Date posted: 10/05/2022 5 min read

From CA Library: Pick your solution

What’s the way forward for your business? There are plenty of ideas in these CA Library resources, and also a warning.

In Brief

  • In “This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends”, Nicole Perlroth lifts the lid on the dark market for cyber hacks.
  • “Net Positive” and “Amp It Up” offer two very different approaches to improve your business.
  • All library services, excluding the cost of returning books, are free to CA ANZ members.

Reviews by Paul Robinson

This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The cyber weapons arms race

This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The cyber weapons arms race

By Nicole Perlroth (Bloomsbury), ebook

Warning: this analysis of the threat posed by the arms race between cybercriminals, spies and hackers is scary stuff. In this award-winning book, New York Times journalist Nicole Perlroth lifts the lid on a dark marketplace where cyber arms dealers sell their wares to the highest bidder – often governments or big industry.

In 2020, hackers apparently employed by the SVR, Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, slipped malware into systems run by US tech firm SolarWinds. The company’s regular software update spread the virus to thousands of clients, including major corporations, the Pentagon, US State Department, Homeland Security and Treasury. It went undetected for months while enormous amounts of sensitive data were stolen.

US corporations have suffered billions of dollars of losses in similar incursions in the past five years, and hundreds of ransomware attacks have shut down hospitals, tech companies, power grids and police departments. It’s accepted that China, Russia, Iran and North Korea have infiltrated systems that run US infrastructure, including nuclear power plants.

Deterring cheap, hard-to-attribute cyber attacks is proving tricky for the most powerful nation on Earth, which is also the most wired. Perlroth’s hypothesis is that the US – in a panicked race to rule the cybersphere roost – created, then hyper-inflated, a lucrative, totally unregulated market for digital weapons. Washington now seems unable to control the beast it has unleashed.

Another big blunder, says Perlroth, was the Stuxnet computer worm which the US (allegedly) used to attack an Iranian nuclear plant in 2009. This was the first time one government had digitally infiltrated the networks of another to inflict damage rather than simply spy.

This act of aggression encouraged US adversaries to do likewise. Written like a spy thriller, but based on years of extensive research, this is an urgent wake-up call to the threat to our exposed digital underbelly.

Net Positive: How courageous companies thrive by giving more than they take

Net Positive: How courageous companies thrive by giving more than they take

By Paul Polman and Andrew Winston (HBR), audiobook

With climate change, COVID, inequality and shrinking biodiversity hammering the global economy, governments alone can’t provide a solution. Business has to partner with civil society and government to drive transformative change, argue former Unilever boss Paul Polman and sustainability and business consultant Andrew Winston.

When it comes to sustainable capitalism, Polman has runs on the board. During his time as chief executive of Unilever, he increased shareholder returns by 300% while maintaining a number-one world ranking in sustainability for 11 years.

Polman argues that the ‘net positive’ companies of the future will profit by fixing the world’s problems, not creating more. By helping provide solutions, these organisations will build trust, attract talent and satisfy customers.

This is a straight-talking guide for business leaders on how to address inequality and climate change and make the world a better place – building a profitable company in the process. Polman and Winston buttress their arguments with real-life examples from Unilever and other ESG pioneers. They say Read, watch, listen taking ownership of the socio-environmental effects of your business model is a step on the road to unbridled innovation and savings, and a more humane, purpose-driven culture.

Amp It Up: Leading for hypergrowth by raising expectations, increasing urgency and elevating intensity

Amp It Up: Leading for hypergrowth by raising expectations, increasing urgency and elevating intensity

By Frank Slootman (Wiley), audiobook and ebook

Frank Slootman led data cloud company Snowflake through the largest software public offering in US history in 2020. It rocketed to US$300 a share on the first day of trading. But you don’t need an army of consultants to maximise your enterprise’s growth, he says. The secret is in the mindset.

Slootman outlines five steps to help business leaders convert potential into results. First, lift your game – put execution ahead of strategy. Next, align your talent – empower those who share the goal and lose those who don’t. Third, sharpen focus – set priorities, analyse more and multitask less. Next, speed up your delivery timelines. Finally, transform your strategy to expand your reach and potential for growth.

Slootman is brutally honest: this is combat, which means intensity and urgency every day until the mission is complete.

DeFi and the Future of Finance

DeFi and the Future of Finance

By Campbell R. Harvey, et al. (Wiley), audiobook and ebook

Why does it take two days to settle a bank transaction? Why do retailers pay 3% for every credit card sale? The current financial system is deeply flawed and this book looks at how DeFi – decentralised finance – is reinventing finance and offering a new vision for the future.

Get Different: Marketing that can't be ignored

Get Different: Marketing that can't be ignored

By Mike Michalowicz (Penguin), ebook

The best-selling author of Profit First and Fix This Next presents actionable insights based on three critical questions all business owners must consider to stand out, grow a brand and connect with customers.

Microsoft Power BI Cookbook: Gain expertise in Power BI with over 90 hands-on recipes, tips, and use cases

Microsoft Power BI Cookbook: Gain expertise in Power BI with over 90 hands-on recipes, tips, and use cases

By Greg Deckler and Brett Powell (Packt), ebook

Intended for more experienced Power BI users, this guide explains how to build analytical data models, reports and dashboards with its advanced features. It offers recipes for query optimisation, aggregation tables, Power BI API and more.


The Buddha and the Badass: The secret spiritual art of succeeding at work

By Vishen Lakhiani (Rodale Books), audiobook

Overworked and overwhelmed? Vishen Lakhiani, author of Code of the Extraordinary Mind, argues that hard work and hustle are not the keys to success. He offers strategies to move through life with ease and grace while creating change, forming deep connections, innovating and leading.

Hacking Digital: Best practices to implement and accelerate your business transformation

By Michael Wade, et al. (McGraw Hill), audiobook

How do you implement digital best practice to gain a competitive advantage? This audiobook is a practical guide, from set-up to organisational dynamics, to creating value and establishing digital governance.


The 8 Biggest Business Trends in 2022

By Bernard Marr (Bernard Marr & Co)

Run time: 7 minutes

In this short, informative and inspiring video, futurist and board adviser Bernard Marr walks through eight critical business trends to be aware of in a rapidly changing business landscape. For a deeper dive, access his latest ebook, Business Trends In Practice: The 25+ trends that are redefining organisations, at CA Library.

CA Library

A wealth of information in a single location

Did you know the CA Library offers services and on-demand resources to members at no charge?

The titles featured here are available to download directly from the library catalogue along with technical and soft-skill ebooks, audiobooks, articles and online resources.

Members can also access the online database that includes journals such as Harvard Business Review and newspapers including The Australian Financial Review.

Need help finding information? Take advantage of the complimentary research service and simply get in touch with the library team with your query.