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The Extraordinary Business Book Club

Alison Jones, publisher and book coach, explores business books from both a writer's and a reader's perspective. Interviews with authors, publishers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, tech wizards, social media strategists, PR and marketing experts and others involved in helping businesses tell their story effectively.
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Now displaying: April, 2019
Apr 29, 2019

'What is the business case for being unsustainable?'

Professor David Grayson has been involved in social enterprise before it was even a thing, and over the last few decades he has acted as the conscience of business on a range of issues from accessibility and diversity to corporate social responsibility and sustainability.

In All In, he and his co-authors Chris Coulter and Mark Lee examine the practices of those companies leading the way in sustainability and challenge business leaders in every sector and at every scale to commit themselves to going 'all in' to ensure a long-term future.

In this conversation we discuss how three authors in three different time zones can create a shared vision and manage the work of researching and writing such a significant book in what turned out to be a surprisingly short time...

Apr 22, 2019

'[The principles behind the book were those of] the lean startup: build, measure, learn, which meant running experiments, testing stuff with users and iterating and improving... treating it as a whole series of prototypes.'

In writing her first book - How to Have a Happy Hustle - Bec Evans drew on all her knowledge of innovation strategy as well as her expertise in writing productivity. The result is not only a superb book, but a masterclass in smart book development, testing every element from problem-finding to the table of contents to the cover. 

In this episode she talks us through the process, and reveals how she overcame those two classic writers' blockers, fear and procrastination, along the way. 

Apr 15, 2019

‘Mindfulness is… all about recognising where we're coming from, and who we are, and how we like to think, and where we're going with all that information.’

Dr Audrey Tang is in the business of ‘applied mindfulness’ – how can it help us be better leaders, smarter learners, and happier people? In The Leader’s Guide to Mindfulness, she shows how soft skills give hard results in areas such as problem solving and creativity, and also takes us deeper, to emotional resilience, inspiration and growth.

This is a masterclass in drawing together practical teaching and spiritual depth, weaving in expertise and experience as diverse as teaching aerobics and designing escape rooms.

Apr 8, 2019

A few of the stand-out moments from the last few Extraordinary Business Book Club episodes - there's a celebratory feel as it marks the fifth birthday of Practical Inspiration, and this week we're focused on finding inspiration in the uncomfortable and owning your ideas.

  • Niki Schafer on submerging yourself in things that inspire you
  • Anjali Ramachandran on seeking out ideas outside your comfort zone 
  • Brendan Barns on owning your story and the importance of humour
  • Kate Minchin on the unexpected usefulness of the zombie apocalpyse approach
  • Niklas Jansen on taking your ideas to new platforms
  • Chris Watson on the value of process and people
  • Miya Knights on collaboration and vulnerability 
  • Mike Sergeant on intimacy, trust and the podcast.
Apr 1, 2019

As a journalist, Mike Sergeant's job was to communicate complex issues clearly and quickly. He had to find within huge geopolitical issues the human stories that listeners could connect with. Today he uses that experience to help business leaders communicate more powerfully. 

Mike believes that PR is simply storytelling - human to human. Finding the story and creating the emotional connection, that's what saves us from spin and distrust. 

In this conversation we talk about the difference between simplifying your message and clarifying it, the power of the podcast, and those weirdly productive 3am moments.

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