Sanjeev Kotnala: 10 Books to read from 2016

28 Dec,2016


By Sanjeev Kotnala


As 2016 comes to an end, here I am with the round-up of books I recommend reading. And right at the top comes the disclaimer: I have read most of them, but not all of them. A few of the books get featured here are recommendations of people I would blindly trust on the subject. Go ahead read them and share your feedback. Let me know what you feel about it.


Tribe: On Homecoming And Belonging


Tribe is a strong group deeply bonded with known values and defined aims. A concept that is no longer alive in a fragmented world, where individuality supersedes everything. Could there be an answer in TRIBES for the new world? Maybe it is all about closeness that makes the bonds become stronger. It’s time for us to learn from Tribes. Rework on loyalties and meanings associated with togetherness of purpose.


Nawabs, Nudes, Noodles: India Through 50 Years Of Advertising


A real compact narrative on Indian advertising. 50 years delivered through eyes of brands and campaigns. Read how the advertising approaches evolved, how brands and consumer morphed into new forms. The relationship between culture, politics and economy – all in this book.


Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, And Thrive In Work And Life


You need to be high on Emotional Agility to achieve your goals. This book will help you to adapt and synchronise your actions. It will take you towards a more fulfilling life. Success and achievement have that effect.


Marketing Unplugged


A smart well-organised book that aims to unplug your thinking. It tries to make you  see and hunt the 10 elephants in every marketer mind, if not the room.  You need to read just to check how big is your herd of elephants. By the way, even the elephants have an expiry date, as consumer get smarter and read every trick of marketers.


Storm The Norm


Initially, I was not impressed by this book. The second reading and discussion with other readers made me re-look at it. Did I miss out something? Maybe the case studies were too open-ended and the framework was not too complex. However, I must respect the review and feedback of many of my friends I trust. So, here is my recommendation: read the case studies and get some motivation to storm the norm.



Originals: How Non-Conformists Move The World


Go ahead bring alive your individuality. Get your courage working. Challenge the status quo and work toward changing your defined world. This is some of the advice you get here with highly insightful observations from Adam Grant.


The Code Of The Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws To Redefine Your Life And Succeed On Your Own Terms


Let’s take down the age-old wisdoms that define love, education, spirituality or work. Break free of old ideas and rules that limit your thinking. Maybe that will help you redefine success.


The Inevitable: Understanding The 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future


Want to remain ahead of the curve? Then this is the book for you. Get exposed to the twelve technological imperatives that Kevin believes will be shaping the next 30 years. It is bound to happen… The levers are all in the right places, and the chain reaction is already in operation. .He shows you how these trends will redefine the way we buy, work, learn, and communicate.


Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends

I am a big fan of Martin Lindstrom. Here is he again going against the grain and presents how small data may have all the clues to our future. In his words, he connects the dots. And unravels for you the deep hidden meaning, enhances your curiosity quotient and shows the vignette of human emotions and behavior.



The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds


This one is fresh from the press types. I have not read it, but this comes very highly recommended. And I have nothing else but the extract to build on. ‘How a Nobel Prize–winning theory of the mind altered our perception of reality’. A story of Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky who are also blamed for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms. The Undoing Project is a compelling collaboration between them. It is one of the greatest partnerships in the history of science. It is a story of the human mind and is explored through the personalities of two fascinating individuals so fundamentally different from each other that they seem unlikely friends or colleagues. In the process they may well have changed, for good, mankind’s view of its own mind.


And here’s a bonus recommendation. A work of fiction by a veteran adperson which I would rate as one of my top reads of the year:


A Village Dies

After a long time, I read a book that is an example of brilliant storytelling. ‘A Village Dies – your invitation to a memorable funeral’, a story in convenient flashbacks. It is a story of two villages Kevni and Amboli, in erstwhile Bombay. A mixed community of East Indian, Anglo-Indian, Goan and Mangalorean live there. Through ages, the genes naturally get mixed. The attitude and approach to life changed just that bit. However, the village slowly dies.


Sanjeev Kotnala, with 28 years of corporate experience, is founder of Intradia World; a Brand, Marketing & Management Advisory. His focus area includes Ideation and Innovation; he also conducts specialised workshops like IDEAHarvest, Liberate and InNoWait. For soft skill training, he follows SHIFT (Specific High-Intensity Frequent training), a process of continuous training with frequent shorter sessions. Email tweet @s_kotnala web: Kotmartial, Sanjeev Kotnala’s column on, appears every Wednesday. The views expressed here are his own.


Post a Comment 

Comments are closed.

Today's Top Stories