Date posted: 15/03/2022 8 min read

From CA Library: What’s your goal?

Pandemic times have stirred many of us to rethink what we do and how we do it. Be inspired by these CA Library resources.

In Brief

  • In “Futilitarianism”, NZ academic Neil Vallelly mounts the argument that neoliberalism’s reign is over.
  • Other titles look at how to become a rainmaker for your business, get more hours back in your day and stop overthinking.
  • All library services, excluding the cost of returning books, are free to CA ANZ members.

Reviews by Paul Robinson

Futilitarianism: Neoliberalism and the production of uselessness

Futilitarianism: Neoliberalism and the production of uselessness

By Neil Vallelly (MIT Press), ebook

Who at some stage hasn’t thought, what’s the point? If that’s you then Neil Vallelly’s book could be compelling.

Vallelly, a political theorist from the University of Otago, examines what he tags the “futilitarian” condition – the belief that human hopes are vain and our striving unjustified.

He argues that the neoliberal quest for “utility” – sold to us as leading to the greatest happiness for the most people – has mutated into a frantic, self-maximising “I must do better”, which is the antithesis of utility.

We work endlessly, constantly doing more courses, relentlessly marketing ourselves, for what exactly? No matter how hard we strive, socioeconomic conditions continue to get worse.

Vallelly maintains we’re stuck in a vortex in which our work only entrenches exploitative market relations. He points to make-work jobs, stifling unemployment regimes and meaningless media communication to underpin his argument.

The author presents a good case that several decades of neoliberal dominance have successfully turned many of us into unhappy hamsters, perpetually trapped on a spinning wheel and missing out on much in the way of collective happiness.

He documents the ways business and governments increasingly have offloaded responsibility for social ills onto individuals and shows that the constant exhortations to build up our human capital, to network, to self-brand, self-start and self-actualise serve only to make us feel useless, anxious and alone.

Yes, it’s a provocative argument, but Vallelly has nailed the zeitgeist. For an awful lot of people, what we have currently is not working. Holding up the option of an egalitarian, sustainable and optimistic future is worth consideration.

The NFT Handbook: How to create, sell and buy non-fungible tokens

The NFT Handbook: How to create, sell and buy non-fungible tokens

By Matt Fortnow & Quharrison Terry (Wiley) ebook/audiobook

It has possibly the most awkward name in marketing history, but the non-fungible token (NFT) is a unique digital item – artwork, song, animated GIF, video game – that can be bought and sold, with its ownership trackable using blockchain.

There’s quite a buzz about NFTs as an investment at the moment. This user-friendly, step-by-step guide to the NFT world explains exactly what NFTs are, how they evolved from the digital art context, and why they have value,

Tech entrepreneur Matt Fortnow and QuHarrison Terry, co-founder of 23VIVI, the world’s first digital art marketplace powered by blockchain, explore the various types of NFTs and discuss the different marketplaces for buying and selling – rating their pros and cons. Like all other areas of the art world, some items will retain value, some won’t.

There’s a lot to learn. You’ll get a crash course in cryptocurrency and blockchain. You’ll discover how to create an NFT and how to mint it (the process of getting an NFT on the blockchain). Then there’s buying and selling – how to bid and purchase, how to spot something that will hold its value, and how to avoid getting scammed.

How to Win Client Business When You Don't Know Where to Start: A rainmaking guide for consulting and professional services

How to Win Client Business When You Don't Know Where to Start: A rainmaking guide for consulting and professional services

By Doug Fletcher (Wiley), ebook/audiobook

Rainmakers generate leads for new business and transform them into new clients. They turn existing customers into referrals and repeat business. And they are very good for business.

In this no-nonsense guide, business development expert Doug Fletcher, also the author of How Clients Buy, flags five skills essential to “making it rain”.

First, establish a personal brand identity – what do you want to be known for and who is your target market?

Next, demonstrate your expertise so prospective clients see you’re good at what you do.

Third, build your professional ‘ecosystem’ – a network of mutually supportive beneficial relationships. Strengthen those professional ties by developing trust-based relationships – the common goal is success.

Finally, practice makes perfect – you need to build a client development system that works for you.

It’s all about consistency, and these practical strategies and techniques are a great place to start.

Profit from Procurement: Add 30% to your bottom line by breaking down silos

Profit from Procurement: Add 30% to your bottom line by breaking down silos

By Alex Klein, Simon Whatson and Jose Oliveira (Wiley), ebook

While Klein et al. admit procurement might not be the sexiest of topics, they argue that when deftly managed, it is a significant profitability lever and offers supply chain resilience.

This ebook highlights the limitations of the traditional approach to procurement and advises profits can be multiplied by optimising its capabilities and making it an organisation-wide priority.

Sort Your Money Out and Get Invested

Sort Your Money Out and Get Invested

By James Glen (Wiley), ebook

Retired (early) financial adviser and host of My Millennial Money podcast, James Glen presents personal finance strategies to increase income, deal with debt, buy your first property, and invest in shares. In a light-hearted way, he offers strategies to balance your budget and establish a realistic spending plan.

Soundtracks: The surprising solution to overthinking

The surprising solution to overthinking

By Jon Acuff (Baker Books), ebook and audiobook

Author and motivational speaker Jon Acuff tells us that overthinking is a form of fear that steals time and creativity, and that he changed his life by transforming the ubiquitous habit into something positive. He offers a plan to change uncontrolled thoughts into a superpower, by switching the soundtrack to propel us towards our goals.

The Contemporary CFO: How finance leaders can drive business transformation, performance and growth in a connected world

The NFT Handbook: How to create, sell and buy non-fungible tokens

By Michael Haupt (Kogan Page), ebook

CFOs are in the hot seat to lead crucial aspects of business digital transformation. Deloitte Consulting partner Michael Haupt examines how they can manage business resources and performance more dynamically, adopt new business models and digital platforms, and enable sustainable growth.


Thursday is the New Friday: How to work fewer hours, make more money, and spend time doing what you want

Thursday is the New Friday: How to work fewer hours, make more money, and spend time doing what you want

By Joe Sanok (HarperCollins), audiobook

Running time: 7 hours 33 minutes

For many of us, the pandemic has shifted our priorities and inspired us to focus more on the people and activities that make us feel purposeful and happy. Using extensive research, business consultant and podcaster Joe Sanok offers strategies to learn new efficiencies, discard unnecessary tasks and create a freer schedule.


Why Accountants Will Solve Climate Change

By Kenneth Van den Bergh (TED Talk)

Running time: 13 minutes

Kenneth Van den Bergh, co-founder of Carbon+Alt+Delete (C+A+D) carbon accounting software, says that the world’s “carbon budget” should be treated the same as a finance budget, as there is a finite amount that can be discharged before ecological bankruptcy. Accountants therefore are precisely suited to manage that budget and he examines the critical role they will play in solving climate change.

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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.

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