Book Reviews

Cultivation Primer from NFP Library

Cultivation-Primer is is an interesting ebook freely available from Nonprofit Library. It’s purpose is to help nonprofits build (cultivate) key relationships with grant funders. There’s some interesting narrative, worksheets and templates. Definitely worth a look. Source: Nonprofit Library Read more »

Published: April 5, 2018.

7 essential reads on negotiation

Want to improve your negotiation skills? Selin Kesebir, .Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School, offers her seven top books Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond by Deepak Malhotra and Max Bazerman Beyond Winning: Negotiating to Create Value in Deals and Disputes by Robert Mnookin Getting Past No: Negotiating With Difficult People by Roger Fisher and William Ury Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator by Gary Noesner How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Read more »

Published: July 5, 2017.

Eight must read books on strategy and entrepreneurship

Costas Markides, London Business School, suggests the top eight books on strategy and entrepreneurship. 1. Strategic Intuition: The Creative Spark in Human Achievement, by William Duggan (2013) This book is about how creativity happens. 2. Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics, by Richard Thaler (2016) Behaviour economics looks at how we make choices in the real world. 3. Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance, by Matthew Syed (2016) We all know that for innovation to happen, we need to accept mistakes and learn from failure. This book shows us how. 4. The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Read more »

Published: September 1, 2016.

Eight remarkable reads on decision-making

This is worth a look. One of the recurring issues I see with our cleints is either poor or underdeveloped decision making abilities, or a lack of confidence in their ability to make decisions. Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Life Decisions, by Hammond, Keeney, and Raiffa Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning, by Thomas H. Davenport Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis Big Data at Work: Dispelling the Myths, Uncovering the Opportunities, by Thomas H. Davenport Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Read more »

Published: June 9, 2016.

Eight must-read books on leadership

Interesting list of go to books on leadership from the London Business School. Authentic Leadership: Courage in Action by Robert W. Terry (1993) Servant Leadership by Robert Greenleaf (1977) The Art of War by Sun Tzu (5th century BC) Read more »

Published: February 4, 2016.

The Psychology of Fear in Organizations

Sheila Keegan, Kogan Page, ISBN 9780749472542 Reviewed by Deborah Ritchie, editor, CIR Magazine.  More at CIR Magazine. Here is a book for anyone interested in organisational improvements. The fascinating read explores the emotion of fear within organisations; how it arises, how it can be recognised and how we can deal with it. Author Sheila Keegan, a chartered psychologist with a doctorate in organisational change and management, examines how some work environments have become psychologically dangerous places. “We have moved on from the physical dangers that were inherent in the workplaces of the Industrial Revolution, but in some cases we have Read more »

Published: March 4, 2015.

Decoding leadership: What really matters

Here’s an excerpt from a recent (Jan 2015) McKinsey Quarter article on behaviours of effective leaders. It seems to me that the behaviours seem to be collaborative and supportive and less didactic or directive than one might assume is important in a leadership role. New research suggests that the secret to developing effective leaders is to encourage four types of behavior. Solving problems effectively. The process that precedes decision making is problem solving, when information is gathered, analyzed, and considered. This is deceptively difficult to get right, yet it is a key input into decision making for major issues (such Read more »

Published: January 6, 2015.

Businesses set to become more employee-centric with staff wellbeing a priority

Report The Future Workplace looks at evolution of the workplace over the next 15 years. It highlight four trends. Ageless: a workplace which allows ‘returnment’ (what a horrible word), encouraging older workers to remain or return to the workplace instead of retiring, and sees workers’ energised to continue to work until a later age because they want to, rather than have to Mindful: a workplace which nurtures mental health and encourages workers to recharge mentally and achieve balance in their busy hyper-connected, digital lifestyles Intuitive: a workplace that uses data and insight on its workers’ environment, mood, wants and needs to create Read more »

Published: October 13, 2014.

The importance of tacit knowledge

There’s an interesting article on Strategy-business I caught earlier today. Putting aside the sycophantic “Sales people are great” theme running throughout the narrative a couple of things struck me. The general gist of the article was that some information can be easily analysed and some can’t. This chimes pretty well with the social sector views on outputs, outcomes and social impact. Another point I took is that there is a difference between data (knowledge) and insight (wisdom). This is something I have been banging on about for years so perhaps I have read far too much into this. The fact I noticed this probably says Read more »

Published: May 1, 2014.

Are ‘economies of scale’ are achieved in the running of public services?

Locality, in partnership with Professor John Seddon of Vanguard, has published its ground-breaking research project challenging the assumption that ‘economies of scale’ are achieved in the running of public services. This infographic sums up the findings succinctly. For those of you who like to read your reports follow the link to the Locality website to download the report. Read more »

Published: March 20, 2014.

Review of Roads to Resilience: Building Dynamic Approaches to Risk, Cranfield School of Management

A report by Cranfield School of Management on behalf of Airmic and sponsored by Crawford, Lockton & PwC. This brief report is an interesting read, although a lot of it is self-evident, as is the case with most guides and reports. The general thrust is resilient organisations are agile and have a culture that allows them to manage risk effectively. Read more »

Published: January 29, 2014.

Review of “Leading Teams and Ensuring Success”

I recently read a report called Leading Teams and Ensuring Success, Rainer Niermeyer, Sponsored by Citrix. Most of the content covered is well known but the style is light, easy and engaging. As an introduction to a wide and complex topic it’s very accessible. Personally the most interesting takeaway for me was on team size and performance, from Page 10, The Ideal Team Size Too little or too much? Often the question of how large a team should ideally be cannot be accurately answered. If a team only reaches its goal to a limited extent, is it due to a lack of team members or are Read more »

Published: January 23, 2014.