17 June 2009

Rogue University, Reloaded

In the original RPL webzine, we ran a few articles about Rogue University. The basic idea was to encourage people to read a bunch of books that aren't in the current list of Top Ten Must Read Business Books, do something based on what you learned, then write something about what you did (and preferably publish it somewhere). And then we'd send them a certificate.

I still think that's a pretty good approach to adult education. I very much think people don't spend enough time reading books from the interesting end of the Long Tail. This has the unfortunate result of everyone thinking too much alike.

What this means to me is that if a lot of people recommend I read a particular book, I probably won't read it, particularly if they are people I hang out with and work with a lot. I'm not trying to be difficult here. I want to make sure I contribute something unique to the job, not just one more take on why the world is flat, for example (and yes I read it & enjoyed it. I also read all of Galdwell's books, don't worry).

So, I'm wondering what sort of books I would put on the Rogue University Reading Guide if I were to write one today. Orbiting the Giant Hairball would still be at the top of the list. I'd add Demarco's Slack too. And Gawande's Complications. And The Hacker Ethic., by Himanen. Everything by Scott McCloud (yes, the comic guy). Andy Nulman's Pow book. Dee Hock's The Chaordic Age.

How about you? Any recommendations from Rogue Nation on interesting reading material that isn't getting talked about much?


Pete said...

WARNING!! This Post is a trick! Whatever book you suggest will NOT make the list based on Dan's declared strategy of not taking book recommendations.

The Dan Ward said...

Very funny, Pete! :)

I'm only skeptical of a book that lots of people recommend... send me something unusual & original, something I've never heard of before, and I'm all over it.

Phil said...

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (don't bother with the sequels, they get progressively worse) ... Dan, you'll remember now-Col Mike Joy who turned us on to this classic when we were at Hanscom.