Welcome to monthly book recommendations for Free Agents. The books will not necessarily be new but will adhere to the main blog themes.
October 2013 – Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir
If behavioral science and economics interest you, this is a book that must not be missed. The authors are Ivy League professors and their collaboration has produced a very thought-provoking set of theses about why and how scarcity in any 1 area of life can lead to less bandwidth or cognitive overload across other areas. The scarcity captures our attention and, while such focus can be effective, the flipside is that it also results in a form of tunneling that excludes other potentially important issues, causing stress, distress and sub-optimal situations and experiences. In fact, scarcity begets further scarcity.
The book starts with personal examples of people trying to manage work-life issues such as deadlines, finances, exercise, etc., and the impacts on parenting, work effectiveness, team management, personal health, wealth, etc. It then moves into larger issues within organizations, economic policies, critical professions, etc. With each example, the authors illustrate very effectively how to view and address the conflicts between resources and desires – some of these are common-sensical while some are new takes based on experiments and studies.
Please join me if you haven’t read it already. And, if you have read it, I look forward to discussing it with you on this site. I will also include notes in upcoming weekly newsletters (sign up here) with a full review shortly.
Previous Free Agent Economics Books-of-the-Month
January 2013 – To Sell is Human by Daniel H Pink
February 2013 – The Republic of Tea: The Story of the Creation of a Business, as Told Through the Personal Letters of Its Founders by Mel and Patricia Ziegler
March 2013 - The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
April 2013 – Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It by Marshall Goldsmith (review pending)
May 2013 – How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M Christensen
June 2013 - Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (review pending)
July 2013 - The Price of Everything by Eduardo Porter (review pending)
August 2013 – Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (review pending)
September 2013 - Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur (review pending)
[I am behind in getting some reviews posted but plan to get them done over the coming few months.]