Organizational Culture and Leadership by Edgar H. Schein
Regarded as one of the most influential management books of all time, this fourth edition transforms the abstract concept of culture into a tool that can be used to better shape the dynamics of organization and change. This updated edition draws on a wide-range of contemporary research to redefine culture and demonstrate the crucial role leaders play in successfully applying the principles of culture to achieve their organizational goals.
Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World by Margaret J. Wheatley
Leadership and the New Science launched a revolution by demonstrating that ideas drawn from quantum physics, chaos theory, and molecular biology could improve organizational performance. Margaret Wheatley called for free-flowing information, individual empowerment, relationship networks, and organizational change that evolves organically – ideas that have become commonplace. Now Wheatley’s updated classic, based on her experiences with these ideas in a diverse number of organizations on five continents, is available in paperback.
Boards That Lead: When to Take Charge, When to Partner, and When to Stay Out of the Way by Ram Charan, Dennis Carey, Michael Useem
Is your firm’s board creating value—or destroying it?
Change is coming. Leadership at the top is being redefined as boards take a more active role in decisions that once belonged solely to the CEO. But for all the advantages of increased board engagement, it can create debilitating questions of authority and dangerous meddling in day-to-day operations. Directors need a new road map—for when to lead, when to partner, and when to stay out of the way.
Boardroom veterans Ram Charan, Dennis Carey, and Michael Useem advocate this new governance model—a sharp departure from what has been demanded by governance activists, raters, and regulators—and reveal the emerging practices that are defining shared leadership of directors and executives. Based on personal interviews and the authors’ broad and deep experience working with executives and directors from dozens of the world’s largest firms, including Apple, Boeing, Ford, Infosys, and Lenovo, Boards That Lead tells the inside story behind the successes and pitfalls of this new leadership model and explains how to:
• Define the central idea of the company
• Ensure that the right CEO is in place and potential successors are identified
• Recruit directors who add value
• Root out board dysfunction
• Select a board leader who deftly bridges the divide between management and the board
• Set a high bar on ethics and risk
With a total of eighteen checklists that will transform board directors from monitors to leaders, Charan, Carey, and Useem provide a smart and practical guide for business people everywhere—whether they occupy the boardroom or the C-suite.
The Opposable Mind: Winning Through Integrative Thinking by Roger Martin
Instead of focusing on what exceptional leaders do, we need to understand and emulate how they think. Successful business people engage in what Martin calls integrative thinking creatively resolving the tension in opposing models by forming entirely new and superior ones. Drawing on stories of leaders as diverse as AG Lafley of Procter & Gamble, Meg Whitman of eBay, Victoria Hale of the Institute for One World Health, and Nandan Nilekani of Infosys, Martin shows how integrative thinkers are relentlessly diagnosing and synthesizing by asking probing questions including: What are the causal relationships at work here? and What are the implied trade-offs?
Martin also presents a model for strengthening your integrative thinking skills by drawing on different kinds of knowledge including conceptual and experiential knowledge. Integrative thinking can be learned, and The Opposable Mind helps you master this vital skill.
Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential (Civil Society: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives) by Dan Pallotta
Pallotta TeamWorks was the for-profit brainchild behind several campaigns to raise funds for breast cancer and AIDS research and awareness, creating several nationwide, marathonlike events that raised millions. But its founder came under attack for violating the sacred premises of charitable organizations: low profile, low budget, and little or no profit. Pallotta turns on its head the assumption that charity and capitalism should be forever divided.
Don’t charitable causes deserve the same kind of competitive forces that work to get results in the for-profit sector? Wouldn’t social causes be better served if charitable organizations were headed by the kind of bright, aggressive executives that work in the for-profit sector? Pallotta traces the history of nonprofit organizations to Puritan notions of charity and self-denial. He also offers a detailed case study of TeamWorks and other trends in the nonprofit sector that only tweak around the edges of a system that is sorely in need of change if it is to deliver on its mission to improve social inequities or cure diseases. A passionate, thought-provoking look at the nonprofit sector. –Vanessa Bush