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Our Favorite Reads for Strategic Thinking

Building the industry bookshelf one recommended read at a time.

Just as we believe that everyone is uniquely creative, we also believe that strategists aren’t the only ones who can flex some serious strategic muscle. This list comes from teams across our agency that have proven this to be true. Here are a few recs to help you exercise your mind and find the root of any problem at hand.


Thinking, Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking, Fast & Slow takes readers on a tour of the mind, shedding light into the idea that there are two systems that work together; one fast and one slow.

As a project manager, there are times where I need to think and act fast and then sometimes planning of a project or task requires more focus. This book helps to understand the differences between thinking fast and slow and the benefits or disadvantages of both. Having a better understanding of the mind and how we think allows us to make better decisions.

Rachel Mignogna, Project Manager

“We live in a world that assumes that the quality of a decision is directly related to the time and effort that went into making it.”

Thinking, Fast & Slow

Switch by Chip and Dan Heath

Marketing is the simple art of persuading someone to change a behavior. This book lays out the roadmap to follow for behavior change success: Engage people’s emotional and rational selves equally, while creating a path that removes as many obstacles as possible.

Jen Williams, Vice President of Account Management

In almost all successful change efforts, the sequence of change is not ANALYZE — THINK — CHANGE, but rather SEE — FEEL — CHANGE. You’re presented with evidence that makes you feel something. It might be a disturbing look at the problem, or a hopeful glimpse of the solution, or a sobering reflection of your current habits, but regardless, it’s something that hits you at the emotional level.

Switch

The Hero and the Outlaw by Margaret Mark and Carol Pearson

In this book, authors Margaret Mark and Carol Pearson demonstrate that the most successful brands are those that most effectively correspond to fundamental patterns in the unconscious mind known as archetypes.

Nate Fleming, Director of Strategy

[Brand] identities that succeed at striking an essential human chord affect the most fundamental economic measures of success.

The Hero and the Outlaw

Factfulness, Hans Rosling

This book completely changed the way I look at data and how I speak (as well as refrain from speaking) about issues depending on my own level of education. Asking your data questions is a good practice for anyone who works in an insight-driven industry (like advertising), so I found that it holds a lot of relevance for people who are both analytical and creative.

Factfulness has also helped me to better understand the biases around me and how I can best move past them in forming my own unique opinion. It challenges me to slow down enough to be intentionally self-aware enough to make thoughtful decisions that will both save me time and help me grow as a human.

Madeline Condron, Senior Account Director

Things can be bad, but getting better.

Factfulness

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