For the first two blog articles of 2015, we have compiled a choice selection of books from the world of business. Some have been published recently while others are classics which have new editions appearing constantly due to their timeless value and are included on the reading list for this year in case we haven’t read them yet. Although such lists are always incomplete and subjective – and we have left quite a few runners up in the editing room – these are our ten suggestions.
Scrum, by Jeff Sutherland
In order to be competitive, companies need to be agile. Achieving this agility requires introducing changes to traditional management models. In this book Jeff Sutherland – one of the authors of the Agile Manifesto – explains how to adopt a high performance model in order to enhance productivity and reduce the time spent on projects. (“Scrum,” as he calls the method, refers to the teamwork used in rugby to move the ball down the field.)
The Gen Z Effect. The Six Forces Shaping the Future of Business, by Tom Koulopoulos and Dan Keldsen
Despite what one might think, the great technological advances and unprecedented progress we are experiencing in many fields need not create a generation gap or place limits on some professionals. The authors of the book explain how to overcome this “fault” in organisations so that it doesn’t become an obstacle to innovation.
Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, is one of the most important contemporary thinkers in the world. In this book he uses psychology to reveals how our brain works when making decisions, the two systems we use to make them (the fast one, intuitive and emotional, and the slow one, with a logical character), the advantages and disadvantages of both, and in which situations we should use one or the other. His contributions are applicable in any sphere, whether professional or personal.
Business Adventures, by John Brooks
John Brooks wrote this book more than 40 years ago but, even though so much has changed on the business scene since it was first published, the value of his contributions remain intact because he is a master at dealing with the fundamentals of management and company strategy (which have not changed), using real case studies to exemplify his points.
Bill Gates says that Business Adventures is the best business book he has ever read.
A Passion for Success, by Kazuo Inamori
This book outlines the Japanese entrepreneur and philanthropist Kazuo Inamori’s philosophy of success. The founder and former president of Kyocera Corporation explains the key strategies to continually nourish the passion for work, which in his opinion is the essence of success. Still largely unread in the West, it is a classic which deals with business endeavours from a perspective focused on human potential and based on Buddhist teachings.