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The ultimate Adaptavist reading list 2022

Adaptavist reading list

There are more than a few avid readers at Adaptavist, so much so that we even have our own Book Club Slack channel.

And if you're anything like me, you'll love hearing about what other people are reading. So recently, I caught up with some familiar faces to discuss their favourite, life-changing books.

In need of some inspiration for your own reading list? Look no further...

The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall

The Raw Shark Texts Book Cover
The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall

Simon Haighton-Williams - CEO at Adaptavist:

"I think every book changes your life a little bit. The Raw Shark Texts is one of my fave non-business/non-tech books."

The Raw Shark Texts tells the story of an amnesiac who rediscovers his past life through a surreal collection of clues he left for himself.

Invisible Women: Exposing data bias in a world designed for men by Caroline Criado Perez

Invisible Women Book Cover
Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez

Lucia Scarborough - Chief People Officer at Adaptavist:

"Invisible Women really opened my eyes to the things that even I, as a woman, take for granted in the world. There is definitely more awareness of the gender pay gap, but thinking about things like modern SAFe®ty standards, it would never have occurred to me that gender wasn't even considered as a variable.

It is tough reading, but really gives me the fire to want to make a change."

Invisible Women offers an eye-opening insight into the amount of gender data gaps that exist across work, education, healthcare, and other industries.

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha Book Cover
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Neal Riley - CIO at Adaptavist:

"I think it would have to be Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse. It's a beautifully written re-telling of the story of the Buddha, which is reason enough for it to make it to the top of anyone's list.

But this book holds a special place to me, as it was the book I needed at the time I found it. It's those times where your story lines up with a good book that make those magical moments."

This is an allegorical novel that explores the spiritual journey of a boy named Siddhartha.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking, Fast and Slow Book Cover
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Jon Mort - CTO at Adaptavist:

"This book transformed the way I think. It also kickstarted a journey towards understanding my own mind, and also understanding how I interact with other people."

This insightful book explores both fast and intuitive thinking, as well as slower, more rational thinking. It provides practical techniques to develop slower, smarter ways of thinking both at work, and at home.

The Choice Factory: 25 behavioural biases that influence what we buy by Richard Shotton

The Choice Factory Book Cover
The Choice Factory by Richard Shotton

Ruth Collett - Head of Marketing at Adaptavist:

"Last year I read The Choice Factory, which was recommended to me - the best way to select books!

It looks at 25 behavioural biases that underpin consumer behaviour. It's easy to read, practical, and entertaining—unlike many behavioural economics books—and probably the best introductory book to the subject."

The Choice Factory provides some insight into what drives decision-making, and what makes us tick.

Inspired: How to create tech products customers love by Marty Cagan

Inspired Book Cover
Inspired: How to create tech products customers love by Marty Cagan

Jari Worsley - Head of Product at Adaptavist:

"This is one of those books you read that helps all sorts of things click into place. It helps to set out why the discovery part of product building is so important, and shines a light on some of the most common mistakes - I have made them all!

It led to lots of facepalm moments, but I can now try to avoid the mistakes I've made in the past. Knowledge is power. This book is so good, I bought copies for all of the Adaptavist product management team!"

This book offers a masterclass on how to nurture a successful technology product organisation.

Strategy Safari by Henry Mintzberg, Bruce Ahlstrand & Joseph Lampel

Strategy Safari Book Cover
Strategy Safari by Henry Mintzberg, Bruce Ahlstrand & Joseph Lampel

Sarah Wicks - Strategic Delivery Director at Adaptavist:

"Have you ever asked people for a definition of strategy? I have never had the same answer. And this book starts to explain why.

My interest is in making the strategy live, where everyone contributes to its formation and implementation. And this book really helped me to see the vast array of views, mindsets, and techniques that exist in the real world. It's not about one approach being better than another, but seeing the value each contributes. It is not about being an expert in one, but bringing them together harmoniously. And it helped me to solidify my view that there is no silver bullet. The right answer is always situational.

I think many of us are more familiar with more top-down, orchestrated models of strategy. But this book can open your mind to approaches that turn this on its head - you will discover approaches where strategy is emergent, which is closer to how we like to do it at Adaptavist."

Strategy Safari explores ten schools of strategic thinking, helping leaders to hone in on what they really need to know.

Team of Teams: New rules of engagement for a complex world by General Stanley McChrystal

Team Of Teams Book Cover
Team of Teams by General Stanley McChrystal

Tom Lasparini - COO at Adaptavist:

"Team of Teams appealed to my sense of development as a leader. It is written by someone with a military background. In today's world, his early training as a leader was pretty old school. A bit like me. I grew up in a world of waterfall project management methodologies, before mobile phones, the internet, and email, let alone Slack and social media.

Leaders would sit in a hierarchy and prescribe processes and expect teams and people to do as they're told. This book explains the journey of how all that needed to be torn up in the most hierarchical of organisations—the military—to adapt to a new world. The techniques described have great applicability to any business.

There's a lot about delegated decision making and engendering trust that resonated with me in terms of my own journey to be a more agile leader. I figured if a four-star general could change then so could I, and that's why I like this book."

This impactful book explains how the challenges faced in Iraq can be relevant to all kinds of leaders.

Agile Conversations by Douglas Squirrel & Jeffrey Fredrick

Agile Conversations Book Cover
Agile Conversations by Douglas Squirrel & Jeffrey Fredrick

Phill Fox - Principal Customer Success Advocate at Adaptavist:

"The shortlist of books I could recommend is quite long, but depending on the circumstances, this is one I recommend quite often when I'm asked about different ways of working."

Agile Conversations focuses on using the power of conversation to build truly successful agile teams.

Enjoyed reading about what we're reading?

We'd love to hear about some of your favourite books too. Why not join us on LinkedIn or Twitter, and let us know what you're reading? Don't forget to tag us!


About the authors

Joanna Wills

Joanna Wills

Joanna is a Content Marketing Manager at Adaptavist