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Reading We Recommend

Pollyanna Recommends
Articles and Links:
  "Discover Your Authentic Leadership" by Bill George, Peter Sims, Andrew N. McLean, and Diana Mayer. Harvard Business Review, Feburary 2007
  "How I Learned to Let My Workers Lead", Ralph Stayer. A CEO collaborates with workers to commit themselves to a company goal by encouraging people to be responsible for their own performance.
  "How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity" by Ed Catmull. Harvard Business Review, September 2008
  "Wicked Problems: Naming the Pain in Organizations", E. Jeffrey Conklin and William Weil. Finding and solving the source of pain in organizations using innovative approaches.
  "The 6 Myths Of Creativity", Bill Breen. "A new study will change how you generate ideas and decide who's really creative in your company."

Books:
  Seven-day Weekend: Changing the Way Work Works, Ricardo Semler. Semler creates a profitable company in Brazil based on integrity, trust, and democracy.
  Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace, Gordon MacKenzie [Viking Adult, 1998]. Written by the CxO in charge of creativity at Hallmark for 30 years.
  Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes, Alfie Kohn. A powerful book. Read about what motivates and de-motivates teams in chapter 10 starting on page 181. Click here to download a pdf copy of this chapter.
  Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership, Joseph Jaworski, Betty S. Flowers, and Peter Senge. How one leader found his way to starting the Institute of American Leadership.
  Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration, Warren Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman. "Drawing from six case studies that include Xerox's PARC labs, the 1992 Clinton campaign, and Disney animation studios, Bennis and coauthor Patricia Biederman distill the characteristics of successful collaboration, showing how talent can be pooled and managed for greater results than any individual is capable of producing."


Niel Recommends
Books:
  Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others Don't, Jim Collins. Based on a five-year research project, Good to Great answers the question: "Can a good company become a great company, and, if so, how?" At the heart of those rare and truly great companies was a corporate culture that rigorously found and promoted disciplined people to think and act in a disciplined manner.
  Better Thinking, Better Results, Bob Emiliani, David Stec, and Lawrence Grasso. What you need to know when transforming to a Lean company. Reflects an understanding of Lean thinking.
  The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization, Peter Senge. Senge makes it clear that in the long run the only sustainable competitive advantage is your organizationís ability to learn faster than the competition.
  Itís Not Luck, Eliyahu M. Goldratt. Shows how to apply Theory of Constraints to sales and marketing, inventory control, and production distribution.


Todd Recommends
Books:
  Mythical Man Month, Frederick Brooks. The best software book ever written. Nearly everything in this book is still as valid as the day it was written. The classic book on the human elements of software engineering. Software tools and development environments may have changed in the 21 years since the first edition of this book, but the peculiarly nonlinear economies of scale in collaborative work and the nature of individuals and groups has not changed an epsilon.
  Dealing with Darwin, Geoffrey Moore. Geoffrey Moore is well known for his series of books (Crossing the Chasm, Inside the Tornado, Living on the Fault Line). This most recent book ties much of his work together and deals with the important issue of innovation to avoid extinction.
  Great Boss, Dead Boss, Ray Immelman. A wonderful story to illustrate the innate tribal behaviors of people and what great leaders can do to bring out the best in their people.
  Waltzing with Bears, Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister. An excellent book on risk management by two of the best authors in the software field.
  Innovator's Dilemma, Clayton Christensen. Classic book on disruptive technologies and how traditionally taught management practices can actually lead to extinction.


Kent Recommends
Books:
  Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister. DeMarco and Lister assert that most software development projects fail because of failures within the team running them. The advice is presented straightforwardly and ranges from simple issues of prioritization to complex ways of engendering harmony and productivity in your team.
  Requirements by Collaboration: Workshops for Defining Needs, Ellen Gottesdiener. This book focuses on the human side of software development--how well we work with our customers and teammates. Experience shows that the quality and degree of participation, communication, respect, and trust among all the stakeholders in a project can strongly influence its success or failure. Ellen Gottesdiener points out that such qualities are especially important when defining user requirements and she shows in this book exactly what to do about that fact.
     

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