Our Summer Reading (and Watching) List

Our UK Korn Ferry experts offer some diverse material to peruse—and take lessons from—during the hot days off. 

With summer vacation now kicking in, our Korn Ferry experts in the UK are excited to share their book and TV recommendations. Business books prove to be popular, as does sport in all its forms (dramas, documentaries, live matches). Perhaps it’s the competitive environment. “There have always been parallels between competitive sport and business,” says Hilary Attenborough, senior client partner and practice leader for financial services, who recently spent “as much time as possible watching Wimbledon.”

Experts say that plunging into media on the topics that engross us most can positively affect our lives, allowing us to engage and recharge. So, what’s on our UK experts’ list?

“I’m reading The Future of Recruitment: Using the New Science of Talent Analytics to Get Your Hiring Right. It’s so hard to get the latest empirical data on the tools used in recruitment, like gamification, video interviews, and AI—is there any evidence that they work? This book is a really helpful summary of the latest data, and it has been useful in filling in the gaps.”

James Bywater, business psychologist and senior client partner 

“I’ve been listening to the episode of The Rest Is Politics podcast with former Prime Minister John Major. Inflation rates during his premiership peaked at 14%, and then of course dropped significantly, and one fascinating element was around the absolute need to fight it for all. The economy recovered and went on to have one of its most successful periods. My learning: when everything seems gloomy around you, remember that this too shall pass.”

Daren Kemp, country chair, UK and Ireland, and financial services lead, EMEA

Tour de France: Unchained follows teams for the entirety of the 2022 event. It totally transformed my understanding of the sport. I had thought it was about the individual, but in fact it is the epitome of teamwork, planning, preparation, strategy, and—arguably most importantly—adaptability and agility when unforeseen obstacles present themselves. The parallels with the world of work are clear: without that intrinsic motivation and collective buy-in to the team vision and goal, you will inevitably suffer a decline in performance and create a less inclusive, creative, and motivated culture.”

Andrew Lowe, senior client partner in the Global Corporate Affairs, ESG and Sustainability practice 

“I’m reading Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Successwhich is a fantastic book with applications for professionals and parents and anyone else interested in personal development. It’s about the importance of a growth mindset, and how to celebrate, take pleasure in, and reward people for the journey and work, rather than purely the result. Early success is not the best predictor of long-term success; a growth mindset is, focused on sustainably doing the right things and being motivated by that.”

Rory Singleton, senior client partner in Global Industrial market

“I’ll try to watch as much of the U.S. Open as I can. To win, you have to work hard and prepare well, yet it’s as much about mindset, resilience, and determination—all also important traits in business."

Hilary Attenborough , senior client partner and practice leader for financial services 

“I just finished Ted Lasso. The eternal optimism of Ted, always looking for the upside, was really inspiring. Equally great was the way that Ted turns a team of misfits into title contenders by giving them a simple belief structure and vision, creating camaraderie. It’s also laced with dark humour and fit for my family who, apart from me, never watch sports.”

Ben Angold, vice president for business development, EMEA

"Succession is a brilliant exposition of how lack of clarity and integrity in leadership succession can be destructive to a culture and the prospects for a business. It’s immensely watchable —brilliantly written, at once funny, insightful, and toe-curlingly awkward.”

Grant Duncan, managing director and sector lead for media, entertainment and digital EMEA

“I’m reading The Shortest History of China by Linda Jaivin, in an attempt to better understand the culture, history, and socio-political aspects of this major country. Lots of takeaways that are relevant to what we do.”

Jacob Gordon-Clark, senior client partner in Korn Ferry’s Technology practice