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World book day: 5 books that every entrepreneur should read

by JohanDid you know...24/04/2017

World book day: 5 books that every entrepreneur should read

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We’ve made a pre-selection of five books that we think every entrepreneur will appreciate.

23 April was World Book Day. There’s no shortage of books containing tips for entrepreneurs about management, strategy and running a business. Sometimes it’s hard to see the wood for the trees.

We have used the following criteria in our selection: the books are short — it won’t take you weeks to read them —, succinct and practical. In a nutshell: suitable for entrepreneurs who spend most of their time and energy running a business. Previously we discussed classics like ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a Team' and ‘Steal Like an Artist’. 

  1. It’s Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be 
    (Paul Arden, Phaidon Press, 127 pages)

    Paul Arden worked in advertising for almost 25 years and during that time collected a whole raft of insights and wisdoms that will be valuable to all entrepreneurs. The basis of his argument is that you should set your sights high and aim for things you are convinced are impossible. 

    Arden uses this idea to pull readers from their comfort zone. Every so often you have to make mistakes, you should seek out criticism rather than praise, and, above all: you have to be able to let go. It’s a pretty unorthodox approach, but the author coats it with a sizeable portion of humour and irony, to make it more digestible. 

  2. Who Moved My Cheese? 
    (Spencer Johnson and Kenneth Blanchard, Penguin Putnam, 92 pages)

    Life is one big succession of changes and uncertainties. Nothing is definite, and yet we still cling to certain things: a house, a job, our relationship, health, … Those things are the “cheese” in the book: the metaphor for things we strive for, that are constantly threatening to disappear. 

    The books follow the adventures of four characters (two mice and two “little people”) in their search for cheese, and illuminates the life lessons that each of them learns, especially when one day... the cheese has all gone. A thin, but interesting little must-read for every business leader faced with a major change process. 

  3. Creativiteit. Hoe? Zo! 
    (Igor Byttebier, Lannoo, 282 pages, Dutch)

    What is a good idea? And, more importantly, how do you get one? In this book Igor Byttebier, himself a creativity consultant, shows that creativity is not a mythical beast. 

    It is not godly inspiration, it is not genetically determined and it doesn't appear by chance either. Creativity is the result of a process that everyone can learn, as long as you practice hard enough. And this book can help you to master that process. 

  4. Brainstormen 
    (Koen De Vos, Boom/Nelissen publishers, 272 pages, Dutch)

    Do the brainstorming sessions in your company sometimes reach a dead end? “Brainstormen” by Koen De Vos demonstrates a different approach. He provides dozens of exercises, techniques and methods for making every brainstorming session a success, both in groups and alone, and describes how you can get from problem to solution in three simple steps. 

    De Vos also describes how you can set up brainstorms in your business, from a sporadic five-minute session to a structural process. 

  5. The New Normal: Explore The Limits Of The Digital World 
    (Peter Hinssen, Lannoo, 192 pages)

    The digital revolution is in full swing and has turned whole business sectors on their heads. What’s more, we are already approaching the end of the first phase of digitization: digital has become the new normal. Now it’s up to you as an entrepreneur to deal with this new reality and hope it doesn’t swallow you whole. 

    How should you adapt to this new world? What are the consequences for your business? Hinssen urges entrepreneurs and the general public to think about the end point. Because we’re rushing there faster than you might think.

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