Thursday 2 March is World Book Day, an international celebration of writers, reading and books. And while we all love a good story or a tantalising cook book, unfortunately the reading time doesn’t count towards our CPD (Continued Professional Development).
Learning often starts in the pages of a text book – just the phrase text book makes me shudder. I can picture myself aged 13 lugging around a leatherette holdall rammed with various school text books, all dog eared and bearing the name of whoever I fancied that particular week, encased in a love heart.
Now that we’re all grown up and learning because we want to, we’re free to choose those books that we believe will pique our interest, inspire and educate us. One area of particular interest to me is behavioural economics. It’s an approach that explores the psychology of decision making processes – invaluable insight from a marketing perspective.
There are a number of books which explore this theory in an accessible way – Nudge (Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein), teaches you how to become a Choice Architect and uses some interesting case studies to bring the principle to life. Herd (Mark Earls) is a bit drier, but if you make it through the first chapter you’ll see it’s full of fascinating insights into human behaviour.
If you like your economics a little lighter then Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics, written by Economist Steven Levitt and writer Stephen Dubner are both informative and entertaining. Both take a an oblique look at the application of economics to answer questions such as why do drug dealers live with their mothers and why suicide bombers should take out life insurance.
Finally, Life’s a Pitch is rather unique as it is split into two parts, with each part written by a different author – Stephen Bayley and Roger Mavity. One part is more of a practical ‘how to put your presentation together’ guide whereas the second, although the subject matter is linked it’s more philosophical in approach. We’re divided on which half we preferred but everyone who has read it agrees that it’s a useful refresher at worst and inspirational at best.