Book recommendations from the NBF team

10 (+5) Book Recommendations from the Nordic Business Forum Team

Our team believes that even in the era of social media, blogs, and podcasts, books still are an excellent way to find new ideas. Now, that many people around the world tune into holiday mode, we wanted to compile a list of our team’s favorite books related to business and self-development. Hopefully, you’ll find at least one or two new ones to add to your reading list.

(But also, we totally understand if you want to take a full break from work and focus on fiction. Just scroll down as we have something for you too!)

All the Books by Dan Heath & Chip Heath

Suggestion from Ville, Head of Speaker Relations

Made to Stick, Switch, and Decisive. Those are just a few of the brilliant books written by the Heath brothers. Their books tackle topics such as problem-solving, decision-making, change, and effective communication. So, we could argue that they offer something relevant for everyone.

“I’ve really enjoyed reading all the books by Dan and Chip Heath. They are easy to read yet very insightful. The Heath brothers are also very good at popularizing the ideas and findings of experts and researchers such as Daniel Kahneman and Carol Dweck.”

Bounce by Matthew Syed

Suggestion from Aslak, CEO

Have you ever fallen into the trap of believing different talent myths? Probably yes. In this book, sportswriter and two-time Olympian, Matthew Syed, draws on the latest in neuroscience and psychology to unravel talent by taking a closer look at top athletes.

“We often believe that for some people success is given and that the premises affect a lot on whether one succeeds or not. It’s inspiring to read how the best in the world have simply worked hard and systematically build their own ladder to climb to the top. The book is in a way provocative as it shoots down many assumptions we often have about talent and success.”

Playing to Win by Roger Martin & A.G. Lafley

Suggestion from Hans-Peter, Group CEO

Looking for a good book to help you with your company strategy? Then, you should read this one. In this book, A.G. Lafley, the former CEO of Procter & Gamble, and Roger Martin, a business author, outline their set of five essential strategic choices that, when addressed in an integrated way, will move you ahead of your competitors.

“The more I do strategic work, the better the strategic model by Martin and Lafley seems. This sure is an excellent book for anyone working on business strategy.”

Presence by Amy Cuddy

Suggestion from Oona, Finance Specialist

According to Harvard Professor Amy Cuddy, by accessing our personal power, we can achieve presence—the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we’re making on others and instead adjust the impression we’re making on ourselves. In the book, Amy shares how we can get to this state by tweaking our body language, behavior, and mindset in our day-to-day lives.

“Amy presents many insightful things that especially a person like me at the beginning of their career can easily relate to. Additionally, she provides concrete tips on how you can improve presentations skills and perform better in challenging situations.”

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Suggestion from Priit, COO

This book promises to show you a faster and easier way to succeed in business. This might sound too good to be true, but the founders of Basecamp, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, have tested their own playbook in practice and found that their ideas result in success.

“The book covers many principles, that may seem simple at a glance, but are still very insightful. It also questions many widespread concepts like planning, meetings, workaholism, expansion, and growth.”

The Core by Aki Hintsa & Oskari Saari

Suggestion from Andreas, Executive Producer

This one is great when you want to get down to the basics. The book focuses on the importance of mental and physical well-being and builds on Aki Hintsa’s unique experience working with both business leaders and Formula 1 drivers. Hintsa and Saari present concrete methods and step-by-step processes on how to improve your own performance.

“This book has taught me to appreciate and focus on the simple yet important things, such as sufficient sleep and nutrition. After all, these are things you don’t necessarily prioritize in your everyday struggle and ambitions.”

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Suggestion from Sofia, Account Manager

In the book, author Stephen R. Covey presents a principle-centered approach for tackling professional and personal challenges. He guides the reader towards fairness, integrity, and human dignity—the principles that give us the power to adapt to change and the readiness to take advantage of the opportunities that change brings.

“Even though this is not the most recent self-development book, it offers great realizations on performance. Actually, I believe this book is more or less of a classic.”

Think Again by Adam Grant

Suggestion from Heli, Content Marketing Specialist

Rethinking is a skill we all need today as the speed of change is accelerating, argues Adam Grant in his newest book. But, in general, we humans are very bad at it. In the book, Adam luckily not only motivates you to rethink but also provides practical ways on how to start changing the way you think.

“The book offered a lot of food for thought and offered also great advice on how to start rethinking. Adam, for example, suggests us all to learn how to think like a scientist by doubting what you know, being curious about what you don’t know, and updating your views on data.”

Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty

Suggestion from Camilla, Customer and Employee Experience Specialist

This empowering book explains how to clear the roadblocks to reaching your full potential. Combining ancient wisdom and his own experiences as a monk, Jay transforms abstract lessons into exercises and pieces of advice that you can easily apply to, for example, reduce stress and improve relationships.

“I felt that this book is like a toothbrush to your mind. Jay adds a modern touch to the ancient wisdom of monks and shares concrete examples on how to apply those learnings to your everyday life. I’d say that for anybody seeking to declutter their lives and help find your purpose, this is a delightful must-read.”

How to Make Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Suggestion by Saara, Account Manager

Oldie but goodie. Dale Carnegie’s ideas and insights have helped numerous people to up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives alike. It’s a bestseller for a reason.

“A classic book that never gets old. It really provides working guidelines for both life and work.”

…and a Couple of Tips for Fiction Readers:

If you want to take a total break from work and just let your brain wonder in the world of fiction, we have something for you too! As it so happens, our team contains a few fans of fiction books. Here are a few suggestions on that front as well:

1984 by George Orwell

Suggestion from Riku, Account Manager

“Orwell’s masterpiece depicting life under the rule of a totalitarian government, written just after the Second World War, is scarily topical today.”

The History of Bees by Maja Lunde

Suggestion from Heli, Content Marketing Specialist

“Timely and eye-opening environmental issues wrapped within the stories of three fascinating characters.”

The Plague by Albert Camus

Suggestion from Théotime, Performance Marketing Specialist

“A novel that makes you think about the current world we live in.”

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker

Suggestion from Théotime, Performance Marketing Specialist

“A page-turner that you will not want to put down.”

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Suggestion from Camilla, Customer and Employee Experience Specialist

“A beautiful and heart-moving story filled with emotions and appreciation for the wonders of our nature.”


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