Contributors to the October 2022 issue of TD magazine offer their book recommendations.
The Curious Advantage
by Simon Brown, Garrick Jones, and Paul Ashcroft
Curiosity is more than just a strong desire to know or learn something. Our capacity and ability to learn is magnified when we are curious. This book does a nice job of exploring the role of curiosity in our world today and its power to drive value.
Map It: The Hands-On Guide to Strategic Training Design
by Cathy Moore
My company recommends this book to all new-hire instructional designers. The practices in this book are the basis for developing training that changes behaviors and improves performance. Moore walks readers through every step and provides examples and exercises for practicing. Whether you are new to instructional design or have been at it for decades, this book is a great resource.
Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage in Human Consciousness
by Frederic Laloux
This book is an exploration of the future of work. As the typical management hierarchy fails to keep up with the pace of change in the world, Laloux suggests a different type of organization and proves that though it may be controversial, it has already worked many times before.
Managing Corporate Lifecycles
By Ichak Adizes
This book is the secret decoder ring for how organizations start, grow, and die and what you can do about it. Adizes shares how to guide companies through the stages of his model: courtship, infancy, go-go, adolescence, prime, the fall, aristocracy, recrimination, bureaucracy, and death.
The Founder’s Mentality
By Chris Zook and James Allen
Ninety percent of the time, the root causes of business failure are internal, not external. Zook and Allen talk about how to keep the fire of early founders alive through three defining traits: owner’s mindset, insurgency, and front-line obsession.
Own Your Career Own Your Life: Stop Drifting and Take Control of Your Future
By Andy Storch
Workers generally have to be more self-reliant to grow themselves and their careers versus relying on an organization to provide such support and guidance. Storch offers a practical, pragmatic guide to set a vision for yourself and a structured approach to make that a reality.
Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else
By Geoff Colvin
Why are certain people so incredibly great at what they do? Most of us think we know the answer, but we’re almost always wrong. The real source of great performance is no longer a mystery. Bringing together extensive scientific research, Geoff Colvin shows where we go wrong and what actually makes world-class performers so remarkable. It isn’t specific, innate talent, nor is it plain, hard work. It’s a very specific type of work that anyone can do, but most people don’t.
What’s more, the principles of great performance apply to virtually any activity that matters to you. Readers have been inspired by this book’s liberating message: You don’t need a one-in-a-million natural gift. Better performance, and potentially even world-class performance, is closer than you think.
Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment
By Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass R. Sunstein
This excellent book reminds us that even when the situation is the same for everyone, the decision about the situation may vary depending on the person, how the person feels, what the person is experiencing, what they know, or what they think they know. Noise is the inconsistency in our thinking, assumptions, and judgment. The authors describe how noise happens and how to improve our judgments given the noise around us. I like this book because it makes the reader think. It is a bit long and academic but full of business applications. If you liked the books Thinking, Fast and Slow and Nudge, you should like this one.
Talent, Strategy, Risk: How Investors and Boards Are Redefining TSR
By Bill McNabb, Ram Charan, and Dennis Carey
This book describes how the role of and conversation among the investor community, corporate board members, and senior leadership are changing. Short-term value is no longer the name of the corporate performance game. There is a new playbook at the board level; the big play is talent. The book describes how board governance now includes more engagement with investors, more education and capability on the board, different types of board committees, greater diversity of board members, and more diversity in the information board members receive. As someone interested in what makes a corporate board tick and the characteristics and knowledge required of an effective board member, I found the book interesting and easy to read. The authors have vast experience, and I found their perspectives valuable. If you want to know what investors, board members, and CEOs are thinking, this is a good book for you.