Thinking about the future? Looking for a new mindset? Want to adopt a new approach? Want to solve problems better?
Here are 6 of Walking the Talk's recommended future thinking reads.
"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."
"The Evolution of Cooperation provides valuable insights into the age-old question of whether unforced cooperation is ever possible. Widely praised and much-discussed, this classic book explores how cooperation can emerge in a world of self-seeking egoists-whether superpowers, businesses, or individuals-when there is no central authority to police their actions. The problem of cooperation is central to many different fields. Robert Axelrod recounts the famous computer tournaments in which the "cooperative" program Tit for Tat recorded its stunning victories, explains its application to a broad spectrum of subjects, and suggests how readers can both apply cooperative principles to their own lives and teach cooperative principles to others."
"Set aside trends to focus on the fundamentals of great leadership
Reframing Organizations provides time-tested guidance for more effective organizational leadership. Rooted in decades of social science research across multiple disciplines, Bolman and Deal's four-frame model has continued to evolve since its conception over 25 years ago; this new sixth edition has been updated to include coverage of cross-sector collaboration, generational differences, virtual environments, globalization, sustainability, and communication across cultures. The Instructor's guide has been expanded to provide additional tools for the classroom, including chapter summary tip sheets, mini-assessments, Bolman & Deal podcasts, and more. These recent revisions reflect the intersection of reader recommendations and the current leadership environment, resulting in a renewed practicality and even greater alignment with everyday application.
Combining the latest research from organizational theory, organizational behavior, psychology, sociology, political science and more, the model detailed here provides real guidance for real leaders. Guide, motivate, and inspire your team's best performance as you learn to:
- Optimize group, team, and organizational structure
- Build a positive, collaborative dynamic across generations, teams, and sectors
- Understand power and conflict amidst the internal and external political landscape
- Shape your organization's culture and build a cohesive sense of spirit
Bolman and Deal's four-frame model has withstood the test of time because it offers an accessible, compact, and powerful set of ideas for navigating complexity and turbulence. In today's business climate, leadership trends come and go; today's flash in the pan is tomorrow's obsolete strategy, but a leadership framework built on a solid foundation will serve your organization well no matter what the future holds. Reframing Organizations provides clear guidance and up-to-date insight for anyone facing the challenges of contemporary leadership."
"Motorola relied heavily on teams to surpass its competition in building the lightest, smallest, and highest-quality cell phones. At 3M, teams are critical to meeting the company's goal of producing half of each year's revenues from the previous five years' innovations. Kodak's Zebra Team proved the worth of black-and-white film manufacturing in a world where color is king.
But many companies overtook the potential of teams in turning around tagging profits, entering new markets, and making exciting innovations happen -- because they don't know how to utilize teams successfully. Authors Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith talked with hundreds of people in more than thirty companies to find out where and how teams work best and how to enhance their effectiveness. They reveal:
- The most important element in team success
- Who excels at team leadership . . . and why they are rarely the most senior people
- Why company wide change depends on teams . . . and more
Comprehensive and proven effective, The Wisdom of Teams is the classic primer on making teams a powerful tool for success in today's global marketplace."
"Succeed by mastering the art of the who. Why surround yourself with the best? Because it matters--in all aspects of life. In fact, in professional environments, getting people right-what global leadership authority Claudio Fernandez-Araoz calls "the art of great 'who' decisions"--marks the difference between success and failure. To thrive, you need to identify those with the highest potential, get them in your corner and on your team, and help them grow. Yet surprisingly very few of us are able to meet that challenge. This series of short and engaging essays outlines the obstacles to great "who" decisions and offers solutions to address them in a systematic way. Drawing from several decades of experience in global executive search and talent development, as well as the latest management and psychology research, Fernandez-Araoz offers wisdom and practical advice to improve the choices we make about employees and mentors, business partners and friends, top corporate leaders and even elected officials. The personal stories and cutting-edge studies described in the book will help you understand both your own failings and the external forces commonly at play in staffing decisions. The author shares concrete recommendations on how to select the best people, bring out their strengths, foster collective greatness in the groups you've assembled, and create not only better organizations but also a better society. Starting with the cases of Amazon pioneer Jeff Bezos and Brazilian tycoon Roger Agnelli and continuing with individual and corporate examples from around the world, Fernandez-Araoz paints a vivid picture of what great "who" decisions look like and presents a fresh and commanding argument about why they matter more than ever today."
"A groundbreaking book that sheds new light on the vital importance of teams as the fundamental unit of organization and competition in the global economy.
Teams—we depend on them for both our professional success and our personal happiness. But isn't it odd how little scrutiny we give them? The teams that make up our lives are created mostly by luck, happenstance, or circumstance—but rarely by design. In trivial matters—say, a bowling team, the leadership of a neighborhood group, or a holiday party committee—success by serendipity is already risky enough. But when it comes to actions by fast-moving start-ups, major corporations, nonprofit institutions, and governments, leaving things to chance can be downright dangerous.
Offering vivid reports of the latest scientific research, compelling case studies, and great storytelling, Team Genius shows managers and executives that the planning, design, and management of great teams no longer have to be a black art. It explores solutions to essential questions that could spell the difference between success and obsolescence. Do you know how to reorganize your subpar teams to turn them into top performers? Can you identify which of the top-performing teams in your company are reaching the end of their life span? Do you have the courage to shut them down? Do you know how to create a replacement team that will be just as effective—without losing time or damaging morale? And, most important, are your teams the right size for the job?
Throughout, Rich Karlgaard and Michael S. Malone share insights and real-life examples gleaned from their careers as journalists, analysts, investors, and globetrotting entrepreneurs, meeting successful teams and team leaders to reveal some "new truths":
- The right team size is usually one fewer person than what managers think they need.
- The greatest question facing good teams is not how to succeed, but how to die.
- Good "chemistry" often makes for the least effective teams.
- Cognitive diversity yields the highest performance gains—but only if you understand what it is.
- How to find the "bliss point" in team intimacy—and become three times more productive.
- How to identify destructive team members before they do harm.
- Why small teams are 40 percent more likely to create a successful breakthrough than a solo genius is.
- Why groups of 7 (± 2), 150, and 1,500 are magic sizes for teams.
Eye-opening, grounded, and essential, Team Genius is the next big idea to revolutionize business."