Judea Pearl, Dana Mackenzie | Penguin, 2019 | Book
The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect
A very readable exploration of the surprisingly complex idea of causality, which highlights the differences between three types of thinking: correlative, causal and counterfactual.
Kai-Fu Lee, Chen Qiufan | Currency, 2021 | Book
AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future
This book really shaped my thinking on imagination, how it relates to analytical thinking and what managers will do when routine managerial tasks are displaced by machine learning.
Karl Friston | Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2010 | Article
“The free-energy principle: a unified brain theory?”
Karl Friston is a physicist turned brain scientist. His work isn’t an easy read, but his essential function of the brain being surprise minimization strongly informed our thinking on imagination. In particular, the ideas that mental model updating is driven by surprise, and the options we have as embodied brains when we encounter surprise were very powerful.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi | Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2008 | Book
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
The idea that we continually rematch our evolving skills to ever higher challenges — and that we can deliberately manage ourselves to achieve this — is a powerful idea, which informed our thinking on the continuous reimagination which occurs in firms that have freed themselves from the shackles of efficiency thinking and the assumptions which underpin their past success.
Simon Levin | Basic Books, 2000 | Book
Fragile Dominion: Complexity and the Commons
The mathematical ecologist Simon Levin writes about the fragility of natural ecosystems and other systems, and the essential characteristics of systems which are resilient and long-lived. This informed our thinking on the essential nature of resilience and corporate longevity, and the managerial interventions required to create it. By extension it also underpinned our thinking on “vitality” — the capacity for future growth.
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