Reading List

Here are some of the books we read to reach an understanding needed to create the RoundMap™ Whole System Business Framework, including Positive Inquiry™. We provided a short description and a link to the Amazon Book Store.


Now in a second edition, this classic book shows how to make conversations generative and productive rather than critical and destructive so people, organizations, and communities flourish.

We know conversations influence us, but we rarely stop to think about how much they impact our well-being and ability to thrive. This book is the first to show how Appreciative Inquiry—a widely used change method that focuses on identifying what’s working and building on it rather than just trying to fix what’s broken—can help us communicate more effectively and flourish in all areas of our lives.

By focusing on what we want to happen instead of what we want to avoid and asking questions to deepen understanding and increase possibilities, we expand creativity, improve productivity, and unleash potential at work and home. Jackie Stavros and Cheri Torres use real-life examples to illustrate how these practices and the underlying principles foster connection, innovation, and success.

This edition has been revised with new examples; updates on the latest supporting research in neuroscience, positive science, and positive psychology; and a discussion guide. It also features a new chapter on what the authors call tuning in: cultivating awareness of how our physical and mental state affects our perceptions, emotions, and thoughts as we engage in conversation.

This book teaches you how to use the practices and principles of Appreciative Inquiry to strengthen relationships, build effective teams, and generate possibilities for a future that works for everyone.

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Genarrativity, Future Forming Practices for Building Better Legacies tells the real story of an independent Dutch organization development (OD) consultant who, next to his already dynamic and purpose driven life, spent five years of PhD research into the concept of Organizational Generativity, aiming to contribute to an organization’s capability to create better futures for all its stakeholders. As a reader – manager, community leader, process consultant, OD scholar or PhD candidate – you are initiated into the unruly art of academic inquiry, and slightly become yourself a co-creator of the research being executed. Through personal cases, bits of peer-reviewed work, and new (un)frameworks, this book makes you understand and enhance the life of organizations and other communities in unexpected new ways. In a dialogical and immersive learning journey full of sudden surprises – as emergence requests – you are guided across various sources, wisdom, reflections, and practices urging you to learn and share the art of generativity yourself. Cees Hoogendijk promotes organizational and societal flourishing; he shows you the way.

“Countless times on back covers, I’ve read: “Every manager should read this book.” This book is one of the few I believe to be true. If you’re looking to proactively and intentionally create your organization’s future, instead of only passively preparing for whatever future may arrive, this book can be your guide.” ─Jeffrey Hicks, Ph.D.

“So much to appreciate in this work; the head spins with ideas. The work thus performs that which it attempts to describe. Deep appreciation for your efforts, Cees, stimulating as ever…” ─Kenneth J. Gergen, Ph.D.

“The way you, Cees, have been uncovering the depths of generativity in the previous chapters might demotivate, and challenge some of us to explore this concept as a potential way to make our organizations more human as your story must be read as a living document. A cathedral to which you constantly add new elements and ornaments to make it even more beautiful.” ─Joep C. de Jong

“This book comprises a quest for new human approaches to the flourishing continuation of existing human systems. If I could give out a Ph.D., Cees would have obtain Genarrative-Book-Cover-MockUp-scaled-e1674766182665[1] ed it already!” ─Prof. Dr. Celeste P.M. Wilderom

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Millions worldwide have read and embraced John Kotter’s change management and leadership ideas.

From the ill-fated dot-com bubble to unprecedented M&A activity to scandal, greed, and ultimately, recession—we’ve learned that widespread and difficult change is no longer the exception. It’s the rule. Now with a new preface, this refreshed edition of the global bestseller Leading Change is more relevant than ever.

John Kotter’s now-legendary eight-step process for managing change with positive results has become the foundation for leaders and organizations across the globe. By outlining the process every organization must go through to achieve its goals and by identifying where and how even top performers derail during the change process, Kotter provides a practical resource for leaders and managers charged with making change initiatives work. Leading Change is widely recognized as his seminal work and is an important precursor to his newer ideas on acceleration published in Harvard Business Review.

Needed more today than at any time in the past, this bestselling business book serves as both a visionary guide and practical toolkit on approaching the difficult yet crucial work of leading change in any type of organization. Reading this highly personal book is like spending a day with the world’s foremost expert on business leadership. You’re sure to walk away inspired—and armed with the tools you need to inspire others.

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A proven program for organizational change, illustrated with real-life examples from companies and community groups.

Dr. James D. Ludema is a Professor of Organization Development at Benedictine University, an internationally recognized organizational consultant, and a Founding Owner of Appreciative Inquiry Consulting. This global firm includes the world’s leading thinkers and practitioners of appreciative inquiry. Jim has lived and worked in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He has served as a consultant to a variety of organizations in the profit, non-profit, and government sectors, including BP-Amoco, McDonald’s, John Deere, Ameritech, Northern Telecom, Square D Company, Essef Corporation, Bell and Howell, Kaiser Permanente, World Vision, the City of Minneapolis, and many local and international NGOs.

Bernard J. Mohr is President/Managing Partner of The Synapse Group, Inc. (an international consultancy he founded in 1979 based in Portland, Maine, with associate offices in Boston, Washington, and Philadelphia). Mohr draws on more than 35 years of consulting in Organization Renewal and Transformation, Trans-cultural Partnerships, Organization (Re)Design, Change Leadership & High-Performance Organizations.

A leading practitioner and innovator in Appreciative Inquiry and Large Group Interactive methods (e.g., Open Space, Participative Design/Search Conferences, Whole Systems Design, etc.), he developed North America’s first advanced workshop in Appreciative Inquiry and the first Field Practicum in Appreciative Inquiry.

Diana Whitney, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized consultant, speaker, and thought leader on Appreciative Inquiry, Organizational Consciousness, and Spirit in Business. She is the President and Founder (along with David Cooperrider) of the Corporation for Positive Change – an international center for Appreciative Inquiry education and consultation. She serves as a founding Director of the Taos Institute – an international community of scholars and practitioners furthering social constructionist thought and practice in leadership, organization development, family therapy, and education.

Thomas J. Griffin is Director of Organization and Leadership Development for U.S. Cellular, the eighth largest wireless telecommunications company in the U.S. headquartered in Chicago, IL. Before U.S. Cellular, Tom performed similar work at SBC/Ameritech and Texas Instruments. He is pursuing his doctorate in Organization Development at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL. His research and dissertation interests are Large Group Interventions and Organizational Wholeness. Tom was a co-presenter at the First International Conference on Appreciative Inquiry: Accelerating Positive Change, presenting on “Designing an AI Summit Meeting for Your Organization.”

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Culture transformation expert Siobhan McHale defines culture simply: “It’s how things work around here.” The secret to the success or failure of any business boils down to its culture.

Business failures invariably stem from a culture problem, from disengaged employees to underserved customers. In The Insider’s Guide to Culture Change, acclaimed culture transformation expert and global executive Siobhan McHale shares her proven four-step process to demystifying culture transformation and starting down the path to positive change.

Many leaders and managers struggle to understand exactly what culture is and how pervasive its impact is. Some try to change the culture by publishing a statement of core values but soon find that no meaningful change happens.

Others try to unify the culture around shared goals that satisfy shareholders but find their efforts backfire as stressed employees throw their hands up because “leadership just doesn’t get it.” Others implement expensive new IT systems to bring about change, only to find that employees find “workarounds” and soon return to their old ways.

The Insider’s Guide to Culture Change walks readers through McHale’s four-step process to culture transformation, including how to:

  • Understand what “corporate culture” really is and how it impacts every aspect of the way your organization operates
  • Analyze where your culture is broken or not, adding maximum value
  • Unlock the power of reframing roles within your company to empower and engage your employees
  • Utilize proven methods and tools to break through deeply embedded patterns and change your company mind-set
  • Keep the momentum going by consolidating gains and maintaining your foot on the change accelerator

With The Insider’s Guide to Culture Change, watch your employees go from followers to change leaders who drive an agile culture that constantly outperforms.

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The Power of Appreciative Inquiry describes the internationally embraced approach to organizational change that dramatically improves performance by engaging people to study, discuss, and build upon what’s working – strengths – rather than trying to fix what’s not. Diana Whitney and Amanda Trosten-Bloom, pioneers in the development and practice of Appreciative Inquiry (AI), provide a menu of eight results-oriented applications and case examples from various organizations to illustrate Appreciative Inquiry in action. A how-to book, this is the most authoritative and accessible guide to the newest ideas and practices in Appreciative Inquiry since its inception in 1985.

The second edition includes new examples, tools, and tips for using AI to create an enduring capacity for positive change and a new chapter on award-winning community applications of Appreciative Inquiry.

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What began twenty years ago as a journey of exploration into the interplay between chaos, order, and the creative process culminates in this capstone work of Harrison Owen’s pioneering career. From the creator of Open Space Technology (OST), Wave Rider shows how to apply the fundamental principles of self-organization – the driving power behind OST’s immense success – not just to a single event but to the day-to-day management and leadership of organizations.

Owen proposes that all systems – our organizations and the cosmos – are fundamentally self-organizing. Control is ultimately an illusion, and attempts to assert it are a waste of time and can even be destructive. Suppose we want to have truly high-performing organizations, at some point. In that case, we need to set aside our preconceived goals and strategies, important as they are, and align ourselves and our work with the primal force of self-organization – learn how to ride that wave. To that end, Owen lays out eight concrete steps for becoming a successful Wave Rider, derived from the global experience of hundreds of thousands of Open Space events, with a clear focus on producing exceptional performance.

The book includes a real-life tale from a genuine Wave Rider, Dee Hock of VISA International, as well as an imagined account of a day in the life of a wave-riding manager to show how self-organizing principles can deal with specific functions like running a staff meeting, managing projects, motivating staff, and much more. Wave Rider is another exceptional contribution from one of the organizational development’s true innovators.

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From the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Team of Teams, a practical guide for leaders looking to make their organizations interconnected and unified amid sudden change.

Too often, companies have teams stuck in silos, pursuing goals and metrics in isolation. Their traditional autocratic structures create stability, scalability, and predictability – but in a world that demands rapid adaptation to a new reality, this traditional model simply doesn’t work.

In Team of Teams, retired four-star General Stanley McChrystal and former Navy SEAL Chris Fussell made a case for a new organizational model combining the agility, adaptability, and cohesion of a small team with the power and resources of a giant organization. Now, in One Mission, Fussell channels all his experiences, both military and corporate, into powerful strategies for unifying isolated and distrustful teams. This practical guide will help leaders in any field implement the Team of Teams approach to tear down their silos, improve collaboration, and avoid turf wars. By committing to one higher mission, organizations develop an overall capability far exceeding the sum of their parts.

From Silicon Valley software giant Intuit to a government agency on the plains of Oklahoma, organizations have used Fussell’s methods to unite their people around a single compelling vision, resulting in superior performance. One Mission will help you follow their example to a more agile and resilient future.

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Market volatility. Sustainability demands. Hybrid working. Opportunities and hazards of fast-changing technology and regulations. Companies and nonprofits face more daunting challenges than ever. How can we collaborate in our organizations—and with outside partners—to solve problems, innovate, and succeed?

Smarter Collaboration offers groundbreaking solutions. This indispensable new book lays out a pragmatic action plan blending rich stories, new empirical research, and loads of practical advice to help companies thrive by collaborating more effectively. As Harvard professor Heidi K. Gardner and senior executive Ivan A. Matviak show, firms that collaborate smarter consistently generate higher revenues and profits, boost innovation, strengthen client relationships, and attract and retain better talent. In this successor to Gardner’s bestselling first book, Smart Collaboration, the authors expand their mandate, illustrating the fundamental dynamics of collaborating well across industries like financial services, health care, biotech/pharma, consumer products, automotive, and technology.

Based on their research with thousands of executives worldwide, they share deep insights on implementing smarter collaboration and avoiding potential pitfalls. They also help leaders troubleshoot challenges like misaligned incentives, collaboration overload, and unintended consequences on diversity and inclusion. Complete with how-tos and cases, the book concludes with inspiring examples of groups harnessing smarter collaboration to tackle society’s biggest challenges, such as saving the oceans, eradicating diseases, and tackling global warming.

Smarter Collaboration is the essential guide for forward-thinking leaders to transform their organizations, reshape their work, and increase impact and success.

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From the New York Times bestselling author of My Share of the Task and Leaders, a manual for leaders looking to make their teams more adaptable, agile, and unified amid change.

When General Stanley McChrystal took command of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in 2004, he quickly realized that conventional military tactics were failing. Al Qaeda in Iraq was a decentralized network that could move quickly, strike ruthlessly, then seemingly vanish into the local population. The allied forces had a huge advantage in numbers, equipment, and training—but none of that seemed to matter. To defeat Al Qaeda, they must combine the power of the world’s mightiest military with the agility of the world’s most fearsome terrorist network. They would have to become a “team of teams”—faster, flatter, and more flexible than ever.

In Team of Teams, McChrystal and his colleagues show how the challenges they faced in Iraq can be rel­evant to countless businesses, nonprofits, and or­ganizations today. In periods of unprecedented crisis, leaders need practical management practices that can scale to thousands of people—and fast. By allowing small groups to experiment and share what they learn across the entire organiza­tion, teams can respond more quickly, communicate more freely, and make better and faster decisions.

Drawing on compelling examples—from NASA to hospital emergency rooms—Team of Teams makes a case for merging a large corporation’s power with a small team’s agility to transform any organization.

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A book about teams to help teams become more positive, united, and connected.

Worldwide bestseller ― the author of The Energy Bus and The Power of Positive Leadership shares the proven principles and practices that build great teams – and provides practical tools to help teams overcome negativity and enhance their culture, communication, connection, commitment, and performance.

Jon Gordon doesn’t just research the keys to great teams. He has personally worked with some of the most successful teams on the planet and keenly understands how and why they became great. In The Power of a Positive Team, Jon draws upon his unique team-building experience and conversations with some of the greatest teams in history to provide an essential framework filled with proven practices, to empower teams to work together more effectively and achieve superior results.

Utilizing examples from the writing team who created the hit show Billions, the National Champion Clemson Football team, the World Series contending Los Angeles Dodgers, The Miami Heat, and the greatest beach volleyball team of all time to Navy SEALs, Marching bands, Southwest Airlines, USC and UVA Tennis, Twitter, Apple, and Ford, Jon shares innovative strategies to transform a group of individuals into a united, positive and powerful team.

Jon not only infuses this book with the latest research, compelling stories, and strategies to maintain optimism through adversity… he also shares his best practices to transform negativity, build trust (through his favorite team-building exercises), and practical ways to have difficult conversations―all designed to make the team more positive, cohesive, stronger and better.

The Power of a Positive Team also provides a blueprint for addressing common pitfalls that cause teams to fail―including complaining, selfishness, inconsistency, complacency, and unaccountability―while offering solutions to enhance a team’s creativity, grit, innovation, and growth.

This book is meant for teams to read together. It’s written so that if you and your team read it together, you will understand the obstacles you will face and what you must do to become a great team. If you read it together, stay positive, and take action together, you will accomplish amazing things TOGETHER.

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Award-winning journalist Gillian Tett “applies her anthropologist’s lens to the problem of why so many organizations still suffer from a failure to communicate. It’s a profound idea, richly analyzed” (The Wall Street Journal), about how our tendency to create functional departments—silos—hinders our work.

The Silo Effect asks a basic question: why do humans working in modern institutions collectively act in ways that sometimes seem stupid? Why do normally clever people fail to see risks and opportunities that later seem blindingly obvious? As Daniel Kahnemann, the psychologist, put it, why are we sometimes so “blind to our blindness”?

Gillian Tett, “a first-rate journalist and a good storyteller” (The New York Times), answers these questions by plumbing her background as an anthropologist and her experience reporting on the financial crisis in 2008. In The Silo Effect, she shares eight different tales of the silo syndrome, spanning Bloomberg’s City Hall in New York, the Bank of England in London, Cleveland Clinic hospital in Ohio, UBS bank in Switzerland, Facebook in San Francisco, Sony in Tokyo, the BlueMountain hedge fund, and the Chicago police. Some of these narratives illustrate how foolishly people can behave when mastered by silos. Others, however, show how institutions and individuals can master their silos instead.

“Highly intelligent, enjoyable, and enlivened by vivid case studies….The Silo Effect is also genuinely important because Tett’s prescription for curing the pathological siloization of business and government is refreshingly unorthodox and, in my view, convincing” (Financial Times). This is “an enjoyable call to action for better integration within organizations” (Publishers Weekly).

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This distinguished Harvard Business School professor offers a compelling reassessment and defense of purpose as a management ethos, documenting the vast performance gains and social benefits possible when firms manage to get purpose right.

Few business topics have aroused more skepticism in recent years than the notion of corporate purpose and for good reason. Too many companies deploy purpose, or a reason for being, as a promotional vehicle to make themselves feel virtuous and to look good to the outside world. Some have only foggy ideas about what purpose is and conflate it with strategy and other concepts like “mission,” “vision,” and “values.” Even well-intentioned leaders don’t understand purpose’s full potential and engage half-heartedly and superficially with it. Outsiders spot this and become cynical about companies and the broader capitalist endeavor.

Having conducted extensive field research, Ranjay Gulati reveals the fatal mistakes leaders unwittingly make when attempting to implement a reason for being. Moreover, he shows how companies can embed purpose much more deeply than they currently do, delivering impressive performance benefits that reward customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, and communities. To get purpose right, leaders must fundamentally change how they execute it and how they conceive of and relate to it. They must practice what Gulati calls deep purpose, furthering each organization’s reason for being more intensely, thoughtfully, and comprehensively than ever before.

In this authoritative, accessible, and inspiring guide, Gulati takes readers inside some of the world’s most purposeful companies to understand the secrets to their successes. He explores how leaders can pursue purpose more deeply by:

  • navigating the inevitable tradeoffs more deliberately and effectively to balance between short- and long-term value;
  • building purpose more systematically into every key organizational function to mobilize stakeholders and enhance performance;
  • updating organizations to foster more autonomy and collaboration, which in turn allows individual employees to work more purposefully;
  • using powerful storytelling to communicate a reason for being, arousing emotions and building a community of inspired and committed stakeholders;
  • and building cultures that don’t merely support purpose but also allow employees to link the corporate purpose to their own personal reasons for being.

As Gulati argues, a deeper engagement with purpose is key to the well-being of individual companies and humanity’s future. With capitalism under siege and relatively low levels of trust in business, purpose can serve as a radically new operating system for the enterprise, enhancing performance while delivering meaningful benefits to society. It’s the kind of inspired thinking that businesses—and the rest of us—urgently need.

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In today’s fast-paced world of competitive workplaces and turbulent economic conditions, each of us is searching for effective tools to help us manage, adapt, and strike out ahead of the pack.

By now, emotional intelligence (EQ) needs little introduction—it’s no secret that EQ is critical to your success. But knowing what EQ is and how to use it to improve your life are very different things.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 delivers a step-by-step program for increasing your EQ via four core EQ skills that enable you to achieve your fullest potential:

  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Self-Management
  3. Social Awareness
  4. Relationship Management

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is a book with a single purpose—increasing your EQ. Here’s what people are saying about it:

“Emotional Intelligence 2.0 succinctly explains how to deal with emotions creatively and beneficially employ our intelligence.” —The Dalai Lama

“A fast read with compelling anecdotes and good context in which to understand and improve.” —Newsweek

“Gives abundant, practical findings and insights emphasizing how to develop EQ. Research shows convincingly that EQ is more important than IQ.” —Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“This book can drastically change how you think about success…read it twice.” —Patrick Lencioni, author, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

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World-renowned researcher Dr. Barbara Fredrickson gives you the lab-tested tools necessary to create a healthier, more vibrant, and flourishing life through a process she calls “the upward spiral.”

You’ll discover:

• What is positivity, and why it needs to be heartfelt to be effective
• The ten sometimes surprising forms of positivity
• Why positivity is more important than happiness
• That your sources of positivity are unique and how to tap into them
• How to calculate your current positivity ratio, track it, and improve it

With Positivity, you’ll learn to see new possibilities, bounce back from setbacks, connect with others, and become the best version of yourself.

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Wall Street Journal Bestseller

Thrive in the Digital Age: Digital transformations are everywhere: business to business, business to consumer, and even government to citizens. Digital transformation promises a bridge to a digital future where organizations can thrive with more fluid business models and processes. Less than 20% of organizations are getting digital transformations right. Still, these digitally transformed organizations can deliver twice as fast as other organizations, cut OPEX by over 30%, and have seen a near-immediate doubling in brand value. The power to act faster and do better than before sits at the heart of digitally transformed organizations.

In The Digital Helix, authors Michael Gale and Chris Aarons explain the specifics of digitally transforming your organization— from the role of the digital-explorer leader in using the information to empower the organization to move better and faster to shifts in sales, marketing, communications, and leadership, product development, and service and support. The Digital Helix is a practical guide to connecting all key functions. It includes guidance on developing a digital culture from the ground up—making it part of your company’s DNA—and the mindset tools needed to bring your organization into the digital-first age. Creating this digital-first DNA for your organization will allow you to embrace and thrive in the digital age.

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Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted globally, changing how companies are built, and new products are launched.

Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under extreme uncertainty. This is as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.

The Lean Startup approach fosters more capital-efficient companies and leverages human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning”, rapid scientific experimentation, and several counter-intuitive practices that shorten product-development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs – in companies of all sizes – a way to continuously test their vision, adapt, and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in an age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

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Management & Leadership

Business Model Generation is a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers striving to defy outmoded business models and design tomorrow’s enterprises. If your organization needs to adapt to harsh new realities, but you don’t yet have a strategy to get you out in front of your competitors, you need Business Model Generation.

Co-created by 470 “Business Model Canvas” practitioners from 45 countries, the book features a beautiful, highly visual, 4-color design that takes powerful strategic ideas and tools and makes them easy to implement in your organization. It explains the most common Business Model patterns based on concepts from leading business thinkers and helps you reinterpret them for your context. You will learn how to systematically understand, design, and implement a game-changing business model–or analyze and renovate an old one. Along the way, you’ll understand your customers, distribution channels, partners, revenue streams, costs, and core value proposition at a much deeper level.

Business Model Generation features practical innovation techniques today by leading consultants and companies worldwide, including 3M, Ericsson, Capgemini, and Deloitte. Designed for doers, it is for those ready to abandon outmoded thinking and embrace new models of value creation: for executives, consultants, entrepreneurs, and leaders of all organizations. If you’re ready to change the rules, you belong to “the business model generation!”

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The bible for bringing cutting-edge products to larger markets—now revised and updated with new insights into the realities of high-tech marketing.

In Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey A. Moore shows that in the Technology Adoption Life Cycle—which begins with innovators and moves to early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards—there is a vast chasm between the early adopters and the early majority. While early adopters are willing to sacrifice to be first, the early majority waits until they know that the technology offers productivity improvements. The challenge for innovators and marketers is narrowing this chasm and accelerating adoption across every segment.

This third edition brings Moore’s classic work up to date with dozens of new examples of successes and failures, new digital marketing strategies, and Moore’s most current insights and findings. He also includes two new appendices, the first connecting the ideas in Crossing the Chasm to work subsequently published in his Inside the Tornado, and the second presenting his recent groundbreaking work for technology adoption models for high-tech consumer markets.

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Built to Last, the defining management study of the ’90s showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning.

But what about companies that are not born with great DNA? How can good, mediocre, and even bad companies achieve enduring greatness? Are there those that convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? If so, what distinguishing characteristics cause a company to go from good to great?

Over five years, Jim Collins and his research team have analyzed the histories of 28 companies, discovering why some companies make the leap, and others don’t. The findings include:

  • Level 5 Leadership: A surprising style required for greatness
  • The Hedgehog Concept: Finding your three circles to transcend the curse of competence
  • A Culture of Discipline: The Alchemy of great results
  • Technology Accelerators: How good-to-great companies think differently about Technology
  • The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Why those who do frequent restructuring fail to make the leap

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The decline can be avoided. Decline can be detected. Decline can be reversed.

Amidst the desolate landscape of fallen great companies, Jim Collins wondered: How do the mighty fall? Can the decline be detected early and avoided? How far can a company fall before the path toward doom becomes inevitable and unshakable? How can companies reverse course?

In How the Mighty Fall, Collins confronts these questions, offering leaders the well-founded hope that they can learn how to stave off decline and reverse their course if they find themselves falling. Collins’ research project—more than four years in duration—uncovered five step-wise stages of decline:

Stage 1: Hubris Born of Success
Stage 2: Undisciplined Pursuit of More
Stage 3: Denial of Risk and Peril
Stage 4: Grasping for Salvation
Stage 5: Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death

By understanding these stages of decline, leaders can substantially reduce their chances of falling to the bottom. Great companies can stumble badly and recover.

Every institution, no matter how great, is vulnerable to decline. There is no law of nature that the most powerful will inevitably remain at the top. Anyone can fall, and most eventually do. But, as Collins’ research emphasizes, some companies recover—in some cases, coming back even stronger—even after having crashed into the depths of Stage 4.

Decline, it turns out, is largely self-inflicted, and the path to recovery lies largely within our own hands. We are not imprisoned by our circumstances, our history, or even our staggering defeats along the way. Hope always remains as long as we never get knocked out of the game. The mighty can fall, but they can often rise again.

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The “Greatest Business Book of All Time” (Bloomsbury UK), In Search of Excellence, has long been a must-have for the boardroom, business school, and bedside table.

Based on a study of forty-three of America’s best-run companies from diverse business sectors, In Search of Excellence describes eight basic principles of management — action-stimulating, people-oriented, profit-maximizing practices — that made these organizations successful.

Joining the HarperBusiness Essentials series, this phenomenal bestseller features a new Authors’ Note and reintroduces these vital principles in an accessible and practical way for today’s management reader.

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Top companies worldwide turn to Jonathan Byrnes to figure out where the profit is. He can show them which parts of their businesses are worth expanding and which are just a drain on resources. Most astonishing, he has found that roughly 40 percent of any new client’s business is unprofitable and that profit increases of 30 percent or more are within reach.

Byrnes reveals an uncomfortable truth: It’s possible, even easy, to have everyone in your company meet their sales targets and still lose money. He explains how to rethink your business for maximum profit. He also destroys harmful myths, such as:

  • Revenues are good, costs are bad
  • All customers should get the same great service
  • If everyone does his or her job well, the company will prosper

Every company has enormous potential waiting to be unleashed; this audiobook offers precise thinking and strategies to help every manager reach that potential.

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The way we manage organizations seems increasingly out of date. Survey after survey shows that most employees feel disengaged from their companies. The epidemic of organizational disillusionment goes way beyond Corporate America-teachers, doctors and nurses are leaving their professions in record numbers because the way we run schools and hospitals kills their vocation. Government agencies and nonprofits have a noble purpose, but working for these entities often feels soulless and lifeless. These organizations suffer from power games played at the top and powerlessness at lower levels, infighting and bureaucracy, endless meetings, and a seemingly never-ending succession of change and cost-cutting programs.

We long for soulful workplaces, authenticity, community, passion, and purpose deep inside. According to many progressive scholars, the solution lies in more enlightened management. But reality shows that this is not enough. In most cases, the system beats the individual-when managers or leaders go through an inner transformation, they leave their organizations because they no longer feel like putting up with a place that is inhospitable to the deeper longings of their soul.

We need more enlightened leaders and more: enlightened organizational structures and practices. But is there even such a thing? Can we conceive of enlightened organizations?

In this groundbreaking book, the author shows that every time humanity has shifted to a new stage of consciousness in the past, it has invented a whole new way to structure and run organizations, each time bringing extraordinary breakthroughs in collaboration. A new shift in consciousness is currently underway. Could it help us invent a radically more soulful and purposeful way to run our businesses and nonprofits, schools, and hospitals?

The pioneering organizations researched for this book have already “cracked the code.” Their founders have fundamentally questioned every management aspect and developed new organizational methods. Even though they operate in very different industries and geographies and do not know of each other’s experiments, the structures and practices they have developed are remarkably similar. It’s hard not to get excited about this finding: a new organizational model seems to be emerging and promises a soulful revolution in the workplace.

“Reinventing Organizations” describes in practical detail how organizations large and small can operate in this new paradigm. Leaders, founders, coaches, and consultants will find this work a joyful handbook full of insights, examples, and inspiring stories.

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The World has changed, and so has the NEW One Minute Manager. He’s adopted new ways to help you succeed sooner in this rapidly changing world. Millions of people in thousands of organizations worldwide have benefited from using the three One Minute Secrets; One-minute Goals, One Minute Praisings, and One Minute Redirects, the NEW third secret. This book will help you find meaning in your work and improve your life.

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We are not positive because life is easy. We are positive because life can be hard. You will face numerous obstacles, negativity, and tests as a leader. Sometimes, it seems as if everything in the world conspires against you, and your vision seems more like a fantasy than a reality. That’s why positive leadership is essential! Positive leadership is not about fake positivity. It is the real stuff that makes great leaders great. The research is clear. Being a positive leader is not just a nice way to lead. It’s the way to lead if you want to build a great culture, unite your organization in the face of adversity, develop a connected and committed team, and achieve excellence and superior results.

Since writing the mega best seller The Energy Bus, Jon Gordon has worked and consulted with leaders who have transformed their companies, organizations, and schools, won national championships, and are changing the world. He has also interviewed some of the greatest leaders of our time, researched many positive leaders throughout history, and discovered their paths to success. In this pioneering book, Jon Gordon shares what he has learned. He provides a comprehensive framework for positive leadership filled with proven principles, compelling stories, practical ideas, and practices to help anyone become a positive leader.

There is a power associated with positive leadership, and you can start benefiting yourself and your team with it today.

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A classic since its publication in 1954, The Practice of Management was the first book to examine management and being a manager as a separate responsibility. The Practice of Management created the discipline of modern management practices. Readable, fundamental, and basic, it remains an essential book for students, aspiring managers, and seasoned professionals.

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When CEOs think about the supply chain, it’s usually to cut costs. But the smartest leaders see supply chain and sourcing for what they can be: hidden tools for outperforming the competition. Upon returning to Apple in 1997, Steve Jobs focused on transforming the supply chain. He hired Tim Cook – and the company sped up the development of new products, getting them into consumers’ hands faster. The rest is history.

Once-leading companies are in trouble across a range of industries: Walmart, IBM, Pfizer, HP, and The Gap, to name a few. But others thrive. While competitors were shutting stores, Zara’s highly responsive supply chain made it the most valued company in the retail space and its founder, the richest man in Europe. The success of TJX, Amazon, Starbucks, and Airbus is fueled by supply chain and sourcing. Showcasing real solutions, The Supply Chain Revolution will:

  • Improve customer satisfaction and increase revenue
  • Make alliances more successful
  • Simplify and debottleneck the supply chain
  • Boost retail success by managing store investment
  • Drive excellence

Technology is disrupting business models. Strategies must change. The Supply Chain Revolution flips conventional thinking and offers a powerful way for companies to compete in challenging times.

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Having a clear, compelling vision and getting buy-in from your team is essential to effective leadership. How will you get there if you don’t know where you’re going? But how do you craft that vision? How do you get others on board? And how do you put that vision into practice at every level of your organization?

In The Vision-Driven Leader, New York Times best-selling author Michael Hyatt offers six tools for crafting an irresistible vision for your business, rallying your team around it, and distilling it into actionable plans that drive results. Based on Michael’s 40 years of experience as an entrepreneur and executive, backed by insights from organizational science and psychology and illustrated by case studies and stories from multiple industries, The Vision-Driven Leader takes you step-by-step from why to what and then how. Your business will never be the same.

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Lester Wunderman created the business known as direct marketing. He conceived and refined its basic strategies and gave it a name. Today, he is Chairman of Wunderman, Cato, Johnson, the largest direct marketing organization in the world, with billings over $1.5 billion and 65 offices in 36 countries. This is his own story, in his own words, of how he did it — how he sold everything from roses to Ford cars, from credit cards to coffee, using the direct marketing techniques he and his agency created; how he showed Time, Inc., how to market its magazines and Columbia Records how to become one of the largest and most sophisticated direct marketers in the world.

25 years before the Internet was conceived, in a now-famous speech delivered at MIT, Wunderman described the sales relationship of the future as “interactive.” In tomorrow’s electronic marketplace, the “interactive” techniques that Wunderman developed will account for most sales worldwide. Wunderman’s intimate first-person account provides a business roadmap to the future.

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The bible for bringing cutting-edge products to larger markets—now revised and updated with new insights into the realities of high-tech marketing

In Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey A. Moore shows that in the Technology Adoption Life Cycle—which begins with innovators and moves to early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards—there is a vast chasm between the early adopters and the early majority. While early adopters are willing to sacrifice to be first, the early majority waits until they know that the technology offers productivity improvements. The challenge for innovators and marketers is narrowing this chasm and accelerating adoption across every segment.

This third edition brings Moore’s classic work up to date with dozens of new examples of successes and failures, new digital marketing strategies, and Moore’s most current insights and findings. He also includes two new appendices, the first connecting the ideas in Crossing the Chasm to work subsequently published in his Inside the Tornado, and the second presenting his recent groundbreaking work for technology adoption models for high-tech consumer markets.

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Why do so many innovation projects fail? What are the root causes of failure? How can they be avoided?

Since 1991, Tony Ulwick has pioneered an innovation process that answers these questions. In 1999, Tony introduced Clayton Christensen to the idea that “people have underlying needs or processes in their lives that they are addressing in some way right now” – an insight to become the Jobs-to-Be-Done theory.

For 26 years, Ulwick and his company Strategyn have helped over 400 companies put Jobs-to-Be-Done Theory into practice, with a success rate of 86 percent, a five-fold improvement.

You will learn:

  • Why companies fail at innovation and how to avoid critical mistakes
  • How to employ the Jobs-to-Be-Done framework to categorize, define, capture, and prioritize customer needs, including the following: the core functional job-to-be-done and desired outcomes, related jobs, emotional and social jobs, consumption chain jobs, and financially desired outcomes.
  • A Jobs-to-be-Done growth strategy matrix to categorize, understand, and employ five growth strategies: differentiated, dominant, disruptive, discrete, and sustaining
  • Outcome-based segmentation
  • Outcome-driven innovation – the tested innovation process that ties customer-defined metrics to the customer’s job to be done
  • The language of Jobs-to-Be-Done – the syntax and lexicon of innovation

I call him the Deming of Innovation because, more than anyone else, Tony has turned innovation into a science,” says the father of modern marketing, Philip Kotler, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

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The 2022 edition (V8) of PR Smith’s popular SOSTAC® planning framework shows how to write the perfect plan. SOSTAC® can be learned in 3 minutes. The SOSTAC® Guide to your Perfect Digital Marketing Plan can be skimmed in 30 minutes and digested in detail in 3 hours. The new edition integrates digital developments such as AI, Big Data, IoT, and Marketing Automation, briefly mentioning VR and AR. This edition also introduces the integration of AI in marketing. It explores how AI and approaches to ethics are becoming part of risk management (including the ethical use of data), the re-emergence of Stakeholder Marketing, and a paragraph on how the strategy must solve your biggest challenge. So it’s bang up to date.

The SOSTAC® planning framework was voted in the Top 3 Marketing Models worldwide by voters in the Chartered Institute Of Marketing’s Centenary Poll. Linkedin, KPMG, Greenpeace, and many more blue-chips and start-ups have since adopted SOSTAC®. The book is written in easily digestible chunks so readers can dip in and out.

Who can use this book? The book is aimed at anyone involved in digital marketing, or marketing, or just interested in digital marketing. Readers can see how it all fits together. More advanced marketers use it as a ‘dip in & out’ (e.g., the digital marketing strategy chapter). In contrast, less experienced marketers benefit from all six chapters and the links to cutting-edge websites, digital tools, and videos.

The 6 Chapters: Situation Analysis (where are we now?) Objectives (where are we going?) Strategy (how do we get there?) Tactics (details of strategy incl. marketing mix) Actions (checklists, guides, systems & internal marketing) Control (how do we know if we are going to get there?)

Who is the author? PR Smith is the co-author of the hugely influential ‘Digital Marketing Excellence’ (with Dave Chaffey) 6th ed and several other marketing books, including the best-selling Marketing Communications text in its 7th ed.

This new SOSTAC® Guide has achieved more than 3,000 pre-sales. The book is now also available from Amazon, iBooks, other networks or

What Experts Say About This Book “Although most businesses are now doing digital marketing, nearly half don’t have a plan – that’s shocking! SOSTAC(r) gives you an awesomely simple framework to put that right.” Dave Chaffey, CEO Smart Insights “A really good easy-to-follow guide” Ged Carroll, Digital Director VP Europe, RacePoint Global “This is essential reading and an invaluable reference guide for any marketer who needs to create impressive, persuasive, and effective digital marketing plans.”

The SOSTAC® Certified Planners online portal is now open for those that want to become SOSTAC® Certified Planners.
Visit to register, download manuals drawn from this book, watch the videos, take the quizzes, and take the online, open-book, multiple-choice case study assessment. Upon attaining a minimum of 60%, the applicant receives a personalized SOSTAC® Certified Planner certificate. See (PR Smith’s personal website) for more visit

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Ten Skills for Agile Leadership

Our companies, communities, and planet are facing unprecedented challenges that a small group of people will not solve from a single entity. Today’s leaders need a set of tools specifically designed to harness the power of collaborative networks.

Strategic Doing introduces you to the new disciplines of agile strategy and collaborative leadership. You’ll learn how to design and guide complex collaborations by following a discipline of simple rules that you won’t find anywhere else.

  • Unleash the power of true collaboration
  • Learn and master the 10 skills of agile leadership
  • Apply individual skills to targeted situations
  • Introduces a new discipline of leadership strategy

Filled with compelling case studies, Strategic Doing outlines a new discipline of leadership strategy specifically designed for open, loosely-connected networks.

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Systems Thinking

The world has become increasingly networked and unpredictable. Decision-makers at all levels must manage the consequences of complexity every day. They must deal with unexpected problems, generate uncertainty, are characterized by interconnectivity, and spread across traditional boundaries. Simple solutions to complex problems are usually inadequate and risk exacerbating the original issues.

Leaders of international bodies such as the UN, OECD, UNESCO, and WHO — and major business, public sector, charitable, and professional organizations — have all declared that systems thinking is an essential leadership skill for managing the complexity of the economic, social and environmental issues that confront decision makers. Systems thinking must be implemented more generally and on a wider scale to address these issues.

An evaluation of different systems methodologies suggests that they concentrate on different aspects of complexity. To be in the best position to deal with complexity, decision-makers must understand the strengths and weaknesses of the various approaches and learn how to employ them. This is called critical systems thinking. Using over 25 case studies, the book offers an account of systems thinking development and major efforts to apply the approach in real-world interventions. Further, it encourages the widespread use of critical systems practice to ensure responsible leadership in a complex world.

The INCOSE Pioneer Award is presented to someone who, by their achievements in the engineering of systems, has contributed uniquely to major products or outcomes enhancing society or meeting its needs. The criteria may apply to a single outstanding outcome or a lifetime of significant achievements in effecting successful systems.

Comments on a previous version of the book:

Russ Ackoff: ‘The book is the best overview of the field I have seen.’

JP van Gigch: ‘Jackson does a masterful job. The book is lucid …well written and eminently readable’

Professional Manager (Journal of the Chartered Management Institute): ‘Provides an excellent guide and introduction to systems thinking for management students.’

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MORE THAN ONE MILLION COPIES IN PRINT • “One of the seminal management books of the past seventy-five years.”—Harvard Business Review

This revised edition of the bestselling classic is based on fifteen years of experience in putting Peter Senge’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 demonstrate the many ways that the core ideas of the Fifth Discipline, many of which seemed radical when first published, have become deeply integrated into people’s ways of seeing the world and their managerial practices.

Senge describes how companies can rid themselves of the learning blocks that threaten their productivity and success by adopting the strategies of learning organizations, in which new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, collective aspiration is set free, and people are continually learning how to create the results they truly desire.

Mastering the disciplines, Senge outlines in the book will:

• Reignite the spark of genuine learning driven by people focused on what truly matters to them
• Bridge teamwork into macro creativity
• Free you of confining assumptions and mindsets
• Teach you to see the forest and the trees
• End the struggle between work and personal time

This updated edition contains over one hundred pages of new material based on interviews with dozens of practitioners at companies such as BP, Unilever, Intel, Ford, HP, and Saudi Aramco and organizations such as Roca, Oxfam, and The World Bank.

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In the years following her role as the lead author of the international best seller, Limits to Growth – the first book to show the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet – Donella Meadows remained a pioneer of environmental and social analysis until her untimely death in 2001.

Thinking in Systems is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem-solving on scales ranging from personal to global. Edited by the Sustainability Institute’s Diana Wright, this essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing listeners how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life.

Some of the world’s biggest problems – war, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation – are essentially system failures. They cannot be solved by fixing one piece in isolation from the others, because even seemingly minor details have enormous power to undermine the best efforts of too-narrow thinking.

While listeners will learn the conceptual tools and systems thinking methods, the book’s heart is grander than the methodology. Donella Meadows was known as much for nurturing positive outcomes as she was for delving into the science behind global dilemmas. She reminds listeners to pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable, to stay humble, and to stay a learner.

In a world growing ever more complicated, crowded, and interdependent, Thinking in Systems helps listeners avoid confusion and helplessness, the first step toward finding proactive and effective solutions.

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