Get RevOps ready with these six must-read books

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Revenue Operations, or RevOps, may seem like a new buzzy term, but the principle of aligning people, processes, and communication is as old as business itself. Accelerated by the adoption of digital transformation and, more recently, by the pandemic, pressing economic forces present leaders in the built environment with new challenges that are out of their control, including rising inflation, supply chain disruptions, rising costs of capital, and labor shortages. 

If you want to learn more about the principles of RevOps, there are a few selections on the bookshelf. However, none leave the reader with a well-rounded, balanced, inspiring narrative that we can endorse. So instead, we offer this curated list of must-reads to prime your mind and company to implement its own RevOps program.

Think again - Adam Grant

This organizational psychologist from Wharton business school isn’t your typical data junkie. In Grant’s book Think Again, he uses light-hearted, approachable stories and comics to reframe and challenge our decision-making biases. When implementing RevOps within your organization, it is essential to challenge assumptions and “the way we have always done things,” especially concerning communications, systems, and processes. Tech Stack and a communication process audit, parts of the RevOps process, often reveal redundancies. Addressing those redundancies requires rethinking your company’s internal and external communications approach. Before you ask your team to change, consider Grant’s book as a primer to get into the right mindset. We recommend this read in the print version to enjoy the meaningful and frequently comedic illustrations.

Invisible women - Caroline Criado Perez

The saying goes, “good data in, good data out,” but what if the data is flawed from the beginning? Invisible Women explores what happens when incomplete data creates inherent biases tracing these data assumptions back to the time of Aristotle. Likewise, optimizing your organization to do more with less using RevOps requires unbiased, accurate data.  While business owners typically worry about fundamental data flaws created by open fields or caps lock, this book broadens your mindset to consider data’s meaning from a 30,000-foot view and what data isn’t collected that could lead to an unintended and biased result. We recommend this book in both its written and audio format.

Eat a peach - David Chang

Chef and entrepreneur David Chang’s book Eat a Peach is a delight for foodies and founders alike. Beyond the delicious food descriptions, David shares his founders' journey illuminating more trials and tribulations than celebrations that all leaders can learn from. Most importantly, Chang dives into his philosophy for balancing creativity and quality with efficiency in the kitchen and how that translates into scaling a brand. Critical lessons for any RevOps-focused leader include Chang’s “humbling” journey with an executive coach, promoting from within, and how to bring the unexpected to traditional markets. We highly recommend this read in its audio format as the author narrates it.

Because internet - Gretchen McCulloch

Ever get an emoji response you didn’t understand or take someone’s text the wrong way? A book about the English language’s use on the internet may sound like a good read for a sleepless night. However, Gretchen McCulloch’s scholarly study of emojis will hook you with its relatable stories and laugh-out-loud funny moments in Because Internet. If data alignment is the heart of RevOps, communication alignment would be the major arteries. Miscommunication is often the root cause of process degradation, redundancy, and idle time. Simple communication misunderstandings cost companies an average of $6,000 per employee annually. As the human language evolves daily online, it's more important than ever to understand the importance of language. We highly recommend this read in its audio format as the author narrates the emojis aloud, adding an unexpected comedic element to the book. 

No rules rules - Reed Hastings, Erin Meyer

A mantra at Illumine8 is that one must learn the rules to break the rules. In No Rules Rules, you dive into the culture of Netflix, the OG disrupter of the direct-to-consumer digital entertainment industry. Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, gives readers the good, bad, and ugly of what it takes to build a culture of high-performing disrupters. In alignment with the RevOps Manifesto, Netflix’s culture walks the line between process-driven efficiency and creativity. A must-read for anyone who manages a team. We recommend both the written and audio versions of this book.

What got you here won’t get you there - Marshall Goldsmith

Every business leader knows what it feels like to bump against a glass ceiling like an overgrown goldfish in a tiny fishbowl. Marshall Goldsmith’s book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There examines the likely cause - you as a leader. This remarkably candid book forces a leader to look at themselves honestly and commit to working towards better relationships in the workplace. Without clear communication and trusting relationships at work, organizational growth and RevOps aren’t possible. We recommend reading this book after David Chang’s memoir Eat A Peach, as Goldsmith plays a vital role in Chang’s personal and professional growth. Readers will have a more meaningful experience reading Goldsmith’s book as a sequel to Eat a Peach. In its written format, we recommend What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.

RevOps-ready companies are more prepared for the next round of challenges. If doing more with less is something your company could benefit from, let these book selections be your guide to getting into a RevOps-ready leadership mindset. 

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