What Our Experts are Reading, Watching, and Listening to this Summer

With a lot of bad news surrounding the business world, many Korn Ferry experts are looking for distractions as a means to recharge.

What’s that, you say? What? Oh, apologies, we were distracted. Along with all of your employees and, well, everyone.

When it comes to what people are reading or watching, we all seem to be looking for distraction amid a looming recession, record-setting inflation, and a stubborn pandemic. But experts say that distraction can be a positive addition to our lives. With the dog days of summer approaching, the time of recharging and refreshing is upon us, and a big part of that is accomplished through reading engrossing books, listening to hilarious podcasts, and watching fabulous (and, er, not-so-fabulous) TV.

We checked in with partners at Korn Ferry and found that some stay close to home with business reading, while others prefer airing out their minds with “garbage” entertainment. Here are their summer media plans:

“I hit the usual business targets. My list of podcasts to catch up on is The Tim Ferris Podcast, How I Built This, and Hidden Brain. 

            -Zach Peikon, a principal in Korn Ferry’s Marketing Officers practice

“I recommend Julia on HBO Max. It’s great. The cast is amazing, including David Hyde Pierce and Bebe Neuwirth, and particularly Sarah Lancashire, the woman who plays Julia Child, who is unbelievable.”

            -Sheila O’Grady, a senior client partner in Korn Ferry’s Consumer practice

“Amidst all the uncertainty, I’m reading a lot of fiction on artificial intelligence and sentience. I just read Klara Under the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro, about a robot who is a child caretaker, and just started A House Between Earth and the Moon by Rebecca Scherm. Fiction is helping us rethink and expand where things can go, and a lot of really good thinking is happening right now.”

            -Andrés Tapia, global diversity and inclusion strategist at Korn Ferry

“I’m reading Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Takeby Paul Polman and Andrew Winston. Polman distills advice from leading Unilever about how companies need to be part of the solution rather than the problem on topics like climate change, and really go beyond. I’m also listening to Slate’s Slow Burn, which has been really fascinating this season about the fight for abortion rights—I’ve learned a lot.”

            -Victoria Baxter, a senior client partner in Korn Ferry’s ESG and Sustainability Solutions practice

“After the last two years, my goal is to not read a single article or scientific journal. I’m hoping to fill my plane rides with garbage TV that has nothing to do with reality, and not read a single meaningfully intelligent thing this entire summer. I am filling my DVR with Jerry Springer, and overloading on Dr. Phil—I love when he gets into guests’ psychology and how they negotiate.”

            -Dan Kaplan, a senior client partner in Korn Ferry’s CHRO practice