Good Reads Corner

Recommended Books & Articles for Leadership & Organizational Design

Leadership & Organizational Design Books


Based on the wildly popular commencement address, the art of asking (and answering) good questions by the former Dean of Harvard University's Graduate School of Education, Jim E. Ryan.

In Immunity to Change, authors Dr. Robert Kegan and Dr. Lisa Lahey show how our individual beliefs--along with the collective mind-sets in our organizations--combine to create a natural but powerful immunity to change.

From the authors of the #1 New York Times bestseller Designing Your Life (Bill Burnett and Dave Evans) comes a job-changing, outlook-changing, life-changing book that shows us how to transform our work lives and create our dream job, one that is engaged and meaningful, and helps us find happiness at work.

When fast-scaling startups and global organizations get stuck, they call Aaron Dignan. Dignan has found that nearly everyone, from Wall Street to Silicon Valley, points to the same frustrations: lack of trust, bottlenecks in decision making, siloed functions and teams, meeting and email overload, tiresome budgeting, short-term thinking, and more. Is there any hope for a solution? Haven't countless business gurus promised the answer, yet changed almost nothing about the way we work? That's because we fail to recognize that organizations aren't machines to be predicted and controlled. They're complex human systems full of potential waiting to be released.

In Brave New Work, you'll learn exactly how organizations are inventing a smarter, healthier, and more effective ways to work. Not through top down mandates, but through a groundswell of autonomy, trust, and transparency.

Drawing on years of experience training more than 10,000 busy managers from around the globe in practical, everyday coaching skills, Bungay Stanier reveals how to unlock your peoples' potential. He unpacks seven essential coaching questions to demonstrate how--by saying less and asking more--you can develop coaching methods that produce great results.

An Everyone Culture dives deep into the worlds of three leading companies that embody this breakthrough approach. It reveals the design principles, concrete practices, and underlying science at the heart of deliberately-developmental-organizations (DDOs)--from their disciplined approach to giving feedback, to how they use meetings, to the distinctive way that managers and leaders define their roles. The authors then show readers how to build this developmental culture in their own organizations.

In The Art of Gathering, Priya Parker argues that the gatherings in our lives are lackluster and unproductive--which they don't have to be. We rely too much on routine and the conventions of gatherings when we should focus on distinctiveness and the people involved. At a time when coming together is more important than ever, Parker sets forth a human-centered approach to gathering that will help everyone create meaningful, memorable experiences, large and small, for work and for play.

Drawing on her expertise as a facilitator of high-powered gatherings around the world, Parker takes us inside events of all kinds to show what works, what doesn't, and why. She investigates a wide array of gatherings--conferences, meetings, a courtroom, a flash-mob party, an Arab-Israeli summer camp--and explains how simple, specific changes can invigorate any group experience.

The Practice of Adaptive Leadership is a hands-on, practical guide containing stories, tools, diagrams, cases, and worksheets to help you develop your skills as an adaptive leader, able to take people outside their comfort zones and assess and address the toughest challenges.

What keeps us stuck in such patterns of the past? Theory U offers a rich diversity of compelling stories, examples, exercises, and practices that allow leaders, organizations, and larger systems to co-sense and co-shape the future that is wanting to emerge.

Four-time #1 New York Times bestselling author Brene Brown has spent the past two decades studying the emotions and experiences that give meaning to our lives, and the past seven years working with transformative leaders and teams spanning the globe. She found that leaders in organizations all ask the same question: How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders, and how do you embed the value of courage in your culture? In this book, Brown uses research, stories, and examples to answer this question.

This is a free workbook and companion guide to Brene Brown's Dare to Lead book that provides a glossary of key language, skills, tools, and practices.

War for Kindness - Building Empathy In A Fractured World

This book by Jamil Zaki, professor of psychology at Stanford University and the director of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab, uses tools from psychology and neuroscience to examine how empathy works and how people can learn to empathize more effectively.

Research proves that mishandled disappointments aren't just morale killers, they are institutional killers--diminishing organizational performance by 20 to 50%. Crucial Accountability teaches you how to deal with violated expectations in a way that solves the problem at hand without harming the relationship--and, in fact, even strengthens it.

Articles & Blogs


Hiding your quirks and opinions won't get you ahead. 'Badass' leaders bring their bold, authentic selves to work, without apology, says Harvard Business School researcher and professor Francesca Gino.

This website and blog offers articles, podcasts, and resources based off of timeless insights and ideas from the history of humanity that you can put into practice at work and home.

A 2018 article where Nature asked leadership experts what lessons other industries can offer to help scientists become more-effective PIs.

This HBR article discusses the key competencies behind emotional intelligence (EI). Even people with many apparent leadership strengths can stand to better understand those areas of EI where we have room to grow.

This NPR article and Invisibilia podcast episode examines the research and real-life case studies on how vulnerability within teams increases safety in high-risk work.

Research Articles About The Future of Work

Since hybrid work models became more prevalent during the pandemic, there is currently no specific literature or research related to the impact of onsite/offsite work methods and its impact to a research organization's effectiveness. In addition, many organizations are now adopting a hybrid approach which was not widely adopted prior to the pandemic. We expect to see more research and case studies related to this topic in the near future. In the meantime, here is a list of resources that supervisors/leaders may find useful.