Thought Provoking Books

Future Edge, Joel Barker
If you have every wondered about what causes a Paradigm shift, this is the book for you. A Paradigm, as defined in the book is a set of rules and regulations that

  1. establishes or defines boundaries
  2. tells you how to behave inside the boundaries to be successful

After reading the book it became painfully clear why adopting the Object Paradigm is sometimes so difficult.

Inevitable Illusions, Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, Wiley 1994
Everyone knows about Optical Illusions, this book addresses the issue of Cognitive Illusions. A very though provoking book, after reading the book you will always have a nagging doubt in your mind whenever you say "I am certain".

The worst of the problems caused by our illusions of knowing are catalogued as "The Seven Deadly Sins", a nice touch.

As Robert Anton Wilson has said Everytime you hear the expression "the war on drugs" change it mentally to "the war on some drugs." At the same time call up all the Drug Stores and Bars/Saloons in your town . . . . "Cognitive Illusions" shines some light on why our mind accepts the first statement, when logically it makes no sense. Maybe that is why the subtitle to the book is "How mistakes of reason rule our minds."

Textbook of Wisdom, Edward de Bono, Viking 1996
From the person who brought you Lateral Thinking, a new book that examines the meaning of Wisdom.

Sort of similar in style to his "Atlas of Management Thinking", lots of diagrams that enable you to visualize the issue that is being described in the text. Just Read It! (with apologies to Nike)

The Fifth Discipline, Peter M Senge
A great sourcebook for thinking about Organizational Learning and the associated issues. The ideas about Personal Mastery and Systems Thinking are extremely applicable to the craft of software development.

Nuts!, Kevin Freiberg and Jackie Frieberg
One of the few business books that I know of that focuses on the real value of community and the ability to contribute as essential factors in business success. An unconventional look at the success of Southwest Airlines and the culture and values that lead to that success. And as can be expected for a company with a stock exchange symbol of LUV, there is even a chapter on Love and what this means in a business context.

Pete McBreen,