the infinite
game where the rules may vary, the boundaries may change, even the participants
may change with the aim for the game to never be allowed to come to an end?
Highly recommend, it might transform the way you live your life forever. If you want a more digestible version of the
same, with more practical advice on how to play this infinite game read Simon’s
The Dance of Change: The challenges to sustaining momentum in a learning organization
This book is a classic in
the space of system thinking and change. Following from his book, the fifth
discipline, the author describes moving from a one-off shift in the ongoing
learning organisation, the one that can cope with the unpredictable future. I
have used this theory in my blog about agile
spreading vs scaling. The book helps
in understanding how to anticipate the challenges that profound change will
ultimately force the organisation to face. One of the most common excuses nowadays
in business is “not enough time”. The author shows how within the lack of
control over time available for innovation and learning initiatives, lies a
valuable opportunity to reframe the way people organise their workplaces. Another
classic management book you should read
Measure What Matters: OKRs: The Simple Idea that Drives 10x Growth
OKRs are still a popular term with many companies, particularly where big consultancy is involved. Of course, measurements without the broad strategic vision, ethical behaviour and data can cause the end of a company, but if used well, everyone can agree that setting goals are must for business success. The author John Doerr invested nearly $12 million in a startup and introduced the founders to Objectives Key Results (OKRs). The startup grew from forty employees to more than 70,000 with a market cap exceeding $600 billion. The startup was Google. The book includes many other case studies and demonstrates how to collect timely, relevant data to track progress. Good essential reading for management.
Hit Refresh: A Memoir by Microsoft’s CEO
Microsoft’s CEO tells the inside story of the company’s continuing transformation, while tracing his own journey from a childhood in India to leading some of the most significant changes of the digital era. I loved reading this book. Following Microsoft latest years, I am inspired by how an authentic, emphatetic, human centred CEO can turn a massive company around to retake their place as the leading tech company with innovation and sustainable growth. A great read to refresh your thinking about the power of organisation culture and leadership.
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup ‘unicorn’ promised to revolutionise the medical industry with a machine that would make blood tests significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: the technology didn’t work. This has been #1 read for me this year. A thriller of the real world, to be repeated with the crash of WeWork and the questions around other unicorn startups with no real value to substantiate their valuation. I wonder, how come highly experienced venture capitalists, senators, successful businesspeople all sitting on the board and investing many millions are missing on what every person can see. There is nothing there…
The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story
Slightly different book to my usual business list. This is a fascinating look into life under one of the world’s most ruthless and secretive dictatorships and the story of one woman’s terrifying struggle to avoid capture/repatriation and guide her family to freedom. Hyeonseo’s story is a story of courage and determination to go beyond what you were raised to believe is right. A great read over the summer holidays while a destination hopefully as different as possible to North Korea.