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Summer Reading List from the Temporall Team

Thomas Davies

08 August 2017

At Temporall, we believe that a business should not be examined in a bubble.  People, Organisation and Technology all play an important role in ensuring the fitness of a company.  With this well rounded approach, it may not surprise you to see that this holiday season we are reading about approaches to businesses, self help and a few just generally interesting perspectives.  Below is a few books our team have packed or are going to bring along on their holidays that you might find interesting.  Reviews are our own.

Enjoy and let us know what you are reading this summer to recharge, rethink and relax.  Tweet at us @temporalluk or tag us on LinkedIn.

  • Good Strategy Bad Strategy - Richard Rumelt
    Extremely insightful view on why a designed and congruent strategy leads to better performance.

  • The Knowledge - how to rebuild our world from scratch - Lewis Dartnell
    We live in a modern, changing, world which is increasingly being influenced by technological evolution and revolution.  Sometimes it is good to wonder what would happen and how we would cope without such advances and how we would do things again if we had the chance - this book helps re-learn the basics of the modern world.

  • Getting Things Done - the art of stress-free productivity - David Allen
    There are better ways of doing things and it is important to keep everything we do in perspective.  Spending hours agonising and fretting is ultimately divisive and destructive in modern culture.  Learn to do things by adopting some simple rules which can be applied in daily activities to streamline what we do.

  • The Power of Habit - why we do what we do in life and business - Charles Duhigg
    Very few people can truly live and work in an unstructured way.  For the rest of us, rules, conditioning and expectations govern our every action and reaction.  Everyone can make small incremental changes to their learned behaviour which opens up vast opportunities to improve what we do, why we do it and how we do it.

  • The Hard Things About Hard Things - building a business when there are no easy answers - Ben Horowitz
    Despite many people trying to look for it, there is no magic recipe for success and there are in most cases, no shortcuts when it comes to dealing with difficult issues in business.  However there are basic fundamental principles which everyone can apply to give themselves a better chance to achieve success

  • Creativity Inc. - overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration - Ed Catmull
    As businesses grow they inevitably create rules, processes and controls which lead to the establishment of ‘instruction sets’ which directly and indirectly drive and dictate behaviour of individuals and groups - this is the mediocrity syndrome which afflicts most workers.  This book gives valuable insights to help reverse this trend.

  • Fans! Not Customers - How to create growth in a no growth world - Vernon W Hill II
    Vernon Hill was the CEO of Commerce Bancorp in the US (before selling it for 8.5 billion) and the CEO of Metro Bank UK - in a world where retail banking was in decline he built a retail two retail banks by focusing on delighting customers, building relationships and putting people at the heart of his business philosophy. Technology is an enabler - without people, it's just more metal, plastic, circuits and code...

  • The Retreat of Western Liberalism - Edward Luce
    If you want to understand how the whole Brexit-Trump phenomenon took hold, this book provides the answer. Edward Luce writes for the Financial Times, and provides a bang-up-to-date and highly readable account of our current political malaise.

  • The Righteous Mind - Jonathan Haidt
    Many books have sought to explain the polarisation of political debate and the risk of fake news, and they all owe a huge debt to Jonathan Haidt, the New York University academic whose deep insights into human belief systems are summarised nicely in this 2013 book.

  • Thinking Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman
    Published four years ago, this is already a classic book. Kahneman is the father of behavioural economics, and this book tells you more than you could ever want to know about how your mind works and why you often make flawed or biased judgments.

  • Rethink: The surprising history of new ideas - Steve Poole
    It is easy to be seduced by the genius of Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Richard Branson. This book is a reminder that innovation – in business or elsewhere – is messy and serendipitous, and often not even that innovative. And it's not just about business – it includes stories from military history, science and psychology.

  • Fast/Forward - Julian Birkinshaw
    A thought provoking, stimulating read for executives who are future focused, looking for inspiration from those in the know! In a nutshell, Fast Forward companies are those that exhibit decisive action coupled with emotional conviction. FF companies have an evolutionary advantage which quite simply is that they are fit for the future!  If you read this, you are guaranteed to be asking yourself is the company I lead fit for the future?

As I think about Temporall I feel the above reads are truly illustrative of our approach and focus, specifically CII, as our tool that assesses an organisations fitness for the future!

  • The Ministry of Utmost Happiness - Arundhati Roy
    The God of Small Things (her 2004 novel) remains one of my favourite books of all time - Roy has an amazing, poetic use of language and her novel left a deep impression on me. I have high hopes for her new one that have been confirmed after it has been added to the long list for the Man Booker prize.

  • Talk like TED - Carmine Gallo
    A great overview of how to create memorable, compelling stories that stick; rather than dull presentations, abstracted from TED speakers. A call to action for anyone that does this as part of their mission and role, whether with clients, or internally in companies or for wider societal movements! Also some great anecdotes and stories within the covers of the book!

  • The Miracle Morning - 6 Habits that will transform your life - Hal Elrod
    Many of us talk about how to reset habits or become more productive, but this book helped simplify the approach into a few mindful minutes each morning to reset and recharge.

  • Sapiens - History of Humankind - Yuval Noah
    It is interesting to explore our past as species and how we have evolved to who we are today. A great read that had great popularity since it’s release including being on Mark Zuckerberg’s New Year’s Resolutions book list in 2015 (and our holiday list here).

  • Humo Deus - History of Tomorrow - Yuval Noah
    The follow up to Sapiens (above), while Sapiens looked at the past and how we got to today, this book focuses on the future.  An excellent and inquisitive read.

Thank you to Correy Voo, Julian Birkinshaw, Stephan Thoma, Elen Davies, Jeff Green and Helen Duguid for their recommendations!

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