Whether you’re traveling or working this summer, we’ve got you set with interesting and informative reads. Covering topics ranging from architecture to corporate innovation, emerging technologies and the state of the global financial system, there’s something for everyone on our summer reading list.
For Travelers: Finding the Beauty and Potential in Ruined Places
If you are traveling this summer, you might want to visit some of the formerly abandoned spaces and ruined buildings that have since been renovated and repurposed, as shown in “Ruin and Redemption in Architecture” (Phaidon Press, April 2019) by innovative design expert Dan Barasch. In the book and in a recent Minds Worth meeting podcast, Barasch reveals how to imaginatively restore derelict places across the world to their former glory.
For Entrepreneurial Leaders: How to Turn Your Ideas into Realities
Great innovators need not just have great ideas, but the connections and confidence that leadership experts Jeff Dyer, Nathan Furr and Curtis Lefrandt call “innovation capital.” This summer, entrepreneurs and creative executives must read Dyer’s and Furr’s latest book, “Innovation Capital: How to Compete – and Win – Like the World’s Most Innovative Leaders” (HBR Press, June 2019), and watch this insightful video by Dyer, to learn how to sell their ideas – to organizations, investors and the general public.
For Tech Enthusiasts (and Everyone Else): Who is Using AI to Transform our Lives?
People may have begun holding big tech companies more accountable, but according to leading futurist Amy Webb, the problem is actually far more alarming than many believe. In her book “The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity” (PublicAffairs, March 2019), which was reviewed positively by such leading publications as The Financial Times, Webb reveals how nine companies are increasingly dominating how AI is developed and employed – and by extension, are shaping the future of our entire world. This is a must-read for tech enthusiasts, but it is equally important for those who are not proficient in how AI and big data actually shape our lives.
For People Interested in Finance: How Does Finance Really Work?
We all depend on the global financial system, but many of us lack an understanding of how it operates. In “How Finance Works: The HBR Guide to Thinking Smart About the Numbers” (HBR Press, April 2019), Mihir Desai explains and demystifies how companies fund their investments and create value. Make sure you also read Desai’s provocative New York Times article on why people who care about the financial system should have wanted Uber’s IPO this year to fail.
For Business Leaders: The Right Way to Innovate
Not all innovation strategies are right – and not all innovators have to be small startups. In his recent book “Creative Construction: The DNA of Sustained Innovation” (PublicAffairs, January 2019), which was also reviewed and summarized by Strategy + Business, Gary Pisano outlines how large companies successfully (and unsuccessfully) create and implement innovation strategies that drive growth and transformation.
For Brand-Builders: Connecting with Consumers
If you work in marketing or public relations, you should definitely pre-order Kai D. Wright’s upcoming book “Follow the Feeling: Brand Building in a Noisy World” (Wiley, August 2019). Wright, an expert on branding and advisor to Fortune 500 companies who spoke at this year’s SXSW Conference, draws on behavioral psychology to offer new insights on how businesses can entice consumers into being loyal to their brands. In a world with ever more “noise,” Wright’s expertise will become increasingly necessary for firms looking to stay relevant and desirable.