The Advance Reading List – Part 1

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As we head into 2023 and we shake off the lethargy of mince pies and too much prosecco, we wanted to share with you those books that have made an impact on us over the years, some more recently, some definite “stalwart” classics. Maybe one or more of these will inspire and provoke.

We asked our team for just ONE book recommendation (harder than you might think with a bunch of consultants!). We think this is a great list… thought provoking and all great reads in their own right. We don’t say or expect you will agree with all of the things in these books, indeed we hope you will challenge!

What is your ONE book recommendation and why? Love to hear in the comments

Here’s some of ours…

Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed. What Syed does really well is bring together a whole series of ideas under one concept and bring it to life with powerful and relevant stories. In this case, the concept is cognitive diversity and its power in making better decisions, compared to the inherent risks of what he calls homophily (a posh word for groupthink!). In this book, Syed takes you on a meaningful and powerful journey to understand how we can do better by harnessing the power of ALL our differences. Al Simmonite.

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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. He describes this as a ‘leadership fable’ and I love his style and tone. I found this book whilst in a toxic team experience that was horrible and the book was a life saver, helping me see both why something wasn’t working and a way to fix it. This book exposes [spoiler alert] real leadership and human truths with a simple triangle model at the end. Who doesn’t love a triangle model? Gavin Bateman.

I find it really difficult to pinpoint ONE book, but if I have to, the one that has impacted me personally and whose learning I've been able to adopt into my work for teams and individuals to achieve greater performance is Atomic Habits by James Clear. Simple, straightforward tools and techniques to move from mindless doing to mindful decision making. When we become more aware of the things we do on automatic pilot and understand if they help or hinder, we are in a better position to reinforce the good and reduce or remove those that detract us from getting optimum results. Jane Hirst.

Hard to choose just one but after much thought I've gone for Fish! A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen. I credit this book with helping me turn an unenthusiastic and underperforming department into an effective team. For me a professional management book needs to be succinct and short on theory, this book ticks both boxes. Kevin Rayner.

Next time we will pick out a few more of the team’s favourites .. or maybe some of yours?

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