Date posted: 19/11/2020 5 min read

The change dividend

It’s time to plan how work and life will be remade post COVID-19. These CA Library resources provide possible blueprints.

In Brief

  • In “The Art of Being Indispensable at Work”, Bruce Tulgan sets out a practical guide on how to set yourself apart from the crowd.
  • Other titles examine the new technologies that are transforming our work and lives and how Indigenous thinking can save the world.
  • All CA Library resources are free for CA ANZ members to borrow, excluding the costs of returning.

Reviews Paul Robinson

The Art of Being Indispensable at Work
By Bruce Tulgan (Harvard Business Review Press), also an audiobook

The Art of Being Indispensable at Work In a time when human-to-human contact has been greatly reduced, making effective collaboration difficult, the importance of the go-to person cannot be overstated.

Dependable, skilled people – the ones who consistently punch above their weight – are indispensable members of the team and they will be a vital factor in the recovery from the pandemic-induced crisis.

Author, leadership adviser and Yale Graduate School of Management lecturer Bruce Tulgan has worked with organisations from the US Army to Walmart and the YMCA. Drawing on long-term research, he has produced this practical guide to what sets a go-to person apart from the crowd.

Tulgan says the key to being indispensable is to connect with people. Go-to people understand what he calls the “peculiar mathematics of real influence” – they make decisions and get things done. And they achieve a reputation for being able to deliver. They don’t try to do it all, but instead do the right thing at the right time.

Go-to people lead from wherever they are. They’re aligned with the chain of command and are across what’s allowed and required. They work smart and know when to say “yes” or “not yet”. And they are professional: they finish what they start before embarking on another project.

Such behaviour builds stronger relationships and people get better at working with each other. As the go-to person constructs a network of reliable people, the organisation can only benefit.

“As the go-to person constructs a network of reliable people, the organisation can only benefit.”

More than 80 years ago, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People became the bible of career success. The Art of Being Indispensable at Work is timely and relevant – and may prove a worthy successor in the post-COVID-19 age.

Tech Trends in Practice: The 25 technologies that are driving the 4th industrial revolution

By Bernard Marr (Wiley)

Tech Trends in Practice: The 25 technologies that are driving the 4th industrial revolution The World Economic Forum says the fourth industrial revolution is “enabled by extraordinary technology advances… merging the physical, digital and biological worlds in ways that create both huge promise and potential peril.” And it’s coming whether you’re ready or not.

Business futurist Bernard Marr has advised governments, the United Nations, Microsoft and Google, so he’s across the pertinent issues. In this book, Marr examines the role of technology in providing innovative business solutions for companies in a range of sizes and sectors, as well as practical examples of how they’re utilising it.

Marr says that technologies such as artificial intelligence, genomics and quantum computing will transform how the world works and the way we do business.

Some technologies, such as autonomous vehicles and drones, cloud computing and big data, have already made their presence felt. Blockchain has made information storage and validating transactions more secure, revolutionising supply chains. Distributed ledgers will change how banks operate.

Soon, 5G will deliver processing speed as fast as fibre optics, and gene editing might give us the ability to impede cancer. We could be working alongside intelligent ‘cobots’ (collaborative robots) aware of their surroundings.

Understanding the tech trends driving future success means you’ll be better prepared to deal with any problems your organisation may face.

Sand Talk: How Indigenous thinking can save the world

By Tyson Yunkaporta (Text Publishing)

Sand Talk: How Indigenous thinking can save the world Deakin University academic and artist Tyson Yunkaporta, a member of Cape York’s Apalech clan, has created a template for living rooted in Indigenous knowledge. He believes we can apply concepts from the past to our present dilemmas and maybe “save the world”.

Yunkaporta shares his yarns with elders, academics and others he’s encountered in his research travels. He explores Indigenous oral tradition and protocols, noting the complexities of the kinship-mind, story-mind, dreaming-mind and ancestor-mind and flagging “extra-cognitive” messages ancestors send to Indigenous people in dreams.

He rejects New Age tokenism, shoots down colonial-era “noble savage” myths and advocates accepting the creation story as a valid ongoing experience of Indigenous people.

This is a witty and thought-provoking call to look at things differently. Sustainability of people and land is at its core – not such a bad idea given the environmental and socioeconomic damage the world has endured in the past 150 years.

Yes, You Can Do This!: How women start up, scale up, and build the life they want

By Claudia Reuter (Wiley)

Yes, You Can Do This!: How women start up, scale up, and build the life they wantWomen experience unique roadblocks and challenges when starting a new business and Yes, You Can Do This! addresses these and offers ways around them. The book aims to help women create the business and life they want, from finding the confidence to take the leap to raising the funds to get started.

Corporate Turnaround Artistry: Fix any business in 100 days

By Jeff Sands (Wiley)

Corporate Turnaround Artistry: Fix any business in 100 daysWhat can entrepreneurial companies do when they’re in financial distress? This ebook presents strategies beyond cost cutting and sales building and discusses how to improve cash flow, secure financial relief and develop a turnaround plan. It looks into lean-management techniques and short- and long-term profit sustainability.

Shapers: Reinvent the way you work and change the future

By Jonas Altman (Wiley)

Shapers: Reinvent the way you work and change the future

What does work mean to you? Jonas Altman examines the history of work and what it could become in the future. He draws on hundreds of interviews to offer new and exciting ways of working and doing business. He presents ideas, lessons and tools for readers to shape their careers, start a business and live with purpose.

Green Swans: The coming boom in regenerative capitalism

By John Elkington (Fast Company Press)

Green Swans: The coming boom in regenerative capitalism

Serial entrepreneur and the “godfather of sustainability”, John Elkington offers a system change designed to serve the planet, people and prosperity. He draws on his experience in boardrooms and C-suites to show how organisations both great and small can adopt a shift in priorities to survive the coming decade.


Experimentation Works

By Stefan Thomke, audiobook (Harvard Business Review Press)

Stefan Thomke, a Harvard professor and authority on the management of innovation, suggests that running disciplined business experiments is essential to successful growth, improving customer experiences and developing new products. He guides listeners through best practices in experimentation and illustrates how they work at leading companies to give them a significant competitive advantage.

Radically Happy: A user's guide to the mind

By Phakchok Rinpoche and Erric Solomon, audiobook and ebook (Shambhala Publications)

East meets West to offer a fresh take on how to find contentment and meaning in life. A Silicon Valley entrepreneur and a Tibetan monk discuss their experiences and philosophies to present a path to radical happiness through meditation and mindfulness techniques. Includes personal stories, scientific studies, daily plans, and step-by-step exercises.

Available from the CA Library

All resources featured are available for members to download from the library catalogue. Access to electronic resources – ebooks, audiobooks, and online articles – and the library’s research service is free to members.

The CA Library also offers tools, templates and resources tailored to both public practitioners and members in the corporate sector.

Members can also use the CA Library to access EBSCO, an online journal database that includes accounting, business and management journals such as Harvard Business Review and Strategic Finance, and newspapers such as The Australian Financial Review.


Need help finding the right resources?

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Audiobooks at the CA Library: check out the new CA Library audiobook offerings at