Here are the 20 great business books you should read this year to scale your business fast:
- Blue Ocean Strategy: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
- Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing – Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
- The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
- Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life
- Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
- Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
- The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms
- Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum
- She’s in CTRL
- The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity
- Redesigning Work: How to Transform Your Organisation and Make Hybrid Work for Everyone
- The Shift: The Future of Work is already here
- The New Long Life: A Framework for Flourishing in a Changing World
- Glow: How you can radiate energy, innovation and success
- The Key: How Corporations Succeed by Solving the World’s Toughest Problems
- The Exceptional Manager: Making the Difference
- Hot Spots: Why some companies buzz with energy and innovation – and others don’t
- Sales Dogs: You Don’t Have to be an Attack Dog to Explode Your Income
- Little Voice Mastery: How to Win the War Between Your Ears in 30 Seconds or Less and Have an Extraordinary Life
These books are bestsellers written by global business thinkers speaking at BRAND MINDS 2023.
Blue Ocean Strategy: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, by Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
Recognized as one of the most iconic and impactful strategy books ever written, Blue Ocean Strategy argues that cutthroat competition results in nothing but a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool.
Based on a study of 150 strategic moves, spanning more than 100 years across 30 industries, the authors, Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne show that lasting success comes not from battling competitors but from creating “blue oceans” — untapped new market spaces ripe for growth.
Embraced by organizations and industries worldwide, Blue Ocean Strategy is a global phenomenon that has sold over 4 million copies, is published in a record-breaking 47 languages and is a bestseller across five continents. First published in 2005, it was updated and expanded with fresh content in 2015.
Blue Ocean Strategy will teach you:
- What is distinctive about Blue Ocean Strategy as a theory;
- How is Blue Ocean Strategy different from a classic differentiation strategy or a low-cost strategy;
- How to reconstruct market boundaries;
- Why you need to focus on the big picture;
- How to reach beyond existing demand;
- How to overcome organizational hurdles;
- How to build execution into strategy.
Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing – Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth by Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
‘Blue Ocean Shift’ is the indispensable and much-anticipated follow-up to ’Blue Ocean Strategy’. It is the New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller. The definitive guide to shift you, your team, and your organization to new heights of confidence, market creation, and growth.
‘Blue Ocean Shift’ will teach you:
- Why focusing on competing misses huge growth opportunities;
- How to expand your thinking on strategy beyond competing;
- Why thinking creative destruction and disruption as sources of innovation is limiting;
- How you can grow through nondisruptive creation;
- How anyone in any organization can move from red to blue oceans with BLUE OCEAN SHIFT’s systematic five-step process—not just entrepreneurs;
- Why people’s confidence is essential to create and execute your growth strategy and how to build it;
- Why you should not build your growth strategy based on existing environmental and industry conditions and how you can shape them in your favour for growth.
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
“Atomic Habits is a powerful book that has changed the way I think about how I live and lead.”
Brené Brown, author of six #1 New York Times bestsellers
This breakthrough book from James Clear is the most comprehensive guide on how to change your habits and get 1% better every day.
Atomic Habits will reshape the way you think about progress and success and give you the tools and strategies you need to transform your habits—whether you are a team looking to win a championship, an organization hoping to redefine an industry, or simply an individual who wishes to quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, and achieve success that lasts.
‘Atomic Habits’ will teach you how to:
- Build a system for getting 1% better every day;
- Break your bad habits and stick to good ones;
- Avoid the common mistakes most people make when changing habits;
- Overcome a lack of motivation and willpower;
- Develop a stronger identity and believe in yourself;
- Make time for new habits (even when life gets crazy);
- Design your environment to make success easier;
- Make tiny, easy changes that deliver big results;
- Get back on track when you get off course;
- And most importantly, how to put these ideas into practice in real life.
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
“The Black Swan changed my view of how the world works.”
Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate
‘The Black Swan’ is a New York Times bestseller and one of the twelve most influential books since World War II as per Sunday Times.
Elegant, startling, and universal in its applications, The Black Swan will change the way you look at the world. Taleb is a vastly entertaining writer, with wit, irreverence, and unusual stories to tell. He has a polymathic command of subjects ranging from cognitive science to business to probability theory. The Black Swan is a landmark book—itself a black swan.
‘The Black Swan’ will teach you:
- What is a Black Swan event;
- How to recognize Black Swan events;
- How to adapt your business to the changes Black Swan events bring;
- How to approach opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand.
Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
A New York Times bestseller, ‘Skin in the Game’ is Taleb’s most provocative and practical book yet. Citing examples ranging from Hammurabi to Seneca, Antaeus the Giant to Donald Trump, Nassim Nicholas Taleb shows how the willingness to accept one’s own risks is an essential attribute of heroes, saints, and flourishing people in all walks of life.
In his book, Taleb challenges long-held beliefs about the values of those who spearhead military interventions, make financial investments, and propagate religious faiths.
‘Skin in the Game’ will teach you how to:
- Understand the world from a new vantage point;
- Succeed in your business, contribute to a fair and just society, detect nonsense;
- Influence others.
Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
‘Fooled by Randomness’ is a Financial Times Best Business Book of the Year and was named by Fortune One of the Smartest Books of All Time.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb–veteran trader and renowned risk expert – has written a modern classic that turns on its head what we believe about luck and skill. Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill–the world of trading–and written in an entertaining narrative style, ’Fooled by Randomness’ provides captivating insight into one of the least understood factors in all our lives.
‘Fooled by Randomness’ will teach you how to:
- Deal with luck in life and business;
- Approach luck and skill the right way;
- Leverage the power of luck;
- Understand the major intellectual issues related to the underestimation of the influence of happenstance on our lives.
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
‘Antifragile’ is the #1 Bestseller in Phenomenological Philosophy on Amazon.
Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumours or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil.
‘Antifragile’ will teach you how to:
- Thrive in an uncertain world, in business and life;
- Identify the category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.
The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
‘The Bed of Procrustes’ is a collection of aphorisms and meditations where Nassim Taleb expresses his major ideas in ways you least expect.
The Bed of Procrustes takes its title from Greek mythology: the story of a man who made his visitors fit his bed to perfection by either stretching them or cutting their limbs. It represents Taleb’s view of modern civilization’s hubristic side effects—modifying humans to satisfy technology, blaming reality for not fitting economic models, inventing diseases to sell drugs, defining intelligence as what can be tested in a classroom, and convincing people that employment is not slavery.
‘The Bed of Procrustes’ will teach you:
- Surprising truths by exposing self-delusions you have been living with but never recognized;
- How to test your business decisions by looking at them through a fresh new lens and see if they still stand.
Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum by Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits, and Jonas Koffler
‘Hustle’ is a New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and IndieBound bestseller that Fortune says is a must-read for any entrepreneur.
The book is a dynamic, game-changing guide to finding success and fearlessly outsmarting the system.
The authors reveal their groundbreaking three-part framework of Heart, Head, and Habits.
‘Hustle’ will teach you:
- Why you must own your dreams, not rent dreams from others;
- Ways to create your own luck and “POP”;
- How to betray yourself to stay true to yourself—and develop your potential;
- The four major career hustles and the path that’s best for you.
She’s in CTRL by Anne-Marie Imafidon
Recently our eyes have been opened to the dangerous fact that our technology is built by a series of big decisions made by a small number of people, mainly men. It means our technology is derived from the gender, nationality and beliefs of a section of society whose lived experience may not chime with our own. The tech world might feel beyond reach, particularly if you’re a woman.
But in ‘She’s In CTRL’, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, a dynamic advocate for women in STEM, insists that technology is not the preserve of the elite. It is in our homes and in our hands. Rather than feeling powerless to make changes to the way tech works and fails, she argues that it’s time to get into the room where the decisions are made. Or, better still, create their own tech rooms.
This powerful book about women, tech and daring to dream takes inspiration from Dr Imafidon’s own experience and from the stories of other pioneers and innovators who have, against the odds, transformed technology.
‘She’s in CTRL’ will teach you:
- That technology is not an unchangeable and unquestionable force;
- How to use technology to future-proof your business;
- How to play a part in ensuring a future that is evenly distributed.
Redesigning Work: How to Transform Your Organisation and Make Hybrid Work for Everyone by Lynda Gratton
Whether you’re working in a small team or running a multinational, this is the time to make lasting changes and equip your business for the future.
‘Redesigning Work’ is the definitive book on how to transform your organisation and make hybrid working work for you.
Based on thirty years of research into the technological, demographic, cultural and societal trends that are shaping work, and building on what we learned through our experiences of the global pandemic,
‘Redesigning Work’ will teach you:
- Lynda Gratton’s innovative four-step framework for redesigning work;
- How to understand the challenges your business is facing;
- To reimagine creative, new approaches and processes;
- How to model and test these within your organisation;
- How to act and create based on contemporary, data-led feedback;
- How to help your team embrace change, increase productivity and thrive in our new, more flexible working world.
The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton
‘What happens when many people live to 100’? Although technology has been much studied, the impact of demography on working lives is little understood.
Whilst life expectancy has increased for decades, society continues to structure lives in the same way as in the past; we learn, we work, we retire. It is clear that many current practices are ill-equipped to cope with a 100-year life and that individuals, companies and governments all have a role to play in ensuring we structure our lives differently so we can make the most of a longer life.
‘The 100-Year Life’ has created a global conversation about longevity. It has been translated into many languages, won prizes, became one of the best-selling books in Japan and has even been made into a manga.
‘The 100-Year Life’ will teach you:
- The challenges and the intelligent choices you must make to turn greater life expectancy into a gift and not a curse;
- How to adapt by focusing on intangible as well as tangible assets (includes a diagnostic profile).
The Shift: The Future of Work is already here by Lynda Gratton
By 2010 it was clear to Lynda Gratton that the world was facing a revolution in work. She could see a substantial schism between the past and the present in the way we work.
Much of the insights in this book came from the Future of Work Research Consortium, which brings companies from around the world together to imagine the future.
The book has been translated into multiple languages, won prizes and became a bestseller in Japan. Lynda Gratton uses it as a set text for her elective at London Business School, ‘The Future of Work’.
‘The Shift’ will teach you:
- What is the impact of a low-carbon economy on the way we work;
- How technology and globalisation work together with demographic and societal changes to transform work.
The New Long Life: A Framework for Flourishing in a Changing World by Lynda Gratton
Human progress has risen to great heights, but at the same time it has prompted anxiety about where we’re heading. Are our jobs under threat? If people live to 100, will they ever really stop working? And how will this change the way we love, manage and learn from others?
‘The New Long Life’ will teach you:
- How longevity impacts your business;
- How to make the most of smart new technologies;
- What is Lynda Gratton’s ‘human ingenuity’ concept and what it means for the business environment;
- How to navigate a new life by learning, transitioning, and making deep connections.
Glow: How you can radiate energy, innovation and success by Lynda Gratton
You know them at first sight: teammates or colleagues, direct reports or bosses who radiate enthusiasm, positive energy, and inspiration. Even in difficult circumstances they glow with an attitude that inspires others, fosters a great working experience for everyone, and creates empowering relationships.
‘Glow’ will teach you:
- Three principles that people who glow live by;
- Three actions for putting each principle into practice based on years of original research.
The Key: How Corporations Succeed by Solving the World’s Toughest Problems by Lynda Gratton
What would happen if corporations actively anchored themselves in their communities and supply chains? What if they leverage their unique capabilities to address complex global challenges such as climate change and youth unemployment?
When intelligence and wisdom are amplified, emotional vitality is enhanced and social connections are harnessed.
‘The Key’ will teach you how to:
- Scale and mobilise your business with unique innovative strategies;
- Grow your business by committing to solving global problems;
- Create alliance-building capabilities for your business;
- Bring resilience to a fragile world starting with what happens inside a corporation.
The Exceptional Manager: Making the Difference by Lynda Gratton
Many businesses face the choice of either competing on the ‘low road’ of cost or the ‘high road’ of innovation and value.
This ground-breaking book is essential reading for policymakers, analysts, academics, and managers to be who want to make a different future.
‘The Exceptional Manager’ will teach you:
- How to grow your business by applying the combined insight of some of the best minds in management;
- The right way to assess the challenges your business faces with the help of a clear and crisp analysis;
- A range of ideas on how to develop the competencies, practices and values that can make a difference in your business.
Hot Spots: Why some companies buzz with energy and innovation – and others don’t by Lynda Gratton
‘Hot Spots’ is one of Lynda Gratton’s most influential books developing one of her research findings which highlights the importance of cooperation to innovation. This topic, particularly boundary-spanning networks, is central to her views about creativity in corporations and she has used them right up to her present thoughts about hybrid work.
This book was the result of a research programme about cooperation, leveraging the companies in Lynda Gratton’s research consortium ‘The Leading Edge’ and with support from the Singapore government.
‘Hot Spots’ will teach you how to:
- Encourage your own organisational Hot Spots by focusing on cooperation, networks and the role of purpose;
- Build creativity in your organisation.
SalesDogs: You Don’t Have to be an Attack Dog to Explode Your Income by Blair Singer
The number one skill for any entrepreneur or business owner is the ability to sell. Why? Because sales = income. Yet, many fail financially not because they do not have great ideas or even good work ethic, but typically because they don’t know how to, refuse to, are afraid to, or don’t think it is important to know how to sell.
‘SalesDogs’ will teach you:
- How to overcome the fears, the myths and the obstacles to selling your products, services or yourself;
- A simple, time-proven process of selling that will generate great income for your business;
- The five most important selling skills to master;
- How to overcome any objection;
- How to manage a territory.
Little Voice Mastery: How to Win the War Between Your Ears in 30 Seconds or Less and Have an Extraordinary Life by Blair Singer
“Little Voice” is the chatter in the six inches between your ears that turns you into a hero one minute and a dunce the next. The 21 proven techniques presented here will reprogram the “Little Voice” in your brain in 30 seconds.
‘Little Voice Mastery’ will teach you how to:
- Build strategies and techniques to maintain power in any pressure situation;
- Stop debilitating chatter in your brain so you can attract what you want;
- Uncover and realize lifelong dreams;
- Break through self-sabotaging habits;
- Build powerful, lasting confidence;
- Resurrect the hero inside of you.