Start well 2019 – Reading list

Here is our selection of 10 of the best business books published in 2018. Topics covered include leadership, artificial intelligence, influence and power, problem solving, and more. From the whole team at Business Digest, happy reading!

The Mind of the Leader: How to Lead Yourself, Your People, and Your Organization for Extraordinary Results

by Rasmus HOUGAARD and Jacqueline CARTER (Harvard Business Review, March 2018).

88% of global employees say their leaders fail to engage them and 35% would accept a pay cut just to see their leaders fired. This is a crisis, which the $46 billion spent annually around the world on leadership development seems to be doing little to resolve. Authors Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter say the solution lies in addressing people’s intrinsic motivation, identifying 3 leadership qualities essential for meeting this challenge.

AI Superpowers:
China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order

by Kai-Fu Lee (Hougton Mifflin, September 2018).

The tech world’s top leaders – including Satya Nadella, Marc Benioff, and Yann LeCun – all cite this book as one of the year’s must-reads on the disruptive shifts of artificial intelligence. A world-renowned investor and leading AI expert, author Kai-Fu Lee weighs up American, Chinese, and his own perspectives on the enormous changes that AI is set to unleash in the coming years – and how to integrate them so they will act as a force not for unemployment and inequality but instead for prosperity and progress.

The AI Advantage: How to Put the Artificial Intelligence Revolution to Work (Management on the Cutting Edge)

by Thomas H. DAVENPORT and Paul MICHELMAN (MIT Press, October 2018).

Tech thought leader Thomas Davenport is back with co-author Paul Michelman with a concrete guide to integrating AI into the real-world, daily challenges of your business and teams. Unlike thinkers such as Kai-Fu Lee (see AI Superpowers), Davenport believes that AI isn’t set to replace us human workers in the coming years but instead to augment our abilities and enable us to achieve small wins in our processes, decision-making, and products & services.

New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World – and How to Make it Work for You

by Jeremy HEIMANS and Henry TIMMS (Doubleday, April 2018).

Shortlisted for the “FT/McKinsey Business Book of the Year” and warmly recommended by Business Digest’s own innovation expert Navi Radjou, this book explores the change in power dynamics in today’s digitally connected, decentralized global communities. The 3 keys to “new power” as opposed to “old power” — openness, storytelling, and self-organization – lend themselves extremely well to new business modes, including the burgeoning business for social impact movement.

Super Connector: Stop Networking and Start Building Business Relationships that Matter

by Scott Gerber and Ryan Paugh (Da Capo Lifelong Books, February 2018).

Networking the old-fashioned way – doing the rounds at events with your business card or maximizing your number of contacts on social networks – won’t get you far. This is because it’s the quality, not quantity, of connections that counts. Relevance matters. The “super connectors” described by coauthors Scott Gerber and Ryan Paugh make connections that help everyone involved achieve objectives, solve problems, and create value.

Reinforcements:How to Get People to Help You

by Heidi Grant (HBR Press, June 2018).

In today’s busy, collaborative work environments, if you don’t ask for help when you need it, you risk drowning alone. Ironically, most of us are terrible at asking for help while being hardwired to give help to others when asked. Learn how to better channel people’s desire to help you into what you need to get done!

The Art of Gathering:
How We Meet and Why It Matters

by Priya Parker (Riverhead Books, May 2018)

Everyone complains about meetings. But what if, thanks to a few simple changes, you could host and attend meetings that were genuinely meaningful and memorable? Author Priya Parker argues that the biggest obstacle between you and truly useful, productive meetings is general discomfort with taking the risks inherent to genuine human connection and exchange and, in response, outlines why and how to take back and “own your power” as host and participant!

Cracked It! How to Solve Big Problems and Sell Solutions Like Top Strategy Consultants

by Bernard GARRETTE, Corey PHELPS, Olivier SIBONY (Springer International Publishing, June 2018).

Complex problem solving ranked among the 5 most important leadership skills in a 2017 poll from the Finanical Times. The problem? There is a continual shortage of effective complex problem solvers. Cracked It provides a 4-stage problem- solving method to honing this critical leadership skill (which you won’t be able to delegate to AI anytime soon). A must-read!

Clarity First: How Smart Leaders and Organizations Achieve Outstanding Performance

by Karen Martin (McGraw Hill, March 2018).

Clarity is often painful. Hence why so many people — and their organizations along with them — avoid it. Meanwhile, ambiguity makes it possible to put off decision-making and evade responsibilities. What’s lack of clarity costing you and your organization? And what can you do to turn the tide? From what we can see at Business Digest, clarity is one of THE key imperatives for the companies of tomorrow…

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, and Anna Rosling Rönnlund (Sceptre, April 2018).

Bill Gates praises this book on how to overcome your innate cognitive biases as one of the must-reads of the year. In Gate’s words, “The bulk of the book is devoted to 10 instincts that keep us from seeing the world factfully.” A book for any decision-maker looking to see –the world and / or their business and teams — more clearly and objectively.