A Bit of Business Book-Worming

Recommended reads for the HR and people technology professional – Summer 2018

Summer breaks come in all guises. Returning from a break enforced by a hospital bed, I concluded that it is marginal as to which is the more depressing feature of rehabilitation:

Coffee table literature is redefined to mean a stack of ‘how to’ guides which corresponds to an associated stack of pills. The academic level of my reading appetite descends to the women’s weeklies (and below!). I might as well have placed a standing order for grapes.

But since the summer life has returned, as has here the Phase 3 Insights blog!

One thing I did learn from the pages of Prima and pals is that it is compulsory to offer a round-up of summer reading. Of necessity mine comes after the fact, but perhaps these choices will warm up the brains for business when the sun goes down.

This suggestion list offers a semblance of excuse for an HR professional or business leader to join in with my professional book-worming.

5 Mood- and Mind-altering reads to inspire you…

And the next 5 on my reading list too


Read Arianna Huffington’s ‘The Sleep Revolution: Transforming your Life, One Night at a Time’.

Any professional sleeping less than a consistent 7 hours a night I urge to stay up further to get through these pages. The book offers life-changing perspective on the value of sleep and its potential to turn around your business, family and personal life. Sleep is a hot topic in all walks of life and this book shows you why.

Learn more: https://www.hrzone.com/perform/people/book-review-the-sleep-revolution-transforming-your-life-one-night-at-a-time


The themes behind Geoff Colvin’s best-seller ‘Humans are Under-rated’ shout less loudly off the 2018 bookshelves but remain highly relevant if you have concern for talent and humanity within a technologically targeted world.

Colvin tackles the question of the value of being human in a world of tech. No easy answers but a compelling and intriguing case.

Learn more: https://www.hrzone.com/lead/future/book-review-humans-are-underrated


I’d heard Daniel Susskind speak impressively at the CIPD’s Learning and Development Show. Our then-editor and I had at once bought an accompanying book, promising to reveal the impact of accelerating tech advancement on the purist of the professions. I was disappointed by the book’s weight (too much).

That said, ‘The Future of the Professions: How Technology will Transform the Work of Human Experts’ is a mind-bending intellectual journey of understanding of the meaning of a profession and the threat of digital advancement.

Learn more: https://www.hrzone.com/lead/future/book-review-the-future-of-the-professions-by-daniel-richard-susskind


On people data and how to use it, this one is an essential. Not only will the authors set you straight on what HR Analytics are all about, but they will provide you with the toolkit to sit beside you on the desk for the doing of it.

The Power of People: Learn How Successful Organizations Use Workforce Analytics To Improve Business Performanceby Jonathan Ferrar, Nigel Guenole and Sheri Feinzig I suspected would be good on this topic, but not this good.

Learn more: https://www.hrzone.com/perform/business/book-review-the-power-of-people-by-jonathan-ferrar-nigel-guenole-sheri-feinzig


Enjoy, but don’t be surprised by, the warm and human message of Kim Scott in ‘Radical Candor: How to be a great boss without losing your humanity’

Scott’s message has irony in that it’s not a radical one, which is that the best bosses combine direct challenge with personal care, rather than setting those values at odds with one another. You will like the format if you like a clear and simple model for a view. You will have a good read if this is a message you like to remain convicted of. And I do.

Learn more: https://www.hrzone.com/perform/people/book-review-radical-candor-how-to-be-a-great-boss-without-losing-your-humanity

I plan more book-worming, now that I’m happily restored to a fine balance between the ladies’ magazines (note: glossy ones now – in better health we have upgraded!) and reading for my continuing learning:


Next on my bookshelf…

‘Measure What Matters’ by John Doerr.

I’m intrigued by the concept of OKRs (objectives and key results) as a way to set business goals.

‘Creative Superpowers’ (by various authors)

Sorry to miss a launch event, I must catch up on the book which shouts out with a bright yellow business energy.

Because I can never resist the narrow deviation from achieving at work to self-help, I’m overdue to enjoy Gretchen Rubin’s Better than Before’ about habit-forming and habit-breaking.

‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman is owed a re-read. It was brilliant before and my slow thinking needs a reminder.

Please buy me Angela Duckworth’s Grit: why Passion and Resilience are the secrets to success’. Because I want grit to be true.

Professional book-worming has a place on a break and it has an important place on a work agenda too. A common thread amongst many of the authors I cite here is that we learn, we operate, we create at our best if we keep space for ‘content’ that is richer than the rapid regurgitation of a retweet. That content could be of our own thoughts’ creation.

To learn more about the opportunities to develop talent and capabilities with HR technology for you, your team and your future teams, then please contact Kate and colleagues here:  info@phase3consulting.co.uk

Image Credit:  123rf.com/profile_vadymvdrobot

About the Author: Kate Wadia

Kate’s passion at work is for bridging the gap between technology and people at work, translating for HR professionals the language of HR systems and making meaningful their potential. She believes that success with people technology is through people and that people are the differentiator. Using simple techniques drawn from HR experience, project management, business psychology and analogy with everyday life, Kate presents and explains how to work well with technology and technology projects in an HR leadership role. With a background in contrasting private and public sector HR management, Kate developed her thinking in seeking for herself to understand her first HR systems project-work. Kate is currently a Director of Phase 3 Consulting, offering an independent take on the HR systems market in the UK, through a network of experts and a talented, growing internal team. Kate’s guiding principle is that openness offers knowledge-sharing, credibility and trust. Incorrigibly enthusiastic and up absurdly early for a working morning, she swears that she only drinks three good coffees a day, but nobody believes her! Kate also writes as an HR Zone columnist.

Subscribe for Insight Updates
Get the latest content first.
We respect your privacy.