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The business bookcase: what to add to your shelves in 2019

The business bookcase: what to add to your shelves in 2019

Posted 21st March, 2019 by Janah

At the start of 2019, the new Netflix show Tidying Up started trending on Twitter. The show is presented by Marie Kondo, author of The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up. In each episode, Marie visits a new home to give it a makeover by way of helping the owners clear out their clutter.

A few weeks after the popularity of the show started to rise, Marie caused controversy by revealing to her 97.5K fans that she believed that people should purge their bookcases. She said that people should keep no more than 30 books at a time and that all of those books should ‘spark joy’.

There is, however, one flaw in Marie’s advice. What about those books that spark learning or those that spark inspirational ideas?

One of the most influential business books of all time, Sun Zu’s The Art of War, probably doesn’t fall into the joy-sparking category. Does that mean it doesn’t deserve a permanent place on bookshelves? Surely not. Rumours have it, that it takes pride of place on the bookcases of the likes of Branson and Bill Gates.

So with this in mind, we’ve composed a list of five bookcase-worthy business books. Some are critically acclaimed recent releases while others are highly anticipated new titles, available for pre-order now.

The Bullet Journal Method

Penned by digital product designer Ryder Carroll, The Bullet Journal Method was released at the end of October 2018. The methodology in the book is described as a ‘mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity system’.

But what does that really mean?

The book differentiates between being busy and being productive. It cites research that the average person has between 50,000 and 70,000 thoughts a day and offers a methodology for managing those thoughts to make life more productive.

The system detailed in the book is designed to help readers overcome problems like decision fatigue and learn how to break goals down into more achievable constituent parts. Plus, it gives readers the tools to reflect on what they do on a day-to-day basis to ensure that their actions fit in with their beliefs and values.

Pig Wrestling - The Brilliantly Simple Way to Solve Any Problem… and Create the Change You Need

The pig in the title of this book represents any problem that you might be wrestling with. The authors, Pete Lindsay and Mark Bawden, have a background in elite sports performance psychology and have worked with the likes of Olympic athlete Jennifer Ennis-Hill and the England cricket team in the past.

The book is written in the form of a fable that walks you through a method of reframing any problem you may be facing. It offers advice for how to truly break down a problem – looking at elements such as what they call ‘pink bungee cords’ aka the factors that have to be present for the problem to occur and ‘the tin feeding trough’ aka the ways you have tried to solve the problem in the past.

The authors claim that you can read this book in under an hour and that, by the end of it, you’ll be able to use its insight to resolve any seemingly impossible problem in your business.

Every Tool’s a Hammer

This book, by Discovery Channel presenter Adam Savage won’t be released until May 2019, but it’s available to pre-order already. It’s all about creativity and touches on everything from how to find inspiration to how to turn your ideas into reality.

Since the author of the book is an inventor and maker, the book features insight including sketches and photographs that show how some of his own projects were brought to life. In addition, it features interviews with other creatives such as Pixar director Andrew Stanton.

Advice includes: don’t wait until everything is perfect to begin; plan with pencil and paper; sweep up every day; learn from doing; share your toys and there is an exact tool for every task, but if you need to pound in a nail and all you have handy is a skill saw—hammer away.

Unlearn: Let Go of Past Success to Achieve Extraordinary Results

Released in December 2018, Unlearn: Let Go of Past Success to Achieve Extraordinary Results was written to help leaders ‘rethink their strategies, retool their capabilities, and revitalize their businesses for stronger, longer-lasting success’.

The book has been written by entrepreneur Barry O’Reilly, who has advised various Fortune 500 companies in the past.

The premise of the book is that business leaders can get stuck in routines, relying on behaviours that were successful in the past to tackle the issues of the future. It offers advice on how business people can break the cycle of these behaviours and start implementing new skills, strategies and processes for innovation that are more appropriate to the current business climate.

Digital Minimalism

Published on February 5th 2019, Digital Minimalism has been written by Cal Newport, an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University and author of bestselling business book Deep Work.

As the name suggests, the book is essentially about reducing noise in life – about decluttering digitally – going beyond tips like turning off social media notifications and taking a digital sabbath, to deliver an actual method for deciding what tools to use, for what purposes, and under what conditions.

While many of the tips in the book are designed to improve personal life there are also huge implications for businesses. The advice in the book is designed to get people more focused and less stressed – which can free up space in business owners’ minds to concentrate on the more important matters.

Categories: Tips, Small Businesses

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