Summer reading list

Photo by Renee Fisher on Unsplash

What am I reading at the moment? Well, quite a few different things.

I am almost finished with the Fearless Organization by Amy C. Edmondson. I was particularly struck by her description of the different responses and outcomes between Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini in the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. Fukushima Daini was led by Naohiro Masuda, plant superintendent, who inspired life-saving teamwork from his 400 colleagues through honesty, vulnerability, communication and information sharing. And, Professor Edmondson explains how he did all this with a whiteboard. It is a gripping story, and worth the price of the book alone.

I have started Michele’s Wucker’s new book, You Are What You Risk: The New Art and Science of Navigating an Uncertain World, after listening to her talk to Christian Hunt on the Human Risk Podcast. If any of you are procrastinating about mitigating risks in your personal life, this is probably for you.

Another personally motivated choice is Nir Eyal’s Indistracable. Having coped with a short attention span all my life; I am finding that the pandemic has reduced it further, mainly as a result of spending so much time at home. I used to scroll mindlessly through social media while on the Underground or while travelling so it didn’t feel quite as much of a problem – when I arrived at my destination, I stopped. Now there is no destination. As he points out you can only be distracted from something – and he urges us to explore the root cause for example, asking ourselves, what am I trying to avoid. Needless to say, this type of introspection can be painful!

On the plus side, I’m reading the other contributions to Roger Miles’ new book (mine is Chapter 13 on cultural measurement). The title of the whole book is Culture Audit in Financial Services.

And I’m reading Noise by Kahneman, Sunstein and Sibony after listening to three different podcasts featuring one or all of the authors. They must be exhausted!

I finished Rutger Bregman’s delightful book Humankind, A Hopeful History, and would recommend it to anyone who listens to the news daily.

What are you reading? Let me know on LinkedIn or @ruthsteinholtz.