Recommended Books

Things are changing fast and often unpredictably, so how do you stay up-to-date with everything?

  • Step 1 is to surround yourself with a great network.
  • Step 2 is to read. Reading about what others know is really the best way to feed your curiosity. Unlike a degree or masters course, you can follow your interests creating your own ‘Change Diploma’ in whatever format suits you.

Your learning journey will be fantastically unique but to help you get going, here is a good set of resources relating to culture, people and behaviour change. Plus a few almost off-topic books to keep your creative juices alive.

If you find others you think should be added then drop me an email, I’d love to hear from you.

Books that will help you tell stories that people will remember…

The Tipping Point

Author : Malcolm Gladwell

An interesting book about why some ideas spread like ‘social epidemics’ when others don’t.

Made to Stick

Author : Chip & Dan Heath

A book that follows on well from The tipping Point on how to make your ideas sticky.  How to win over an audience and make sure they remember your ideas.

Start With Why

Author : Simon Sinek

Excellent advise about how leaders need to start with the ‘why’. (Quick cheat here –  if you are short of time then the essence of the book is in his ‘How great leaders inspire action’ TedX talk.)

The Pyramid Principle

Author : Barbara Minto

Not the most entertaining of books but excellent training on how to structure ideas so they ‘jump off the page’. If everyone read this book then we’d all get to the point much quicker.

Knowledge Is Beautiful

Author : David McCandless

A good coffee table book to open up your mind to the power of visual representation. After all a picture is worth a thousand words and infographics are very today’s language.

Dataclysm – Who We Are

Author : Christian Rudder

Stories told through data. Will make you think.

Books that will help you understand human behaviour (well as best we can)…

Thinking Fast & Slow

Author : Daniel Kahneman

“The renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics takes us on a ground breaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think.”

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness

Author : Thaler & Sunstein

The book that kicked off all the interest in Nudge theory and behavioural economics.  A great starting point with really strong early chapters.  Later sections are heavily public sector focused but still worth a read for principles it introduces.

Games People Play – The Psychology of Human Relationships

Author : Eric Berne

Transaction theory looking at how the we get locked in to patterns of behavior.  One of the early transactional analysis thinkers, don’t be put off by how psychology degree reading that sounds as it’s very digestible to people interested in people change.

Books that will help you with leadership…

Lean In – Women, Work and the Will to Lead

Author : Sheryl Sandberg

It’s amazing how many women I’ve told to read this book to help persuade them to take a seat at the table. This book isn’t just a feminist book; it’s a book about the choices Sheryl made to get where she is. Fabulous read.

Mindset : Changing the Way You Think to Fulfil Your Potential

Author : Carol Dweck

This is the second most recommended-by-me book on my list and talks about how we all need to move from a fixed to a growth mindset.


Author : Liz Wiseman

How the best leaders make everyone smarter.

Books that will help you with Organisational Change…

The Lean Startup

Author : Eric Ries

You have to be agile these days and this is probably the most talked about book on it.

Lean Enterprise

Author : Jez Humble, Joanne Moleskin & Barry O’Reilly

How high performance organisations innovate at scale.  Really good common sense about how to apply agile principle to organisational change.

Designing Dynamic Organisations

Author : Jay Galbraith, Diane Downey & Amy Kates

The nearest I get to a handbook in this list. Guide to Org Design with a nice toolkit of stuff.


Author : Michael Mankins & Eric Garton

Talks about the importance of human capital and how much productivity is lost in a business through meeting and email practices (amongst others). If you don’t have time to read it, listen to this podcast

The Startup Way

Author : Eric Reis

The revolutionary way of working that will change how companies thrive and grow. The follow-up book to The Lean Startup.

Books that will help you with personal branding or just being the best you can.

Stand Out

Author : Dorie Clark

How to find your breakthrough idea and build a following around it.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Author : Stephen Covey

An older but good common sense way to approach life and change.  In summary; 1. Be proactive, 2. Begin with the end in mind, 3. Put first things first, 4. Think win-win, 5. Seek first to understand then to be understood, 6. Synergise, 7. Sharpen the saw.

The Start-up of You

Author : Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha

A great little read if you are thinking of going it alone.

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