The Best Digital Strategy Articles, MOOCs and Books for 2015

John Maeda once noted that “Time may tick in seconds, but it is lived in years.” As we sit here hungry for the brief pause between years, the forces moving digital business have never seemed stronger.

I’ve written a post for ISITE Design’s Insight blog summing-up articles, books and business MOOC’s that I’ve found especially heading in to 2015. The ISITE post unpacks each a bit and explains why I thought you might want to start the year with them. But, to get to the list faster, here’s an outline of the resources with just a line about each.

Business strategy as art and craft
One of the frustrations of strategy is that people get wrapped around definitions and verbal fog. These three resources lay out the terrain of business strategy in practical terms and set the context which digital strategy can advance.


Putting a value on relationships
Finding how relationships build value for firms, and how firms can earn the best customers is really the key question in all of business – and specifically experience design.


Service design thinking
This greater focus on customers has driven a renewed focus on service design thinking in many of the companies we work with and admire.


Changing culture before anything else
Often the art of strategy isn’t really selecting direction, but smoothing the path and aligning commitment to actually make good changes happen.

  • Harvard’s Robert Kegan is a psychologist I’ve long admired and his book on organizational change, Immunity to Change, takes on helping organizations making big shifts. This year he got about 80,000 students to take a twelve-week MOOC focused on using a modification of his approach to drive personal change. As you consider your resolutions for 2015, you might want to take this free course to make your most important changes stick.
  • The Circle, is popping up on “best book” lists everywhere. You might enjoy a roll-up of The Circle’s themes by H. James Wilson, a senior researcher at Babson Executive Education near Boston.


Visions of tech-driven transformation
Digital strategy is typified by projecting a rate of change capable of disrupting business as usual. Hand-waving optimism or prescient vision? Take a look.


Making sense of China
Evan Osnos, a staff writer for the New Yorker who has chronicled real transformation on the ground in China for year, won the National Book Award. for Age of Ambition.

But thanks to the archives of the New Yorker, you can enjoy his writing and perhaps find a richer view of why China merits a place in your thinking about digital trends.


Hopefully these guideposts will help you marshal culture, technology, design, and all the knowledge that is part of planning what’s next.

Happy 2015, and please share whatever resources you’re drawing on here.



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