Over at Spektrix HQ, we’re always on the lookout for ways to work smarter and more creatively. One way we do this, is keeping ourselves educated and inspired by reading as much as we can! Members of our team have been racking their brains and have come up with their favourite books about everything from business analytics to inspiring entrepreneurs; women in business to keeping employees happy; and some amazing insights into some of the most successful brands in the world.
So have a look below at some of the books the team have been taking with them on their Summer holidays to keep feeling inspired!
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Recommended by: Olivia Long
“Drive is an easy read, which delivers its promises in the title. It considers existing conceptions about what motivates people, and apparently money isn't everything! A good chunk of research backs up some interesting points. An eye opening read!”
Creativity Inc - Ed Catmill
Recommended by: Libby Penn
“What’s not to love about Pixar? This book is an incredible insight into one of the world’s leading animation companies. Who knew Steve Jobs was involved? It emphasises the importance of culture and integrity in the workplace as well as being amazingly well written. A business page turner!”
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose - Tony Hsieh
Recommended by: Libby Penn
“This book is the story of Zappos and is an insight into someone who basically loved hosting parties creating a multi-million dollar business. Delivering Happiness is one of my favourite books ever and it tells an amazing story of putting your people first as you build a business. It also gives a little glimpse into some of the eccentricity you get in Silicon Valley!”
Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground - Kevin Poulsen
Recommended by: Hugh Topping
“This book makes hacking thrilling. The author doesn't skip over the technical details of how the hacks work and writes so engagingly and clearly that, even if some of it is a bit confusing to those who don’t know much about hacking, he can get across the thrill of the chase and into the minds of these amazingly strange and clever people. The detailed accounts of how the security of banks, national security and retailers were penetrated and data and card details stolen make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. These are organisations that we deal with and give our cards to, such as restaurants and clothes shops. Poulson explains how a combination of software faults, and human laziness and carelessness, make data theft possible. A great read!”
The Art of the Turnaround: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Arts Oganizations - Michael Kaiser
Recommended by: Paul Stavish
”Working in the arts is a tricky business. Costs go up, competition is fierce, and the battle for resources is ever escalating. So what is one to do? Reading this book is a good start. Michael Kaiser has made a career out of saving and growing arts organizations of all sizes. The book is a great look at how one can do huge things in a short amount of time. Hint: think big and bold, plan ahead, and generate more revenue instead of cutting costs and diminishing your art!”
The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering - Frederick P. Brooks Jr
Recommended by: Andrew Huff
"A collection of software engineering and project management essays by Fred Brooks from the 1970s. This book is widely considered a classic for good reason: Most of the essays show insights still relevant today, and the rest are fascinating history lessons of the trials faced by software teams in the days of tape drives and assembly language."
The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security - Kevin D. Mitnick
Recommended by: Hugh Topping
“In this book, Mitnick (once described as the FBI's "most wanted hacker") reveals some tricks-of-the-trade. You will quickly come to realize that his toolbox is every bit as effective as the hacking and cracking of technology and as you read further, it may dawn on you just how hard it is to counter the social engineering attack. After all, much as you might like to, you can't simply plug in a new program to security-patch your employees! My bottom line: take this book on holiday with you. Once you start, you will not want to put it down and you can reflect on it at the bar.”
Made to Stick - Chip & Dan Heath
Recommended by: Martin Counter
“I started reading this book as I was bored in a London hotel room and had recently acquired it in a free goodie bag - not the most promising of starts. But this book blew my mind! Anyone who thinks this is a business book for educational reading is wrong. This book is a light hearted, in fact, extremely funny look at how you can make ideas stick with other people. This isn't just valuable for advertising; it discusses how you can adapt your training, teaching, managing, presenting and communicating to make the information you want to convey stick.
If you have ever wondered why everyone thinks we swallow 6 spiders every year whilst sleeping, this is a book for you. Giving you insights on how urban myths have been created, breaking them down and giving you the tools to create your own. I would recommend this book to everyone, both to educate and to entertain. Goes down great with a Gin & Tonic!”
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth & Happiness - Richard H Thaler, Cass R Sunstein
Recommended by: Kate Findlay
“This is a great book that introduces readers to the art of Choice Architecture - the concept of encouraging better decision making based on the choices presented. Although the book focuses on things like health care, insurance and pension schemes (you learn about these things too!) there are lots of ideas and concepts that can be applied to fundraising. Looking at real life examples, the authors outline the various ways an individual's choices can be influenced by the options they have, giving a great insight into the psychology of choice making. The authors have done a great job of writing a book that is both informative, easy to read and occasionally funny. An essential read for fundraisers and marketers alike!”
Come over and see us at the AMA conference, where will have some of our Summer Reading List books for you to browse!