The Corrosion of Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism by Richard Sennett
In his 1972 classic, The Hidden Injuries of Class written with Jonathan Cobb, Richard Sennett interviewed a man he called Enrico, a hardworking janitor whose life was structured by a union pay schedule and given meaning by his sacrifices for the future. In this new book – which is a #1 bestseller in Germany – Sennett explores the contemporary scene characterized by Enrico’s son, Rico, whose life is more materially successful yet whose work lacks long-term commitments or loyalties.
On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes by Alexandra Horowitz
Alexandra Horowitz’s brilliant On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes shows us how to see the spectacle of the ordinary—to practice, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle put it, “the observation of trifles.” On Looking is structured around a series of eleven walks the author takes, mostly in her Manhattan neighborhood, with experts on a diverse range of subjects, including an urban sociologist, the well-known artist Maira Kalman, a geologist, a physician, and a sound designer. She also walks with a child and a dog to see the world as they perceive it. What they see, how they see it, and why most of us do not see the same things reveal the startling power of human attention and the cognitive aspects of what it means to be an expert observer.
As the million-plus readers of Inside of a Dog have discovered, Alexandra Horowitz is charmingly adept at explaining the mysteries of human perception. Trained as a cognitive scientist, she discovers a feast of fascinating detail, all explained with her generous humor and self-deprecating tone. On Looking presents the same engaging combination, this time in service to understanding how human beings encounter their daily worlds and each other.
Page by page, Horowitz shows how much more there is to see—if only we would really look. On Looking is nutrition for the considered life, serving as a provocative response to our relentlessly virtual consciousness. So turn off the phone and other electronic devices and be in the real world—where strangers communicate by geometry as they walk toward one another, where sounds reveal shadows, where posture can display humility, and the underside of a leaf unveils a Lilliputian universe—where, indeed, there are worlds within worlds within worlds.
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.
How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, Updated Edition by David Bornstein
What business entrepreneurs are to the economy, social entrepreneurs are to social change. They are, writes David Bornstein, the driven, creative individuals who question the status quo, exploit new opportunities, refuse to give up–and remake the world for the better. How to Change the World tells the fascinating stories of these remarkable individuals – many in the United States, others in countries from Brazil to Hungary – providing an In Search of Excellence for the nonprofit sector. These extraordinary stories highlight a massive transformation that is going largely unreported by the media: Around the world, the fastest-growing segment of society is the nonprofit sector, as millions of ordinary people – social entrepreneurs – are increasingly stepping in to solve the problems where governments and bureaucracies have failed. How to Change the World shows, as its title suggests, that with determination and innovation, even a single person can make a surprising difference.
The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization by Peter Senge
This revised edition of Peter Senge’s bestselling classic, The Fifth Discipline, is based on fifteen years of experience in putting the book’s ideas into practice. As Senge makes clear, in the long run the only sustainable competitive advantage is your organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition. The leadership stories in the book demonstrate the many ways that the core ideas in The Fifth Discipline, many of which seemed radical when first published in 1990, have become deeply integrated into people’s ways of seeing the world and their managerial practices.
In The Fifth Discipline, Senge describes how companies can rid themselves of the learning “disabilities” that threaten their productivity and success by adopting the strategies of learning organizations—ones in which new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, collective aspiration is set free, and people are continually learning how to create results they truly desire.