A FINANCIAL TIMES BUSINESS BOOK OF THE MONTH (APRIL 2017) Humans have become subservient to algorithms. Every day brings a new Moneyball fix - a maths whiz who will crack open an industry with clean fact-based analysis rather than human intuition and experience. As a result, we have stopped thinking. Machines do it for us. Christian Madsbjerg argues that our fixation with data often masks stunning deficiencies, and the risks for humankind are enormous. Blind devotion to number crunching imperils our businesses, our educations, our governments, and our life savings. Too many companies have lost touch with the humanity of their customers, while marginalising workers with arts-based skills. Contrary to popular thinking, Madsbjerg shows how many of today's biggest success stories stem not from 'quant' thinking but from deep, nuanced engagement with culture, language, and history. He calls his method sensemaking . In this landmark book, Madsbjerg lays out five principles for how business leaders, entrepreneurs, and individuals can use it to solve their thorniest problems. He profiles companies using sensemaking to connect with new customers, and takes readers inside the work process of sensemaking 'connoisseurs' like investor George Soros, architect Bjarke Ingels, and others. Both practical and philosophical, Sensemaking is a powerful rejoinder to corporate groupthink and an indispensable resource for leaders and innovators who want to stand out from the pack.
* The acclaimed book on Darwin's life and work, from one of our best-known and loved scientists
Our world is far richer than previously conceived, yet so ravaged by human activity that half its species could be gone by the end of the 21st century. E.O. Wilson describes exactly which treasures of the natural world we are about to lose forever and what we can do right now to save them.
'Ranging expertly across business, politics and the arts, Tim Harford makes a compelling case for the creative benefits of disorganization, improvisation and confusion. His liberating message: you'll be more successful if you stop struggling so hard to plan or control your success. Messy is a deeply researched, endlessly eye-opening adventure in the life-changing magic of not tidying up' Oliver Burkeman The urge to tidiness seems to be rooted deep in the human psyche. Many of us feel threatened by anything that is vague, unplanned, scattered around or hard to describe. We find comfort in having a script to rely on, a system to follow, in being able to categorise and file away. We all benefit from tidy organisation - up to a point. A large library needs a reference system. Global trade needs the shipping container. Scientific collaboration needs measurement units. But the forces of tidiness have marched too far. Corporate middle managers and government bureaucrats have long tended to insist that everything must have a label, a number and a logical place in a logical system. Now that they are armed with computers and serial numbers, there is little to hold this tidy-mindedness in check. It's even spilling into our personal lives, as we corral our children into sanitised play areas or entrust our quest for love to the soulless algorithms of dating websites. Order is imposed when chaos would be more productive. Or if not chaos, then . . . messiness. The trouble with tidiness is that, in excess, it becomes rigid, fragile and sterile. In Messy , Tim Harford reveals how qualities we value more than ever - responsiveness, resilience and creativity - simply cannot be disentangled from the messy soil that produces them. This, then, is a book about the benefits of being messy: messy in our private lives; messy in the office, with piles of paper on the desk and unread spreadsheets; messy in the recording studio, the laboratory or in preparing for an important presentation; and messy in our approach to business, politics and economics, leaving things vague, diverse and uncomfortably made-up-on-the-spot. It's time to rediscover the benefits of a little mess.
Selected as a best book of 2017 by Forbes , The Times , Huffington Post , Bloomberg, Greater Good Magazine , Stanford Business School and more. 'A timely, intriguing book' Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take ' This profound book will change your life. An instant classic' Cass R. Sunstein, bestselling co-author of Nudge Part of our daily job as humans is to influence others; we teach our children, guide our patients, advise our clients, help our friends and inform our online followers. We do this because we each have unique experiences and knowledge that others may not. But how good are we at this role? It turns out we systematically fall back on suboptimal habits when trying to change other's beliefs and behaviors. Many of these instincts-from trying to scare people into action, to insisting the other is wrong or attempting to exert control-are ineffective, because they are incompatible with how the mind operates.