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Top 10 essential business books for 2023

Over the past three years, the business world has been changing at an accelerated pace.

Leadership, team management, talent retention, employee development and business growth have taken different directions and professionals at every career stage are facing challenges.

Continued learning has never been more important. That’s why we have curated the following list of the Top 10 must-read business books for 2023.

Read on to discover them.

Top 10 essential business books for 2023

1. Blue Ocean Strategy: How to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant  by Renée Mauborgne and Chan Kim

  • WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER
  • BUSINESSWEEK BESTSELLER

blue-ocean-strategy-book

Renée Mauborgne co-authored Blue Ocean Strategy with Chan Kim. The book shows the results of a study of 150 strategic moves spanning more than 100 years across 30 industries. The authors’ conclusion is that lasting success comes not from battling competitors but from creating blue oceans – untapped new market spaces ripe for growth.

Both Chan and Renée are Professors of Strategy at INSEAD, one of the world’s top business schools, and co-directors of the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute in France.

Renée was named #1 Management Thinker in the world being the first woman to ever secure this spot on a global leadership list.

The book was published in a record-breaking 47 languages, is a bestseller across five continents and has been recognized as one of the most iconic and impactful strategy books ever written. Both authors received widespread recognition for their work in the form of various awards and distinctions.

You will learn:

  • How to create uncontested market space;
  • Strategies to make the competition irrelevant;
  • Frameworks to create and capture new demand;
  • How to break the value-cost trade-off;
  • To align the whole system of a firm’s activities in pursuit of differentiation and low cost.

Join BRAND MINDS 2023 to learn how to create exceptional business growth from Bestselling Author of Blue Ocean Strategy Renée Mauborgne.

2. Redesigning Work: How to Transform Your Organization and Make Hybrid Work for Everyone (Management on the Cutting Edge) by Lynda Gratton

redesigning work lynda gratton

Lynda Gratton is a Professor of Management Practice at London Business School where she directs the program ‘Human Resource Strategy in Transforming Companies’ – considered the world’s leading program on human resources.

She is an award-winning author on the future of work and the role of corporations. Her ten books have sold over 1 million copies and have been translated into more than 20 languages. ‘Redesigning Work’ is her latest book, released in 2022.

The book is based on thirty years of research into the technological, demographic, cultural and societal trends that are shaping work, including key takeaways from the global pandemic.

You will learn:

  • Lynda Gratton’s innovative 4-step framework for redesigning work;
  • To understand the challenges your business is facing;
  • Strategies to reimagine creative, new approaches and processes;
  • Model and test these within your organisation;
  • Act and create based on contemporary, data-led feedback.

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.

Join BRAND MINDS and learn how to build high-performing teams from Lynda Gratton, Future of Work Strategy Expert @ London Business School.

3. SalesDogs: You Don’t Have to be an Attack Dog to Explode Your Income by Blair Singer

Blair Singer is a global sales expert whose sales system is based on 30 years worth of unique insights on how to achieve peak performance as a salesperson. He trained 200.000+ sales professionals and corporations on how to increase their sales, skills and income. Over the last 15 years, he has worked with sales executives all over the world helping them become world-class leaders and build champion teams.

Blair Singer is a member of the Rich Dad Advisor team and his role is that of the Business & Sales Expert. The team was originally assembled by Rich Dad Poor Dad author, Robert Kiyosaki, to provide him with business and investing advice.

‘SalesDogs’ teaches in a very fun and impactful way how to overcome the fears, the myths and the obstacles to selling your products, services or yourself. It then teaches a simple, time-proven process of selling that will generate great income in almost any business.

You will learn:

  • The 5 most important selling skills to master;
  • How to overcome any objection;
  • How to manage a territory and much more.

Join BRAND MINDS and learn how to increase your sales from World Famous Sales Expert Blair Singer.

4. The Crux: How Leaders Become Strategists by Richard P. Rumelt

  • 2022 FINANCIAL TIMES BEST BUSINESS BOOK
  • 2022 FORBES BEST BUSINESS BOOK
  • 2022 THE NEXT BIG IDEA CLUB BEST LEADERSHIP BOOK
  • 2022 THE GLOBE & MAIL BEST MANAGEMENT BOOK

best-business-books-the-crux

Richard Rumelt is one of the world’s most influential thinkers on strategy and management. He is Professor Emeritus at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. 

What passes for strategy in too many businesses, government agencies, and military operations is a toxic mix of wishful thinking and a jumble of incoherent policies. Richard P. Rumelt’s breakthrough concept is that leaders become effective strategists when they focus on challenges rather than goals, pinpointing the crux of their pivotal challenge—the aspect that is both surmountable and promises the greatest progress—and taking decisive, coherent action to overcome it. 

You will learn:

  • How Elon Musk found the crux that propelled the success of SpaceX;
  • The mental manoeuvre that focuses energy on what really makes a difference;
  • How to create an effective response that leads to the breakthrough.

Rumelt defines the essence of the strategist’s skill with vivid storytelling. Musk’s core challenge, for example, was rocket reusability. His intense focus on the soft landing of SpaceX’s rockets enabled them to be used again—radically reducing the cost of putting a pound in orbit. Musk’s strategy was not based on how value is created or how to position SpaceX in its industry. It was a design for action.

Book Description Source: The Crux Book

5. The Unicorn Within: How Companies Can Create Game-Changing Ventures at Startup Speed by Linda K. Yates

best business books 2023 the unicorn within

Image source: Harvard Business Review Store

Linda Yates is the founder and CEO of Mach49, the growth incubator for global businesses, with clients including Goodyear, Gundersen Health, Hitachi, Intel, Pernod Ricard, Schneider Electric, Shell, and many more.

She is a seasoned CEO and board member with over 30 years of experience bridging Silicon Valley and the Global 1000, creating global strategy, building companies, and driving innovation for large multinationals around the world.

In ‘The Unicorn Within’, Linda Yates empowers large companies to beat startups at their own game—to build a pipeline and portfolio of new ventures to drive meaningful growth.

You will learn:

  • A teachable, repeatable, scalable method focused 100 per cent on execution across the spectrum of venture creation;
  • The most effective process: Ideate, Incubate, Accelerate, Scale;
  • Strategies to manage the Mothership and seize its advantage;
  • Steps to ensure your ventures reach escape velocity and thrive.

And don’t stop at just one venture. Yates also lays out her blueprint for building a Venture Factory capable of becoming your company’s growth engine for years to come.

The next Unicorns don’t have to come from Silicon Valley. Regardless of your company’s industry, geography, or history, they can come from you. Whether you’re the CEO, a member of the C-suite, or an internal entrepreneur, you can help your company grow.

Book Description Source: The Unicorn Within

6. Negotiate Like A CEO: How to Get Ahead with Lessons Learned From Top Entrepreneurs and Executives by Jotham Stein

best business books negotiate like a ceo

Jotham Stein is an expert attorney with more than 25 years of experience representing entrepreneurs, C-Suite executives, board members, venture capitalists, private equity principals, investment bankers as well as employees of companies of all types and sizes.

Mr Stein has negotiated numerous M & A agreements, change-in-control agreements, stock option agreements, restricted stock agreements, management carve-out agreements, non-compete agreements, and much more.

What does it mean to negotiate like a CEO? How important are offer letters and employment agreements? How can you protect yourself and your family if the worst happens? These are all questions that Jotham Stein addresses in ‘Negotiate Like a CEO’.

A lively, engaging read, ‘Negotiate Like a CEO’ outlines how employees, executives, and entrepreneurs protect themselves and will give you eye-opening advice on how to make sure you won’t get taken advantage of.

You will learn:

  • How to equip yourself with the right tools to safeguard you & your family in business and employment;
  • Best practices;
  • Common pitfalls;
  • Sky’s-the-limit possibilities at any stage in your career, whether you’re just a middle manager or you’re going for that C-suite job.

Book Description Source: Negotiate like a CEO book

7. The Coaching Effect: What Great Leaders Do to Increase Sales, Enhance Performance, and Sustain Growth by Bill Eckstrom and Sarah Wirth 

best business books the coaching effect

Authors Bill Eckstrom & Sarah Wirth have spent a decade researching the activities, behaviours, and performance of leaders. After studying more than 120,000 coaching interactions in the workplace, primarily of sales teams, they have determined how coaching affects team outcomes and growth. 

The idea for The Coaching Effect came about when Bill & Sarah were having a career development discussion, and Sarah mentioned that a goal of hers was to one day write a book. Unbeknownst to her, Bill then submitted their writing and research to Greenleaf Publishing. It didn’t take long before the book deal was official.

You will learn:

  • To understand the necessity of challenging people out of their comfort zone;
  • How to develop a trust relationship with your team;
  • Frameworks to drive accountability and leverage growth experiences;
  • Strategies to propel your team members to the highest levels of success.

Book Description Source: The Coaching Effect

8. The Manager’s Dilemma: How to Empower Your Team’s Problem-Solving by Irial O’Farrell

  • 2022 AMAZON BESTSELLER

best business books the manager's dilemma

‘The Manager’s Dilemma’ is the second book in a 2-part series called Performance Development Series by author Irial OFarrell. The first book in the series is ‘SMART Objective Setting for Managers: A Roadmap’ (also Amazon Best Seller) where managers learn the difference between setting a goal for themselves and setting a goal for their team.

‘The Manager’s Dilemma’ is based on Irial’s insights arising from her 25+ years of experience in developing hundreds of managers, designing organisational processes and implementing change.

The book teaches managers essential management skills like how to show their team the right way of presenting escalated problems, diagnose which problem-solving step their team member is stuck at, coach their team members, empower their team member to sort out a chunk of their own issues, build their confidence and free them up.

Free themselves up from overwhelming themselves with frustration, decision fatigue, lots of interruptions.

You will learn:

  • The 3 valid reasons for escalation;
  • The steps of problem-solving (there’s more than you think!);
  • How your mindset is contributing to the dynamic and what are your options;
  • The 5 most common team member profiles and prompts on how to empower each of them;
  • A bonus team profile;
  • Guidance on how to introduce this leading-edge approach to your team.

Book description source: Amazon

9. CEO Excellence: The Six Mindsets That Distinguish the Best Leaders from the Rest by Carolyn Dewar, Scott Keller and Vikram Malhotra

  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER
  • USA TODAY BESTSELLER
  • PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BESTSELLER

best business books ceo excellence

Authors Carolyn Dewar, Scott Keller and Vikram Malhotra are senior partners with McKinsey & Company, one of the world’s most influential management consulting firms.

Under their guidance, McKinsey & Company led a research effort to identify those CEOs whose companies grew demonstrably healthier during their tenures. They looked across more than 20 years’ worth of data on 7,800 CEOs from 3,500 public companies across 70 countries and 24 industries to further identify those whose actions have led to breakaway success.

After they have conducted detailed interviews with a representative sample of 67 high-performing CEOs, the authors have synthesized their findings in their new book, ‘CEO Excellence: The Six Mindsets That Distinguish the Best Leaders from the Rest’.

You will learn:

  • Unique insights brought by the research findings;
  • 6 mindsets that helped top chief executives deliver extraordinary impact;
  • Conversations with global leaders including Mary Barra (GM), Peter Brabeck-Letmathe (Nestlé), Ken Chenault (American Express), Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase), Herbert Hainer (Adidas), Reed Hastings (Netflix), Marillyn Hewson (Lockheed Martin), Kaz Hirai (Sony), Satya Nadella (Microsoft), and Peter Voser (Shell).

Book Description Source: CEO Excellence book

10. If you want something done: Leadership lessons from bold women By Nikki R. Haley

  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • USA TODAY BESTSELLER

best business books if you want something done

In her instant bestselling book, Nikki R. Haley offers inspiring examples of women who worked against obstacles and opposition to get things doneincluding Haley herself.

As a girl of Indian descent growing up in Bamberg, South Carolina, no one would have predicted she would become the first minority female governor in America, the first female and the first minority governor in South Carolina, or the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Her journey wasn’t an easy one. She faced many people who thought she didn’t belongand who told her so. She was too brown. Too female. Too young. Too conservative. Too principled. Too idealistic. As far as Nikki was concerned, those were not reasons to hold her back. Those were all reasons to forge ahead.

She drew inspiration from other trailblazing women throughout history who summoned the courage to be different and lead.

You will learn:

  • How 10 remarkable women dared to be bold;
  • Stories from Haley’s own childhood.

Book Description Source: Amazon

8 must-read stories about our speakers for 2023

James Clear – from nearly dying when he was 15 to holding several sports records before graduation

On the last day of tenth grade, James Clear took a full-force baseball bat in the face from one of his classmates: the bat had accidentally slipped from his hands and hit James right between his eyes.

The accident was horrific: the blow crushed the bones in his nose causing instant swelling in his brain. He had multiple skull fractures, a swollen nose and shattered eye sockets. He gave wrong answers when asked by the school nurse what year they were in and what President was in office. It took him ten seconds to remember his mother’s name. After that, he lost consciousness and was rushed to the emergency room.

Shortly after he arrived at the hospital, his body collapsed: he stopped breathing and was hooked to a ventilation machine. The seizures started. The hospital wasn’t equipped to manage his particular situation so he was flown to a bigger hospital where he was placed into an induced coma and underwent emergency surgery to reconstruct his skull.

The surgery was successful, but the recuperation was long and difficult. He had always dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player and that dream seemed impossible to achieve now. Still, he was determined to get his life back.

Six years after the accident, he became the best male player at his university and was selected for ESPN’s Academic All-America Team, a unique recognition enjoyed by only 33 athletes in the country.

By the time he graduated, James had records in eight different sports categories. He received the Presidential Medal, the highest honour in academia.

He achieved all that after discovering the power of good habits and putting together a system of meeting goals. He never realized his dream of playing in a professional baseball team, but what he did was more important than that: he realized his potential.

Learn how tiny habits can lead to remarkable results in life and career from Bestselling Author of ‘Atomic Habits’ James Clear, at BRAND MINDS 2023.

BM23 - James Clear

Nassim Nicholas Taleb‘s first two books almost didn’t get published

Nassim Taleb has confessed in a recent article that writing was a childhood dream. He had always wanted to produce literature. Nothing surprising about that. Except for the fact that his idea of literature was quite unique.

According to Taleb, “literature should not have explicit boundaries”, a point of view which you can imagine, didn’t go well with publishing houses. His first book, ‘Fooled by Randomness’ was, in his own words, “practically impossible to publish”. The book was a collection of autobiography, philosophy (of probability), mathematics, inductive logic, musings on historical events and financial markets and parables with fictional characters. Publishing houses said the book confused the reader.

“What’s wrong with confusing the reader?”Taleb answered them unwaveringly in his determination to resist every attempt of editing coming from editors at publishing houses.

Why? Because he wanted to write his own version of literature, one freed from the limitations of subject and style. This led to his books gaining an aura of ‘unpublishable’ status and Taleb receiving many rejection letters in which editors described with an abundance of details how the books would fail. At that time, book publishing was still a type of business where local bookstores were an important part of the ecosystem.

While Taleb was struggling to get his books published in Europe, in the US, a new disruptive force was rising: Amazon. Amazon’s ability to connect authors to readers in other parts of the world convinced Taleb to leverage its power and gain awareness and readership.

Becoming antifragile in a world dominated by uncertainty and risks is essential for the survival of the company. Attend BRAND MINDS and learn more from Author & Risk Analyst Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

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Renée Mauborgne has created 20 strategy tools to help businesses adopt the Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy is based on a 10-year study of strategic business moves across 30 industries.

What prompted this study?

Seeing American companies lose customers and market shares, in the early 1990s, to a new competitor who was coming from outside of the country: Japanese companies.

Global competition was changing everything for companies anywhere in the world. The markets were becoming crowded. For the first time since World War II, demand didn’t exceed supply. Businesses were entering a new era and the old business strategies were becoming obsolete. It was time to design new business strategies.

Renée Mauborgne’s and Chan W Kim’s Blue Ocean Strategy concept was powerful and research-based and was soon embraced by millions of executives around the world. But while they saw the value of the strategy, they didn’t know how to adopt it. That’s when Renée and Chan created templates and frameworks to help businesses shift from red oceans to blue oceans.

These strategy tools are: Value Innovation, Strategy Canvas, Buyer Utility Map, Three Tiers of Noncustomers, Six Paths Frameworks, Four Actions Framework, ERRC Grid, PMS Map, Price Corridor of the Mass, Sequence of Creating a Blue Ocean, Five steps to a Blue Ocean Shift, Three Components of a Blue Ocean Shift, Three Components of Humanness, Four Hurdles to Strategy Execution, Fair Process, Tipping Point Leadership, Blue Ocean Leadership v Conventional Leadership, Leadership Canvas, Leadership Grid and Costs of Disengaged Employees.

At BRAND MINDS 2023, Bestselling Author of ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’ & ‘Blue Ocean Shift’ Renée Mauborgne will teach you how to uncover new markets and create exceptional business growth.

BM23 - Renee Mauborgne

Neil Patel began learning digital marketing at 18 to market his company

Growing up, Neil Patel was surrounded by family members running multiple companies and being successful entrepreneurs. When he was a little boy, he was always thinking about what he could do to become an entrepreneur. He did odd jobs for a while like selling vacuums or working at a grocery store.

Not yet 18, he started his first company, a job board, called Advice Monkey. He quickly realized that if the company was to be successful, he had to market the company’s website on the internet.

He hired an internet marketing firm to promote his company and fired them a few months later when the firm didn’t deliver any results. Neil went on to hire two more marketing firms with the same result: they took his money but didn’t deliver results. Since all three marketing firms couldn’t bring him relevant results, he decided to learn digital marketing and market the company himself.

Fast forward two decades and Neil Patel is one of the world’s most experienced digital marketing experts. His website neilpatel.com is one of the top 10 marketing blogs in the world and has been selected by President Obama in the Top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 30.

Come to BRAND MINDS and learn how to reach more customers from Digital Marketing Expert Neil Patel, live, on stage.

BM23 - Neil Patel

Lynda Gratton’s insights and vision helped Japan design a new human resources strategy for its citizens of all ages

‘The 100-Year Life’, Lynda Gratton’s book about longevity and societal change was published in 2016 and earned modest sales. But when the translated version was published in Japan a few months later, it quickly went on to become a national bestseller. The country with the world’s highest number of senior citizens acknowledged the issues presented in the book and recognized the immediate need to design a nationwide strategy for its people.

In September 2017, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe established the Council for Designing 100-Year Life Society whose goal was to create a society in which all citizens are dynamically engaged and equally contributing to the country’s development. Lynda Gratton accepted his invitation to serve on the Council and help him outline a revolutionary human resource strategy to reform the work style of the Japanese people and increase productivity.

The Council’s reforms have yielded positive results: they introduced the concept of lifelong learning, future of work and increased employment rate among senior citizens.

Future-proof your company: learn new strategies for employee engagement and retention from Future of Work Strategy Expert at London Business School Lynda Gratton, at BRAND MINDS 2023.

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Anne-Marie Imafidon made history in England when she became the youngest girl ever to pass A-level Computing at age 11

And she was only 20 when she got her master’s in Maths and Computer Science from the University of Oxford. She worked for a number of investment banks but then in 2013 set up Stemettes, an award-winning social initiative, dedicated to inspiring and promoting the next generation of young women in the STEM sectors.

She was 27 when she was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for her services in UK tech. Other MBE holders are multiple Grammy winners Adele and Ed Sheeran.

At 30, she was voted the most influential woman in tech in the UK by Computer Weekly. She has 6 honorary doctorates, is the President of the British Science Association and was listed as one of the BBC’s 100 inspirational and innovative women. She has achieved what other achieve in a lifetime and she is only 32.

How did this extraordinary life begin?

Anne-Marie was born in London, to Nigerian parents, the eldest of five children. Education was very important to her parents. She grew up in an progressive environment where she and her siblings were allowed to experiment with everything. One of her earliest memories is playing on her dad’s computer when she was four or taking apart the VCR to see where her favourite animation characters came from.

Drawing from her wealth of knowledge and experience, Tech Leadership Expert Anne-Marie Imafidon has seen how Artificial Intelligence is influencing the future of work and the business environment and has unique insights to share with you at BRAND MINDS 2023.

Blair Singer has been advising Robert Kiyosaki on sales for over 25 years

Blair Singer first met Rich Dad Poor Dad Bestselling author Robert Kiyosaki in 1980 when they were both struggling entrepreneurs.

Blair became a Rich Dad Advisor in the early 1990s. The team was originally assembled by Robert Kiyosaki to provide him with business and investing advice. Blair’s role in the team is that of the Business & Sales Expert. The team meets once a week and Blair’s responsibility is to teach Robert and the rest of the team about sales.

You could say that seasoned experts like Robert Kiyosaki and Blair Singer don’t need to learn anything new and you would be wrong. The Rich Dad Poor Dad Advising team nurtures a culture of continuous learning. Every member of the team is both a teacher and a student. Because no one knows everything because knowledge has been growing exponentially.

That’s why it’s essential for professionals, juniors or seniors to keep learning from experts and each other.

Attend BRAND MINDS with your team and learn from World Famous Sales Expert Blair Singer his proven sales process to increase your sales.

Duncan Wardle convinced NASA to send Buzz Lightyear, the beloved Toy Story character…into space

‘Toy Story’ was Disney’s one of the most successful and highest grossing animation films of all time. In 2008, a new attraction based on the film was launching at Disney Parks and Duncan Wardle and his team was tasked with promoting the new experience.

A fan of ‘Toy Story’, Duncan knew that Buzz Lightyear’s dream was to fly into space. Though nothing but a toy, many girls and boys loved Buzz and shared his dream. Why not realize his dream and show every boy and girl that if a toy can do it, they can do it too and they should keep dreaming about it?, thought Duncan.

But how are they going to get NASA’s approval on this “crazy” project? By finding and solving one of the agency’s pain points. At the time, NASA had many challenges they were struggling to overcome one of which was the waning interest of Americans in space exploration. Little interest meant little to no funding from the Congress. So Duncan pitched the heads of NASA that sending Buzz Lightyear to space was a great way to introduce a new generation of kids to space travel, and to build interest in STEM skills for youths across the country. NASA agreed and Buzz Lightyear spent almost one year and a half in space at the International Space Station firing the imagination of kids and grown-ups alike through contests, learning games and many other activities. The project was a huge success!

What amazing achievements could your team unlock? Find out by attending Duncan Wardle’s Innovation & Design Thinking Masterclass, in Day 2 of BRAND MINDS 2023.

BRAND MINDS is the complete business training your team needs to supercharge your company’s scale-up.

Share these stories with your team leader.

12 business tactics & lessons to grow your company

Learn 12 business tactics from BRAND MINDS’ global business thinkers and speakers, to grow your company and upgrade your business strategy.

Renée Mauborgne on the business strategy aspects Facebook, Uber and Amazon failed to implement correctly while creating a blue ocean market:

Blair Singer on the various types of salespersons and why they are successful:

Duncan Wardle on why developing a creative culture is paramount in business:

Disruptive technologies for the future of business with Anne-Marie Imafidon:

Neil Patel on how to use Instagram to get more customers:

How to effectively take action with Blair Singer:

Lynda Gratton on how employers create a work environment in this new world of employment that inspires creativity and productivity:

Nassim Nicholas Taleb on why you should study risk-taking, not risk-management:

Nassim Nicholas Taleb on what it means to have skin in the game:

Neil Patel on the biggest shifts in marketing:

Renée Mauborgne on why you should stop looking at the competition and letting them drive your strategies:

Duncan Wardle on the biggest barrier to innovation:

14 talks about top performance & business growth

Are you looking for insights on top performance & business growth?

Here are 14 talks featuring the BRAND MINDS 2023 speakers sharing their insights on habits, the new way of working, technology, marketing, sales, creativity and more.

BRAND MINDS speakers 2023

14 talks about top performance & business growth

Building & changing habits with James Clear of “Atomic Habits”

YouTube Ads: Why is it not working and what to do with Neil Patel

New Ways of Working with Lynda Gratton

What’s Your Blue Ocean Strategy? Make Your Competition Irrelevant with Author Renée Mauborgne 

3 reasons why your lookalike audience isn’t converting with Neil Patel

Creating new, empowering habits with James Clear

5 tips to think like a millionaire with Blair Singer

Keeping your PR creative, imaginative, curious and intuitive with Disney’s Duncan Wardle

Nassim Nicholas Taleb on Skin in the Game

Women in Engineering Day with Anne-Marie Imafidon

Move Beyond Competing with Renée Mauborgne

How to build awesome habits with James Clear

How to price correctly with Neil Patel

Why you should redesign your HR strategy with Lynda Gratton

20 great business books to scale your business

Here are the 20 great business books you should read this year to scale your business fast:

  1. Blue Ocean Strategy: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
  2. Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing – Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth
  3. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
  4. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
  5. Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life
  6. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
  7. Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
  8. The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms
  9. Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum
  10. She’s in CTRL
  11. The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity
  12. Redesigning Work: How to Transform Your Organisation and Make Hybrid Work for Everyone
  13. The Shift: The Future of Work is already here
  14. The New Long Life: A Framework for Flourishing in a Changing World
  15. Glow: How you can radiate energy, innovation and success
  16. The Key: How Corporations Succeed by Solving the World’s Toughest Problems
  17. The Exceptional Manager: Making the Difference
  18. Hot Spots: Why some companies buzz with energy and innovation – and others don’t
  19. Sales Dogs: You Don’t Have to be an Attack Dog to Explode Your Income
  20. 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.

BM23 - Renee Mauborgne

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:

  1. What is distinctive about Blue Ocean Strategy as a theory;
  2. How is Blue Ocean Strategy different from a classic differentiation strategy or a low-cost strategy;
  3. How to reconstruct market boundaries;
  4. Why you need to focus on the big picture;
  5. How to reach beyond existing demand;
  6. How to overcome organizational hurdles;
  7. 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 theNew York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal,andUSA Todaybestseller. 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: 

  1. Whyfocusing on competing misses huge growth opportunities;
  2. Howto expand your thinking on strategy beyond competing;
  3. Why thinking creative destruction and disruption as sources of innovation is limiting;
  4. Howyou can grow through nondisruptive creation;
  5. How anyone in any organization can move from red to blue oceans withBLUE OCEAN SHIFT’s systematic five-step process—not just entrepreneurs;
  6. Whypeople’s confidence is essential to create and execute your growth strategy andhowto build it;
  7. Whyyou should not build your growth strategy based on existing environmental and industry conditions andhowyou can shape them in your favour for growth.

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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:

  1. Build a system for getting 1% better every day;
  2. Break your bad habits and stick to good ones;
  3. Avoid the common mistakes most people make when changing habits;
  4. Overcome a lack of motivation and willpower;
  5. Develop a stronger identity and believe in yourself;
  6. Make time for new habits (even when life gets crazy);
  7. Design your environment to make success easier;
  8. Make tiny, easy changes that deliver big results;
  9. Get back on track when you get off course;
  10. And most importantly, how to put these ideas into practice in real life.

BM23 - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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:

  1. What is a Black Swan event;
  2. How to recognize Black Swan events;
  3. How to adapt your business to the changes Black Swan events bring;
  4. 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:

  1. Understand the world from a new vantage point;
  2. Succeed in your business, contribute to a fair and just society, detect nonsense;
  3. 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:

  1. Deal with luck in life and business;
  2. Approach luck and skill the right way;
  3. Leverage the power of luck;
  4. 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:

  1. Thrive in an uncertain world, in business and life;
  2. 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:

  1. Surprising truths by exposing self-delusions you have been living with but never recognized;
  2. How to test your business decisions by looking at them through a fresh new lens and see if they still stand.

BM23 - Neil Patel

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:

  1. Why you must own your dreams, not rent dreams from others;
  2. Ways to create your own luck and “POP”;
  3. How to betray yourself to stay true to yourself—and develop your potential;
  4. 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:

  1. That technology is not an unchangeable and unquestionable force;
  2. How to use technology to future-proof your business;
  3. How to play a part in ensuring a future that is evenly distributed.

BM23 - Lynda Gratton

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:

  1. Lynda Gratton’s innovative four-step framework for redesigning work;
  2. How to understand the challenges your business is facing;
  3. To reimagine creative, new approaches and processes;
  4. How to model and test these within your organisation;
  5. How to act and create based on contemporary, data-led feedback;
  6. 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:

  1. The challenges and the intelligent choices you must make to turn greater life expectancy into a gift and not a curse;
  2. 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:

  1. What is the impact of a low-carbon economy on the way we work;
  2. 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:

  1. How longevity impacts your business;
  2. How to make the most of smart new technologies;
  3. What is Lynda Gratton’s ‘human ingenuity’ concept and what it means for the business environment;
  4. 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:

  1. Three principles that people who glow live by;
  2. 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:

  1. Scale and mobilise your business with unique innovative strategies;
  2. Grow your business by committing to solving global problems;
  3. Create alliance-building capabilities for your business;
  4. 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:

  1. How to grow your business by applying the combined insight of some of the best minds in management;
  2. The right way to assess the challenges your business faces with the help of a clear and crisp analysis;
  3. 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:

  1. Encourage your own organisational Hot Spots by focusing on cooperation, networks and the role of purpose;
  2. 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:

  1. How to overcome the fears, the myths and the obstacles to selling your products, services or yourself;
  2. A simple, time-proven process of selling that will generate great income for your business;
  3. The five most important selling skills to master;
  4. How to overcome any objection;
  5. 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:

  1. Build strategies and techniques to maintain power in any pressure situation;
  2. Stop debilitating chatter in your brain so you can attract what you want;
  3. Uncover and realize lifelong dreams;
  4. Break through self-sabotaging habits;
  5. Build powerful, lasting confidence;
  6. Resurrect the hero inside of you.

24 best learnings you will take from BRAND MINDS 2023

BRAND MINDS speakers 2023

Not sure how BRAND MINDS 2023 is going to help you and your team achieve your business goals?

Here are 24 learnings BRAND MINDS speakers will teach you:

learnings James Clear

Learnings from JAMES CLEAR‘s presentation at BRAND MINDS 2023

1. 3 ways to form better habits and stick to them;

2. What is the power of tiny gains and how to use them for continuous improvement;

3. How to design the life & career you want through habit systems;

learnings Renee Mauborgne

Learnings from RENÉE MAUBORGNE‘s presentation at BRAND MINDS 2023

4. The framework for creating a blue ocean for your business;

5. Essential tools & templates to outcompete other companies;

6. Key steps to uncover untapped business growth opportunities;

learnings Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Learnings from NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB‘s presentation at BRAND MINDS 2023

7. The 6 mistakes executives make in risk management;

8. Why Big Data brings more risks than it solves;

9. How to take risks you understand, instead of trying to understand the risks you are taking;

learnings Neil Patel

Learnings from NEIL PATEL‘s presentation at BRAND MINDS 2023

10. 7 practical content marketing tips;

11. Neil Patel’s Top 5 favourite growth marketing frameworks;

12. How to build an ultra-engaged audience that will buy;

learnings Anne-Marie Imafidon

Learnings from ANNE-MARIE IMAFIDON‘s presentation at BRAND MINDS 2023

13. Key A.I.-driven tools leaders can use to adapt to the future of work;

14. 5 key strategies to select the right people working with technology in your company;

15. How to leverage the power of A.I., data science and machine learning to increase revenue;

learnings Duncan Wardle

Learnings from DUNCAN WARDLE‘s presentation at BRAND MINDS 2023

16. 8 creative behaviours and how to use them to think more creatively;

17. 5 lateral thinking tools helping your team to innovate;

18. Frameworks for creating a sustainable culture of innovation and creativity throughout your organisation;

Learnings Lynda Gratton

Learnings from LYNDA GRATTON‘s presentation at BRAND MINDS 2023

19. The top 3 skills a team leader needs to build a highly engaged team;

20. How to create efficient frameworks to build a high-performing team;

21. Discover the most frequent mistakes leaders make that result in low team engagement;

learnings Blair Singer

Learnings from BLAIR SINGER‘s presentation at BRAND MINDS 2023

22. 1 simple, time-proven process of selling that will generate great income for most businesses in any industry;

23. The 5 most important selling skills to master;

24. How to overcome any objection.

26 key video lessons on business and personal growth you should see today

Take the reins of your personal and professional growth with 26 video lessons from global business thinkers speaking at BRAND MINDS 2023.

Grab your tickets today!

Key video lessons from BRAND MINDS 2023 speakers

Video lessons on PERSONAL GROWTH with JAMES CLEAR, Bestselling Author of ‘Atomic Habits’

1. How to trigger good habits automatically

2. How long does it take to form a new habit

3. How to get 40 times better at anything 

4. Building and changing habits

Video lessons on DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY with NEIL PATEL, Digital Marketing Expert

5. How to build a marketing strategy in 10 minutes

6. Seven underrated marketing tips 

7. Key lessons learned from hiring a CEO 

8. Unique marketing lessons from billion-dollar companies you’ve never heard of

9. Four digital marketing strategies that just work

Video lessons on HOW IS FUTURE OF WORK IMPACTING YOUR COMPANY with LYNDA GRATTON, Future of Work Strategy Expert @London Business School

10. The 2 key factors redesigning today’s workplace

11. Redesigning work

Video lessons on the GLOBAL ECONOMY with NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB, Author & Risk Analyst

12. What are the greatest risks facing the global economy

13. Why ‘Skin in the Game’ is necessary to make sense of the world at large

Video lessons on BUSINESS GROWTH STRATEGY with Renée Mauborgne, Bestselling Author of Blue Ocean Strategy & Blue Ocean Shift

14. How to find new business growth opportunities in 3 essential steps 

15. How to create exceptional business growth through the Blue Ocean Strategy 

Video lessons on INNOVATION & CREATIVITY with DUNCAN WARDLE, Innovation Expert & Creative Director Disney

16. What is a simple way to get new ideas

17. How to challenge people to develop remarkable ideas 

18. What is the Moon Shot Thinking and what rules you should be challenging to get to it

19. How to get into the right state of mind to innovate at work

20. How to solve your business challenge by looking around the world of innovation

Video lessons on SALES STRATEGY SECRETS with Blair Singer, World Famous Sales Expert

21. Three secrets to winning every sales pitch

22. Six things that will give you an instant advantage in front of everyone 

23. How to start your journey to a scalable business

24. How to build the dream team in the business

Video lessons on ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND THE FUTURE OF WORK with ANNE-MARIE IMAFIDON, Tech Leadership Expert

25. Why leaders should adopt A.I. to future-proof their businesses 

26. The definitive guide to changing your company from the inside out

28 powerful quotes on sales, habits, creativity, business, leadership and future of work

Here are 28 quotes delivered by the global business thinkers speaking at BRAND MINDS 2023 to inspire you to attend the event and grab your tickets before the price increase.

BRAND MINDS 2023

JAMES CLEAR, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF ATOMIC HABITS

1. “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”James Clear

2. “You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.” – James Clear

3. “Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.” – James Clear

4. “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.” – James Clear

5. “Be the designer of your world and not merely the consumer of it.” – James Clear

quotes james clear

LYNDA GRATTON, FUTURE OF WORK STRATEGY EXPERT @LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL

6. „We are more likely to love our work when we see it as play.“Lynda Gratton

7. “Getting your finances right is essential to 100-year life, but money is far from being the most important resource.” – Lynda Gratton

8. “Transformation does not occur in isolation, nor does it typically occur within the same group of friends.” – Lynda Gratton

quotes lynda gratton

NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB, AUTHOR & RISK ANALYST

9. “A Stoic is someone who transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.”Nassim Nicholas Taleb

10. “Learn to fail with pride – and do so fast and cleanly. Maximise trial and error – by mastering the error part.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

11. “Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behaviour, not because they won or lost.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

12. “Being an entrepreneur is an existential, not just a financial thing.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

quotes nassim taleb

RENÉE MAUBORGNE, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY & BLUE OCEAN SHIFT

13. “Competing in overcrowded industries is no way to sustain high performance. The real opportunity is to create blue oceans of uncontested market space.”Renée Mauborgne

14. “A focus on the competition too often anchors companies in the red ocean, and puts the competitors, rather than the customer, at the core of the strategy.” – Renée Mauborgne

15. “An effective blue ocean strategy has three complementary qualities: focus, divergence and a compelling tagline.” – Renée Mauborgne

quotes renee mauborgne

DUNCAN WARDLE, INNOVATION EXPERT & CREATIVE DIRECTOR DISNEY

16. “No fresh stimulus in. No new ideas out.”Duncan Wardle

17. “Innovation often comes from looking outside your own industry.” – Duncan Wardle

18. “Our own expertise is our biggest barrier to innovation.” – Duncan Wardle

19. “The Being of Innovation beats the Doing of Innovation every time. Culture first!” – Duncan Wardle

20. “Your brain is a creativity thinking muscle. Like all muscle, it needs regular exercise.” – Duncan Wardle

21. “People who look different than you, often think differently than you and will help you think differently too.” – Duncan Wardle

quotes duncan wardle

BLAIR SINGER, WORLD FAMOUS SALES EXPERT

22. “The key to success is playing to people’s strengths.”Blair Singer

23. “Great players are determined by their talent, desire and willingness to play by the code.” – Blair Singer

24. “Most people fail rather than succeed because they give up what they really want for what they want at the moment.” – Blair Singer

25. “You have been conditioned to be what you are. That means that you can also condition yourself to be who you want to be.” – Blair Singer

quotes blair singer

ANNE-MARIE IMAFIDON, TECH LEADERSHIP EXPERT

26. “For me success is the implications, the influences, and the changes to people’s lives that have come about projects, interventions, and the delivery that myself and my team have done.”Anne-Marie Imafidon

27. “Always find your tribe. You don’t have to do it alone.” – Anne-Marie Imafidon

28. “Your people could be alongside you or ahead of you, and you should work hard to help those behind you because it’s an investment. It pays back multiple times over.” – Anne-Marie Imafidon

quotes anne-marie imafidon

27 growth insights from James Clear, Nassim Taleb, Renee Mauborgne, Blair Singer, Lynda Gratton and Anne-Marie Imafidon

Are you looking for growth insights with remarkable results in your life and career?

Here are 27 growth insights from global business thinkers and BRAND MINDS 2023 speakers James Clear, Nassim Taleb, Renée Mauborgne, Blair Singer, Lynda Gratton, Anne-Marie Imafidon and Neil Patel.

Grab your tickets today!

Growth Insight Quote #1:

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.” (Atomic Habits)

James Clear, Bestselling Author of Atomic Habits

Growth Insight Quote #2:

“The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. True long-term thinking is goal-less thinking.”(Atomic Habits)

James Clear, Bestselling Author of Atomic Habits

Growth Insight Quote #1:

“When you can’t win by being better, you can win by being different.” (Atomic Habits) 

James Clear, Bestselling Author of Atomic Habits

Growth Insight Quote #4: 

“Professionals stick to the schedule, amateurs let life get in the way” (Atomic Habits)

James ClearBestselling Author of Atomic Habits

Growth Insight Quote #5:

“You don’t have to be the victim of your environment. You can also be the architect of it.” (Atomic Habits)

James Clear, Bestselling Author of Atomic Habits

growth insigth quote James Clear

Growth Insight Quote #6:

“Face-to-face interactions between workers fell by 70% after they shifted to open-plan offices, according to one study.” (Redesigning Work)

Lynda Gratton, Future of Work Strategy Expert @London Business School

Growth Insight Quote #7:

“Flexibility became a reality, and leaders realized employees could still get their jobs done.” (Redesigning Work)

Lynda Gratton, Future of Work Strategy Expert @London Business School

Growth Insight Quote #8:

“Bureaucracy declined because of the ruthless prioritization required in the shift to remote work.” (Redesigning Work)

Lynda Gratton, Future of Work Strategy Expert @London Business School

Growth Insight Quote #9:

“A complex job involves around 30 separate tasks, or different things one does in the course of it.” (Redesigning Work)

Lynda Gratton, Future of Work Strategy Expert @London Business School

growth insight quote Lynda Gratton

Growth Insight Quote #10:

“Don’t tell me what you ‘think’ – just tell me what’s in your portfolio.” (Skin in the Game)

Nassim Taleb, Author & Risk Analyst

Growth Insight Quote #11:

“Those who don’t take risks should never be involved in making decisions.” (Skin in the Game)

Nassim Taleb, Author & Risk Analyst

Growth Insight Quote #12:

“Think in terms of expected value. Individual probabilities are meaningless without knowing the magnitude of their outcomes.” (Fooled by Randomness)

Nassim Taleb, Author & Risk Analyst

Growth Insight Quote #13:

“Life is nonlinear. Small acts can have disproportionate consequences.” (Fooled by Randomness)

Nassim Taleb, Author & Risk Analyst

Growth Insight Quote #14:

“We are blind to probabilities. We do not make rational choices, but emotional ones.” (Fooled by Randomness)

Nassim Taleb, Author & Risk Analyst

growth insight quote Nassim Taleb

Growth Insight Quote #15:

“Redraw industry boundaries and operate within that new space, making the competition irrelevant.” (Blue Ocean Strategy)

Renée Mauborgne, Bestselling Author of Blue Ocean Strategy & Blue Ocean Shift

Growth Insight Quote #16:

“Align the whole system of a firm’s activities in pursuit of differentiation and low cost.” (Blue Ocean Strategy)

Renée Mauborgne, Bestselling Author of Blue Ocean Strategy & Blue Ocean Shift

growth insigth quote Renee Mauborgne

Growth Insight Quote #17:

“Achieving your dreams requires letting go of conventional paths.” (Hustle)

Neil Patel, Digital Marketing Expert

Growth Insight Quote #18:

“Taking risks to own your dreams is part of hustle.”(Hustle)

Neil Patel, Digital Marketing Expert

Growth Insight Quote #19:

“Take small steps toward your dreams to persevere through tough times.” (Hustle)

Neil Patel, Digital Marketing Expert

Growth Insight Quote #20:

“Develop a portfolio that showcases your strengths and highlights your dreams.” (Hustle)

Neil Patel, Digital Marketing Expert

growth insight quote Neil Patel

Growth Insight Quote #21:

“Digital literacy is a great way to step up your career.” (She’s in CTRL)

Anne-Marie Imafidon, Tech Leadership Expert

Growth Insight Quote #22:

“Learn how to deliver a great “elevator pitch.” Learn how to make a presentation that lasts from two minutes to 20 minutes that compels others to take immediate action of some sort. Practice it again and again until it rolls off your tongue.” (SalesDogs)

Blair Singer, World Famous Sales Expert

Growth Insight Quote #23:

“More and more, we live in Extremistan, an unequal world with unpredictable extreme outliers.” (Black Swan)

Nassim Taleb, Author & Risk Analyst

Growth Insight Quote #24:

“Fragmentation – a world where a multitude of things constantly demand our attention.” (The Shift)

Lynda Gratton, Future of Work Strategy Expert @London Business School

growth insight quote Anne-Marie Imafidon

Growth Insight Quote #25:

“Isolation – a world where the reliance on virtual technology and working from home has led to a dramatic decrease of face-to-face meetings.” (The Shift)

Lynda Gratton, Future of Work Strategy Expert @London Business School

Growth Insight Quote #26:

“Never underestimate who may know the person who knows the person you want to meet. If you suspect even the most remote possibility that someone might be able to lead you to a decision-maker… Follow it!” (SalesDogs)

Blair Singer, World Famous Sales Expert

Growth Insight Quote #27:

“There are 5 forces that shape the world now and in the future: technology, globalisation, demography & longevity, society and energy resources.” (The Shift)

Lynda Gratton, Future of Work Strategy Expert @London Business School

growth insight quote Blair Singer

17 essential questions to ask in the Exit Interview

It’s difficult when a good employee announces they are leaving and gives you their 2-week notice. It’s especially hard when they have been working for a long time and have been a valuable member of your team and their decision comes as a surprise. When that happens, you should conduct the exit interview. 

But first I believe a little context is in order.

What is the exit interview?

The exit interview is a one-on-one meeting between HR and the employee. It shouldn’t be conducted in the presence of or by the employee’s direct supervisor or manager.

The interview consists of HR asking the employee open questions with the goal of understanding why the employee is leaving and what the company can do to improve the environment for the current and future employees.

HR then forwards the gathered information to upper management so that they can make the necessary decisions to change the company for the better. Employees should also be informed that exit interviews are optional.

vector

10 questions to increase employee retention

    The exit interview: useful or useless?

    Opinions on how employees should answer the exit questions are divided.

    There are experts who say employees with one foot out the front door should not be honest in their answers for fear of burning bridges even when they have a lot to say about their experience. You never know what will happen in the future so why jeopardize your chance of coming back or lose the opportunity to get a good recommendation for future employers? 

    Others recommend the opposite. If the employee has collected many frustrations and disappointments during the course of their employment with the company, they will more likely want to share them.

    You can recognize the first type of employee by the kind of answer they give which is something along the lines of I’ve enjoyed my time with the company and am ready for the next chapter. They often believe that it’s not their responsibility to help the organization they are leaving and that, anyway, nothing would change if they did. If they cared so much they should have asked me questions when I was still working for them. 

    Stay interviews or Exit interviews?

    This brings us to the following question: should companies focus more on Stay Interviews rather than Exit Interviews?

    Stay or Retention Interviews are better tools HR specialists have to discover potential problem areas and practices within the workplace. Stay Interviews help HR to avoid a high turnover rate of employees in the company.

    But do companies conduct Stay Interviews? As per a recent survey, only 28% of respondents’ organizations conducted Stay Interviews in 2020.

    If more companies had done Stay Interviews, would we still experience now the Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting? It’s certainly something to think about. 

    If the employee isn’t talking about their experience truthfully, the Exit Interview is pointless and a waste of time for both the employee and HR. 

    To solve this type of situation, the company has a few options. The first is outsourcing the Exit Interviews to independent experts which carries many benefits:

    1. The employees are provided with the psychological safety of being honest about their experience
    2. Because the interviewer is non-employer, they are not biased which means they are open to hearing whatever the former employee has to say
    3. The employer gets more hard data

    The second option is to wait for 60 days and contact the employee at their new job. The advantage of this solution is that the employee is in a different state of mind, less focused on transitioning to a new job and has now been given the chance to put things in perspective. 

    17 essential questions to ask in the exit interview

    1. Why are you leaving?
    2. How long have you been thinking about it?
    3. What made you make this decision? Was it a specific situation that prompted you to make this decision?
    4. What was your favourite part about your job?
    5. What was your least favourite part?
    6. Name the main challenges that you faced here
    7. how could the team here have supported you more?
    8. Do you feel your worth was being seen?
    9. What could we have done better?
    10. What was your relationship like with your manager?
    11. What was your relationship like with your colleagues?
    12. What could the company have done differently?
    13. What could we do to improve the company in the future?
    14. Would you ever consider returning to the company?
    15. Would you recommend this company to others?
    16. What made you accept the new job?
    17. What is it about the new job that is better than what we offered you?

    Are you looking to grow employee retention & engagement?

    Join BRAND MINDS 2023 and learn how the future of work will impact your company from Lynda Gratton, Future of Work Strategy Expert @London Business School.

    BM23 - Lynda Gratton

    Top 10 essential leadership skills for managers for 2023

    The top 10 in-demand job skills for 2025 list reported by World Economic Forum (WEF) is outdated.

    There are new job skills employers are looking for and we present them in this article.

    The world is changing at a breakneck pace. New technologies are disrupting industries, different generations with different values are working together in the same office and people are using new ways to communicate and express themselves.

    The workplace is not the same as it was two years ago, let alone five or ten. Leadership and people management are today at a crossroads (see our piece on quiet quitting) and the skills employers are looking for in new hires are changing almost every year.

    That’s why we believe the list of top 10 in-demand job skills for 2025 that the World Economic Forum published two years ago needs updating.

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    10 questions to increase employee retention

      The Top 10 in-demand job skills for 2025 before the Great Resignation

      Every year, the World Economic Forum publishes the Future of Jobs report which showcases various highly useful statistics and data including the top skills required for jobs five years in the future.

      Here are the WEF’s recommendations for 2025:

      Analytical thinking and innovation
      Active learning and learning strategies
      Complex problem solving
      Critical thinking and analysis
      Creativity, originality and initiative
      Leadership and social influence
      Technology use, monitoring and control
      Technology design and programming
      Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility
      Reasoning, problem solving and ideation

      The problem with the latest report of the forum is that it was published before the Great Resignation and its impact on the global workforce, which began in early 2021. It’s 2022 and the business environment is struggling with a new trend: Quiet Quitting.

      Both the Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting are symptoms of the same problem: lack of leadership. It’s not that before the pandemic employees didn’t have leadership. They had. But in today’s world, a world of work-from-home, work-from-everywhere, with a healthier work-life balance, a new type of leadership is required.

      The type of leadership Future of Work Strategy Expert @London Business School and BRAND MINDS 2023 speaker Lynda Gratton writes about in her article for Harvard Business Review, Managers can’t do it all.

      BM23 - Lynda Gratton

      The Top 10 essential leadership skills for 2023 after the Great Resignation + Quiet Quitting, for managers

      What are employees looking for in their job roles?

      Values alignment. Millennials and Generation Z are now the largest segments in the workplace. What countless surveys and reports have found was that the members of both generations are seeking jobs in mission-driven companies whose values align with their own. When companies fail to live up to their own values and the employees’ expectations, the employees will take it to the street with protests and call-outs. And I give just two examples: the Google walkouts in 2018, and more recently, the pressure employees and customers have put on brands still doing business in Russia.

      Flexible work schedules. Millennials with families expect their jobs to provide them with a healthy work-life balance where they can spend quality time with their children and spouses. Nearly 1 in 5 Gen Z’ers want to run their own business, and the vast majority of them have one pet hobby they would like to nurture and manage so flexible work schedules are important for them too.

      Professional growth & development opportunities. No one wants to do the same job for years and then retire. Employees want to grow as professionals and advance in their careers. They expect employers to provide them with on-site training or offer a training allowance they can use to develop their skills further. According to LinkedIn statistics, Gen Z learners watched 50% more hours of educational content on LinkedIn. Improve my skills to improve your company.

      Opinion heard and Initiative welcomed. There is no bigger satisfaction than working in an environment where your opinion is heard, your input is valued and you are expected and encouraged to improve how the company is doing email marketing, or customer service or product design. When you see how your work contributes to the organization’s larger purpose, it’s the best feeling.

      What skills are managers expected to acquire or develop?

      Performance development. Managers need to shift from performance management to performance development. It’s not enough to monitor and assess performance, they need to support employees in developing their skills which leads to increased performance.

      Communication, Empathy and emotional support. Gallup recommends that managers have one meaningful conversation per week with each team member — 15-30 minutes. They found this helps employees reduce disengagement and burnout.

      S-curve employee learning management. The S learning curve strategy is a great framework to build a winning team and a highly efficient tool for employee development. This framework is the essence of professional development for employees at every stage of their careers. The manager identifies any skills gap the employee needs to close.

      Diversity and inclusion management. Generation Z is the most diverse generation we have ever seen. Managing and nurturing the development of these workers needs to align with the company’s business goals and the development needs of other generations working together in the same office.

      Top 10 essential leadership skills for managers for 2023, BRAND MINDS edition

      1. Performance development
      2. Peer-to-peer and team coaching
      3. S-learning curve management
      4. Communication, Empathy and emotional support
      5. Employee growth culture
      6. Engagement and retaining
      7. Retraining and career coaching
      8. Diversity and inclusion support
      9. Skills gap anticipation
      10. Agility

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      Your employees are quiet quitting. How to stop quiet quitting in your company.

      Gallup: Globally, 79% of employees are either not engaged or are actively disengaged at work

      I’m sure you’ve heard the term quiet quitting by now, it has been popping out in the media and on our social media feeds since the beginning of this year’s summer.

      On TikTok especially there are over 140 million views of #quietquitting videos at the time of writing.

      Quiet quitting refers to employees doing the work that is in their job description and not going above and beyond for their employer as they have done previously.

      Source: Gallup

      The various meanings of quiet quitting

      Some creators are talking about “Act your wage, ” a slogan that has been gaining momentum lately. It’s a creative wordplay that links the lack of going above and beyond to the amount written on the paycheck. It’s worth noting that managers are quiet quitting too with only 1 in 3 managers being engaged at work (source).

      Other creators explain the quiet quitting trend by rejecting burnout, finding a healthy work/life balance and saying that they are no longer “subscribing to the hustle culture mentality that work has to be your life”.

      Survey reports show that this trend has been growing especially among Gen-Z employees with polls on LinkedIn showing that quiet quitting is a strong indicator for employees eventually leaving the company and joining the Great Resignation, the trend that’s been sweeping the world for the past two years.

      In my opinion, quiet quitting takes on different meanings depending on the industry and the job’s specifics. For some professionals it’s not about staying late, working weekends or taking on work that is not in their job descriptions – unpaid work. This is not what is happening.

      How quiet quitting is hurting employers

      It’s about losing the enthusiasm of being part of a greater mission, of knowing your work has a higher meaning and your contribution is appreciated. It’s about not offering solutions, not taking the initiative and coming up with fresh ideas on how to achieve business goals.

      It’s about being passive and a Yes man. It’s about giving up and not caring if the business fails or succeeds. And it’s more dangerous for the employer because creativity and innovation stem from being proactive and saying what if we do this or I’ve been thinking about a new way to delight our customers or the x trend is coming, we need to prepare for it or I have an amazing idea for our next marketing campaign.

      When you hear crickets at the next team meeting, know that your employees are quiet quitting and you are in the middle of a burning house.

      But there’s still time to put out the fire.

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      Why quiet quitting is especially high among Gen Z employees and why employers should pay attention

      The latest piece on quiet quitting doing the rounds on social media is this opinion article where the author says employees are not quiet quitting, they are in fact working and suggests we use a new term: work for grown-ups.

      The author says that both employers and employees should see the job as a “contractual relationship of mutual respect and clearly defined obligations “ and nothing more. And that employers shouldn’t concern themselves with whether or not employees “love them”, their work has a purpose, that all they need to know in terms of engagement is if they think their work is harming their health, if they have a “decent line manager” and if they think they’re paid fairly.

      My thoughts reading this were that the author is oblivious to key traits of employees in Gen Z who will make up 27% of the workforce by 2025 in OECD countries.

      And also that we’re soooo past “decent line manager”. It’s not the 80s anymore!

      I’ll mention just 3 traits influencing Gen Z’s outlook on work-life:

      They want to work for a company that fits their values
      Work-life balance and diversity in the workplace are paramount
      They are expecting opportunities to learn and grow from the employer

      Gen Z is influencing the future of work for everyone in the workforce (Are you concerned about how the future of work influences your workforce? Check this out!).

      Now replace “loving” the company with having shared values, “harming their health” with having a healthy work/life balance and the “decent line manager” with a manager actively invested in their professional growth and we have a view closer to reality as employers.

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      10 questions to increase employee retention

        How to stop quiet quitting in your company

        The solution is to raise engagement.

        HRs have been traditionally tasked with employee engagement.

        Among Gallup’s findings shared in its 2022 report on employee engagement, one fact stands out:

        Employee engagement is not HR’s job; it’s the manager’s. 

        Because the manager assigns the tasks to team members and knows the workload of every one of them, what are their strengths, what are they struggling with at work and their life outside of work.

        The cause and the solution of quiet quitting is leadership. It’s time for people leading people. 

        How should managers nurture and maintain employee engagement?

        Through ongoing coaching conversations with employees.

        Here are Gallup’s recommendations:

        Managers must see engagement as one of their primary responsibilities;
        Managers must have one meaningful conversation per week with each team member — 15-30 minutes, to help employees reduce disengagement and burnout;
        Employees must see how their work contributes to the organization’s larger purpose;
        Managers need to create accountability for individual performance, team collaboration and customer value.

        Gallup: 12 elements of employee engagement that predict high team performance in critical business outcomes including retention, productivity, safety, sales and revenue

        Source: Gallup’s Building a High-Development Culture Through Your Employee Engagement Strategy Report

        Future of Work Strategy Expert @London Business School LYNDA GRATTON: Focus on your managers

        Lynda Gratton is an award-winning Professor of Management Practice at the London Business School.

        She designed the ‘Human Resource Strategy in Transforming Companies’ programme and has since led it for over 20 years. The programme is considered one of the world’s leading programmes on people and organisations.

        Lynda Gratton has chaired the World Economic Forum Council on Leadership and is currently co-chair of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Work, Wages and Job Creation.

        In her latest article for Harvard Business Review published in the March-April 2022 issue of the magazine, she stated the following findings:

        75% of employees reported that the most stressful aspect of their jobs was their immediate boss
        weekly one-to-ones with managers during uncertain times have amazing results:

        54% increase in engagement,
        31% increase in productivity,
        15% decrease in burnout,
        16% decrease in depression among employees

        As the saying goes, people join companies and leave their managers.{…} Having good relationships with their managers is the top factor in employees’ job satisfaction, which in turn is the second-most-important determinant of their overall well-being.

        Lynda Gratton

        Managers’ role needs to change from traditional, performance management, to what today’s and tomorrow’s workforce needs, performance development.

        Are you an employer? Now is the time to develop your managers’ leadership skills!

        BRAND MINDS 2023 is the best business event for your managers.

        Your team leaders will learn new strategies to grow employee retention and engagement from Future of Work Strategy Expert Lynda Gratton.

        LYNDA-GRATTON-SPEAKER-PAGE-

        Human Resources managers who have sent their managers and teams to past editions of BRAND MINDS have noticed a significant increase in employee engagement and motivation.

        The participants’ feedback is that BRAND MINDS is a great reward for their hard work and the acknowledgement that their employer cares for their professional growth and development.

        Send your team to BRAND MINDS 2023!

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