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Powerful leadership learning and current thinking on coaching

Welcome to our book reviews

Take a look at the books that have stood the test of time in leadership and coaching.  

You'll find reviews and author interview clips below.

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Bob Hughes, Forton Group CEO & Creator of the Leadership Book Club

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Book Reviews

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Risk Intelligence: Dylan Evans (Atlantic Books, 2012)

Risk Intelligence How to Live with Uncertainty Dylan Evans

When senior managers are polled about the greatest challenges that their organisations face, one of the issues that regularly achieves high scores is that of the quality of their people’s decision-making (others, like problem-solving and talent, also perennially appear in such lists). Evans’ book about a concept he terms risk intelligence is therefore something that should be of interest to all those in organisations seeking to gain competitive advantage through their people. As the recent financial crisis demonstrated, living with ambiguity has become a constant, and this book is subtitled “how to live with uncertainty.”

Evans – an eclectic author and academic with psychoanalysis, behavioural science and risk management under his belt – employs mathematics, psychology and his own experience to demonstrate how a risk-intelligence approach to business decision-making provides more balanced and predictable outcomes despite the uncertain environment in which we operate.

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  40 Hits
40 Hits

Brain Savvy HR: Jan Hills (Head, Heart + Brain; 2014)

Brain Savvy HR A Neuroscience Evidence Base Jan Hills

This formidable book has a lot going for it: it rides the crest of a number of waves that are very much ‘of the moment’. Its essence is the application of knowledge about neuroscience to the HR discipline, and it follows hard on the heels of some recent literary successes in the field of the brain and the way we process our thoughts and actions (one thinks of Steve Peters’ “The Chimp Paradox” and Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking Fast and Slow” as examples). Anyone enthused by these and other recent publications cannot fail to be interested in Hills’ recent addition to the genre.

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44 Hits

Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design: Lawrence G Boldt (Penguin-Arkana, 1999 revised edition)

Zen And the Art of Making a Living A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design Laurence Boldt

 

Choosing to review a book like “Zen and the Art of Making a Living” is an act of bravery, if not bravado: it is such a Big Book in every sense. I hope, therefore, that I can capture just a little of its essence in this c.900 word review without diminishing its value and gravitas.

In a world where sound-bites and wikis cater for our every information need, why would anyone want to read a large, challenging and discomfort-inducing tome (this last adjective refers to the disquiet that comes from having the basic tenets of modern life challenged)? – the answer is that this book makes you think; will make you feel slightly uncomfortable and will probably change your perspective on the world (of work particularly, if not the whole entity).

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  43 Hits
43 Hits

Strategic Talent Development: Janice Caplan (Kogan Page, 2013)

Strategic Talent Development Develop and Engage All Your People for Business Success Paperback Janice Caplan

Books on talent and people development are – for me – always likely to please, simply because of the importance of the subject. We should all be interested in personal development, shouldn’t we?!

This book is therefore the latest in a large number that tackles this subject. In truth, although talent is very much at its heart - as you'd expect from the title! - I think this is really a useful guide around the topics of organisational development and the management of change. Given that, it is practical and grounded in delivery; in the pursuit of excellent HR practice; even if it does not particularly say anything new.

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  46 Hits
46 Hits

The 31 practices - release the power of your organization's VALUES everyday: Alan Williams & Alison Whybrow (LID publishing, 2013)

The 31 practices release the power of your organizations VALUES everyday Alan Williams

 

This book has credibility, intrigue and is a window on the world we live in. This much we learn from the opening dedication - "we dedicate this book to the alchemy of relationships, curiosity and serendipity" - and the fact that the Forward is written by Richard Barrett. Indeed, it is Barrett who describes the text as an "encyclopaedia of understanding about what it takes to build the neural pathways of an organisation."

At the heart of its 31 chapters, the book is essentially about authenticity; about the shift from product-based reputation to service- and people-centric reputation ... as a former consumer-goods marketer and now occupational behaviourist, this is core-reading for me! And, it is about the 'how' of what we do at work, in support of all the normal goal-setting and performance-management tools and techniques already embedded in the organisation.

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  38 Hits
38 Hits