10 Essential Business Books for The Digital Age

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In order to succeed in the business world today you need a great deal of digital literacy. It is no longer enough to just have a business savvy mindset. Digital technology has changed how we do business, and how we must think about business risk and opportunities, among many other things.

In short: Understanding digital is key if you want to understand business in the modern age.

But where to start your reading? Here’s a list of some of the most essential books to read for business professionals in the digital age. Some of these may not look like your father’s business books, but they are no less important in helping you understand the nature of business and how to remain competitive in today’s digital world.

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Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation

By George Westerman, Didier Bonnet, Andrew McAfee

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Analytics, social media, cloud computing. These may be terms that confound and confuse even the best of us. But “Leading Digital” explains how these tools have fundamentally changed all industries and business in general. 

The authors took a deeper look at how over 400 global companies, in industries including finance, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing, are gaining strategic advantages through the use of digital means.

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Digital to the Core: Remastering Leadership for Your Industry, Your Enterprise and Yourself

By Mark Raskino and Graham Waller

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The authors of this book are both Gartner analysts. It gets into the nitty gritty of how business leaders must remaster and recenter themselves towards digital in order for their business ventures to be successful.

Drawing on interviews with over 30 C-level executives from large corporations like Ford, McDonalds, GE and similar, this book offers a wealth of practical knowledge.

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Disrupting Digital Business: Create an Authentic Experience in the Peer-to-Peer Economy

By Ray Wang

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This book was published in 2015. It poses the argument that the digital transformation relies upon business focusing on outcomes and experiences instead of products and services. Anyone can provide a great product, or offer amazing customer service, but what kind of experience are you creating for your customers or clients?

Social media connects all members of your company and your customers, and this is going to influence decisions. What will customers and potential employees take away from that experience?

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The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

By Eric Ries

Did you ever wonder why new startups can turn existing businesses on their ear? This book lays it out for you. Apply these principles to your business, no matter what size, and you should be able to see a difference in no time.

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Digital Transformation: A Model to Master Digital Disruption

By Jo Caudron, Dado Van Peteghem

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Digital disruption is happening at a rapid rate across all industries.  Now is the time to transform your business, according to the authors of this book. This book serves as a guide and gives you a sort of blueprint to get you heading in the right direction, showing business leaders how to view digital threats as an opportunity for growth and innovation.

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Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation

By James McQuives

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The author of this book is a Forrester research analyst. He knows what he is talking about. He uses real world examples in this book over a variety of industries to show how companies can evolve and change to be able to compete in the modern digital era.

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Digital Transformation

By Mark Baker

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A practical collection of inside track information and case studies aimed at the top-level execs in the business world.  Structured in a way that helps you ask and answer the questions that will help you change the way you do business.

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Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation

By Tim Brown

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If you want to learn more about how design thinking is going to benefit you and your business, this is the book to read.  As the CEO of the IDEO consultancy, Brown has the inside track. One fact about IDEO says it all: They designed Apple’s first mouse.

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The Great Questions of Tomorrow

By David Rothkopf

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In order to get the right answers, you first have to know what the right question is.  The solution to any problem, no matter how big or small, is always going to start with asking the right question.

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The Net and the Butterfly: The Art and Practice of Breakthrough Thinking

By Olivia Fox Cabane and Judah Pollack

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Innovation may be a hard thing to do, but anything that is going to help your team be more creative and find a better way of doing things is going to be worth putting the effort into. This book is exercise-based and definitely needs to be on your must-read list.

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Whether you are looking to expand your personal horizons or you have a business transformation on the horizon, this list of books is going to get you heading in the right direction. In the current digital age, you need to take the bull by the horns and embrace the changing business climate.

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