So many books, so little time. I love to read, but seldom have the time to do it. And when I do, I want to “unplug” – spend a little time in a fictional world chasing dragons, finding magic and getting involved in other people’s stories. That being said, there is value to reading for business as well, and some fabulous books that provide wonderful insights and new ways to approach problems for anyone caught up in the day-to-day craziness of keeping up in their field.
Here’s what is on my radar right now.
One of LinkedIn’s most popular posts this year was “20 Books Every Marketer Should Read in 2018.” I haven’t read them all, but one book made an impact on my thinking in the last few years: Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant, by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. In a nutshell – “Blue ocean strategy creates new demand. Companies develop uncontested market space rather than fight over a shrinking profit pool.” You can find out more about blue ocean strategy here.
Earlier this year, Bill Gates shared the five books you should read this summer. Summer’s over, but there is no reason not to check out Leonardo da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson. Gates points out that “the attribute that stands out above all else was his sense of wonder and curiosity.” If you’ve lost your sense of wonder and curiosity, think about how you can gain it back.
Last, as a lover of science fiction, I was delighted to read in the Harvard Business Review an article titled “Why Business Leaders Need to Read More Science Fiction.” I love so many of the books mentioned in this article – William Gibson’s Neuromancer, Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, and yes, George Orwell’s 1984.
As the article states, “Science fiction isn’t useful because it’s predictive. It’s useful because it reframes our perspective on the world. Like international travel or meditation, it creates space for us to question our assumptions.” And that is useful in business as well as in our personal lives.
Happy reading! What books have informed your business thinking?