Books: New Wave
Inside the next digital revolution, according to iconic AOL leader Steve Case.
The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future
By Steve Case; Simon & Schuster; 240 pages; $26.95
Steve case, architect of America Online and myriad drivers of the world’s technological transformation, is obsessed with the future even as he revisits failures, business maneuverings, and innovations of the past.
In this thought-provoking and exciting read, The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future, Case breaks the digital revolution into two “waves” and announces the arrival of a third. In the First Wave, tech visionaries built the internet infrastructure that created an “online world.”
The Second Wave washed over us with the explosion of smartphone and internet usage, development of social media and the “app economy,” and an innovation culture respectful of small, lone-wolf pioneers capable of flipping big businesses on their heads overnight.
Now the Third Wave has arrived, Case writes, and it’s showing traits of the first—transforming education, healthcare, and every economic sector. Organizational success in this Third Wave relies heavily on collaboration, a rapid-innovation strategy that accepts and exploits the realities of human behavior, and a vision beyond the Internet of Things into the “Internet of Everything.”
“As the Third Wave gains momentum, every industry leader in every economic sector is at risk of being disrupted,” Case writes.
Most at risk are “incumbent” organizations with idea-approval hierarchies biased toward blocking rather than encouraging change and a tendency to “underestimate the speed at which the future is approaching.”
Required reading. Period.
The Healthy Workplace: How to Improve the Well-being of Your Employees and Boost Your Company’s Bottom Line
Leigh Stringer; AMACOM; 256 pages; $27.95
It’s not a mystery. We know we should make good food choices, exercise at least 30 minutes daily, calm down, and get at least seven hours of sleep a night. The problem is that it’s just not happening—and America’s bosses are concerned.
Tons of data, shared in this easy- to-read book, detail the harm unhealthy behaviors do to workers’ productivity, mood, and learning. To their credit, organizations increasingly are adopting physical and cultural approaches that “inspire movement at work,” prompt positive self-care, and minimize stress. Here are their stories and advice.
A time-saving table in the back provides a checklist of suggested strategies, makeover tactics for office spaces, and sample policies or business processes. Read while eating an apple and doing crunches.
Scrappy: A Little Book About Choosing to Play Big
By Terri Sjodin; Portfolio; 256 pages; $27
This rallying cry for “getting scrappy” urges organizations to develop a bolder competitive mindset around their attitudes, strategies, and execution. According to Consultant Terri Sjodin, “scrappy” describes an organization driven by a business model of “getting tactical in a specific way at the precise moment you need to.”
She shares a wealth of success stories and interviews with “scrappy” leaders such as Google Ideas Director Jared Cohen and even a Girl Scout whose cookie sales skyrocketed when she pitched her Thin Mints outside a medical marijuana facility.
On the practical end, Sjodin explains how to create, scale, and cultivate scrappy ideas and cultures while managing risk and execution.
Consider this comfort reading for rogue leaders and a challenge to others needing a stronger push.