By Simon 2010 was an amazing year for me. And a big part of the amazingness was books. Here are some that can make a big difference for you, too.
Speed Thinking by Ken Hudson
It turns out that most quick decisions are just as good as decisions that we take ages on. Speed Thinkinggives you a 9-minute process to explore the heck out of any situation, and get on to the next step. It removes a lot of stress and uncertainty, too.
Linchpin by Seth Godin
After hearing this recommended by people I knew and respected, I had to check out Linchpin. I’m glad I did – Linchpinwas a tour de force. You’ll read about why you need to do your work as art, and why a company full of indispensable people is much less of a risk than you think. You’ll probably also be inspired!
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
Zappos is the poster child of social media. Not because of the technology (CEO Tony Hsieh says their most important piece of technology is the telephone) but because they’ve created a culture of openness and transparency, where every employee has a sense of ownership. Delivering Happinessis Hsieh’s story of how he and the Zappos team created an amazing culture, and a seriously profitable business (Zappos was acquired by Amazon last year for $928 million).
Drive by Dan Pink
On a very similar theme to Linchpin and Delivering Happiness, Drive delves into the science of what motivates us at work. It’s not money. Instead, it’s autonomy, mastery and purpose. If you haven’t got time to read the whole book, check out this video instead.
The Why of Work by Dave Ulrich and Wendy Ulrich
Continuing the theme of what makes people happy, Dave Ulrich (who comes from a background in HR) and Wendy Ulrich (who comes from a background in psychology) have created a framework to connect employees’ personal motivation with the company’s purpose. Keeping it real. The Why of Work does a great job in beijing of gathering together previous strands of thought (such as Positive Psychology) and bringing them together in the workplace.
Open Leadership by Charlene Li
In 2008 Charlene Li co-wrote Groundswell, which was a great introduction to social media for business. In 2010, with Open Leadership, Li explores the impact social technologies have on leadership styles, and gives a framework for navigating the open, slightly scary waters of the future.
Empowered by Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler
Empowered explores similar territory to Open Leadership, looking at how frontline employees and even customers can be empowered to be your company’s most enthusiastic marketers.
The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working by Tony Schwartz
It sounds obvious, but we need to look after ourselves if we’re to produce the work of arts that Seth Godin talks about in Linchpin. The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working (subtitled and what to do about it) gives some really practical advice on how to do that. See my interview with Tony here.
Dare to Dream Again by Eugene Moreau
On a personal level, we need to ask ourselves what we are here for. Dare to Dream Again by my friend Eugene Moreau, is the story of Alex, a successful executive who’s hit a wall. But it can also be your story … some very practical lessons here.
Predictable Success by Les McKeown
Where is your company on the business lifecycle? Predictable Success lays out that lifecycle, helps you find where you are, and how to avoid the death spiral. Here’s my interview with Les. Enjoy your reading! Very relaxing photo from Lori Grieg