The year is almost over. Every new year is a new opportunity to improve yourself to be the person you want to be. You can begin to achieve all of your aims and goals. But you need a strategy, a formula, something that will help you approach and achieve your goals. A good place to start is reading a book, that can help you. We’ve selected 10 books for you to read.
Digitopia’s Reading Recommendations
Technology & Future
The Big Nine – Amy Webb
We like to think that we are in control of the future of “artificial” intelligence. The reality, though, is that we–the everyday people whose data powers AI–aren’t actually in control of anything. When, for example, we speak with Alexa, we contribute that data to a system we can’t see and have no input into–one largely free from regulation or oversight. The big nine corporations–Amazon, Google, Facebook, Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba, Microsoft, IBM and Apple–are the new gods of AI and are short-changing our futures to reap immediate financial gain.
Human Compatible – Stuart Russell
A leading artificial intelligence researcher lays out a new approach to AI that will enable us to coexist successfully with increasingly intelligent machines. In the popular imagination, superhuman artificial intelligence is an approaching tidal wave that threatens not just jobs and human relationships, but civilization itself. Conflict between humans and machines is seen as inevitable and its outcome all too predictable.
Business & Economy
Loonshots – Safi Bahcall
Physicist and biotech entrepreneur Safi Bahcall brings science to the vital debate about why and how innovative companies suddenly stagnate or winning creative teams turn into losers… Bahcall makes the whole idea sing by bringing in references from across business, history, cinema and science.
Range – David Epstein
David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields—especially those that are complex and unpredictable—generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see.
Management & Strategy
Beyond Performance 2.0 – Scott Keller, Bill Schaninger
Keller and Schaninger’s work is distinguished in many ways, one of which is the rigor behind the recommendations. The underpinning research is the most comprehensive of its kind—based on over 5 million data points drawn from 2,000 companies globally over a 15-year period. This data is overlaid with the authors’ combined more than 40 years of experience in helping companies successfully achieve large-scale change.
The Infinite Game – Simon Sinek
In this revelatory new book, Simon Sinek offers a framework for leading with an infinite mindset. On one hand, none of us can resist the fleeting thrills of a promotion earned or a tournament won, yet these rewards fade quickly.
For the Record – David Cameron
David Cameron was Conservative Party leader during the largest financial crash in living memory. The Arab Spring and the Eurozone crisis both started during his first year as prime minister. The backdrop to his time in office included the advent of ISIS, surging migration and a rapidly changing EU. Here he talks about how he confronted those challenges, from modernising a party that had suffered three successive electoral defeats to forming the first coalition government for seventy years. He sets out how he helped turn around Britain’s economy, implementing a modern, compassionate agenda that included education and welfare reform, the legalisation of gay marriage, the referendum on Scottish independence and world-leading environmental policies.
Becoming – Michelle Obama
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address.
Execution Premium – David P. Norton & Robert S. Kaplan
This book shows you how to:
Develop an effective strategy with tools such as SWOT analysis, vision formulation, and strategic change agendas.
Plan execution of the strategy through portfolios of strategic initiatives linked to strategy maps and Balanced Scorecards.
Put your strategy into action by integrating operational tools such as process dashboards, rolling forecasts, and activity-based costing.
Test and update your strategy using carefully designed management meetings to review operational and strategic data.
Drive Daniel Pink
Most of us believe that the best way to motivate ourselves and others is with external rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That’s a mistake, Daniel H. Pink says in, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, his provocative and persuasive new book. The secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.