The Starfish and the Spider by Ori Brafman, Rod A. Beckstrom is a well-written book which explores “the unstoppable power of leaderless organizations”. The authors compare centralization (“spiders”) with decentralization (“starfishes”) and describes how the leadership is different between these organizational setups. I think the title is somewhat misleading since “leaderless” decentralized organizations do have […]
Mary P. Follett: Creating Democracy, Transforming Management by Professor Joan C. Tonn book is about Mary Follet’s life and ideas. It’s a biography, though, so there are probably other and better sources if you are interested in her ideas only. Mary didn’t have an easy life as a woman in the late nineteenth-century. It forced […]
Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip & Dan Heath is a book on how to change things when change is hard. The sequence of change is not ANALYZE-THINK-CHANGE, but rather SEE-FEEL-CHANGE. Read the book and learn why!
I just love the title of Punished by Rewards by Alfie Kohn. The author explains the trouble with gold stars, incentive plans, A’s, praise, and “other bribes” What matters is not how motivated one is, but how one is motivated. Large quantities of the wrong kind of motivation do not bode well for the goals […]
Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time by Margaret J. Wheatley consists of a number of essays which Meg has written over the years. Some of these are the best I have read about self-organization and team-orientation principles. She has strong arguments why the prevailing command-and-control mode of operation, where edicts are given from […]
Moments of Truth by Jan Carlzon is an English translation of a Swedish book whose title is “Riv Pyramiderna”, i.e., “Tear Down the Pyramids”. This book is about strategic leadership. The author’s thinking is more radical than the English title gives impression of. I will come back with further comments in Swedish.
Why We Do What We Do: Understanding Self-Motivation by Edward L. Deci, Richard Flast is recommended reading for managers, teachers, and parents. How you relate to your employees, students, or children have an enormous impact on performance, adjustment and morale. Empirical research shows that intrinsically motivated performance is superior to controlled performance. Furthermore, contexts that […]
Thomas W. Malone compares in The Future of Work centralized hierarchies, loose hierarchies, democracies and free markets from a business perspective. Tomas describes how the “new order of business” will shape organizations, management and our lives. His basic tenet is that decreasing communication costs influences/enables/drives organizational decentralization. The conclusion is that to be an effective manager it […]
Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business by David J. Anderson is recommended reading if you are interested in evolutionary improvement of software development. Part 1 of the book gives an introduction to Kanban. Part 2 explains the fundamentals such as limiting work in progress and continuous improvements. Part 3 goes in depth with […]
Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results by Mike Rother is a very interesting book. What I find particularly interesting is the view that an organization’s processes and practices are an outcome of people’s thinking and behavior. The traditional view is that you can control human behavior by defining the processes and […]