Are you also someone who prefers to wait for the movie to come out rather than struggle through a few hundred pages of literature? Well, I am. Nevertheless, I do occasionally find myself tempted to read an interesting publication that crosses my path. Usually, because it has been recommended to me by someone who has a good feeling for its relevance and quality. Below is a list of six books and publications that helped shape my personal and professional attitudes and vision, and which I also enjoyed reading.
Chief Culture Officer, How to Create a Living, Breathing Corporation (Grant McCracken)
This is a typical American-style management book in which a great insight that could have been made in one chapter is spread out across too many pages. Nevertheless, it is a smooth read and presents a highly valuable concept. Plus, anyone who can demystify the blind adoration for Steve Jobs is always going to grab my attention.
The seven habits of highly effective people (Stephen Covey)
A classic, and I am not ashamed to admit I read it with great gusto. Just ignore the American-style examples about Church communities and translate the useful tools into your daily practices. And discover if you too are driven by your principles.
“Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Money – Technology-Based Art and the Dynamics of Sustainability” (Michael Naimark)
The first piece of literature in which I found confirmation for my own ideas and beliefs. And still highly relevant. It specifies the details for creating an “Arts Lab,” a unique hybrid of art center and research lab. Freely available on the web.
The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)
The one I selected myself. It crossed my path during my Biochemistry studies and looked more appealing than – for example – Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’ (for which you can just see one of the many movies).
One of the first non-fiction books I bought and read. It remains a great example on how insights from one domain (Genetics) can cross-over to another (Sociology).
Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow (Yuval Noah Harari)
What Nirvana’s Nevermind album meant for grunge is what this book means for 21st Century visionary publications. It became widely popular, very quickly, and early adopters might therefore look down on people that refer to it now. But this does not make it any less relevant. It’s one of those books you couldn’t put down and does not require any specific knowledge on the subject. The first three quarters are a brilliant run through Human history. The final quarter builds on forward looking statements. Read this brilliant book and join me in the discussion on which important elements the author might have been neglecting in these forward-looking statements. (And although I consider myself amongst the early readers of Homo Deus, I have not (yet) read Sapiens or 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. I also only have the Nevermind album in my collection but am still aware of the brilliance of Nirvana Unplugged).
“Passion-based co-creation” (Tua Björklund, Miko Laakso, Senni Kirjavainen, Kalevi Ekman – Aalto Design Factory)