Category Archives: Book reviews

October 12

What you could learn from ‘The Decision Book’ by xzxx (2018, xxx pages)

      You can buy the Decision Book here on Amazon UK (all proceeds go to buy books and maintain this site, any extra will go to Veteran charities)

October 05

What you could learn from Barbra Minto’s The Pyramid Principle (2009, 172 pages)

Few books are required reading at McKinsey, the Pyramid Principle is one of the books that most people read during their time. Consulting and leadership are about convincing others to change.  While a leader often has positional authority, consultants do not.  McKinsey consultants found that Barbar’s framework helped them influence clients by building a well structured […]

September 28

What you could learn from ‘Thinking fast and slow’ by Daniel Kahneman (2012, 300 pages)

What is intuition?  How do humans think?  Are humans rational or irrational and can we predict them? In the past economist built models that assumed that human beings are perfectly rational (what behavioural scientists joking refer to as ‘Homo Economicus’).  Daniel Kahneman, a Noble Prize-winning author, showed that Homo Economicus does not exist and that […]

September 07

Leadership hack 026 – the three steps to mastery

“Learn to ski on piste before you ski off-piste” Army Ski Instructor   One of the biggest problems I face when teaching and coaching is that people often try to do too much too soon.  Without a mastery of the basics I find some of the following problems occur: Paralysis of decision-making.  When someone is […]

September 06

My top business of 2017

I try to read a book a week.  In 2017 I only managed to read 21, well short of my goal.  To be fair in 2017 I left McKinsey to put myself through a Coding Boot Camp and built a bank. Of the 21 books I did read, these are my top five: How Google […]

August 24

What you could learn from ‘Change by Design’ by Tim Brown (2009, 242 pages)

Customers are changing.  Brands and companies have repeatedly experienced shifts from consumption to participation.   Many products are now co-created with customers, be it choosing the fabric and colours on your next pair of trainers, or curating and sharing playlists on Spotify. Tim Brown in his book ‘Change by Design’ suggest that companies need to adapt by focusing […]

August 03

What you could learn from Scrum 101 by Lowe, Wyllie and Vara (2017, 126 pages)

Scrum 101 is a refreshingly clear, helpful guide to Scrum.  The book starts by explaining the Agile manifesto and principles directly and thankfully will little interpretation.  The book then situates Scrum within Agile by describing it as a framework for achieving the values and goal of Agile (a great description).  The book also outlines the […]

August 02

Leadership hack 027 – as a leader you need to change when the problem changes

We all know there are different types of problems.  Noble prize winners in physics solve different problems to firefighters rescuing people from a burning building.  David Snowdon attempted to categorise problems into four types of simple, complicated, complex and chaotic. Leaders need to adjust their approach based on the problem they face.  The first thing […]

July 27

What you could learn from ‘Agile at Scale’ this months HBR (May/Jun 18)

In brief analysis of the top articles in the most recent Harvard Business Review.

July 26

Leadership hack 023 – setting team norms helps your team perform after the honeymoon has ended

Building great teams is notoriously difficult.  Setting an agreed list of team norms can help teams become more productive faster. Teams take time and investment to become high-performing (see here).   The most challenging phase is what Tuckman called the ‘storming’ phase.  Once the team has formed and after the honeymoon period is over, team members soon get […]

July 23

What you could learn from ‘Beyond Measure’ by Margaret Heffernan (2015, 100 pages)

Creating a culture that allows constructive conflict to flourish will lead to better solutions, more value for customers and more value for your business.  In her book ‘Beyond Measure’ Margaret Hefferman suggest that there are many small changes to improve your company’s culture. Difference makes a difference.  Teams need to include people with differences in […]

July 19

What you could learn from ‘Drive’ By Daniel Pink (2009, 202 pages)

Few books lead to new organisational paradigms.  Daniel’s book ‘Drive’ and his theories on motivation have catapulted Netflix and Spotify to global success. Drive suggest that there is a gap between what research has shown increases motivation, and what business do.  Daniel indicates that the current motivation model (carrot and stick) is no longer suitable […]

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