Discussion club
Русская версия

Executive books' discussion club

Series of online sessions under pandemic
At 09:00 Moscow Time
Dr. Koen Vandenbempt Prof. Dr. Koen Vandenbempt

Professor of Strategy, Academic Director for Russia&CIS at Antwerp Management School, Dean Faculty of Business&Economics at the University of Antwerp.

Dear friends,

Having been running the pandemic marathon with everybody else for quite a while, we would like to stop for an instant to get a deep breath. Let’s try to do it together by reading great books! The beauty of the world is still there for us!

We invite you to join us for the series of online sessions with Prof. dr. Koen Vandenbempt who will generously share the in-depths of the books he has read and will moderate our discussion on the chosen topic.

The participation is for free upon registration. The number of participants is limited due to the interactive format of the Discussion Club.

April 28. Uncharted: How to Navigate the Future May 26. The Serendipity Mindset: The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck Archive / No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention Archive / Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity Archive / Humanocracy: Creating Amazing Organizations
April, 28 At 09:00 Moscow Time
Uncharted: How to Navigate the Future

* A Financial Times Best Book of the Year *
From former CEO and popular TED speaker Margaret Heffernan comes a timely and enlightening book that equips you with the tools you need to face the future with confidence and courage.

How to Navigate the Future

Author: Margaret Heffernan

Description: How can we think about the future? What do we need to do — and who do we need to be?

In her bold and invigorating new book, distinguished businesswoman and author Margaret Heffernan explores the people and organizations who aren’t daunted by uncertainty.

We are addicted to prediction, desperate for certainty about the future. But the complexity of modern life won’t provide that; experts in forecasting are reluctant to look more than 400 days out. History doesn’t repeat itself and even genetics won’t tell you everything you want to know. Tomorrow remains uncharted territory, but Heffernan demonstrates how we can forge ahead with agility.

Drawing on a wide array of people and places, Uncharted traces long-term projects that shrewdly evolved over generations to meet the unpredictable challenges of every new age. Heffernan also looks at radical exercises and experiments that redefined standard practices by embracing different perspectives and testing fresh approaches. Preparing to confront a variable future provides the antidote to passivity and prediction.

Ranging freely through history and from business to science, government to friendships, this refreshing book challenges us to mine our own creativity and humanity for the capacity to create the futures we want and can believe in.

Register here
May, 26 At 09:00 Moscow Time
The Serendipity Mindset

Good luck isn’t just chance — it can be learned and leveraged — and The Serendipity Mindset explains how you can use serendipity to make life better at work, at home — everywhere.

The Serendipity Mindset:
The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck

Author: Christian Busch

Description: Many of us believe that the great turning points and opportunities in our lives happen by chance, that they’re out of our control. Often we think that successful people — and successful companies and organizations — are simply luckier than the rest of us. Good fortune — serendipity — just seems to happen to them.

Is that true? Or are some people better at creating the conditions for coincidences to arise and taking advantage of them when they do? How can we connect the dots of seemingly random events to improve our lives?

In The Serendipity Mindset, Christian Busch explains that serendipity isn’t about luck in the sense of simple randomness. It’s about seeing links that others don’t, combining these observations in unexpected and strategic ways, and learning how to detect the moments when apparently random or unconnected ideas merge to form new opportunities. Busch explores serendipity from a rational and scientific perspective and argues that there are identifiable approaches we can use to foster the conditions to let serendipity grow.

Drawing from biology, chemistry, management, and information systems, and using examples of people from all walks of life, Busch illustrates how serendipity works and explains how we can train our own serendipity muscle and use it to turn the unexpected into opportunity. Once we understand serendipity, Busch says, we become curators of it, and luck becomes something that no longer just happens to us — it becomes a force that we can grasp, shape, and hone.

Full of exciting ideas and strategies, The Serendipity Mindset offers a clear blueprint for how we can cultivate serendipity to increase innovation, influence, and opportunity in every aspect of our lives.

Register here


Netflix cofounder Reed Hastings reveals for the first time the unorthodox culture behind one of the world’s most innovative, imaginative, and successful companies.

No Rules Rules:
Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention

Authors: Reed Hastings, Erin Meyer

Description: There has never before been a company like Netflix. It has led nothing short of a revolution in the entertainment industries, generating billions of dollars in annual revenue while capturing the imaginations of hundreds of millions of people in more than 190 countries. But to reach these great heights, Netflix, which launched in 1998 as an online DVD rental service, has had to reinvent itself over and over again.

This type of unprecedented flexibility would have been impossible without the counterintuitive and radical management principles that cofounder Reed Hastings established from the very beginning. Hastings rejected the conventional wisdom under which other companies operate and defied tradition to instead build a culture focused on freedom and responsibility, one that has allowed Netflix to adapt and innovate as the needs of its members and the world have simultaneously transformed. Hastings set new standards, valuing people over process, emphasizing innovation over efficiency, and giving employees context, not controls. At Netflix, there are no vacation or expense policies. At Netflix, adequate performance gets a generous severance, and hard work is irrelevant. At Netflix, you don’t try to please your boss, you give candid feedback instead. At Netflix, employees don’t need approval, and the company pays top of market. When Hastings and his team first devised these unorthodox principles, the implications were unknown and untested. But in just a short period, their methods led to unparalleled speed and boldness, as Netflix quickly became one of the most loved brands in the world.

Here for the first time, Hastings and Erin Meyer, best-selling author of The Culture Map and one of the world’s most influential business thinkers, dive deep into the controversial ideologies at the heart of the Netflix psyche, which have generated results that are the envy of the business world. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with current and past Netflix employees from around the globe and never-before-told stories of trial and error from Hastings’s own career, No Rules Rules is the fascinating and untold account of the philosophy behind one of the world’s most innovative, imaginative, and successful companies.

Post Corona

«This is as good an analysis as you could wish to read.»
The Financial Times

From bestselling author and NYU Business School professor Scott Galloway comes a keenly insightful, urgent analysis of who stands to win and who’s at risk to lose in a post pandemic world

Post Corona:
From Crisis to Opportunity

Author: Scott Galloway

Description: The COVID-19 outbreak has turned bedrooms into offices, pitted young against old, and widened the gaps between rich and poor, red and blue, the mask wearers and the mask haters. Some businesses — like home exercise company Peloton, video conference software maker Zoom, and Amazon — woke up to find themselves crushed under an avalanche of consumer demand. Others — like the restaurant, travel, hospitality, and live entertainment industries — scrambled to escape obliteration.

But as New York Times bestselling author Scott Galloway argues, the pandemic has not been a change agent so much as an accelerant of trends already well underway. In Post Corona, he outlines the contours of the crisis and the opportunities that lie ahead. Some businesses, like the powerful tech monopolies, will thrive as a result of the disruption. Other industries, like higher education, will struggle to maintain a value proposition that no longer makes sense when we can’t stand shoulder to shoulder. And the pandemic has accelerated deeper trends in government and society, exposing a widening gap between our vision of America as a land of opportunity, and the troubling realities of our declining wellbeing.

Combining his signature humor and brash style with sharp business insights and the occasional dose of righteous anger, Galloway offers both warning and hope in equal measure. As he writes, «Our commonwealth didn’t just happen, it was shaped. We chose this path — no trend is permanent and can’t be made worse or corrected.»


In a world of unrelenting change and unprecedented challenges, we need organizations that are resilient and daring.

Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them

Authors: Gary Hamel, Michele Zaniniy

Description: Unfortunately, most organizations, overburdened by bureaucracy, are sluggish and timid. In the age of upheaval, top-down power structures and rule-choked management systems are a liability. They crush creativity and stifle initiative. As leaders, employees, investors, and citizens, we deserve better. We need organizations that are bold, entrepreneurial, and as nimble as change itself. Hence this book.

In Humanocracy, Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini make a passionate, data- driven argument for excising bureaucracy and replacing it with something better. Drawing on more than a decade of research and packed with practical examples, Humanocracy lays out a detailed blueprint for creating organizations that are as inspired and ingenious as the human beings inside them.

Critical building blocks include:

  • Motivation: Rallying colleagues to the challenge of busting bureaucracy
  • Models: Leveraging the experience of organizations that have profitably challenged the bureaucratic status quo
  • Mindsets: Escaping the industrial age thinking that frustrates progress
  • Mobilization: Activating a pro-change coalition to hack outmoded management systems and processes
  • Migration: Embedding the principles of humanocracy — ownership, markets, meritocracy, community, openness, experimentation, and paradox — in your organization’s DNA

If you’ve finally run out of patience with bureaucratic bullshit... If you want to build an organization that can outrun change... If you’re committed to giving every team member the chance to learn, grow, and contribute...

...then this book’s for you.

Whatever your role or title, Humanocracy will show you how to launch an unstoppable movement to equip and empower everyone in your organization to be their best and to do their best. The ultimate prize: an organization that’s fit for the future and fit for human beings.