Reading list: May 2012

Some of the titles on my (virtual) bookshelf at the moment:

Imagine: How creativity works Jonah Lehrer
Looks at creativity and innovation at the micro (individual) and macro (team and organisation) levels. Pulls together scientific research plus a stack of illuminating examples from business. Well worth a look.

Ad Land: A global history of advertising Mark Tungate
Pretty much what it says on the tin. As the worlds of marketing and IT increasingly collide, a great way to get to understand some of the cultural history of the world of Mad Men

Digital Wars: Apple, Google, Microsoft and the Battle for the Internet Charles Arthur
The Guardian’s Technology Editor examines what’s happened in the world of consumer technology in the time since Google was founded. An interesting take, although the omission of Amazon from the book’s subtitle is telling of the way in which books about technology really suffer from the lead time involved in creating them…

Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down Vineet Nayar
Haven’t gotten too far into this as yet. As someone who believes in the primacy of the customer or client, I’m looking forward to having my assumptions challenged, or just getting very cross… Nayar turned Indian tech services company HCLT around by taking the approach of putting its employees first

Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography: A Biography Walter Isaacson
That the above is how the book appears in the Kindle store is telling enough. Fascinating insight into the man and the myth. My biggest fear for the future is that Jobs will be held up as an example to emulate when it comes to management in large corporates… Amazing achievements; mostly unacceptable behaviour.
The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses Eric Ries
A take on how to do start up that’s become something of a bible in some start up circles. Haven’t really got into it in depth yet, but interested to see what non-start up businesses can learn from the approaches.
Organizations Don’t Tweet, People Do: A Manager’s Guide to the Social Web Euan Semple
My old chum Euan only went and wrote a book… (Euan and I worked together now and again back at the BBC). Whilst a bit happy to just “bash the IT department”, some good insight into coping with the world of Social within a corporate environment.

The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century Stephen Denning
A critique of established management practices, and thinking about what organisations need to do to align themselves for the challenges of 2012 and beyond.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us Daniel Pink
Probably the single writer who has had most influence over my thinking in the past three years. Simply put: money doesn’t motivate people to work better/harder unless it’s a very clearly bounded, generally physical activity (think bricklaying).

Future Minds: How the Digital Age is Changing Our Minds, Why This Matters and What We Can Do About It Richard Watson

Or – how Facebook and stuff is making us all, like… uncommunicative.

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