4 Business Self Help Books That Changed The Way I Work

I have an embarrassing secret — about 3 years ago I got profoundly into business self help. There are 4 books in particular that have been highly influential. None of them are aimed at architects, which is perhaps one of the reasons I have enjoyed them so much. However, they have all had a big influence on how I think about architectural practice. Let me know what you think and do leave your own recommendations in the comments.

Creativity, Inc.

Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

by Ed Catmull, President of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation with Amy Wallace

This is particularly good for architects or anyone in an industry that combines creativity with technology. It provides insight into an organisation that’s closely related to an architecture practice but with different traditions and methods. It gives a new perspective on dealing with issues similar to those encountered by architects.

To Sell is Human

The Surprising Truth About Persuading, Convincing and Influencing Others

by Daniel H. Pink

It’s easy to make the assumption that selling is pushy and cringy. This book reveals how sales can be made by being genuine and true to your values. Businesses often have dedicated sales roles and departments but actually we’re all selling all the time, often without even being aware of it: we sell ourselves, the business we work for, our leisure activities… This book shows how applying the truth to client (and potential client) interactions can improve sale quantity and quality.

Start With Why

How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

By Simon Sinek

Asking an incredibly simple question to which the answer is surprisingly elusive is both humbling and inspiring. This book highlights how why organisations do what they do is at the heart of how they do it. To have a sense of the “why” at both micro and macro levels is important to establish a sense of direction for the business and that continuing to ask why is instrumental in continuing successful growth. Simon Sinek has loads of great stuff on Youtube too…

The Lean Startup

How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business

by Eric Ries

For startups, understanding the requirements of ALL involved in the business: customers, employees and oneself is key. This book helps to understand that it’s the process of finding ways to meaningfully connect to those people that is so crucial to success, and that establishing a cycle of testing, analysing results and reiterating an improved version of the product or service is so important.