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Summer Reading: The nexxworks’ Selection July 6, 2017

Anastasia Zhenina 65700

Looking for your next great read to recharge your batteries during the summer? Look no further. The nexxworks team has you covered for the best books to prepare for your ‘Day After Tomorrow’.  Feed your mind with some of our favorite innovation stories. Nono. No need to thank us.

"What Technology Wants" - Kevin Kelly

Peter Hinssen

This book is a must-read for anyone curious about the future. Why? Because Peter said so. You want a more in-depth synopsis? Viking describes this book perfectly on Kevin Kelly's website. - Get your copy here


"The Fourth Industrial Revolution" - Klaus Schwab

Nancy Rademaker

If you want to be quickly updated on the new technologies driving the  ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, you should definitely read this book. Not only does it provide an insight into what these technologies really are, but also on how they might impact both businesses and society. I especially like the second part that deep-dives into 23 technology shifts, their expected time to market and their possible positive and negative impacts. After reading this book, you will be left with clearer insights on new technologies but, more importantly, it will set you thinking on how to contribute to a better future yourself. - Get your copy here


"The Patient Will See You Now" - Eric Topol 

Annick Vandezande 

If you wander whether AI will soon replace the doctor this is a  ‘must’ read. You will find out that technology and algorithms will allow us to move from sickcare to real ‘preventive’ healthcare. The enormous datasets will give us new means to attack conditions that have long been considered incurable. But there is more. Just as e-commerce and social networks have allowed consumers to take full ownership of their journey, so will patients (finally) become the true owner of their own data and health situation. After all, the patient is currently the most unused source of data. We analyze only at certain points in time instead of continuous monitoring and disregard the big data available. I reckon Facebook knows more about my health potential than my GP does. - Get your copy here.


"The Nightmare of Reason" - Philipp Blom

Rik Vera

A fascinating historical book that outlines the incredible impact of the little ice age at the end of the 16th century. How a few degrees Celsius of lower temperatures caused failed grain harvests for a quarter of a century and thereby changed Western society forever. How an agricultural society was replaced, forever, by trade. How the power shifted from almighty Spain, where the nobility ignored the changes and could not adjust and where the business model based on agriculture and the gold that was fed from the overseas colonies collapsed, to the Dutch disruptives who dared to buy, stock, transport and sell grain and goods as a new business model. They did not grow anything themselves.

The Spanish and the Dutch co-existed alongside each other. With the new focus on trade, fishing boats, waterways and harbors were in the ascendency. New-age traders showed lots of guts. They were the Ubers and the Airbnbs of the early 17th century. Fishermen-villages like Rotterdam and Amsterdam would, in no time, grow into world ports. How a new world order arose and how Spain suffered from the consequences, well into the 20th century.

The parallels with the current digital disruption are patently clear. The old business models of the banks, insurers, telecom operators, automotive companies, ... are blown away by digital darers who do not deny the new world, but embrace it as an opportunity. The leaders of those old models, like the Spanish nobility, and Silicon Valley as the new Amsterdam. - Get your copy here


"Quiet" - Susan Cain

Nicolas De Coster

Quiet by Susan Cain tries to show how dramatically we undervalue introverts. In today’s world of open offices, ad hoc presentations and forced collaboration, introverts feel at unease. And by doing so, we’re losing a lot of untapped potential.
This book is impressively researched, and filled with personal stories of countless introverts. Susan questions the dominant values of American business culture with an open mind. Cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience reveal surprising differences between extroverts and introverts. She doesn’t strive towards a relapse into the old cubic culture, but rather an environment that offers a healthy mix of open collaboration and silent focus. 

This is a must-read for leaders who want to understand and improve how their team works at the office, how they interact with clients, or simply to understand how they’re wired. Eye-opening! - Get your copy here


"The Membership Economy" – Robbie Kellman Baxter

Julie Vens De Vos 

An insightful, functional read on how the customer relationship has changed. It allows you to grasp that the vertical, value-creating ladder is no longer the holy grail. This book shows you what ‘paying it forward’ means (viz. respond to a person's kindness to oneself by being kind to someone else) and how you can move from a transactional relationship with your customer to a long-term collaboration. Ditch the one-night stand and read how to engage for life with your customers. You’ll immediately notice which companies, suppliers, … in your environment have adopted this new way of conversation. - Get your copy here.


"The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future" - Kevin Kelly

Felix Garriau 

Much of what will happen in the next thirty years is inevitable, driven by technological trends that are already in motion. In this fascinating, provocative new book, Kevin Kelly provides an optimistic roadmap for the future, showing how the coming changes in our lives—from virtual reality in the home to an on-demand economy to artificial intelligence embedded in everything we manufacture—can be understood as the result of a few long-term, accelerating forces. Kelly both describes these deep trends— flowing, screening, accessing, sharing, filtering, remixing, tracking and questioning — and demonstrates how they overlap and are codependent on one another. These larger forces will completely revolutionize the way we buy, work, learn, and communicate with each other. By understanding and embracing them, says Kelly, it will be easier for us to remain on top of the coming wave of changes and to arrange our day-to-day relationships with technology in ways that bring forth maximum benefits. 

Kelly’s bright, hopeful book will be indispensable to anyone who seeks guidance on where their business, industry, or life is heading—what to invent, where to work, in what to invest, how to better reach customers, and what to begin to put into place—as this new world emerges. - Get your copy here


"The Circle" - Dave Eggers

Charlotte Daenens 

‘The Circle’ is a dystopian novel centered around the perils of the Internet or companies that control it. It is a disturbing book, not only because of the troubling ideas and themes described within but, more importantly, because we live in a world where  ‘The Circle’ could easily happen.

The story is about Mae, who gets hired at ‘The Circle’. She quickly works her way up by earning as many ‘smileys’ as she can, while the company systematically strips away the right to privacy. - Get your copy here.


Podcast Tip: Boss Level Podcast – Sari Baldauf and decades of lessons on leadership

Stephanie De Kesel

I must admit, reading books is sadly becoming a rare phenomenon for me. I blame it on a lack of time. You could call it wrong prioritization. But, for a few years now, I “podcast” instead. And I am a real fan. I listen while running, cooking, cleaning, driving… Yep, I am a multitasker. So no “Summer Break book tip” from me but a “Podcast tip”.

Thanks to my colleagues, I have recently discovered the Boss Level Podcasts. This is where Sami Honkonen invites international guests with interesting stories, mostly on leadership and organizations. His invitees range from executives of multinationals over inventors of working methods to a former US Army General. 

I especially enjoyed the episode with Sari Baldauf, former executive at Nokia and once selected as Europe’s most successful female executive. She talks about her career and the executive choices she has made. Her strategic insights and her tips on growing organizations are really valuable. But, above all, I was charmed by her open-heartedness, integrity and vulnerability. - Listen to the full episode here


"The Day After Tomorrow" - Peter Hinssen


As for this hot summer’s reading list, Peter Hinssen's new book ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ naturally had to be there. Peter writes about an exponentially changing world and its consequences for organizations of Today. He introduces those pioneers who managed to move (way) beyond Tomorrow-thinking in innovation and were able to change the course of entire industries. Above all, he writes about the business models, the organizational structures, the talent, the mindset, the technologies and the cultures needed to maximize our chances for survival in the  ̀Day After Tomorrow’. Prepare to be blown away by Peter's sharp, shining insights. - Get your copy here


"Superintelligence" - Nick Bostrom 

Peter Hinssen (written by Annick Vandezande)

DO NOT READ…unless you’re in for some sleepless nights.

That is the advice my business partner Peter Hinssen gave us about this book. The book Superintelligence asks the questions: what happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? The book lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life….and it’s scary…or so says Peter.

The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. Just as the fate of gorillas now depends more on humans than on the species itself, the fate of humankind would potentially depend on the actions of the machine’s superintelligence. - Get your copy here

Happy reading!