HIT REFRESH - The Quest to Discover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone
AUTHOR: Satya Nadella
SUMMARY: (via Good Reads) "As told by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Hit Refresh is the story of corporate change and reinvention as well as the story of Nadella’s personal journey, one that is taking place today inside a storied technology company, and one that is coming in all of our lives as intelligent machines become more ambient and more ubiquitous. It’s about how people, organizations and societies can and must hit refresh—transform—in their persistent quest for new energy, new ideas, relevance and renewal. At the core, it’s about us humans and our unique qualities, like empathy, which will become ever more valuable in a world where the torrent of technology will disrupt like never before. As much a humanist as a technologist, Nadella defines his mission and that of the company he leads as empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more."
EXTRA THOUGHTS: Hit Refresh is more than a leadership perspective. It's a wonderful reminder of the intersect of business and humanity and how we leverage our opportunities, success and position within business to create change in the world...the kind of change we want to see.
My two favourites from the book
1. The 3 Cs (learnt from Steve Ballmer): i. Concept - the outer ring or the need for the organisation to have a conceptual vision, ii. Capability - the middle ring asks whether a company has the skills to build, and finally, iii. Culture - is of course, the bulls-eye and emphases the need for organisations to build a culture that embraces new concepts and capabilities without choking them out. ‘Culture is how an organisation thinks and acts, but individuals shape it.’
2. Business principles are like cricket! I specifically love the anecdote on helping shape culture and therefore organisational success, through business principles learned from...cricket: i. Compete vigorously and with passion in the face of uncertainty and intimidation ii. Put your team first, ahead of your personal statistics and recognition iii. The central role of leadership is about bringing out the best in everyone. To build and sustain innovation-producing and customer-pleasing products what’s required are smart partnerships and the alchemy of purpose, innovation and empathy.
REVIEWS: Via Amazon
BUY: Available at any leading bookseller or online at Amazon
UTOPIA FOR REALISTS and How we Can Get There
AUTHOR: Rutger Bregman
SUMMARY: (via Sunday Times) "We live in a time of unprecedented upheaval, with questions about the future, society, work, happiness, family and money, and yet no political party of the right or left is providing us with answers.
Rutger Bregman shows that we can construct a society with visionary ideas that are, in fact, wholly implementable. Every milestone of civilization - from the end of slavery to the beginning of democracy - was once considered a utopian fantasy. New utopian ideas such as universal basic income and a 15-hour work week can become reality in our lifetime.
This guide to a revolutionary yet achievable utopia is supported by multiple studies, lively anecdotes and numerous success stories. Bregman takes us on a journey through history, beyond the traditional left-right divides, as he introduces ideas whose time has come."
EXTRA THOUGHTS: You don't have to agree with every aspect of one man's view of utopia but it's challenging to read Dutch Historian, Rutger Bregman's, "Utopia for Realists" without it making you think of the possibilities for reshaping modern society or learning specific elements or details on history and capitalism to challenge what you think you know.
Bregman has no axe to grind, rather presents his perspective and possible solutions for some of the questions we currently have.
While much of the criticism of the book stems from views on capitalism and its state of disrepair or necessity, from which end of the political spectrum they support, agreement on the possible causes of the issues we now face, and the degree to which the critics understand forthcoming challenges, the reality is Bregman is guilty of nothing more than a view of utopia different to that of the next man.
Whether you agree with his views on capitalism or the concepts of Universal Basic Income and a shorter work week as antidotes to the failings of capitalism and future challenges, "Utopia for Realists" is worthy in its efforts to at least make us review aspects of society from another perspective and more importantly to encourage us to think more boldly and beyond ourselves; - to dream big, encourage fresh ideas, imagine a better future, and invite us to represent moral purpose in commercial pursuits for the betterment of all.
Hope it makes you think too.
REVIEWS: Via Bloomsbury or Amazon
BUY: Available at any leading bookseller including Dymocks
WE'RE TALKING SOCIAL AND DIGITAL
If you can't get enough of different perspectives on all things digital and social media and hearing about trends and details on what's really happening in and shaping the media landscape, this podcast series from Adam Fraser is great listening.
Chock full of conversations with some of the smartest and experienced media personalities in market it's enlightening and informative.
Category: Marketing and Management
Description (from iTunes):
EchoJunction Founder Adam Fraser interviews a range of social media and digital marketing thought leaders, marketing professionals and marketing technology executives from around the globe in this podcast about the social media and digital marketing strategic landscape. By speaking to the brightest minds in the global industry, this podcast will help you rise above the noise to make sense of the fast moving and ever changing social media and digital marketing sector.
Find it on iTunes or via the EchoJuntion website.
THE INEVITABLE; Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future
AUTHOR: Kevin Kelly
SUMMARY: [from the Viking catalog] "From one of our leading technology thinkers and writers, a guide through the twelve technological imperatives that will shape the next thirty years and transform our lives.
Much of what will happen in the next thirty years is inevitable, driven by technological trends that are already in motion. These larger forces will completely revolutionize the way we buy, work, learn, and communicate with each other. By understanding and embracing them, it will be easier for us to remain on top of the coming wave of changes and to arrange our day-to-day relationships with technology in ways that bring forth maximum benefits. Kevin Kelly provides an optimistic road map for the future, showing how the coming changes in our lives can be understood as the result of a few long-term, accelerating forces."
EXTRA THOUGHTS: "The Inevitable" provides a broad context for understanding where we are headed and what the possibilities for the future or work, education, communication and media, and commerce are. Regardless of industry, and whether you're a business leader, strategist, product developer, researcher, data scientist, educator or marketer, we should should all be 'eyes open' and conscious of the impact of digital and technological disruption and the challenges and opportunities it presents.
One I'm sure you'll learn a few things from - you may even find yourself needing to Google concepts and explore more in some areas. Guarantee you won't regret reading this one.
REVIEWS via Kelly's site
BUY: Available from leading booksellers or where I got mine; Amazon
MATE PODCAST SERIES
Adam Jaffrey presents some of the most inspiring conversations which sit on the junction of Marketing, Advertising, Technology and Entrepreneurship. If you're looking for a series on media/marketing, innovation and futurism, MATE talks with some particularly insightful forward thinkers from around the globe.
One of my favourites.
Category: Marketing and Management
Description (from iTunes):
Adam Jaffrey travels the world to interview business leaders, marketing professionals, entrepreneurs and technologists. Subscribe to hear their lessons in Marketing, Advertising, Technology and Entrepreneurship (i.e. MATE). Interview topics include: business, innovation, strategy, digital marketing, online selling, social media and other fascinating topics. Hosted by Adam Jaffrey: Digital Strategist and Entrepreneur. Made with love in Melbourne, Australia.
Find it on iTunes or via the MATE Podcast website.
MAKING IDEAS HAPPEN; Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality
AUTHOR: Scott Belsky
SUMMARY: (via Penguin Random House) "According to productivity expert Scott Belsky, no one is born with the ability to drive creative projects to completion. Execution is a skill that must be developed by building your organizational habits and harnessing the support of your colleagues.
As the founder and CEO of Behance, a company on a mission to empower and organize the creative world, Belsky has studied the habits of especially productive individuals and teams across industries. Now he has compiled the principles and techniques they share, and presents a systematic approach to creative organization and productivity."
Belsky presents the practical techniques of 'serial creatives' - those few who make their visions a reality.
EXTRA THOUGHTS: I'm often guilty of being able to generate or find great ideas, but this book reasons why it's better to develop the capacity to make ideas happen and gives the tips and tools to develop this enduring capacity.
I'm also not one for reading instruction manuals or self-help books but much of Belsky's advise is counter-intuitive making the rebel in me continue reading and find it both useful and motivating.
REVIEWS: Via Penguin Random House
BUY: Available at any leading bookseller including World of Books