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Recommended Creative Leadership Reading List - Summer 2017

April 18, 2017

Summer 2017 promises a new batch of books to inform and support those striving to become better creative leaders. We've selected the most edifying and exciting titles that are expected to hit the shelves in May and June.  

 

Ed Batista, The Art of Self-Coaching

(Harvard Business Review Press, August 8)

The Stanford Graduate School of Business instructor, executive coach, and consistently insightful blogger provides an invaluable resource for personal and professional growth and development. Not a substitute for a one-on-one coaching engagement, this volume contains a host of proven tools and helpful frameworks built on both classic and new research in social psychology, neuroscience and related disciplines.

 

Samuel A. Culbert, Good People, Bad Managers: How Work Culture Corrupts Good Intentions

(Oxford University Press, May 29)

How can leaders get beyond routine and well-intentioned behaviors that are ‘good enough’? The UCLA Anderson School of Business professor, and author of Get Rid of the Performance Review! and Beyond BullSh*t: Straight Talk at Work, shares instructive case studies and offers practical advice for becoming more aware of self-preservation mindsets, changing minds and behaviors, and implementing positive culture change.

 

Rob Elkington, Madeleine van der Steege, Judith Glick-Smith, Jennifer Moss Breen, eds., Visionary Leadership in a Turbulent World: Thriving in the New VUCA Context

(Emerald Publishing, June 26)

Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity – while VUCA has been a useful shorthand for our shifting organizational, market and social contexts of the past two decades, few helpful guides to its effective leadership have emerged. In this excellent book, a group of Canadian and South African consultants develop a range of perspectives and diverse actions for leaders to become more resilient, innovative, collaborative, ethical, and contextually intelligent.

 

Amy Edmondson and Jean-Francois Harvey, Extreme Teaming: Lessons in Complex, Cross-Sector Leadership

(Emerald Publishing, August 21)

The Harvard Business School professor and expert on organizational learning and psychological safety extends the insights from her essential work on Teaming to complex teams and projects. With a fellow Harvard researcher, Edmondson uses cross-industry and cross-sector case studies to demonstrate new practices and possibilities for better collaboration, team performance, and their leadership.  

 

Chris Fussell, with C.W. Goodyear, One Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams   

(Portfolio, June 13)

A former Navy SEAL Officer addresses the challenge of teams, even sometimes effective ones, which remain siloed and isolated within large organizations. Now a partner at the McChrystal Group, and a supporting writer of General Stanley McChrystal’s 2015 bestseller Team of Teams (the General penned the Foreword here), Fussell lays out a roadmap for putting into practice the agility, adaptability, and shared sense of mission described in that bestseller. 

 

Mukti Khaire, Culture and Commerce: The Value of Entrepreneurship in Creative Industries

(Stanford University Press, June 8)

How should leaders approach the relationship between art and business? The Cornell Tech professor analyzes the roles and activities of creators, producers, intermediaries and ‘pioneer entrepreneurs’ in fashion, music, literary publishing, painting, and film. In a series of case studies – from Chanel to the Sundance Institute – she delivers an insightful and powerful account of how cultural goods are produced, consumed, and valued.

 

Francisco Lopez Lubian and Jose Esteves, Value in a Digital World: How to Assess Business Models and Measure Value in a Digital World

(Palgrave MacMillan, June 19)

Two IE Business School faculty offer a timely and important examination of how to assess value as businesses and brands become increasingly digital. Across analyses of multiple digital business models, they explore the process and address the challenges of valuation in the digital world, ultimately developing metrics and a practical framework for assessing digital value.

 

Anna Moretti, The Network Organization: A Governance Perspective on Structure, Dynamics and Performance

(Palgrave MacMillan, June 12)

Focusing on inter-organizational networks, a researcher at Ca’Foscari University in Venice provides an exceptional summary of network theory before turning to an illuminating empirical study of the Film Festival, hospitality, tourism, and local institutions in Venice. The result is a valuable introduction to networks as multiple systems that can be understood through structure, performance, and governance perspectives.

 

Richard Ronald Nason, It's Not Complicated: The Art and Science of Complexity for Business Success

(Rotman-UTP Publishing, June 29)

The finance professor in the Rowe School of Business at Dalhousie University has written an excellent and accessible guide to ‘complexity thinking.’ Using practical examples and contrasting complicated with complex situations, Nason offers helpful advice to business leaders facing new challenges that require creative ways of understanding and problem-solving.

 

Greg Satell, Mapping Innovation: A Playbook for Navigating a Disruptive Age

(McGraw-Hill Education, May 26)

The media, marketing and technology innovation consultant, who blogs so thoughtfully at digitaltonto, disentangles the multitude of well-publicized paths to innovation success. The result is a helpful playbook that rejects any single ‘silver bullet’ or shortcut and instead will help readers to identify, design and implement the right innovation strategy for their situation and opportunity. 

 

Sam Walker, The Captain Class: The Driving Force Behind the World’s Greatest Teams

(Random House, May 16)

The Wall Street Journal’s former global sports editor and author of Fantasyland (about the national fantasy baseball competition, which he won twice) has written that elusive book that expertly draws on sports for fresh leadership insights. In it, he outlines seven core qualities of the Captain Class—from extreme doggedness and emotional control to a knack for nonverbal communication to tactical aggression and the courage to stand apart.

 

Geoffrey West, Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies

(Penguin, May 16)

Besides being a driving priority in business, the idea and dynamics of ‘scale’ are essential to pursuits and disciplines ranging from biology to technology and urban planning. A physicist and Fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory conducts a fascinating exploration of networks, complex adaptive systems, and the laws of scalability in science, society, startups and more.