12 influential books, videos and podcasts to challenge your thinking
To inspire you to think differently, and better understand what drives our culture, some of our people recommend these books and podcasts.
We are unconventional thinkers who challenge the status quo, who want to design a better world in which people and the planet can flourish together. As curious problem finders and problem solvers, we like to stretch the boundaries of innovation.
Read on to stretch your thinking.
Recommended by Louise Wotton, Global Limelight Chair and Consultant, Computational Design
Coming into your first professional role you may not have been exposed to public speaking before. However, at one point or another, we all need to communicate effectively with others – whether it be publicly, virtually, or one-on-one.
This book breaks down exemplary public speaking, is full of practical advice and throws in tips and tricks all while being entertaining. It focusses on ‘women and the art of brilliant speaking’ and is highly recommended for today’s workforce, especially young professionals.
2. Book: Think Again by Adam Grant
Recommended by Liam Hayes, Chief People Officer
Organisational psychologist Adam Grant investigates how we can let go of views that are no longer serving us well, embrace being wrong, bring nuance to charged conversations and prize mental flexibility. Read this book in the context of the Aurecon Attributes.
3. Podcast: Babbage by from The Economist
Recommended by Cass Kenworthy, Lead Consultant, Project Management
Published every Tuesday, it’s a great way to stay up-to date with the scientific discoveries, current trends and debates in health, physics, space, mathematics, robotics, biotechnology and engineering. It’s named after Charles Babbage, a Victorian mathematician and engineer.
Recommended by Noriko Wynn, Futures Research Leader
Understanding and responding to complex problems requires the ability to think in terms of systems. The late Donella H. Meadows was a pioneer in analysing systems and her work remains relevant today. If you want a primer in how to understand any type of system and respond to complexity, this book is the place to start.
5. Book: Tai-Pan by James Clavell
Recommended by Stephane Asselin, Chief Executive, Asia
Written by James Clavell in 1966, Tai-Pan is the second book in his Asian Saga which is about European and American traders who moved into Hong Kong after the end of the First Opium War. This is a great long read about the history behind Hong Kong and how to be successful in business in a diverse and challenging environment.
Recommended by Dr Andrew Maher, Group Managing Principal, Eminence, Digital & Innovation
The provocatively titled The Australian Ugliness was written in 1960 by architect Robin Boyd. When the book was released, Boyd was accused of being unpatriotic for his withering attack on Australian aesthetics. But the book became a highly influential best seller, opening up debate in Australia about design, architecture and urban planning.
Recommended by Maureen Thurston-Chartraw, Chief Experience Officer
Body language often speaks louder than words, so it’s important to understand what you’re ‘saying’ when you’re engaging with others. In this TED Talk, social psychologist Amy Cuddy shares how her research on body language reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions – and perhaps even our own body chemistry – simply by changing body positions.
As we are increasingly interacting with others virtually through screens, understanding what our body language is conveying about us is arguably becoming more important than ever.
Recommended by Aneetha de Silva, Managing Director, Government – Australia and New Zealand
Since 2011, radio station Monocle 24’s flagship business show, The Entrepreneurs, has taken listeners on a weekly tour of the most inspiring people, companies and ideas in global business, whether they are starting from scratch, reinvigorating the family firm or developing new technology. This podcast offers insights into how entrepreneurs are reimagining the world of business and provides plenty of inspiration for sustainable thinking too.
Recommended by Stephanie Groen, Director, Coastal & Climate Change and Advisory Lead in Asia
This book outlines principles and practices on making profit whilst improving the lives of your employees, customers and suppliers. It considers taking ownership of all environmental and social impacts the business is generating, the value of developing successful long-term business partnerships and driving an innovative business culture, which will thrive during times of change and disruption.
Recommended by William Cox, Chief Executive Officer
In 1998, a crew of sailors navigated their small yacht through a treacherous storm in a world-renowned sailing competition. Their victory tells a story of teamwork through cooperation, trust, planning, and execution. As a passionate sailor himself, our CEO recommends this book to all graduates and interns so they can develop the tools needed to support teams and overcome obstacles in life and in business.
Recommended by Louise Adams, Chief Operating Officer
Based on the principle that good leadership is contagious, Willink and Babin show that even in a volatile world where people find themselves in complex teams relying heavily on influence rather than control, the resilient ability to put aside excuses and take ownership for all outcomes will be respected and replicated, both by those who lead you and those whom you lead.
Recommended by Tracey Ryan, Managing Director, New Zealand
Marilyn Carlson Nelson is one of the most successful CEOs in the world, achieving global recognition for the Carlson company and brand. This book was recommended for its real and heartfelt glimpse into the challenges Marilyn faced as a leader; and the principles, values and experiences that guided her.