Connections

Here is a short list of books that have influenced or informed Natalie’s thinking around project and change management, leadership and culture. This list is not nearly complete as there is so much to share. A good place to start.

Generally Influential:

  • A Short History of Progress, Ronald Wright. A highly recommended book in regards to understanding our human achievements and failures. Easily applicable to business and organizational culture, if you are interested in sustained change.
  • Confessions of a Radical Industrialist, Profits, People, Purpose – Doing Business by Respecting the Earth, Ray C. Anderson. A much needed new and responsible view on business and it’s role in our human community. Anderson pioneers the future of business, as it should be. A business model I hope to see prevalent in my life-time.
  • Good to GreatHow the Mighty Fall, Jim Collins. Good to Great is a classic representation of inquiry into great organizations, what makes them great and what to gain from their success. How the Mighty Fall continues the study and examines why some of the Good to Great companies fell and what we can learn from their mistakes.
  • Orbiting the Giant Hairball, Gordon MacKenzie. A light-hearted look at organizational culture and how to evaluate your individual role in it. The importance of creativity and stepping outside the conventional boundaries of corporate life for success.
  • Teaching Smart People How to Learn, Chris Argyris. Are you a good learner? Really? Have you been challenged by teaching others? This short Harvard Business Review publishing helps explain why learning is difficult, maybe even for ourselves.
  • The Third Chimpanzee, Jared Diamond. A classic exploration into understanding what separates humans from chimpanzees and why humans are capable of both great innovation and devastating destruction.

Organizational Change Management:

  • ADKAR, A Model for Change in Business, Government and our Community, Jeffrey M. Hiatt. An important and influential change management standard for leading change.
  • Change Management, the People Side of Change, Jeffrey M. Hiatt and Timothy J. Ceasey. Using the ADKAR model for leading change.
  • Enterprise-Wide Change: Superior Results Through Systems Thinking, Stephen G. Haines, Gail Aller-Stead and James McKinlay. A good review of the history of organizational change methods and theories and a practical guide to understanding systems thinking and managing enterprise-wide change.
  • Leading Change, John Kotter. A foundational piece in managing change and transformation. Kotter examines common reasons for change failures and provides an eight stage process for leading change.
  • Managing Transitions, Making the Most of Change, William Bridges. Another foundational piece in managing organizational change. Bridges introduces his change philosophy as: Ending, Losing, Letting Go – The Neutral Zone – The New Beginning.
  • Seeing SystemsLeading Systems, Barry Oshry. Two important books to understand the ‘theatre’ of organizations and seeing the systems at play and how to work with (and within) them.
  • The Human Side of Enterprise, Douglas McGregor. Considered a ‘father’ of organizational development, McGregor introduces the importance of understanding our assessments of organizations and individuals and how we manage and lead, supporting and nurturing the capabilities of leaders and teams.
  • The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, Peter Senge. Another important offering from Peter M. Senge (also see The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook) for all leaders and managers to assess and understand their organizations as ‘learning organizations’.

Project Management:

  • Advanced Project Portfolio Management and the PMO, Gerald I. Kendall, PMP and Steven C. Rollins, PMP. This is a good general resource for developing a PMO and portfolio management.
  • Don’t Park Your Brain Outside, A Practical Guide to Improving Shareholder Value with SMART Management, Francis T. Hartman. A new SMART approach for flexible and effective project management. He looks at project standards and practices in a practical ‘think outside the box’ way that focuses on value creation.
  • PMBOK, Project Management Body of Knowledge, Project Management Institute (PMI). One of the most highly recognized project management standards.
  • Titanic Lessons for IT Projects, Mark Kozak-Holland. More than just about IT projects, but the lessons we can learn from  persistent and deep cultural norms and values and their consequences.