According to some studies the average executive reads about 60 books each year. Warren Buffet compares the benefits of reading to compound interest, with returns that build over time as your knowledge accumulates. Reading gives us the ability to discover a solution to a problem without having to live through the initial trial and error. It provides examples to build on, and saves us from having to reinvent the wheel whenever we encounter a new problem.
Orenda was founded on the idea that when people know better, they will do better, and that concept is applicable to organizations as well. Taking responsibility for the impact you have in the world is crucial to building and maintaining trust. So, in the spirit of knowing better, we’ve put together a short reading list recommended by some of our team members. These are the books that have influenced their career with Orenda, enjoy.
Timeless Ways of Building by Christopher Alexander
An essential read for design, though it is not technical it actually reads like poetry or philosophy that relies on architecture to demonstrate a point. It will change your perspective of the spaces you interact with, and will definitely change how you think about what you create.
The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey
This is probably the most significant text in the founding of Orenda. It explains the importance of trust and has outlined much of the framework we use in our technology. Read it for a social understanding of how trust works and the benefits that come with a high trust environment.
Irrational Exuberance by Robert Shiller
Shiller is a Nobel Prize winning economist who correctly predicted two major economic bubbles. In his explanation of what causes market fundamental and what causes them to fluctuate, which has resonated with me throughout my career.
A Behavioural Approach to Asset Pricing by Hersh Shefrin
Shefirn has been described as a pioneer in behavioural finance. This is one of his most influential works and will continue to influence our ideas of asset pricing for some time. It is not enough to consider intrinsic value, we have to account for human reaction and error too.
The Truth About Stories by Thomas King
King’s 2003 Massey lecture is about the history of the relationship between Indigenous people and settlers in North America. The work inspired my graduate research on cultural authenticity and has been key in my approach to understanding and interpreting social media posts for Orenda and how social chatter is a narrative. I especially enjoy the calls to action that concluded each section.
The Wretched of the Earth by Franz Fanon
This is a foundational text in postcolonial theory and often described as a required reading for revolutionaries. For me, it framed why we need to consider the broader social, political, and cultural contexts of marginalized people. Orenda is about measuring perception, so we have to continuously ask what ideology we are assuming or overlooking.
David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
This book is as much about underdogs as it is about misconceptions. I try to remember the examples in this text when doing data analysis. My biggest takeaway is to be mindful of my own assumptions. This book appears to be an early version or the idea for Gladwell’s podcast Revisionist History, which I also recommend. Sometimes the things we know for sure turn out to be wrong, and we need to be open to changing our mind in light of new information.
We will be putting more reading lists together with different themes throughout the year. This list is specific to our careers at Orenda and what ideas influenced the development of the company. We are interested in knowing what books influenced your career so far, please share your recommendations with us @OrendaSolutions on Twitter, we’d love to add your favourites to our next list.