Our brain is a wickedly advanced computer. Like a computer, where software is required to maximise our utilisation of computing power, our cognitive functions can also be improved with the right inputs.

Reading has always been a tremendous conduit of information and absorbing a good book is akin to installing new software for your brain. The following books are each exceptionally effective at addressing how we can be more adaptive in our thinking, better understand businesses and our roles within them. 

1 | Who moved my cheese?

A book that reminds us to approach opportunity with our sometimes forgotten youthful optimism, 'who moved my cheese', written by Dr Spencer Johnson, can be gobbled up in one sitting. An eye opener for any business professional and a book that can be re-read if ever some renewed motivation is required. Especially poignant to anyone who has been working in a role for longer than intended. There is a big world out there, it is worth exploring and it is a lot easier to do this if you stay hungry!

2 | Lateral thinking

Lateral Thinking

Lateral thinking, by Edward De Bono, was the book that coined the phrase. This read will be an affirmation for lean and agile professionals and provide useful tools to broaden how we process information, irrespective of your mindset. 

Read this book and I guarantee that you can't help but be profoundly re-programmed in how you tackle real world problems in business and beyond. Written in 1967, it hasn't lost its relevance and will be particularly valuable for those that need to differentiate themselves in a competitive landscape.

3 | Value based fees

Value Based Fees

If you are an accountant, advertising boffin, lawyer or work in any other industry that is perpetuated by an inputs based business model, then you simply must read this book. Written by Alan Weiss, he pontificates that our fees should focus on the value you create for your client, not the cost of delivering value.

Reposition how you engage your clients. You are simply an investment or service input required to achieve a client outcome. Your value proposition is proportionate to the return on investment of achieving the clients outcome. Your fee should be priced with this in mind. As Alan states;

My fee is based on my contribution to the value you’ve stipulated you’ll be receiving, providing an excellent ROI for you and equitable compensation for me.
— Alan Weiss

Written to be targeted at 'serious consultants', although still appropriate for the rest of us normal people, if you want to redefine a business model, then this is the book for you.

Each of the above books challenges us to question the merits of incumbent business models and our role within them. All of the above books, some written generations ago, remain exceptionally relevant today. We are all enabled via technological tools to completely disrupt incumbent industry models. Now if only we could unlock our thinking to pursue this opportunity with vigour.