2020 Recommended Reading

Each year we suggest books which have informed our thinking and which support the major themes of the year’s retreat.

Deep Work by Cal Newport

Deep Work by Cal Newport is about the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits and Cal presents a rigorous training regimen, as a series of four “rules,” for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.

Amazon

The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek

The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek offers a framework for leading with an infinite mindset. Leaders who embrace an infinite mindset build stronger, more innovative, more inspiring organizations. Although we do not know the exact form this world will take, working toward it gives our work and our life meaning.

Amazon

The Dynamics of Developmental Change by Gervase Bushe

The Dynamics of Developmental Change by Gervase Bushe is a short (100 page) book that covers an example of dialogic organizational development through one organization. Each chapter begins by describing what took place in the case, followed by a commentary on the theory and perspectives behind the actions. Great for those new or experienced in creating developmental change.

Amazon


2019 Recommended Reading

Attending-Medicine

Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness, and Humanity by Dr. Ronald Epstein M.D. is an autobiography of a physician who is writing truthfully about what it means to be a mindful doctor in today’s world. He weaves together the science of medicine and the human relationship and holds them both equally. He also provides practical tips to use with patients that can improve patient outcomes as well as patient satisfaction.

Amazon

Aware Daniel Siegal

Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence by Daniel Siegel takes you through what awareness is and the steps to develop the skills to enhance your awareness and increase your ability to focus attention. He explores the science of attention, focus, and intention and explains how developing these skills can actually change the structure of your brain and the overall functioning of your body.

Amazon

Braving the Wilderness

Braving the Wilderness by Bréne Brown centers around bringing vulnerability to the workplace. Bréne describes this as expressing “true belonging.” More specifically, it is “…the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.”

Amazon

2018 Recommended Reading

Our top book, Everything is Workable, describes conflict as good news which can disrupt habitual patterns, invigorate us, and bring new learning.

Our second book, Braving the Wilderness, is about “true belonging” which Brene describes this as “…the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.”

Supporting Books for 2018

Conversational Intelligence puts together excellent frameworks for setting up productive co-created conversations in a structured way.

Principles describes one of the richest men on the planet and tells you in great detail the principles by which he built his success (spoiler alert: he spent twenty years building a rule base that helps him trade the markets, and then twenty years building a rule base that helps him manage people).

2017 Recommended Reading

This year, the main book is Outward Mindset by The Arbinger Institute. This forward looking book helps us reframe our thinking about the role of the leader: “Although leaders should provide a mission or context and point toward what is possible, what humble, good leaders also do is to help people see. When people see they are able to exercise all their human agency and initiative.

2016 Recommended Reading

The primary book we have chosen for 2016 is: The Positive Organization by Robert Quinn. It is a recent book that is both thought provoking and challenging. It will help us explore emerging models in organizational development and offers insights into ways to break free from conventional culture and constraints. Robert Quinn is a co-founder of Center for Positive Organizations.

2016 Supporting Books

We offer these books to you in the hope that you will find one or more of them interesting and thought provoking as you prepare for our time together. While we will not work with them specifically, they can give you a sense of how we are coming to the conversation. They will help to create a common language as we explore opportunities to influence in a culture that is continually in a state of flux.

2015 Recommended Reading

These books go along with the 2015 theme: Embracing Innovation and Change. 

2014 Recommended Reading