Book Recommendations for Workplace Culture Vultures

I’ve seen a lot of book recommendations for Christmas lists but I feel the ones from military sites are usually quite “green”.

I thought I would offer some different options for those who are interested in people, organisational culture, innovation and learning.  The first 2 books are also available as Audiobooks if you prefer.

The one that will make you re-evaluate your priorities

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – Greg McKeown.

I was very kindly sent this book by someone who was giving me some individual coaching.  She happened to call me just as I had come out from the Doctor’s office where they had signed me off work for a week because I wasn’t coping very well. My coach sent this book next-day delivery knowing it was exactly what I needed. I completely related to the stories in this book and I devoured it in a day and a half. You can get an idea of content from the back of the book but as you can see from the photo I’ve got several sticky notes in my copy as I keep going back to it. It is easy to read and the concept of “Less but better” is one that can be equally applied at an individual level and to teams in the workplace.

The one that will remind you to value everyone’s input

Creativity, Inc. – Ed Catmull.

Disclaimer: I love Disney and Pixar so it was actually the cover that first caught my attention (then it was the photos inside).

This book remains one of my favourites.  It was easy to read but raises some really key messages about organisational culture. Pixar attributes its success largely to the open film viewings that ask all staff to offer critique (including the cleaners). Ed Catmull also highlights the importance of honest communication with the whole workforce about upcoming organisational challenges to ensure trust endures. Whether you like Disney/Pixar or not, this is a great book for those interested in workplace culture, creativity, innovation and valuing people.

The one that will make you rethink training

Educating Ruby: What our Children Really Need to Learn – Guy Claxton and Bill Lucas

This is not just a book for the educators. Whilst this book is largely a critique of our current education systems there are so many parallels to be drawn to how we teach and educate adults in the workplace. In an era of constant change it is difficult to predict exactly what skills we will need. This book therefore recommends that we focus on developing core skills that will allow people to thrive in most environments: confidence, curiosity, collaboration, communication, creativity, commitment and craftsmanship. If you have kids then this is definitely one for you.

The one that will reignite your fire for 2019

Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life – Ken Robinson

Disclaimer: I love Ken Robinson. If you prefer TED talks to books- look him up!

For me personally I have found a lot of inner strength and confidence from analysing my skills, aptitudes and values. I think this is largely what has given me the courage and belief to speak up, because I believe I have something to offer. It also gives me confidence to pursue the things I care about and create my own vision of success rather than the one I feel I inherited from societal beliefs.

It doesn’t have to be this book necessarily, but I would recommend thinking about who you are, who you want to be and how you want to contribute so that you can create a life where you thrive rather than survive.

There are a whole load of other books I could recommend, but these are the ones I can honestly say I’ve actually read all the way through. Unfortunately I have a very large collection of books that have not yet been read…top of the resolutions for 2019!