What We’re Reading (vol. 2)

From economics and finance to change to China, here’s what some of us have been reading in the first half of 2015!

No Ordinary Disruption
by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel
I often struggle with books written about management and innovation—they tend to be overly anecdotal, with little hard data. No such worries for a book coming out of the McKinsey Global Institute. No Ordinary Disruption is a quick, but highly informative exploration of four big global trends that will shape our businesses and our lives in the coming years. Most of us are well aware of these trends (i.e., urbanization, aging world population), but the book does a great job of using data to put these massive, all-encompassing concepts into tangible frames of reference.

Inside Obama’s Stealth Startup”, Fast Company
Can the US government succeed in reinventing itself when many large corporations struggle to do so? The US Digital Service is attracting Silicon Valley talent and hopes to make existing government services better and more interconnected, and build new innovative services and ecosystems for public good.

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China
by Evan Osnos
This is a fascinating and nuanced account of a modernizing and complex China described through the lives of its citizens. Provides useful context to the rapid evolution of entrepreneurship and innovation in China.

Finance for Non-Financial Managers
by Robert Cooke
The book introduce basic principles and models for non-financial professionals to better understand finance.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship
by Peter Drucker
First published in 1985 Innovation & Entrepreneurship deals with ‘what, when and why’; with policies and decisions; opportunities and risks, structures and strategies; staffing, compensation and rewards. This is the first book to present innovation and entrepreneurship as a purposeful and systematic discipline that explains and analyzes the challenges and opportunities of America’s new entrepreneurial economy.

It was written 30 years ago, and many company’s are still dealing with the challenges and questions posed in this book, especially the business model shift to rewarding enterpreneurial efforts within organizations and how to manage it.

by Peter Drucker
Change, no matter how urgent and clear the need, is hard. Knowing what to do does not ensure that we will actually do it. We are superior planners, says Goldsmith, but become inferior doers as our environment exerts its influence through the course of our day. We forget our intentions. We become tired, even depleted, and allow our discipline to drain down like water in a leaky bucket. In Triggers, Goldsmith offers a solution in the form of daily self-monitoring, hinging around what he calls “active” questions. These are questions that measure our effort, not our results. There’s a difference between achieving and trying; we can’t always achieve a desired result, but anyone can try. In the course of Triggers, Goldsmith details the six “engaging questions” that can help us take responsibility for our efforts to improve and help us recognize when we fall short.

Filled with revealing and illuminating stories from his work with some of the most successful chief executives and power brokers in the business world, Goldsmith offers a personal playbook on how to achieve change in our lives, make it stick, and become the person we want to be.

Misbehaving—The Making of Behavioral Economics
by Richard Thaler

Megan Mulroy

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