Friday, April 12, 2013
My reading list for the rest of 2013
My reading has been poor in the last few months. So I did a bright spot analysis. i.e. went hunting for situations when I did good reading in the past. That is when I recollected that last January (2012) I did systematic reading of “Thinking, fast and slow” – one chapter per day and drew a one-pager chapter-map after each reading. I still refer to the map-book.
Now, I have decided to focus on a chapter at a time – not the entire book. And I have already made progress. I have a tendency to reflect a lot when I read. Hence, the reading speed is slow. I have come to live with it. Here is what I have planned to read in the rest of the 2013. Let’s see how it goes.
Good strategy, bad strategy: Among the strategy gurus my favourite is Richard Rumelt – I don’t know why. The first time I wrote a blog referring to Rumelt’s work was 5 years ago (titled “Predatory leap metaphor of Prof. Rumelt”). My friend and collaborator Prof. Rishikesha Krishnan also an authority on strategy has recommended this book to me. I am currently on chapter 3 and enjoying it. I am also finding very interesting intersections of this book with our book “8 steps to innovation”. I hope to finish this book in April.
Against the Gods: The remarkable story of risk by Peter Bernstein: Today I met Rajiv Mody, CEO of Sasken, my ex-employer and a man I carry a lot of respect for. He strongly recommended me this book. He felt that one reason why we Indians are not very innovative is because we haven’t paid attention to systematically assessing the risk. It also meant collecting data systematically, validating it etc. One of the three myths about innovation we emphasize in our book is the saying “innovation is about risk taking”. We argue that it is not just about risk-taking, it is also about risk assessment and risk mitigation. I want to see if this book can shed some more light (one way or the other) on our hypothesis.
Uncontrolled: The surprising payoff of trial-and-error for business, politics and society by Jim Manzi: I have been sharing my blogs and getting useful feedback from Prof. Stefan Thomke of Harvard, an authority on experimentation. He has been generous in giving endorsement for our book. Thomke has suggested me this book last October. He said that it has a thoughtful treatment of business experimentation. Helping organizations (for-profit & not-for-profit) build experimentation capacity is really at the heart of what I do. I hope this book will give me a fresh perspective.
Strangers to ourselves: Discovering the adaptive unconscious by Timothy Wilson: Daniel Kahneman referred to this book in “Thinking, fast and slow”. I had made a mental note of this while reading TFS. And then I forgot about it. Last week Sukumar Rajgopal, SVP, CIO and Head of Innovation at Cognizant mentioned to me that he enjoyed this book very much. I am captivated by Kahneman and hence sometimes I feel that a fresh perspective on the topic will be useful to have.
Anti-fragile: How to live in a world we don’t understand by Nassim Taleb: I have been deeply influenced by NNT's The Black Swan. Black Swan was more philosophical than practical (how-to). The only chapter in Black Swan which talks about what to do is chapter 13. Anti-fragile is primarily about “how to”. Or so it seems. I would like to find out.