We asked the people interviewed in the latest issue of homeWORK magazine which books inspired them and helped them to find success in business. Here are five top recommendations.

Small is Beautiful

 

"First published in 1973, Small Is Beautiful makes a persuasive case for rehumanising large swathes of the economy. The central argument - to put human relationships, technical craft and the environment at the heart of business - has been hugely influential to me as a founder and entrepreneur. Schumacher questions the assumption that big is always better. I'm sure he would be impressed at the way new technology platforms have undermined traditional economies of scale and are enabling smaller businesses to see directly to their customers."

Ben Pugh, Founder at Farmdrop

How does our economic system impact the way we live? Does it really affect what we truly care about? Oxford economist E. F. Schumacher provides an enlightening study of our economic system and its purpose, challenging the current state of excessive consumption. Offering a crucial message for the modern world struggling to balance economic growth with the human costs of globalisation, Small Is Beautiful puts forward the revolutionary yet viable case for building our economies around the needs of communities, not corporations. The Times hailed it as "one of the 100 most influential books published since World War II."

Irresistible

"The book spells out how people become addicted to tech and all of the techniques used by apps and services like Netflix, Amazon, Instagram etc. to keep us hooked. A fascinating and scary read."

Luke Abbott, Social Media Account Director at Red Brick Road

Tracing addiction throughout history, Alter shows that we're only just beginning to understand the epidemic of behavioural addiction gripping society. He takes us inside the human brain at the very moment we score points on a smartphone game, or see that someone has liked a photo we've posted on Instagram. But more than that, Alter heads the problem off at the pass, letting us know what we can do to step away from the screen. He lays out the options we have to address this problem before it truly consumes us. After all, who among us hasn't struggled to ignore the ding of a new email, the next episode in a TV series, or the desire to play a game just one more time?

No Logo

 

"Although 20 years old, Naomi Klein's No Logo is a great place to start to understand the development of the major brands that dominate our world today. For anyone who wants to understand the globalisation of supply chain to then challenge it in a more sustainable way, begin here!

Jane Fellner, Founder at Loopster based at The Chocolate Factory

By the time you reach 21, you will have seen or heard a million advertisements, but you won't be happier for it. This is a book about that much-maligned, much-misunderstood generation coming up behind the slackers, who are being intelligent and active about the world in which they find themselves. It is a world in which all that is "alternative" is sold, where any innovation or subversion is immediately adopted by old-fashioned, faceless corporations. But, gradually, tentatively, a new generation is beginning to fight consumerism with its own best weapons, and it is the first skirmishes in this war that this abrasively intelligent book documents brilliantly.

Find Your Why

 

"Simon Sinek's follow-up book, Find Your Why, is the practical guide that was missing from his hit book, Start With Why. Our whole philosophy, both as a company and with clients, is in finding both our, and our clients' "why" - and this second book helps go beyond understanding the principles and actually puts it into practice. It covers everything you need, including how to run workshops, who to invite and what to ask to find that (sometimes elusive) why. When combined with the first book, you have an amazing package that will transform your business, your relationships and your own drive to succeed."

Simon Lee, CEO at Glance based at Cannon Wharf Business Centre

 

This easy-to-follow guide starts with the search for your personal why, and then expands to helping your colleagues find your organisation's why. With detailed instructions on every stage in the process, the book also answers common concerns, such as, what if my why sounds like my competitor's? Can you have more than one why? And, if my work doesn't match my why, what do I do?     

Waste: Uncovering The Global Food Scandal

 

"It's a great read for anyone who wants to get an insight into food waste, not just in the UK but globally. Tristram is an expert in the area and uses his personal experience, combined with a deep understanding of on-the-ground issues, to really hammer the point home."

Deepak Ravindran, Co-founder at Oddbox, formerly based at Parkhall Business CentreCompany Here.

With shortages, volatile prices and nearly one billion people hungry, the world has a food problem - or thinks it does. Farmers, manufacturers, supermarkets and consumers in North America and Europe discard up to half of their food - enough to feed all the world's hungry at least three times over. Forests are destroyed and nearly one tenth of the West's greenhouse-gas emissions are released in growing food that will never be eaten. While affluent nations throw away food through neglect, in the developing world crops rot because farmers lack the means to process, store and transport them to market, but there could be surprisingly painless remedies for what has become one of the world's most pressing environmental and social problems. Waste shows what we can do to fix it.   

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Read more about these topics in homeWORK online, or pick up a copy in the lobby area of any of our Workspace buildings. Looking for some more reading inspiration? Browse the six top reads as recommended by our customers.