to study

There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read
a book and the tired man who wants a book to read.

G. K. Chesterton

To study? In order to know what happens, we read books, management literature... Sometimes tasking, occasionally real eye-openers. Some books (and their authors) we consider to be essential. In the list below, we have described books we find important. Each one of them we can recommend. Without any doubt there are other books that could or should be on the list. We intend to keep the list up to date.

Ackoff Ackoff, Russell L. – Ackoff's best: His classic writings on management (1999)
Russell Ackoff is the grand old man of Operations Research and Systems Thinking. His writings have covered many, many domains, from Management Information to Crime and from Democracy to System Models. This book...
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Altshuller Altshuller, Genrich: And suddenly the Inventor appeared: TRIZ, the theory of Inventive Problem Solving (1984)
This book is an introduction into TRIZ, written for children and young adults. Little of Altshuller's writings have been translated from Russian; some have been, but often by people who don't know TRIZ, or by people who do know TRIZ, but speak...
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Beer Beer, Stafford – The Heart of Enterprise (1979)
Stafford Beer is a mathematical cybernetician, involved in Operations Research and Systems Theory. Beer developed a fairly unique concept based on the usual systems theory components, like black boxes, feed-back and feed-forward, error-correction and variety. He uses...
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Brooks Brooks, Frederick P. – The Mythical man-Month: Essays on software engineering, Anniversary Edition (1995)
Originally published in 1975, the book represents the experience of Fred Brooks in the 60s when he managed one of the world’s first large-scale software development projects. The project led to IBM's hardware-independent operating system OS/360. The operating system...
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Brandhof Van den Brandhof, Jan-Willem – The Business Brain Book: Work Smarter, Save Time (2008)
This is a unique book with an utterly practical approach to managing your own effectiveness. Originally it was written in Dutch as Gebruik je Hersens: Werk Slimmer, Win Tijd, which actually has a (slightly) better title (“Use your brain”). Although...
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Christensen Christensen, Clayton M. – The Innovator's Dilemma: When new technologies cause great firms to fail (1997)
One of our favourites! Christensen has discovered a major reason why some innovations fail. The problem is dissected in a very friendly and readable way, and the conclusions are inescapable. Disruptive and sustainable innovations can be made to succeed, once a...
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Gershenfeld Gershenfeld, Neil – FAB: the coming revolution on your doorstep – from personal computers to personal fabrication (2005)
In pre-industrial times, a craftsman would produce a product on demand, fully customized to people’s  wishes. This was only possible for 'the happy few', nobility or traders. In industrial times, in anonymous production plants, we created mass-products...
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Gharajedaghi Gharajedaghi, Jamshid – Systems Thinking: Managing Chaos and Complexity – A platform for designing Business Architecture (1999)
In many ways, our lives are dominated by systems. In everyday life, however, systems are very often viewed with a limited scope, by taking only a few (or too few) aspects of the system proper into account. Interactions between systems are often not seen or...
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Grand Grand, Steve – Creation: Life and how to make it (2000)
Usually books about artificial intelligence are written at universities and reflect research of decades, mirroring one or more theoretical approaches and presenting the results in hard to understand diagrams. Not Creation. Steve Grand is a games developer...
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Kelly Kelly, Kevin
Out of Control: the New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World (1994)
What Technology Wants (2010)

Toen ik in 1995 het boek Out of Control, van Kevin Kelly, voor het eerst in handen kreeg, ging er een wereld voor mij open. Met dingen als Business Architecture en...
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Kim Kim, Chan W. & Mauborgne, Renée – Blue Ocean Strategy: How to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant (2005)
Blue Ocean Strategy is a book about innovation, but before looking at innovation, it redefines the prerequisites. It describes the important aspects of the business models that ideally go hand in glove with sustainable innovation. The so-called blue ocean...
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Klein Klein, Naomi – The shock doctrine: The rise of disaster capitalism (2007)
Free-market capitalism at its worst. If communism was destined to collapse, after reading this book, it's easy to conclude capitalism will fall, too!! This book makes one start to wonder what the role of government is. Capitalism taken to the extremes described in...
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Osterwalder Osterwalder, Alexander & Pigneur, Yves – Business Model Generation (2010)
In 2010, the book Business Model Generation was published. The model central to the book (the Business Model Canvas) is utterly flexible and can immediately be used by (or for) enterprises of any size, independent of industry. The model...
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Palmer Pariser, Eli – The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You (2011)
To me, the way our digital society is evolving is scary. When society at large was slowly introduced to the Internet many people assumed – and said – that because of the Internet information would become available to anyone...
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Peters Peters, Jaap & Pouw, Judith – Intensieve Menshouderij: Hoe kwaliteit oplost in rationaliteit (2004)
Ahhh. It is very difficult to describe this book in English. In Dutch, the title is brilliant, funny, utterly cynical and it summarises the book completely. Literally translated, the title means 'Intensive Human Farming' or 'Intensive Human Husbandry...
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Pine Pine II, B. Joseph – Mass Customization: The new frontier in Business Competition (1993)
Before finding this book, we found a fascinating paper by Pine (et al.) in IBM System Journal. We devoured that. So when we found Mass Customization a few years later, we immediately bought it. It turned out to be as good, or possibly even better, than the...
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Pinker Pinker, Steven – The Language Instinct: The new science of Language and Mind (1994)
For those who are interested in language and linguistics, this book is a must. Steven Pinker is one of the foremost theoreticians on language, language development, biological foundation of language, etc. Since 2003, Pinker is professor at the Department of Psychology...
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Prensky Prensky, Marc – Digital Game-based Learning (2001)
In extreme wordings, the world is divided into two groups: those who think computer-based gaming is the best thing that ever happened to mankind and those who think this nonsense should be banned. Marc Prensky is clearly one of the advocates of digital games. In our opinion...
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Schlosser Schlosser, Eric – Fast Food Nation: What the All-American Meal is doing to the World (2002)
On one level a very concerned look at the impact of Fast Food on the stuff we eat, the way we eat, and what it does to us, our health. On a different level, this book is a serious case study about the way we organise industries, in particular the food industry...
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ScottMorgan Scott-Morgan, Peter – The Unwritten Rules of the Game: Master them, shatter them and break through the barriers of organizational change (1994)
Only after reading The Unwritten Rules of the Game we found the potentially vast difference between the verbal text of a rule (the sentence) and the contextual meaning of it. Not taking that difference seriously causes many organisations to stumble while...
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Shapiro Shapiro, Carl & Varian, Hal – Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy (1999)
In de vertaling van Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy beschrijven de auteurs hoe de 'normale' economische wetten gelden voor goederen en diensten die gebaseerd zijn op informatie. Aan het eind van de negentiger jaren van de...
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Steffen Steffen, Alex (red.) – Worldchanging: A user's guide to the 21st century (2008)Van den Brandhof, Jan-Willem –
This is more or less a catalog of ideas, innovations, backgrounds, yellow-pages, references and business and use cases, applying all of the above. It combines down to earth pragmatism (or common sense) with high-tech products and novel approaches to doing things. It describes...
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Sterling Sterling, Bruce – Tomorrow Now: Envisioning the next 50 years (2003)
Extremely powerful vision of the relatively near future. Our generation is unlikely to see happening what Sterling describes, but our children will. Very interesting and plausible view of the future by a serious science journalist/science fiction author. Sterling's...
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Taleb Taleb, Nassim Nicholas – The Black Swan: The impact of the highly improbable (2007)
A friend of mine asked me how I liked The Black Swan and I had never even heard of it. I was intrigued by the very short description he gave me and decided to read the book. It is easily one of the most influential books I have read in recent years. Likewise...
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Toffler Toffler, Alvin – Future Shock (1970)
Change is difficult. In his books Alvin Toffler writes about the cultural, all encompassing, shock created by technology-driven change. His books, Future Shock, together with his second, The Third Wave (1980), are milestones in Future studies. Daily (in 2010)...
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Weggeman Weggeman, Mathieu – Leidinggeven aan Professionals? Niet doen! Over kenniswerkers, vakmanschap en innovatie (2007)
As far as we have been able to find out, this book hasn't been translated into English, but it should be. Roughly translated, the title would be Managing professionals? Don't! About knowledge workers, mastery and innovation. Weggeman explains and demonstrates...
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Womack Womack, James P, Jones, Daniel T & Roos, Daniel – The Machine that changed the World: the Story of Lean Production (1990)
When we read this book in 1994, hardly anything on Lean was available; Lean was only starting it's hype-cycle. The book is the result of an MIT study about the car industry. The study was looking for reasons for the success of the Japanese...
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Zittrain Zittrain, Jonathan – The future of the Internet and how to stop it (2008)
Some people believe George Orwell's 1984 has already come true, without anyone noticing. So, big brother is already watching our every move. According to this view, our governments conspire to take away our privacy. I agree that governments do...
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