Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed: A ‘must read’ for 2021

I’ve recommended this book to everyone. I recommended it on every social channel and to everyone I have spoken to. I even recommended before I finished it! It’s the best book I have read this year and it’s also the fifth book I have read in the last 6 months.

It’s the book everyone in business should read. It’s packed full of insights from our history as human beings, learnings from what we have done in the past and current examples from organisations changing how they work.

For the PR and communication professional, it has a whole chapter on echo chambers and information bubbles. It helps us understand why we are so polarised on social media and why diverse connections are easier to make in smaller communities.

The story of Derek Black is a gem. It shows how people can change their minds, no matter how strong their beliefs. The whole story of upbringing, hiding your self from others and then learning to accept facts without thinking they are propaganda or reinforcing your own beliefs is fascinating to read. The examples from Pixar and Amazon among others about their deliberate ways of working that foster spaces for idea generation and listening are examples you can apply to your organisation today.

Listen to it or read it – it’s a must read for 2021. I’d recommend buying it in print so you can highlight and tab – as I have done! There are parts of it I want to read again and again to make sure I have absorbed what is being said. That might sound a little bit much but there are parts of this book that are fundamental for us to understand in an age of social media, mass polarisation and misinformation.

The whole concept of trust is also explored – honestly the book is packed with so much content that helps us understand how we work as humans and how people are influenced.

I’ve been so inspired from the chapter on innovation that I blogged about what we can learn from the industrial revolution as we enter the ‘pandemic revolution’.

Jenni Field has almost 20 years’ experience in communications. She specialises in helping organisations go from chaos to calm; working to help them understand how to get teams to work together better and operations to work more efficiently. She is an expert in ensuring alignment between the communication and business strategy. Jenni is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), she is a Chartered practitioner. This year, Jenni is the Vice-president of the CIPR and has been a Board Director with them for the last three years. Before setting up Redefining Communications Jenni worked as a Communications Director for a global pharmaceutical business and prior to that she was Global Head of Communications for a FTSE 250 hospitality business. Jenni has experience working in defence, retail and hospitality as well as not-for-profit. It is this experience that has contributed to the development of The Field Model™ and Jenni’s book, Influential Internal Communication.

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