Summer Reading: Books to Pack Along on Vacation

Aalto University researchers give their tips on entertaining and professionally rewarding summer reads.

Reetta Räty, 30.06.2017

Aino Tenhiälä
Professor, IE Business School, Madrid, Visiting Professor, Aalto University

Managing a Growth Company: Zook, Chris & Allen, James: The Founder's Mentality - How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth

“The book gives insight on managing a growth company, with a key message of barriers hindering growth being internal. Leveraging startup thinking for long-term growth serves as the guiding light. For a glimpse of what the book offers, you can read an online interview with the author.”

Impact of Corporate Culture: Laloux, F., & Wilber, K.: (2014). Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage in Human Consciousness

“The book shakes up views on what corporate culture is all about. Although the book has had its critics, it continues as a topic of continuous discussion. Strongly recommended.”


Jari Ylitalo
Visiting Lecturer, Aalto University

Helping and Receiving Help:
Edgar Schein: Helping: How to Offer, Give and Receive Help?

“The book provides a good, concise foundation for human relations in working life and beyond. The perspective is on helping and receiving help. Helping is linked to professional relationships in leadership, training, and consulting, but also to daily interactions both in our personal and professional lives.” 

Adam Grant: Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success.

“Another title on interaction that may be widely read already, but approaches interaction and relationships from a different angle to Schein. It invites readers to examine and rethink the behavior of themselves and others in a new light.” 

Titles in Finnish:
Lauri Järvilehto: Monenkirjavia kuvitelmia (English transl.: Multicolored imaginings)
Frank Martela: Valonöörit (English transl.: Luminaries)

“The books share a similar constructive and interpretative viewpoint. They call readers to reflect on their social reality and related interpretations in a new way, while opening up philosophical dimensions to personal leadership and thoughts around self.”


Minna Logemann
Professor of Practice, Aalto University

Digitalization in Finnish: Virpi Hämäläinen, Hanna Maula, Kimmo Suominen: Digiajan strategia

“A new title for summer cottage bedside tables for directors in Finland, which serves as a nice, compact package on the challenges and potential of the digital age for strategy building. Nothing too groundbreaking, but does wake up to realize how many elements on a director’s desk are affected by digitalization. Easy to read, well-summarized.”

Classic on Change:
Spencer Johnson: Who Moved My Cheese?

“Light, easy reading on a classic theme for managers to take along on vacation. Change and people’s attitudes to it are vital for management to understand. The book is a concise, simple, and entertaining package on the topic, with plenty of food for thought to mull over also with children and grandchildren.”

Philosophy and Wisdom:
Paolo Coelho’s works
Indian Hindu and Buddhist wisdom
Books on ethics, such as Axel Fredenholm: So Have I Heard: Iti Maya Srutam
Books on mindfulness

“In addition to business staples, during my career I’ve enjoyed other types of books with a more philosophical nature recommended by top executives. Here are a few examples, although I do recommend exploring the genre at large according to your own interests.

In my view, the biggest challenges for leaders and leadership are looking after themselves, fine-tuning their focus, removing distractions, finding an ethical certainty for activities and leadership, and maintaining a balance in the organization and in oneself. To lead intelligently, wisely, emotionally, ethically, and with values, you may find the right food by going a little further afield beyond books on business tips.”

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