The world is rife—even overrun—with business books. Whether it’s sage management advice or dubious tips on working two hours a week from a hammock, the business section of most bookstores is full of all flavors for would-be entrepreneurs and those looking to make moves in the business world. Considering the volume and range in quality of such titles, “The Monocle Guide to Good Business”—published by Gestalten—is a refreshing business book for the contemporary, globally minded, design-conscious businessperson.
Following the success of the UK-based media company’s 2013 debut hardcover “The Monocle Guide to Better Living,” the follow-up provides a wealth of business information in their trademark visually appealing style with a global perspective. Throughout Monocle’s seven-year editorial history, the company has largely profiled businesses with a strong penchant for human-centric design—whether it’s using thoughtful architecture to make a healthier office or combining profits with people in a social enterprise. “By the time the markets collapsed in 2008, we found our inboxes full of correspondence from readers who were using Monocle as a guidebook for setting up their own enterprises—or at least daydreaming about them,” writes founder Tyler Brûlé in the book’s introduction. In a sense, this book has been in the making since issue one and now the advice, wisdom and carefully culled information from each successive issue is all in one place.
Though the book follows a logical path from origin of idea to execution to making a lasting business, it’s not intended solely for those striking out on their first venture—or even on their own venture at all. Seasoned business leaders will find topics of workspace, education and managing growth all addressed with a fresh perspective—all in the publication’s polished yet conversational tone. What is perhaps the most illuminating aspect of the book is its avoidance of falling into focusing solely on the global centers of the world. While Hong Kong, New York and London all get plenty of page time, there is a major emphasis on smaller regional cities and even villages that offer an alternative but nonetheless globally minded environment for commerce.
Inspiration comes in many forms and, for business owners, those looking to make a move or anyone looking to delve into what is an oftentimes opaque field, the book is a must. And though readers might want to keep it in pristine condition, it’s meant to be thumbed-through, annotated and put to use. “We’ve always maintained that the best way to be inspired and stay on top of your game is to get out in the world and observe the people who are doing it best,” Brûlé continues. So let this book not act as a static reference, but a travel guide to the world of like-minded professionals.
Images by Cool Hunting