Reading

Reading is an important part of what I do. These days less for knowledge, more for challenge and insight.

Here’s what I’m reading this month – updated as we go through the month.

June 20

The View Through the Medicine Wheel. Leo Rutherford. I’ve long found the challenge to my puzzler trained mind of shamanic wisdom productive. This well written book is a pleasure, and in parts could as easily be an introduction to Quantum thinking.

The Square and the Tower. Niall Ferguson. I’m re-reading this excellent book on networks, hierarchies and the quest for power because it seems to speak to our current situation and puts them in context. We have been here before.

Conversational Intelligence. Judith Glaser. Just starting this, inspired by an excellent presentation at the conference, and my increasing conviction is that our loss of skill in “non business” conversation is at the root of many of the challenges we face.

The Opposable Mind. Roger Martin. Another one I’m rereading. How to harness opposites. “The ability to face constructively the tension of opposing ideas and, instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, generate a creative resolution of the tension in the form of a new idea that contains elements of the opposing ideas but is superior to each”

Awakening the Heroes Within. Carol Pearson. I find archetypes a good way of thinking about the forces present in change. This is a good overview.

Trickster makes this world. Lewis Hyde. A closer look at the trickster – the archetype of sudden, disruptive change. Seems approporiate.

May 20

Overheating. Thomas Tylland Ericsson.

April 20

Authentic Swing. Steven Pressfield. A reflection on the writing off his first published book “ the legend of Bagger Vance”. An hours read with many insights on the disciplines, pleasures and pains of working for yourself.

Who do we choose to be?. Margaret Wheatley. About rethinking what we’re doing as leaders, and entertaining the possibility of better.

Transcend. Scott Barry Kaufmann. Rethinking Maslow for the modern era.

The Alchemist. Paulo Coelho. Because it’s one of my favourite ever books in times of uncertainty.

March 20

Radical Uncertainty. Mervyn King and John Kay. An entertaining and thought provoking book on the nature of uncertainty. Written (just) before Covid, they had pretty good timing.

Chaos Imperative. Ori Brafman. A compelling look at how we can handle what appears chaotic, with great examples from multiple areas. Serious reading.

Future of Coaching. Eti Heinzig. A long overdue and provocative examination of coaching. Coaching has gone mainstream, but from being an almost insurgent occupation thirty years ago, much of it has not native, and supports the way we work instrad of challenging it. This is a good read for anybody who includes coaching in their portfolio of skills.

February 20

Uncharted. Margaret Heffernan. A beautifully written and provocative challenge to our relationship with technology.

A world without work. Daniel Susskind. A thought provoking examination of the real impact of machine learning and artificial intelligence. will you be enabled, or replaced?

Learning from the Octopus. Rafe Sagarin. Notionally, a look at what we can learn about security from biology. Much more than that. I love this book.

Cognitive Dominance. Mark McLoughlin. A neurosurgeon who found himself blinded by fear writing about it. Humbling, and maybe the most important book I’ve read for insight in the last twelve months.


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