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Twelve of the best business books from the last 12 months summarised for you.

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  2. 2. WHAT IS IT?• A library of 200 books• A blog• A series of printed books• A pair of apps• One-page summaries• One-sentence summaries• Training programmes andspeeches• A fertile source of new ideas
  4. 4. TO SELL IS HUMANDan PinkSelling is no longer solely thedomain of salespeople,because we are all trying tomove each other in some wayor another.
  5. 5. TO SELL IS HUMANDan Pink We are all in sales now - trying to ‘move’ theother’s point of view We spend 40% of our time ‘Non-sales selling’. Theforces behind it are:EntrepreneurshipElasticity(flexible skills)Ed-Med (the two fastest-growing industries) The rules now are:Attunement: being in harmony with peopleBuoyancy: a resilient outlookClarity: making sense of murky problems andsolving them
  6. 6. BAD PHARMABen GoldacreDrug companies misleaddoctors and harm patients, soa complete overhaul of theindustry is needed.
  7. 7. BAD PHARMABen GoldacreInformed decisions can only be made withgood evidence, but trials are biased, resultsdistorted, and data buried. Missing data is vital because it adds tounderstanding, so it is a scandal that so much iswithheld. To generate a ‘positive’ result in a trial, a drugonly has to be better than a worthless placebo.Systematic reviews find every trial on a topicand score them neutrally to give a truly accurateview.Randomised trials should be used when it isunclear which treatment is better, but they arealmost never conducted.
  8. 8. ANTIFRAGILENassim Nicholas TalebAntifragile things get strongerwhen subjected to stress andtension, whereas fragile thingsbreak and robust ones simplystay the same.
  9. 9. ANTIFRAGILENassim Nicholas Taleb Procrustean bed: retrofitting causes Fragilistas: cause fragility by thinking theyunderstand Barbell strategy: safe and speculative extremes Ludic fallacy: mistake experiments with real world Turkeys and inverse turkeys Green lumber fallacy: unnecessary knowledge Extremistan: impact of a single observation Iatrogenics: harm done by the healer Agency problem: manager is not true owner Black swan errors: what you know now may not beall there is
  11. 11. BUSINESS IS BEAUTIFULDanet et al.Businesses can be thoroughlydistinctive and commerciallysuccessful if they pursueprinciples rather than justmoney.
  12. 12. BUSINESS IS BEAUTIFULDanet et al. Business doesn’t have to be cold and unforgiving. Businesses are made up of people who cometogether to achieve more than individuals can ontheir own. The five hallmarks of beautiful businesses are:1. Integrity: a clear sense of purpose2. Curiosity: they don’t stand still3. Elegance: they are pleasurably simple4. Craft: apply consideration to every last detail5. Prosperity: all this leads to a strong sense of valuecreation There are 20 sub-facets and case histories toillustrate this thesis.
  13. 13. TELL THE TRUTHUnerman & Salem BaskinIn an age of informationoverload, the most effectiveway for a brand to stand out isto tell the truth.
  14. 14. TELL THE TRUTHUnerman& Salem BaskinContent: Acknowledge reality Deliver real change to services and companystructure Take consumers on the brand truth journey Enlist third-party advocatesContext: Be close Find a Truth Turning Point Use point-of-action media Leverage routine
  16. 16. CONTAGIOUSJonah BergerYour product or idea is morelikely to catch on if you give itsocial currency, make it usefuland emotional, and wrap it inan engaging narrative.
  17. 17. CONTAGIOUSJonah BergerYou can increase the chances of your idea catchingon by following six steps:Social currency: we share things that make us look goodTriggers: top of mind leads to tip of tongueEmotion: when we care, we sharePublic: if it’s built to show, it’s built to growPractical value: it has to be news you can useStories: things built into narratives are more engaging
  18. 18. CONSUMER.OLOGYPhilip GravesYour research findings couldwell be misleading you, so itpays to examine every aspectof the techniques used togather it before relying on it.
  19. 19. CONSUMER.OLOGYPhilip Graves Artificially deconstructing the consumerexperience is misleading. Most research questions should be avoidedbecause they:1. Inadvertently tell people what to think2. Change what people think3. Lead the witness4. Can accidentally sell5. Can persuade people to like something (whenthey don’t really) The way to avoid this is to look at what theyactually do, not what they say they will. Failing that, they should not know the focus of thestudy, and should be quizzed as close to thepurchase moment as possible.
  20. 20. CREATIVITY
  21. 21. CREATIVE MISCHIEFDave TrottIf you want to be creative, youhave to be curious andcontrary.
  22. 22. CREATIVE MISCHIEFDave Trott Here’s the world’s simplest binary brief:WHO should buy it? Trialists or currentusers? You can’t have both. If it’s currentusers, explain why they should buy more.WHY should they buy it? Product orbrand? Rational or emotional?WHAT should they buy it instead of?Brand share or market growth? Allproduct use is good if you are brandleader.
  23. 23. IMAGINEJonah LehrerIdeas come from sheerpersistence, but only when werelax, so if you work hardenough on something, andfocus on not being focused,there will eventually be anunconcealing.
  24. 24. IMAGINEJonah Lehrer Muses, higher powers and creative ‘types’ aremyths Creativity is not a ‘gift’ that only some possess – it’sa catch-all for distinct thought processes that wecan all learn to use more effectively. It’s only after we’ve stopped searching for ananswer that it arrives. Breakthroughs follow a ‘stumped phase’. Trying to force insights can often prevent them–ideas arrive when the mind is distracted or relaxed. Focus on not being focused. Ideas occur best in ‘third places’ – neither thehome nor the office.
  25. 25. INSANELY SIMPLEKen SegallWork as hard as you can tomake everything as simple asit can possibly be.
  26. 26. INSANELY SIMPLEKen Segall Think brutal Think small: small groups get more done Think minimal: just communicate one thing Think motion: momentum is crucial to projects Think iconic: essence in a conceptual image Think phrasal: use short simple words Think casual: no big company thinking and process Think human: be true to your feelings Think sceptic: expect negative first reactions of Think war: extreme times call for extreme measures
  27. 27. MOTIVATION
  28. 28. MASTERYRobert GreeneEveryone has the potential tomaster something if theyidentify their true calling, servetheir apprenticeship patiently,and put in enough effort.
  29. 29. MASTERYRobert GreeneMastery of a subject or skill is achieved throughthree stages:Apprenticeship: deep observation, skillsacquisition, experimentationCreative active: moving from passive to active,advancing through trial and errorMastery, which includes a mentor dynamic with aback-and-forth exchange of ideas and experienceAfter 20,000 hours of practice, an instinctive‘Fingertip Feel’ level is reached.
  30. 30. THE ICARUS DECEPTIONSeth GodinIt’s better to be sorry than safe,so ditch the old rules. Moveout of your comfort zone, andstart treating your work as art.
  31. 31. THE ICARUS DECEPTIONSeth Godin Icarus was also told not to fly too low, andmost of us aim too low in life. The economy now rewards art overconservatism. The assets that matter now are trust,remarkability, permission, leadership, storiesthat spread, and humanity. Reverse Descartes: You are. So think. Learn something new with no apparentbenefit, then ‘ship’ it to get a reaction. Learnand carry on. It’s better to be sorry than safe.
  32. 32. HOW TO USE• Be inquisitive• Make the time• Understand the lines of argument• Take a view• Inform your work• Enjoy the debate• Ask Kevin to speak or train
  33. 33. KEVIN DUNCANMore detail at:www.greatesthitsblog.comAsk Kevin to speak or train:07979 @kevinduncan