Tag Archives: #ideas

The anti-CEO playbook

Profit, money, shareholders: these are some of the priorities of most companies today. But at what cost? In an appeal to corporate leaders worldwide, Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya calls for an end to the business playbook of the past and shares his vision for a new, “anti-CEO playbook” that prioritises people over profits. “This is the difference between profit and true wealth,” he says.

The newest motivational titles on the market for business

February is typically when we are all back in the office and into the swing of the 9-5 work day. However this year things are a little different. COVID-19 has meant that many of us are working from home and our office hours have become more flexible. While having the coffee machine and fridge close by and a non-existent commute are all wonderful upsides to working from the home office, there are days when motivation is seriously lacking. The good news is, that it’s okay to feel unmotivated from time to time, but for those days when you just can’t seem to get inspired we have rounded up a few books that could help. Self-help is a hugely popular genre and we are super happy that there is a continual stream of new titles being released, but it’s these ones below that we think will help you on a rather -ahem- unproductive day at work. 

Make yourself a cuppa and settle in for a bit of a read… it’s okay, it’s ‘kind of’ work related. 

How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices by Annie Duke

What do you do when you’re faced with a big decision? If you’re like most people, you probably make a pro and con list, spend a lot of time obsessing about decisions that didn’t work out, get caught in analysis paralysis, or endlessly seek other people’s opinions to find just that little bit of extra information that might make you sure. Or, you might take pride in your gut instincts and go with that. What if there was a better way to make quality decisions so you can think clearly, feel more confident, second-guess yourself less, and ultimately be more decisive and be more productive? Making good decisions doesn’t have to be a series of endless guesswork. Rather, it’s a teachable skill that anyone can sharpen. In How to Decide, bestselling author Annie Duke and former professional poker player lays out a series of tools anyone can use to make better decisions.

Out of My Skull: The Psychology of Boredom by James Danckert, John D. Eastwood

No one likes to be bored. We avoid boredom at all costs. It makes us feel restless and agitated. Desperate for something to do, we play games on our phones, retie our shoes, or even count ceiling tiles. And if we escape it this time, eventually it will strike again. But what if we listened to boredom instead of banishing it?

Psychologists James Danckert and John Eastwood contend that boredom isn’t bad for us. It’s just that we do a bad job of heeding its guidance. When we’re bored, our minds are telling us that whatever we are doing isn’t working, we’re failing to satisfy our basic psychological need to be engaged and effective. Too many of us respond poorly. We become prone to accidents, risky activities, loneliness and we waste ever more time on technological distractions. But, Danckert and Eastwood argue, we can let boredom have the opposite effect, motivating the change we need. The latest research suggests that an adaptive approach to boredom will help us avoid its troubling effects and, through its reminder to become aware and involved, might lead us to live fuller lives. Out of My Skull combines scientific findings with everyday observations to explain an experience we’d like to ignore, but from which we have a lot to learn. Boredom evolved to help us. It’s time we gave it a chance.

The Times Great Quotations: Famous Quotes to Inform, Motivate and Inspire by Times Books

Be inspired and moved by the words of Malala Yousafzai, Amelia Earhart, Michelle Obama and Banksy in a collection of great and memorable quotations from across the centuries. Thematically-arranged quotes from the most notable minds, orators, celebrities, writers and politicians that ever lived. Struggling to recall those elusive quotes and sayings? With this thematic approach, The Times has the answer with a selection of the best one-liners across multiple topics and including a people index to help you find who and what you are looking for. This is one of our favourites: No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.

The Quokka’s Guide to Happiness by Alex Cearns

Meet the Quokka. Miniature marsupial, tourist attraction and the happiest animal on the planet. Unique to Rottnest Island and small areas of the West Australian coast, these cute little critters have featured in more selfies than the Kardashians – no pouting necessary, just an adorable smile! Featuring stunning photography from award-winning Alex Cearns, and uplifting quotes, The Quokka’s Guide to Happiness is a gorgeous compilation sure to bring a cheeky little grin to anyone’s face and anyone wanting to break away from watching cat videos on Youtube. 

How to Thrive at Work: Mindfulness, Motivation and Productivity by Stephen J Mordue

This is an essential read for anyone experiencing low level anxiety or stress, this book pulls together the various individual strands of business logic, scientific research, self-care, spirituality and common sense to provide a one-stop guide to thriving at work. The widespread ‘more for less’ attitude is creating a dramatic rise in work-related stress and a higher ratio of staff sickness. Not only does this create a fiscal impact upon the organisation and the broader economy but it has the potential to create significant long-term mental health issues for employees. You cannot always alter the demands of your professional or personal lives but, by understanding more about how your brain functions and by actively pursuing well-being techniques, you can enhance the skills that help you manage and succeed at the challenges thrown at you and reduce the risks associated with burnout. With a focus on improving mindfulness, motivation and productivity, this book offers sound, practical advice and strategies for self-care whatever your working environment and whatever stage you are at in your career.

The Demotivated Employee: Helping Leaders Solve the Motivation Crisis That Is Plaguing Business by Cathy Bush, Tara Peters

This one is for those of you that have a team to guide. Do you ever wonder why employees are not as motivated and productive as you would like for them to be? Do you find yourself thinking that some employees are just “lazy slackers”? You may be surprised to learn that there are other explanations for employee demotivation that you may not be thinking about when you are leading people. Authors Tara Peters and Cathy Bush have worked with thousands of leaders who are shocked to learn that managers and leaders play a significant role in causing employees to lose motivation. Without even realising it, we take all sorts of actions during the process of leading people and organisations, and many of these actions actually deflate the motivation that people bring with them to work. In The Demotivated Employee, readers will learn what leadership behaviours they are engaging in that might demotivate their employees; how to better communicate with employees so this doesn’t happen; and how to work within the constraints of organisational culture to help employees thrive.

Enjoy!

The Best Books to Grow your General Knowledge

“General Knowledge” are the bits and pieces of information – some useful, some mundane, some weird and wonderful – that we pick up without intense study into specific topics.  Having general knowledge can help us win a quiz, win an argument, and become more entertaining (!?).  Satisfy your curiosity about the world around you, by dipping into these funny, surprising and informative books:

On This Day in History by Dan Snow

Dan Snow is one of Britain’s favourite historians, the creator of the hugely successful History Hit TV channel and podcast.  On This Day in History is his carefully chosen collection of 365 historical events – one for each day of the year.  Crisscrossing 3000 years of Western civilisation, Dan Snow describes events that range from important (D Day), to influential (the meeting of Lennon and McCartney), to obscure (the Anglo-Zanzibar war, the shortest war in history), and even strange (Napoleon escaping from rabbits).  He also raises the interesting question of what we choose to remember, and what we might have forgotten.

The Second Book of General Ignorance by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson

Named after the final round topic of the long-running quiz show QI (short for Quite Interesting), this second instalment of trivia focusses on General Ignorance, as in common mistakes and misunderstandings found in our “General Knowledge”.  Read this and you’ll realise that Napoleon wasn’t short, octopuses actually have six legs, and oranges often aren’t orange.  In revealing these curious misconceptions, Johns Lloyd and Mitchinson, respectively the series-creator and head researcher for QI, also try to show how these urban myths and mistaken assumptions arise.  With a foreword by Stephen Fry, the original host of QI.

The Big Ideas Box (Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology) by DK

This Big Ideas Box contains three titles from the Big Ideas Simply Explained series, covering Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology. True to DK’s form, this series uses innovative visual design to make information interesting and easier to understand.  A mix of high-impact graphics, succinct summaries and more detailed articles help to tease out these huge and complex areas of learning – covering 2500 years’ worth of philosophical thinking, the development of psychology since the Ancient Greeks, and of sociology since the Middle Ages.  These primers will invite teens and adults to think, discuss and seek out further reading.

Brilliant Maps: an Atlas for Curious Minds by Ian Wright

Brilliant Maps is not so much about geography, as a smart and imaginative way to use maps to explain interesting facts about people, countries, culture, and more.  (Ian Wright would argue that maps are the original infographic.)  The hundred maps in this book present information that range from the sobering (number of executions by state) to the curious (countries with no rivers) and whimsical (countries with no McDonald’s).  
Linked to the Brilliant Maps website, the facts presented here are thought-provoking, revelatory, and simply fun.

Answers to Questions You’ve Never Asked: Explaining the “What If” in Science, Geography and the Absurd by Joseph Pisenti

This book of fun facts and strange questions will be especially appealing to kids and teens. Joseph Pisenti, better known as RealLifeLore, is a popular YouTuber whose main channel contains video musings on the absurd side of history, geography, economics and science.  Answers to Questions You’ve Never Asked combines nonsensical humour and serious analysis to answer off-beat questions such as “Where can I move so that I will never be tempted by McDonalds again?”, and “If Plato came back to life what would he think of modern democracy?”.  A fantastic encouragement to stay curious about the world around us.

Interesting Stories for Curious People by Bill O’Neill

Bill O’Neill is a huge trivia buff who has written books of fun facts covering topics as diverse as World War I, American Presidents, and rock music.  Interesting Stories for Curious People is his trivia book about a bit of everything – a collection of entertaining and fascinating stories about history, science, pop culture and just about anything else you can think of.  Great for aspiring trivia champs!

Dare to disagree

Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but as Margaret Heffernan shows us in this Ted Talk, a good disagreement is central to progress. She shows us how the best partners aren’t echo chambers and how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree.

How boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas

Do you sometimes have your most creative ideas while folding laundry, washing dishes or doing nothing in particular? It’s because when your body goes on autopilot, your brain gets busy forming new neural connections that connect ideas and solve problems. Learn to love being bored as Manoush Zomorodi explains the connection between spacing out and creativity.