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Ask Santa for these must-read books on marketing excellence

Cover of  by Dave Coplin

The best books to find in your Christmas stocking: five not-to-be-missed business reads for marketers
Business Reimagined: Why Work isn?t Working and What You Can do about itBy Dave Coplin. Published by Harriman House.

Reviewed by Aline Keuroghlian, head of marketing, Mr & Mrs Smith

Working for a boutique hotel brand is not all about rolling in ultra-high-threadcount sheets, dipping in infinity pools and sipping dirty martinis... well, not always. Like most people working in offices, work does sometimes feel crazy. Emails pinging in constantly heap the pressure on. Mobile means you are always on call, and on a tricky day, who hasn?t wondered "What is the point?"

Dave Coplin?s little book is big on ideas. He asks us to consider the future of work. Coplin looks at how practices in many offices are based on old-fashioned principles. We apply a factory mentality to office work, where the emphasis is on clock-in, clock-out presenteeism, which can stifle creativity and ultimately cause serious disengagement. Innovation and creativity offer brands and businesses competitive advantages, as he shows through case studies and insights from Yammer, Netflix and Microsoft ? Coplin is the aptly titled chief envisioning officer at Microsoft UK.

He suggests focusing on creativity (or creative problem-solving) rather than processes, recommending a rethink of the physical work environment. Do we have to be plugged into our desks rigidly from 9am to 5pm, or can flexible working, in a genuine culture of trust, offer workers the chance to choose where they work to best effect for the task at hand? Are open-plan offices the optimum environment for deep thought? I loved his comparison of office workers under constant observation feeling like "adrenalised antelope".

The principle is to reconsider what you are doing, and why. Just because you do something one way, is it the right way?

Take time out for a bit of advice from a self-confessed geek (he refers to Star Trek) on stepping back, rethinking how you work and trying to look forward to a future of working smarter, not harder.

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