It could be because of our academic roots. Or maybe it’s because we’re a research-driven company at heart. Either way, Vennli is full of book lovers. If a new book comes out related to our passions (business growth, decision-making, customer and market insights, and data analytics or visualization to name a few), we gobble it up.

If you’re feeling the mid-summer slump and need a little boost of inspiration, here are our top picks of new releases for your reading list. Grab a good book, brew, and enjoy the weather. Cheers!

 

Data analyticsData Analytics: What Every Business Must Know About Big Data and Data Science

By James Smith (released June 2016)

We’re guilty of throwing around the term “data analytics” here at Vennli, but what is it really and why should everyone (big AND small businesses) care? This book walks through the importance of data in your business, what to do with big data, and the difference between predictive and prescriptive analytics. It also outlines how to use data to mitigate risk, find the right customers, conduct better product development, and increase brand awareness. Beginners and data nerds alike will take away ideas that are immediately applicable.

Effective data analytics differentiate growing companies. As Smith states, “study after study has found that companies are able to make huge financial gains when they use data to make small improvements in their business. By increasing the usability of the data that a business is collecting, they can increase their sales by about 15% per employee per year.”

 

digital vortexDigital Vortex: How Today’s Market Leaders Can Beat Disruptive Competitors at Their Own Game

By Louks, Macaulay, Noronha, and Wade (released July 2016)

“In today’s world, there are two paths: navigating to a new digital future, or being engulfed by exponential competitive change.” While it sounds like a potential doomsday introduction, this is a book about possibilities and opportunities.

Well-established market leaders are always in danger of having their market disrupted by a scrappy startup (Hello, traditional market research! Meet Vennli!). The authors outline how any business can use the strategies of startups for their advantage. In other words, don’t wait to be disrupted – act now to build resiliency. They walk through how to anticipate threats before they happen, sense new opportunities in the market, and take action before your competition.

Kevin Bandy, Chief Digital Officer at Cisco, says: “To compete in the digital era, companies need to change their operating models every 18-24 months. For big companies, that pace of change can seem impossible, but their very survival depends on it. Digital Vortex offers the practical strategies and frameworks these companies need to increase agility so they can evolve their operating models continuously and unlock entrepreneurship in their business.”

 

one small yesOne Small Yes: Small Decisions that Lead to Big Results

By Misty Lown (released July 2016)

“It’s the small decisions that lead to big results.”

At Vennli, we’re all about understanding and visualizing how people make choices, so it’s no surprise we jumped on this book about understanding the power of decision-making and harnessing that insight to drive personal and business growth.

Lown certainly has an inspirational personal story to tell, and this leans a bit more on the self-help side, but the actionable advice found in this book will inspire leaders to think about their business differently as well. It’s about knowing your unique strengths (your “Green Zone,” as we call it) and utilizing the tools you already have to build a thriving business.

 

The outward mindestThe Outward Mindset: Seeing Beyond Ourselves

By The Arbinger Institute (released June 2016)

When faced with a personal or organizational challenge, most of us look for a quick fix, not recognizing the underlying mindset at the heart of our challenges. Our inherent bias is to start by understanding the world around us with ourselves at the center instead of with an “outward mindset.” This taints our perceptions and decision-making and limits our potential.

This quick and easy-to-read book outlines how to shift to an outward mindset – both as individuals and organizations – to spark innovation, strengthen teamwork and leadership, and increase engagement.

“An outward mindset is essential for empowering human potential and possibility. It unlocks an organization’s ability to preserve and grow profitability with limited resources,” says Jeff Kerr, EVP at U.S. Bank.

 

the inevitableThe Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

By Kevin Kelly (released June 2016)

If you don’t have your own crystal ball to look into the future, you might want to grab this book.

A lot has been written about the technology trends that will shape our future, but Kevin Kelly provides an optimistic roadmap of how technological changes are part of a few long-term, accelerating forces. These forces will revolutionize the way our customers buy, work, and live. It’s every business’ job to stay on top of these changes in order to come out on top. As engaging as science fiction, it’s also based on extensive research and Kelly’s unique perspective.

 

gritGrit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

By Angela Duckworth (released May 2016)

We can’t all be geniuses… but maybe we don’t have to be one in order to succeed.

Based on research of high performers, Duckworth outlines how the secret to outstanding achievements is not talent but a blend of passion and persistence she refers to as “grit.” She insightfully argues that this can be learned by individuals and businesses. We live in an age where knowledge is accessible, and those that grab it and use it will rise to the top.

This book is engaging and empowering. If you need a boost to help you reach your goals, pick this one up. In his review of the book, Simon Sinek says, “Put aside what you think you know about getting ahead and outlasting your competition, even if they are more talented. Getting smarter won’t help you—sticking with it will!”

 

small dataSmall Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends

By Martin Lindstrom (released February 2016)

It’s possible that the best people watchers make the best marketers. Lindstrom goes beyond the ordinary to analyze customer behavior like an episode of CSI in order to uncover clues into what makes them tick. If you like to read Sherlock Holmes in between your business books, this one is right up your alley!

Full of amazing anecdotes and case studies, this book is certainly entertaining, but it also illustrates the power of business decisions based on customer insights. Companies pay Lindstrom to discover what prospective customers truly want and value, and he offers a treasure trove of advice about how to go about doing so. (Of course, we think a tool like Vennli makes it easy!)

 

originalsOriginals: How Non-Conformists Change the World

by Adam Grant (released February 2016)

The status quo is a powerful force. How can we break free from it and come up with original ideas? This book is about battling conformity and bucking outdated traditions. He talks about how to recognize a great idea and champion it through execution.

You’ve likely heard of this book from friends – many people follow Adam Grant on social media, and he’s well known for his previous writing. Not only is this book entertaining, but it will stick with you. Just take it from Sir Richard Branson: “After launching hundreds of businesses—from airlines to trains, music to mobile, and now a spaceline—my biggest challenges and successes have come from convincing other people to see the world differently. Originals reveals how that can be done and will help you inspire creativity and change.”