7 Thought-Provoking Books That Will Change the Way You Work

Here at CSIA we value innovation in business and reading is a great way to unlock new ideas.

Great ideas have the potential to grow your organisation, attract the best staff, meet customer needs, and give you a competitive edge.

But innovation doesn’t only come from senior management. Encouraging your team to think outside of the box and be more creative is great for problem-solving and may even improve your bottom line.

With that in mind we’re looking to the experts to bring you ground-breaking ideas that could change the way you and your team work. Share these books with your team today and encourage their next great idea.

The Age of Agile: How Smart Companies Are Transforming the Way Work Gets Done

by Stephen Denning

Responding rapidly to changing customer needs and technology is vital for the long-term sustainability of your organisation. That’s where Agile Management comes in. It enables a team, a unit, or an enterprise to nimbly adapt and upgrade products and services to meet change. And the process works in any organisation.

Stephen Denning brings a practical guide filled with examples from every sector to help you embrace an agile mindset, overcome constraints, employ meaningful metrics and be more entrepreneurial.

The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google

by Scott Galloway

Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are the four most influential companies on the planet. And Scott Galloway reveals how you can apply the lessons of their ascent to your organisation’s business or even your own career.

Galloway breaks down the strategies of the Four that lurk beneath their shiny veneers. He shows how they manipulate the fundamental emotional needs that have driven us since our ancestors lived in caves, at a speed and scope others can’t match.

Even if your organisation isn’t large-scale, understanding the Four will change the way you strategise for success.

Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas that Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries

by Safi Bahcall

If you’re not sure what to do with a new idea or your organisation’s culture is too rigid for new ideas, the insights in this book will change your mind-set. Physicist and entrepreneur Safi Bahcall reveals a new way of thinking about group behaviour that challenges everything you thought you knew about nurturing radical ideas.

Drawing on the science of ‘phase transitions’, Bahcall shows why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing new ideas to rigidly rejecting them. He identifies the small shifts in structure that control this transition and how to return to a mind-set of nurturing ideas that can change the world.

Who Can You Trust?: How Technology Brought Us Together and Why It Might Drive Us Apart 

by Rachel Botsman

No matter where you work or who you do business with trust is integral to effective communication and collaboration. You may think you understand the fundamentals of trust in your workplace but have you ever thought about how trust is built, managed and repaired in the digital age?

Trust expert Rachel Botsman has and she reveals we are at the tipping point of one of the biggest social transformations in human history. While trust in banks, media and institutions is at an all-time low, at a basic human level trust has never been higher. Millions of people rent their homes to strangers, trust in bots or exchange digital currencies without a second thought.

So how do you maintain trust in the digital age? Botsman provides a detailed map of this uncharted landscape – and explores what’s next for humanity.

The Advantage

by Patrick Lencioni

Regardless of how much your organisation achieves and how savvy it seems, organisational health is the key to success according to Patrick Lencioni. And the key to a healthy organisation is unified management, operations and culture. That means creating a workplace that is free of politics and confusion, a workplace where your star performers never want to leave.

Lencioni provides leaders with a groundbreaking, approachable model for achieving organisational health. It’s about conducting business in a new way that maximizes human potential and aligns your organisation around a common set of principles. 

How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagions

by Damon Centola

What would it mean for your organisation if you could influence behaviour through social networks? Damon Centola has spent over a decade examining how changes in societal behaviour – in voting, health, technology and finance – occur and the way social networks can be used to influence how they propagate. And surprisingly the results of Centola’s research shows that improving the spread of beneficial behaviour is similar to the rapid spread of disease in an epidemic.

Centola’s insights can be applied to solve countless problems of organisational change, cultural evolution, and social innovation. His findings offer important lessons for public health workers, entrepreneurs, and activists looking to harness networks for social change.

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

by Hans Rosling

When you’re running an organisation or managing a project it’s only natural to think of every possible scenario where things could go terribly wrong. But what if the future outcome is better than you anticipated.

Hans Rosling lays out a great case for ten instincts that distort our perspective – from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version of ‘us’ and ‘them’) to the way we consume media (where fear rules) to how we perceive progress (believing that most things are getting worse).

But when you worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, you can lose your ability to focus on the biggest threats. Rosling will change the way you see the world, reduce stress and empower you to respond to future crises and opportunities in a more productive way.