The transition from season to season is often the best time to take a little break from the office and disconnect, if only for a little while. Some of you may be taking a vacation for the first time in two years. This could be the right time to catch up on all the exciting developments in IT. But with so much happening, where do you start?
I’ve found the best way to get back into the swing of things is to pick up a good book, and instantly, my gears start turning again. That is why I recently asked some of my colleagues on the senior leadership team at Accenture to recommend a few books essential for our times.
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Our top four books for innovative IT thinking
This book was recommended as a must-read by Greg Douglass, global lead for Technology Strategy & Advisory. Think Again encourages the reader to challenge their own convictions. In the book, Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at Wharton, examines the critical art of rethinking. This involves learning to question your opinions and open other people's minds.
By combining research and storytelling, Grant helps us build the intellectual and emotional muscle we need to stay curious enough about the world to change it. The book guides you to apply critical thinking and challenge outdated ideas to allow for innovation in the technology space, in our lives and in business.
Ashley Skyrme, who leads the Global Cloud First Strategy and Consulting business, recommended this book as it challenges the mind and spirit.
In The Power of Now, Tolle shows the reader how to use their analytical mind and leave their ego behind. What stood out for Ashley was the author’s use of the question-and-answer format to create a powerful experience for the reader.
Michael Hilkman, who focuses on cloud innovation across industries, suggested this book as it helps to build the brain. In his book, Ian Leslie takes a fun and provocative look at the importance of staying curious in an increasingly indifferent world.
Leslie makes a passionate case for building our "desire to know." He draws on fascinating research from psychology, economics, education and business. He explores what feeds curiosity and what starves it and finds surprising answers. Michael found it especially useful to apply this thinking to a topic like cloud innovation, which is evolving and scaling very quickly and requires a curious mind.
Keith Boone, who leads Technology Strategy & Advisory North America, suggested the book as it enticed him as a geopolitical enthusiast. With political conflicts increasingly triggering global economic crises, the book demonstrates how politics and geographical factors influence society.
In his book, Zeihan unboxes the “next world,” a world where countries or regions have no choice but to make their own goods, grow their own food, secure their own energy and fight their own battles. And they would have to do it all with populations that are both shrinking and aging. The book offers an important reality check as we face the future of our businesses and technologies.
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Prefer listening over reading? Our choices for tech executives
Some of us struggle to find the time to read, especially when there are so many things to juggle, both at work and at home. In such cases, it can be easier to tune in to a good podcast or audio book to get up to speed in the latest IT trends. So, here are our suggestions on what you can listen to to help balance good leadership qualities.
1. SMARTLESS with Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett
This suggestion by Ashley Skyrme is for anyone wanting to tickle their funny bone. The podcast offers a space where people from all walks of life learn about shared experiences through thoughtful dialog and organic hilarity. In each episode, one of the hosts surprises the audience with a special guest. The improvised and authentic conversations are filled with laughter and newfound knowledge.
Ashley also gives the thumbs up to this series from the Harvard Business Review, available as an audiobook. The collection of articles provides a year’s worth of management wisdom, with ideas, insights and best practices from companies ranging from Apple to UPS. The topics span subject matter—from diversity to innovation and trust.
Tejas Patel, who leads Technology Strategy & Advisory for our Growth Markets, recommended I listen to the Web3 Academy podcast. This is a space for people who want to understand how new tech trends are creating thriving communities and transforming traditional business models. Whether you are a novelist, tech enthusiast or industry specialist, the series is an opportunity to learn, share, ask or network.
I couldn’t resist offering my own recommendation, the new podcast series from Technology Strategy & Advisory. In this series, C-suite executives join Greg Douglass to discuss trending topics spurring CIO personal growth and enterprise success. The topics include the evolving role of the CIO, nurturing a tech-savvy board, measuring IT value, how CIOs are mastering cloud practices and preparing to operate in the metaverse.
Recently, Accenture Foresight app was launched, a mobile app full of rich content and a place to engage with our subject matter experts through forums on key themes and reports. You have the choice to either read or listen to content. It’s one of the best ways to stay informed that best suits you.
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Learning never stops
One of my favorite things about working in the technology sector, and at Accenture, is that I am continuously learning new things. Whether it is from the book and podcast recommendations offered by my colleagues or the experiences and reflections from clients, there are so many different ways I am learning to create a better future. I hope these suggestions will help equip you for what’s to come in the constantly changing world of IT innovation. Or they could help you develop your creative process and generate more innovative ideas. If you enjoyed this list, I would love to know your favorites.
See more IT Strategy insights.