Magazine article Management Today

Books: My Top Reads of 2014

Magazine article Management Today

Books: My Top Reads of 2014

Article excerpt


- Creativity, Inc

Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

Ed Catmull, with Amy Wallace

Twenty-first-century businesses need lessons from the entertainment industry. But be warned, the president of Disney/Pixar is going to make you feel like an uninspiring, short-sighted lump by comparison! The overwhelming impression is one of a uniquely open, collaborative and candid company culture fostering the very highest levels of creativity (Toy Story, The Incredibles etc). If your job is to build a sustainable creative culture, read it and weep.

- The Second Machine Age

Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee

Like frightened rabbits caught in the dazzling headlights of disruptive technologies, we aren't sure which way to turn. This book is like a technological thriller. The singularity is near and it's properly scary But it does provide an optimistic roadmap as to where technology and humanity are heading and will tantalisingly dangle in your face the keys to the driverless car that can take you there.

- George Osborne

The Austerity Chancellor

Janan Ganesh

I'm not a big fan of biographies but the author's writing style is both populist and poetic, and makes for a lively, lissom and illuminating commentary on the modern British political landscape, and Osborne's critical role therein. It's been republished with an updated chapter on recovery, which includes the line 'Plan B is now just a rapper from Newham'. For a book about austerity, it's seriously enjoyable.


- Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Thomas Piketty

It's predictable but first choice must be the most influential and controversial book of the past 12 months, Thomas Piketty's monumental Capital in the Twenty-First Century. It's actually quite readable but if you don't fancy 600 pages, the thesis is this: the natural tendency under capitalism is for the income of those who have capital to rise inexorably faster than those who don't.

- Reinventing Organizations

Frederic Laloux

From a Frenchman to a Belgian, Frederic Laloux's Reinventing Organisations is the book that has most influenced me as a CEO this year. It is based on a study of 12 firms of all sizes and kinds that chose to perform without almost any of the hierarchical or control mechanisms that other organisations take for granted. …

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