Are you a reader, a podcast listener or a video watcher? If you’re a reader, there are so many interesting books and blogs to read that it’s a job in itself to keep up with everything. We enjoy reading books around subjects with new ideas. But we also know that it’s tough to find time to read all of them, and can be a job in itself trying to keep up! So if you’re struggling to find your next stimulating read, here is a summary of three great books, with three ideas to go with them.

1. Rebel Ideas – Matthew Syed

Where do the best ideas come from? And how can we tackle complex problems and generate new ideas? Scientific examples and research show us that you need different types of people with different ideas for new, innovative, and creative ideas.

This book takes you on a journey through examples. From the intelligence failings of the CIA before 9/11, Apple’s product design teams, a team climbing Mount Everest, the England football team and more. These examples show us why we need to break away from teams of people that think the same. To solve problems and create big ideas, diverse thinking is vital. It is all about the power of people who come from different perspectives with different opinions and concepts.

If you learn well with case study-related books, then this is a great read that will help you to think differently about the power of diverse teams. The thought it left me with was this: how do we enable diverse teams to work together? How do we create environments where people can disagree, debate and discuss those ideas, to create new ways of doing things? And my favourite quote: “Teams of rebels beat teams of clones.”

2. Invisible Women – Caroline Criado Perez

For data fans, this book will show you how the world is systematically not designed for women. From medical research to product design, government policy, workplaces, urban planning and the media: they are all biased and surprise surprise, exclude women.

And what’s the impact of that? It means that crash test dummies for cars do not test how a crash would affect women. It means phones are too big for women’s hands, streets are not designed for women, and prescription drugs are not created for your body.

This book shows how women are effectively rendered invisible by the lack of inclusive data and research. The book explores intersections of race, disability and other minority identities that are amplified by this lack of data. The evidence explains things we probably already know, but seeing it laid out like this is bold. It will make you think differently about the impact of this lack of data on our world.

3. Sway by Pragya Agarwal

This book, written by a behavioural scientist, shows us how everyone stereotypes. How do our feelings come from things we learn and experience? And how often do we fall into patterns of following our gut instincts which reinforce the stereotypes in our minds?

It’s a fascinating read. It goes through examples of people who are left-handed and how that changes someone’s world. It discusses how we base many of our assumptions on people we have met before, which leads us to generalise. There’s a mental load for those who are stereotyped. For example, it explores data showing the pressures on people who experience racism.

So, how do these biases affect our lives? We believe things that confirm our pre-existing views. We trust people like ourselves or those who are similar to people we have trusted before. Through stories and case studies, this book shows how we are all swayed and how complex this subject is.

And if you’re not a reader, all three of these books are by writers who are often on podcasts and the radio. So look them up to find out more.

We list books we have enjoyed and that we recommend in our bookshop:

If you have any suggestions for books to add to our list, let us know. Email