I have a list of ten “practical management books” that I forgot that I compiled earlier this year. You can view that list over here.
With respect to five books I recommend on digital business transformation (which I’m quite deep in the thick of right now), it has occurred to me that all my own books have generally been of this tenor. I won’t include those in “the five” but if you’re curious what this whole “fourth Industrial Revolution” business is all about, it connects directly to the world of computational thinking.
Assuming you’re already fluent in machine, and want to get more fluent in human (especially in the business world) then the following books are especially meaningful to me:
Why’s this book important? Because we’re irrational creatures — as Dan Ariely has said time over time — and so brand is meaningful even in the age of AI.
Douglas Holt: How Brands Become Icons speaks to how brands work in the wild in a way that is practical and not too social science-y.
On Change Management
When you are a change agent, you need to always remember that what might seem easy for you ain’t at all easy for “them” (= “us”) because you’re a crisis.
Chip and Dan Heath: Switch is a book that I go back to all the time because it frames the ideas in change in ways that are unusually palatable.
On User Experience
I think the abbreviation “UX” and all the terminology out there is awfully confusing because it’s loaded with designer-y dogma that goes far back.
Torrey Podmajersky: Strategic Writing for UX gets to the heart of it all without too much designer dogma and a laserbeam focus on conversion.
On Customer Support
When you’ve successfully marketed a product and your customer has started the “owning” experience then you’ve essentially entered the hospitality industry.
Matthew Dixon, et al: Effortless Experience because the experience of working in customer support is something we should all experience — it’s life changing.
On Financial Services
My first exposure to futurism came through reading a lot of Nicholas Negroponte when I was younger and is Being Digital is still a definite must-read.
Brett King: Bank 4.0 is a “futurist’s take” on the future that goes deep in the financial services sector. It’s made me appreciate futurists again. Why just focus on the financial services area? Well, because it’s the lion’s share of where digital business transformation is happening right now.
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