Book recommendations

Frederic Laloux

Reinventing Organizations – An Illustrated Invitation to Join the Conversation on Next-Stage Organizations

The uplifting message of Reinventing Organizations has resonated with readers all over the world, and they have turned it, one conversation at a time, into a word-of-mouth phenomenon. The book has helped shift the conversation from what’s broken with management today to what’s possible. It is inspiring thousands of organizations-corporations and nonprofits, schools and hospitals-to adopt radically more powerful, soulful, and purposeful practices. 

The book resonates widely, but not everyone has time to devote to a dense 360-page management book. This illustrated version conveys the main ideas of the original book and shares many of its real-life stories in a lively, engaging way. Don’t be surprised if you find it hard to put down and end up reading it almost in one sitting. Welcome to the conversation on next-stage organizations!

Laszlo Bock

Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead

Google receives over 1,500,000 unique applications for jobs every year. This book shows you why. How to learn from your best employees – and your worst. Why you should only hire people who are smarter than you are. Take away managers’ powers over employees. And why not to trust your gut instinct. ‘We spend more time working than doing anything else in life. It’s not right that the experience should be so demotivating and dehumanizing.’ So says Laszlo Bock, visionary head of People Operations at the company that transformed how the world interacts with knowledge: this insight is the heart of his brilliant first book. A compelling manifesto with the potential to change how we work and live, Work Rules! offers both a new philosophy of the new world of work and a blueprint for attracting the most spectacular talent and ensuring the brightest and best prosper. Your workplace and how you treat your employees has a huge effect on your success. In twelve vivid chapters, Bock lays out a series of surprising lessons from a range of industries – from household names to little-known innovators. He also takes us inside one of history’s most explosively successful businesses to reveal why Google is consistently rated one of the best places to work in the world. His years of experience are distilled into a series of entertaining principles that are easy to put into action, whether you’re a team of one or a team of thousands. Work Rules! shows how to strike a balance between creativity and structure, leading to success you can measure in quality of life as well as market share. Read it to build a better company from within rather than from above; read it to reawaken your joy in what you do. The way we work is changing – are you?

Mitch Albom

Tuesdays with Morrie

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn’t you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger?

Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man’s life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final “class”: lessons in how to live.

Tuesdays with Morrie is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie’s lasting gift with the world.

Patrick Lencioni

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni once again offers a leadership fable that is as enthralling and instructive as his first two best-selling books, The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive. This time, he turns his keen intellect and storytelling power to the fascinating, complex world of teams.

Kathryn Petersen, Decision Tech’s CEO, faces the ultimate leadership crisis: Uniting a team in such disarray that it threatens to bring down the entire company. Will she succeed? Will she be fired? Will the company fail? Lencioni’s utterly gripping tale serves as a timeless reminder that leadership requires as much courage as it does insight.

Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams even the best ones-often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team. Just as with his other books, Lencioni has written a compelling fable with a powerful yet deceptively simple message for all those who strive to be exceptional team leaders.

Tom Peters

Re-imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age

The business management guru and author of In Search of Excellence presents a thought-provoking, inspirational look at the changing world of twenty-first-century business that introduces innovative strategies for overcoming outdated company values and procesures to create an aggressive environment that empowers talented individuals. Reprint.

David Epstein

Range: Why generalists triumph in a specialized world

Plenty of experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. If you dabble or delay, you’ll never catch up to the people who got a head start. But a closer look at research on the world’s top performers, from professional athletes to Nobel laureates, shows that early specialization is the exception, not the rule.

David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields – especially those that are complex and unpredictable – generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see.

Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range makes a compelling case for actively cultivating inefficiency. Failing a test is the best way to learn. Frequent quitters end up with the most fulfilling careers. The most impactful inventors cross domains rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area. As experts silo themselves further while computers master more of the skills once reserved for highly focused humans, people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will increasingly thrive.

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