Content stocking: read, watch, listen

There’s nothing better than relaxing with a good book while on holidays. But in the digital era, why limit your to-do list to paper backs? We asked ANZ directors and senior executives what they’ll be watching, reading and listening to this Summer!

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Maile Carnegie - Group Executive Digital, ANZ

  • Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance. It has been sitting on my bedside table for a while and I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into it. I’m both interested in the subject matter in general (changes in cultures and values) and lived near the Appalachian mountains in the USA midwest - so it makes it particularly interesting for me.
  • The Rub of Time by Martin Amis. A collection of essays by some wonderful thinkers. His last book of essays was a fabulous read and the reviews of this book are also great.
  • 99% Invisible. A podcast that explores topics that often go unexplored, that is “feel invisible”. I have listened to many of them and loved the episodes on algorithms and how emojis are created.  
  • Exponential View by Azeem Azhar. I have been following him on Twitter for a while and want to do a better job actually reading his detailed weekly summary on emerging tech and trends.

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Richard Yetsenga - Chief Economist, ANZ

  • This year I’ve focussed on the issues of economics and equality, reading Donut Economics by Kate Raeworth and Happiness for All by Carol Graham (I don’t think it’s any coincidence either that both these books are written by women and economics has a worrying disparity in favour of males).
  • I’ve also re-read and re-read The Second Machine Age by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. Explaining the powerful impact of compounding over short-periods using the chess analogy never gets old.
  • For zen time, the best novel I read this year was Hanya Yanagihara's Little Life. It’s not a novel so much as an experience and is great example that often you only appreciate the journey once you have reached your destination.
  • More digitally, the best two movies I saw this year were The Wizard of Lies about Bernie Maddoff – the closing scene doesn’t leave you – and Logan, the last Wolverine movie.
  • Next year I have to read Angela Saini’s book Inferior, which looks at how gender stereotypes have influenced many propositions that we take as being ‘scientifically based’. Also James Wolfensohn’s book A Global Life, which I bought after I recently met Jim in Washington. 

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Shayne Elliott - Chief Executive Officer, ANZ

In pulling together a list of books/articles/podcasts read and listened to while looking at those on my reading list, I noticed a theme I wasn’t even aware of! Transformation and disruption! Maybe everyone at ANZ won’t be so surprised…


  • Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool  – a wonderful true story of an aging movie star. I loved every minute of this film – great acting by Annette Benning, Jamie Bell, Julie Walters and Vanessa Redgrave. Shame almost no one will see this film!
  • Wonder  – recommended by my 12-year old daughter. Amazing book, I’m really looking forward to the movie.
  • The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey – a debut crime novel by a local Australian author. A page turner with movie potential.

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Kath van der Merwe - Group Executive Talent & Culture, ANZ

  • Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella: Nadella (CEO, Microsoft) talks to how individuals, organisations and societies need to transform (hit refresh) in the face of disruptive technology including AI, mixed reality and quantum computing. 

He highlights the importance of our human qualities, especially empathy, as he shares how Microsoft re-discovered its soul and transformed everything from its culture to its partnerships to the competitive landscape of the industry.

  • An Everyone Culture by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lacey: Kegan shares insights from his research into successful Deliberately Developmental Organisations - those whose practices support the conviction that organisations best prosper when they are deeply aligned with people's strongest motive, which is to grow.  

The support of everyone's ongoing development is woven into the daily fabric of working life and visible in regular operations, daily routines, leader behaviour and conversations.

  • I will also no doubt be indulging in some magazines at the beach - Frankie and the Collective Hub will be among the selection.

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Gerard Florian - Group Executive Technology, ANZ

  • I have a few interesting reads planned for the Christmas break, including Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. I’m also going to read Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella.
  • My favourite podcast in 2017 (apart from The ANZ Way!) was Boyer Lectures by Dr Genevieve Bell.
  • I also really enjoyed Exponent – Ben Thompson.
  • A special mention must also go to Clayton Christensen and Marc Andreesen on a16Z.

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Ilana Atlas - Non-Executive Director, ANZ & Chairman, Coca-Cola Amatil

  • Like many others around the world I have subscribed to the New York Times this year. As much as I have been consumed by the politics, I have become addicted to the online version of the NYT crossword. And Rex Parker’s blog on solving it.
  • I have loved reading the Notorious RBG by Irin Carman - a book of words, drawings and pictures about the trailblazing feminist and US Supreme Court Judge, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
  • I am a rotten cook but love cookbooks. A particular favourite this year (even though it was published a while ago) has been Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem. It provides the solution to the Middle East peace process - a good falafel.
  • And when I am out walking, listening to podcasts of Racheal Kohn’s The Spirit of Things is a great way to take your mind off the fact you are exercising.
  • As for the holidays, I will be reading the biography Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson.

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David Hisco - Group Executive & CEO New Zealand, ANZ

  • I’ll be reading another Daniel Silva spy novel, House of Spies. I can’t wait to get into it.
  • I’m also reading Thinking Fast and Slow by Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman. It’s about how the mind works and how you can enhance your thinking skills by recognising how it is built to behave and what you can do to improve your performance

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David Gonski - Chairman, ANZ

This year I enjoyed:

  • Seeing the play Oslo at the Lincoln Centre in New York.
  • The Australian Opera’s performance of La Traviata at the Sydney Opera House.
  • Watching the movie Churchill with Brian Cox and Miranda Richardson.

Over Christmas I will be reading Paul Auster’s book 4321 and Hilary Rodham Clinton’s book What Happened

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Paula Dwyer - Non-Executive Director, ANZ & Chairman, Tabcorp & Healthscope

I particularly enjoyed some movies this year, notably:

  • The Meyerowitz Stories on Netflix & Wizard of Lies, a biography of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme.
  • Beyond the big screen, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Robert Harris’ Cicero  series -  Imperium, Lustrum & Dictator.
  • I’ve recently rediscovered listening to BBC4 and Triple R on TuneIn Radio.

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Tony Warren - Group General Manager Communications & Public Affairs, ANZ

  • Over the year I have become a huge fan of Mike Duncan’s podcasts Revolutions. Starting with the English Civil War he chronicles in great detail - but in an entertaining and engaging way - some of the most crucial turning points in more recent history.
  • As a result I have also grabbed his new book The Storm Before the Storm to read over the break. The blurb says “In 146 BC, Rome finally emerged as the strongest power in the Mediterranean. But the very success of the Republic proved to be its undoing. The republican system was unable to cope with the vast empire Rome now ruled. Rising economic inequality disrupted traditional ways of life. Endemic social and ethnic prejudice led to clashes over citizenship and voting rights. Rampant corruption and ruthless ambition among the elite sparked violent political clashes that cracked the once indestructible foundations of the Republic”… Sounds vaguely familiar!

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Sharon Zollner - Chief Economist New Zealand, ANZ

This year I have really enjoyed:

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Warwick Smith - Chairman NSW/ACT/Thailand & Board Director China,  ANZ

  • Victoria by Julia Baird is on my list with some other titles on medieval history I am yet to get... I am a history nut!
  • Crocs in the Cabinet which is about Northern Territory politics. It’s a new book by Ben Smee and Christopher Walsh. I was once a federal minister for the Northern Territory which was hilarious as I am from Tasmania and had never heard of the place back then. Their politics were really tough and crocs were humans - never in suits and most often in shorts and thongs.
  •  I’ll also be enjoying the great books by Bill Ferris, our home grown private equity guru and innovation tsar on venture capital. They still wear black skivvies! He just did a major review on innovation which is proof those of us over 60 can still be engaged, relevant, contemporary, adaptable and agile - and can even be barefoot in a polo and shorts and still think too!
  • Internet Trends 2017 by Kleiner Perkins. A deep dive into global usage trends just in case Gerard Florian and the ANZ team need help from the NSW chair of the NSW Fintech Knowledge Hub chair (me!)
  • China Matters by Bates Gill and Linda Jacobson. This new book covers issues sensibly on our relationship with China - a key to our economy - and track influence in a sensible way (disclosure: I was inaugural chair of their organisation).
  • My friend Narelle Hooper’s new book New Women, New Men, New Economy on how creativity, openness, diversity and equity are driving prosperity. Many of us have a strong values-focus and we arrived there without a human services division telling us how!
  • Road to Ruin by Nikki Savva on how a prime minister lost his job by a hiring the wrong person. A sober reminder for leaders in public and corporate life about personnel choices.
  • Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince. A selected chapter read again as a timeless reminder of the art of governance and corporate strategy!
  • And a personal plug: I just completed a major report on Austrade global reach and strategy for cabinet.

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Jane Halton - Non-Executive Director, ANZ & Chairman, Vault Systems

  • This summer let me start with an observation: lurking inside the facade of an ABC journalist, Michael Brissenden (formerly of AM and now Four Corners), is a novelist. To quote Molly Meldrum, “do yourself a favour” and get into his book The List - a great crime/thriller. With spies, murder and more than a little intrigue, it is a great read.
  • I will be getting into a sequel over the summer break.  Jimmy Barnes first autobiographical book was a searing look at poverty and a childhood of doing it very tough.  His new book Working Class Man should be no less compelling.
  • I also intend to watch series two of The Crown.  Last summer my son and I watched series one and am looking forward to the next instalment.
  • Finally, for a little light listening when doing other things, I will probably catch up on all those fabulous Richard Fidler Conversations from Radio National that I missed.  Some fascinating listening there, just the thing for a relaxed day over the holidays.

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Enjoy this list? You can see our recommendations from 2016 HERE.

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

editor's picks

23 Dec 2016

Summer content stocking: Elliott, Carnegie, Gonski

Shayne Elliott, Maile Carnegie, David Gonski | Chief Executive Officer & Group Executive Digital Banking & Chairman, ANZ

Reading lists are a fixture of the holiday period and BlueNotes’ list last year, sourced from ANZ directors and senior executives, was extremely popular. But this year we thought why limit the festive list to reading?

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