We’re taking this summer as the perfect opportunity to get stuck into a great book, elevate our marketing strategies and reflect on the year that was.
Read one or read them all, this list isn’t just a (truly) superb Christmas gift guide. It’s the curriculum you’ll need to get a head start on 2018 and join the journey to becoming a better marketer.
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
What makes some people more effective than others? Our success in life is dictated by our relationships with others and many of the ‘defining’ moments in life come from having crucial conversations.
Crucial conversations are all around us, from performance reviews at work to personal problems with your partner. But the most outstanding leaders are able to influence the outcomes of difficult, yet vital conversations, without offending other.
Everyday work and personal examples impart guidance on having critical conversations that lead to far greater success. It’s a go-to read for holding deep conversations that transform situations.
Written by the CEO and Chairman of Intel, Andrew Grove, renowned within business culture and Silicon Valley for transitioning Intel from its startup days to become world-class. Grove covers techniques for creating highly productive teams with practical, result-oriented strategies that I immediately added to my daily processes.
A real-life handbook that covered methods of motivation through to organisation systems for peak performance. It is broken into 12 chapters that define timeless elements of management: meetings, decision making, planning, reporting and staff training.
At first glance, the topics seem mundane, yet Grove is able to outline the critical factors for success in a way that provides a higher level of clarity about responsibilities that are often assumed, rather than taught.
Simply put – you and everyone you influence at work will be more efficient for reading this book.
The Best Interface Is No Interfaces
Screens are everywhere. We have one in our pocket, on our desk, in our living room, and (increasingly) in more ridiculous places like our fridges and cars. Designers solve problems for a living, but is another screen always the solution?
Krishna challenges the screen-centric world we’ve fallen into to ask, how can I think beyond screens and truly innovate? Read it for the great examples of how our addiction to screens has failed us, as well as the creative solutions that put user needs first, without relying on a screen.
“When we solve a customer pain point in a way that actually utilizes the power of the immense progress we’ve made in computing, well, that’s tech worth celebrating.”
George suggested I read this book because he thought it was on agile project management. Turned out to not be highly relevant to our approach but in other ways deeply enjoyable to listen to (as I’m now an advocate of audiobooks).
It’s also incredibly insightful for creating a get-sh*t-done attitude, solving problems and dancing without resolve. Okay, maybe not that last one.
The book targets startups, but I’d recommend its lessons to anyone who wants to recharge and refresh their product, process or productivity. The key takeaways for me are:
- Include people in meetings for a reason and have a purpose for each person involved
- Have a meeting structure and a method for generating and collating ideas from everyone
- Test, create a prototype for your solution, analyse, test, analyse, update your prototype and then test some more. You can never get it perfect the first time and there’s always more to learn
Copywrong to Copywriter
This has been passed from desk to desk as something of a bible. Being a newcomer to copywriting, it’s done miles for me. My understanding of copywriting has grown and I’ve finally discovered the flaws that have plagued my writing since high school.
Closing the last page felt like acupuncturing a decade of accumulated writing-stress right out of my soul. So satisfying.
Read it to deconstruct your writing form, learn to stimulate emotion with tone and voice, and focus on discovering who your audience is. Plus, the cover and design are pretty neat. I even bought two copies (one was stolen… nevermind).
What are you reading?
Are any of these books on your wish list? We’d love to know what you’ve been reading this year. Share your suggestions on our Facebook page or hop over to Instagram, we’re waiting.
And while you’re at it, why not share this article with a friend who wants to bring their A-game in the New Year? It’s a gift that keeps on giving.