7+ Must Reads for Digital Trailblazers on Leadership, Innovation, and AI

This is my fifth year of sharing my top book reads of the previous year, and you can review my previous lists here: 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019.

This year’s list includes my usual mix of leadership, emerging technology, and books about growing small businesses. I was in a cerebral mood compared to previous years and missed reading any fiction books, but I did read Patrick Stewart’s autobiography, Making it So that trekies will love, and Hertog’s On the Origin of Time, which Stephen Hawking fans should read.

Isaac Sacolick's Book Recommendations from 2023

My 2023 book recommendations on leadership, innovation, and AI

I reviewed my list and selected seven reads that should appeal to many Digital Trailblazers looking to increase their leadership, business, technical, and data/analytics/AI acumen.

  1. The Things We Make The Things We Make by Bill Hammack wins my best read of 2023 for its history, storytelling, and lessons about science versus engineering. Anyone with an engineering background or working on innovation, product development, or marketing will enjoy this read. You will learn about the engineering mindset and identify modern rules of thumb.
  2. Snow Leopard Snow Leopard and The 22 Laws of Category Design by the Category Pirates (Nicolas Cole, Christopher Lochhead, and  Eddie Yoon) are for those asking me whether they should develop their brand, become a thought leader, or write a book. I wish I read these books before writing my books! I hope I share obvious solutions to non-obvious problems and sometimes, non-obvious solutions to obvious problems. Learn backcasting and how to create new categories from these great reads. 
  3. Wine Girl Wine Girl by Victoria James is a book about becoming a sommelier, but more importantly, it tells the story of what it’s like to be a woman in the brutally male-dominated restaurant business. I would estimate that the tech industry isn’t as bad, but everyone looking to be more empathetic about the challenges facing women and minorities working in a male-dominated field will learn a lot from this book. 
  4. Making Numbers Count Making Numbers Count by Chip Heath and Karla Starr is full of insights and ideas for data scientists and others who want to improve their data storytelling. The book has many examples of what not to do and how to improve telling stories with data that more people can relate to and understand. The book starts with simple concepts on how to round numbers into relatable magnitudes, then gets into developing a scalable model for sharing metrics and storytelling. 
  5. Practical Innovation in Government Practical Innovation in Government by Alan Robinson and Dean Schroeder is a book for all change agents working in government and other slow-moving, technology-lagging industries. The book shares stories and techniques to become more customer-driven, learn from front-line managers, and develop process improvement skills.
  6. Power and Prediction
  7. Power and Prediction by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb is a must-read for anyone working on machine learning or AI – which really means all Digital Trailblazers. The authors separate AI point solutions that can automate or improve the quality of workflow tasks to AI applications and AI systems. It will help readers separate the tactical AI ideas from the game-changing ones already impacting many industries.  
  8. Digital Trailblazer by Isaac Sacolick Digital Trailblazer by Isaac Sacolick, yes, that’s me, and it’s the book I published last year providing meaning, stories, and 50 lessons for leaders on digital transformation initiatives – or who I call Digital Trailblazers. Yes, I reread it this year, and it’s a highly relevant read to program managers, product managers, architects, DevOps leaders, and data scientists who want to expand their leadership competencies.

What should I read in 2024? I’m building the list, and follow me on GoodReads if you want to see my reading progress. More importantly, what’s on your list?

Isaac Sacolick
Join us for a future session of Coffee with Digital Trailblazers, where we discuss topics for aspiring transformation leaders. If you enjoy my thought leadership, please sign up for the Driving Digital Newsletter and read all about my transformation stories in Digital Trailblazer.

Coffee with Digital Trailblazers hosted by Isaac Sacolick Digital Trailblazers!  Join us Fridays at 11am ET for a live audio discussion on digital transformation topics:  innovation, product management, agile, DevOps, data governance, and more!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments on this blog are moderated and we do not accept comments that have links to other websites.


About Isaac Sacolick

Isaac Sacolick is President of StarCIO, a technology leadership company that guides organizations on building digital transformation core competencies. He is the author of Digital Trailblazer and the Amazon bestseller Driving Digital and speaks about agile planning, devops, data science, product management, and other digital transformation best practices. Sacolick is a recognized top social CIO, a digital transformation influencer, and has over 900 articles published at InfoWorld, CIO.com, his blog Social, Agile, and Transformation, and other sites. You can find him sharing new insights @NYIke on Twitter, his Driving Digital Standup YouTube channel, or during the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers.