My colleagues here at Insurance Networking News just published a list of “10 Back-to-School Books" that make for great and insightful reading.

The list features classic compelling reads, such as Jim Collins' "Good to Great" and Richard Florida's "The Great Reset." There is also a work by an author with deep roots in the IT world: "The New Polymath: Profiles in Compound-Technology Innovations" by Vinnie Mirchandani.

Vinnie's thesis is that the world now demands new polymaths – the Greek word for "renaissance man" – to leverage converging technologies, such as advanced analytics, cloud computing, sustainability and social networks. The world demands new versatility, which will not only come from inspired individuals, but entire companies as well, he writes.

IT is leading the polymath revolution. Technologies such as business analytics are opening up new possibilities for coaxing businesses out of their comfortable boxes and launching new endeavors. For example, tech companies are extending their expertise into green technologies.

Vinnie cautions that while analytics are helping guide corporate decisions, it still takes knowledgeable humans to make the most of the capabilities unleashed by the technology.

He writes “a wide range of analytical tools and technologies (are) available to enterprises today. Particularly encouraging is the progress around unstructured analytics, predictive analytics, and data visualization. Of course, recent misses in economic forecasting have reemphasized the need for ‘human intelligence.’”

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