Date posted: 22/09/2020 5 min read

Tools for your professional evolution

The business world is being shaken by COVID 19. Choose to adapt and thrive with these CA Library resources.

In Brief

  • In Six Capitals, Jane Gleeson-White tells the story of a new world order for capitalism.
  • Other available titles explore how to compete in the age of AI and how to stay relevant in the future workforce.
  • All library services, excluding the cost of returning books, are free to CA ANZ members.

Reviews Paul Robinson

Six Capitals: Capitalism, climate change and the accounting revolution that can save the planet

By Jane Gleeson-White (Allen and Unwin)

Six Capitals: Capitalism, climate change and the accounting revolution that can save the planet

Accounting is about the way we define and measure value – translating it into numbers and money. But our double-entry accounting, born in renaissance Venice isn’t up to coping with a 21st-century global economy, says author Jane Gleeson-White.

This updated edition of Six Capitals tells the story of a brave new world of capitalism – one that challenges the pre-eminence of big corporations and the disregard for Earth’s finite resources.

Central to this is a new approach to accounting. Integral – or multi-capital – reporting incorporates the social and natural wealth of profit. Natural capital accounting calculates the reserve and flow of resources in a defined ecosystem. The ‘rights of nature’ movement acknowledges First Nations’ experience in sustainably managing natural resources.

In 2019, five years after the book’s original publication, 181 CEOs of America’s most powerful companies briefly stood the corporate world on its head. Members of the Business Roundtable, including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Apple’s Tim Cook, redefined the purpose of the corporation, abandoning the primacy of shareholders’ interests and pledging instead to operate for the benefit of all stakeholders.

At this stage, their conversation remains more rhetoric than reality. But many organisations have walked the walk, extolling the virtues of expanding default settings beyond the profit/growth mantra to include the value of people, planet and sustainability.

Organisations certified as B Corporations, such as Future Super and Bank Australia, are legally obliged to operate for the benefit of society and the environment while making a profit.

Gleeson-White argues there can be no long-term economic growth without protecting the health of our ecosystems. The pandemic is a reminder of how much we rely on nature for solace and how important strong communities are to our wellbeing. These concepts need to sit alongside profit and economic growth in the systems that govern us. Otherwise our planetary tenure may be short-lived.

Competing in the Age of AI: Strategy and leadership when algorithms and networks run the world

By Marco Iansiti and Karim Lakhani (Harvard Business Review Press) Audiobook

Competing in the Age of AI: Strategy and leadership when algorithms and networks run the world

Artificial intelligence (AI) fascinates and scares us in equal measure, but it is transforming our world. Using a swathe of examples from Airbnb to Amazon to Ant Financial, Harvard Business School professors Marco Iansiti and Karim Lakhani argue that reinventing an organisation around data, analytics and AI removes age-old constraints that have hampered business growth. They stress that research proves AI-driven processes are way more scalable than traditional ones and drive more accurate predictions.

To become AI-centric, says the authors, organisations need to put at their core software comprising four components: the data pipeline, algorithms, experimentation to test the algorithms, and infrastructure to connect the processes.

Competing in the Age of AI shows commitment to AI doesn’t have to be fraught, Iansiti and Lakhani make AI accessible to non-technical professionals and reveal how a few relatively straightforward processes can make a big difference.

Future Fit: How to stay relevant and competitive in the future of work

By Andrea Clarke (Major Street Publishing)

Future Fit: How to stay relevant and competitive in the future of work

Andrea Clarke is the founder of executive training outfit CareerCEO and creator of its “Future of Work” program. Her starting point is that the future of work is not all about technology, but rather talent – applying “uniquely human” skills in fresh ways.

The deal is to become “future fit” for purpose – an asset rather than a liability to yourself and your company. Continuing to improve your professional skill set to maintain your relevance and value to your organisation is paramount. That means adapting to new ways of working and staying current by attending relevant networking events, listening to pertinent podcasts and so on.

Globalisation, digital disruption and the casualization of the workforce promises a far less structured era of work and doing business. There is already significant job disruption, not to mention predicted job losses approaching 46% in the fallout from automation.

For Clarke, the onus is on the individual to do what they can to create a new job security – and provide a competitive edge. Eight core human skills will be key – adaptability, communication, continuous learning, creativity, leadership, networking, personal brands, and problem solving.

At a time when skill, agility and resilience have never been more crucial, Future Fit – 2019 Australian Business Book of the Year – is a comprehensive guide to remaining relevant in the workplace.

The Adaption Advantage: Let go, learn fast, and thrive in the future of work

By Heather E. McGowan and Chris Shipley (Wiley)

The Adaption Advantage: Let go, learn fast, and thrive in the future of work

How do individuals and organisations navigate the complex world of work now and in the future? This ebook considers the profound changes the COVID-19 pandemic and artificial intelligence are having on the workplace and offers new ways to think about work, careers and leadership.

It Starts with Clients: Your 100-day plan to build lifelong relationships and revenue

By Andrew Sobel (Wiley)

It Starts with Clients: Your 100-day plan to build lifelong relationships and revenue

How do you grow existing relationships, win more clients, and reframe client requests to lead to broader engagement? Andrew Sobel offers strategies to grow your firm with 14 client development challenges and offers plenty of real-life examples.

The Circular Economy Handbook: Realizing the circular advantage

By Peter Lacy, Jessica Long and Wesley Spindler (Palgrave Macmillan)

The Circular Economy Handbook: Realizing the circular advantage

The circular economy can enable greater production while minimising impacts on the environment. This practical guide includes 300 case studies to help organisations take transformative steps towards circularity and competitiveness.

Time Management Ninja: 21 tips for more time and less stress in your life

By Craig Jarrow (Mango Publishing), audiobook

With more things competing for your time, it’s easy to feel stressed. But time management guru Craig Jarrow says time management is easy if you know how. He offers tips to simplify your approach so you can rise above the chaos and free up time to do things you really want to do.

Infinite Powers: How calculus reveals the secrets of the universe

By Steven Strogatz (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), audiobook

American mathematician Steven Strogatz offers an accessible history of calculus and explains how it is at the heart of many discoveries and inventions, from cell phones to the unravelling of DNA.

How Businesses Can Plan for the Road to Recovery

By Rish Lesser

TED Talks, May 2020 (run time: 19 minutes)

How do companies navigate a world of rapid change? Rich Lesser, CEO of Boston Consulting Group, discusses a three-phased approach – flatten, flight, future – and looks at how to plan around these phases while continuing to build businesses and keep employees safe.

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.


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