Summer readingsJune 2019

12 recommendations for your summer reading list

  • As we were looking for good books for ourself for the summer vacation ahead, we got into a discussion about the best reads within people, organisation and growth-areas, which then got us to put the following list of recommendations together.
    One of the things we love about vacation is the opportunity to get a break our daily routines (even though we love our work), an opportunity to relax our minds and get our abstraction levels up. One of the best ways of doing, this is by reading books, but watch out - you might get back from vacation with a whole new view on how to approach your work-life in the future.

  • 1 The Start-Up Way by Eric Ries
    How modern organizations use entrepreneurial management to transform long-term growth.
    A fantastic very hands-on book on how to transform/create the optimal culture for growth, building on Eric’s principles within Minimum Viable Product and the lean startup. If you haven’t read his prior book, The Lean Startup, you should definitely start there. It’s an absolute must read, that more or less defined the term ‘MVP’.

    2 The Craftsman by Richard Sennett
    The Craftsman names a basic human impulse: the desire to do a job well for its own sake. Sennett argues that the craftsman’s realm is far broader than skilled manual labour; the computer programmer, the doctor, the parent and the citizen need to learn the values of good craftsmanship today.

    3 Zero To One by Peiter Thiel

    Notes on how to do startups or how to build the future.
    Peiter Thiel is inspiring in many ways - his principles on how to avoid competition, how you should aim for monopoly and of course the success, he has created and the talents, whom he has nurtured. One of his very interesting findings, highlighted in the book, is how many successful founders has a troubled childhood and how this has helped them create the successes, which they have today.

    4 Measure what matters by John Doer
    How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation rock the world with OKR.
    OKR (objective, key results) is an amazing bottom-up tool for driving performance management, innovation and organisational growth. This book brings it down to a very compehensible level with many great and inspiring examples of its impact. More than giving great insights on OKR, it is also a good and entertaining read. If you grow fond of OKR after reading this book, you should consider to read up on Holacracy as well.

    5 The hard things about hard things by Ben Howitz
    Building a business when there is no easy answers.
    This book we love simply for telling it like it is in a very no bullshit kind of way and especially for putting “labels” on some of the bigger obstacles, which aren’t easy to tackle, when growing a business. Another great thing about this book, is that Ben Howitz is a big rap fan and his way of drawing parallels to hip hop culture is amazing.

    6 Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull
    A book from one of the co-founders of Pixar and an inspiring story of their development from simply being an idea to where the coompany is today. A story where Steve Jobs plays a surprisingly big role by believing and investing in them at a stage, where nobody else would. Throughout the book there’s a big focus on culture, leadership and innovation.

    7 Competing values by Jeff Degraff et al.
    tool to understand organizational culture and it’s effects on performance.
    To be honest this is not the most well-written or entertaining book, but the framework itself is amazing and there are so many great take-aways, especially for startup culture. Thus, if you aren’t aware of the framework, this is a recommendable read.

    8 Principles: Life and Business by Ray Dalio
    One of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, Ray Dalio, shares the unconventional principles, he’s developed, refined and used over the past forty years to create unique results in both life and business. Principles any person or organization can adopt to achieve their goals.

    9 Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
    In this book Malcolm Gladwell takes the reader on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers" - the best and the brightest. We find this to be a good and very well-written book to elevate understanding of what makes high-achievers great. Spoiler alert: it isn't what you would think.

    10 Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works by A.G. Lafley & Roger L. Martin
    Simply put, this is a playbook for winning. It is a good read getting to the heart of strategy; explaining what it’s for, how to think about it, why you need it, and how to get it done.

    11 Jytte fra Marketing er desværre gået for idag by Morten Munster (soon in english)
    This book translates research from the latest 40 years on human behaviour into a tangible 4 step process, making it possible for anyone to work with behavioral design in a sophisticated manner. We personally enjoy it; it's like a crash course in how to nudge.

    12 Pseudoarbejde - Hvordan vi fik travlt med at lave ingenting af Dennis Nørmark & Anders Fogh Jensen (only in Danish)
    The book describes how we in today's workplace do too many irrelevant tasks with no real purpose and little meaning. It isn't a very long or complex read, but none the less one filled with food for thoughts.

    Happy summer and happy reading!

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