Books worth reading

© Christian Monö Consulting

Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration

by Keith Sawyer Creativity has long been thought to be an individual gift, best pursued alone; schools, organizations, and whole industries are built on this idea. But what if the most common beliefs about how creativity works are wrong? Group Genius tears down some of the most popular myths about creativity, revealing that creativity is always collaborative-even when you’re alone. Sharing the results of his own acclaimed research on jazz groups, theater ensembles, and conversation analysis, Keith Sawyer shows us how to be more creative in collaborative group settings, how to change organizational dynamics for the better, and how to tap into our own reserves of creativity. CM NOTE: A very interesting book about the power of collaboration

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless

Organizations

by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom If you cut off a spider?s head, it dies; if you cut off a starfish?s leg it grows a new one, and that leg can grow into an entirely new starfish. Traditional top-down organizations are like spiders, but now starfish organizations are changing the face of business and the world. Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom have discovered some unexpected answers, gripping stories, and a tapestry of unlikely connections. The Starfish and the Spider explores what happens when starfish take on spiders and reveals how established companies and institutions, from IBM to Intuit to the U.S. government, are also learning how to incorporate starfish principles to achieve success. CM NOTE: Explains why leadersless organizations are more powerful than traditional, hierarchical organisations.

The Science Delusion

by Rupert Sheldrake The science delusion is the belief that science already understands the nature of reality. The fundamental questions are answered, leaving only the details to be filled in. In this book, Dr Rupert Sheldrake, one of the world's most innovative scientists, shows that science is being constricted by assumptions that have hardened into dogmas. The Science Delusion will radically change your view of what is possible. and give you new hope for the world. CM NOTE: A great reminder that science isn’t always objective - as is the case with leadership for example :)

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

by Susan Cain At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society. In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves. CM NOTE: A good reminder that everyone has something to offer in a collaboration - even us introverts.

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

by Roger Fisher and William L. Ury Since its original publication nearly thirty years ago, Getting to Yes has helped millions of people learn a better way to negotiate. One of the primary business texts of the modern era, it is based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, a group that deals with all levels of negotiation and conflict resolution. Getting to Yes offers a proven, step-by-step strategy for coming to mutually acceptable agreements in every sort of conflict. Thoroughly updated and revised, it offers readers a straight-forward, universally applicable method for negotiating personal and professional disputes without getting angry-or getting taken. CM NOTE: A great book that highlights the importance of identifying underlying interests when negotiating (and communicationg) with others.

The Wisdom of Crowds

by James Surowiecki In this fascinating book, New Yorker business columnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea: Large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant—better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future. With boundless erudition and in delightfully clear prose, Surowiecki ranges across fields as diverse as popular culture, psychology, ant biology, behavioral economics, artificial intelligence, military history, and politics to show how this simple idea offers important lessons for how we live our lives, select our leaders, run our companies, and think about our world. CM NOTE: A truly facinating book about the power of groups

Give and Take: Why helping others drives our success

by Adam Grant Named one of the best books of 2013 by Amazon, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal-- as well as one of Oprah's riveting reads, Fortune's must-read business books, and the Washington Post's books every leader should read. For generations, we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But today, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. It turns out that at work, most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return. Using his own pioneering research as Wharton's youngest tenured professor, Adam Grant shows that these styles have a surprising impact on success. Although some givers get exploited and burn out, the rest achieve extraordinary results across a wide range of industries. Combining cutting-edge evidence with captivating stories, Grant shows how one of America's best networkers developed his connections, why the creative genius behind one of the most popular shows in television history toiled for years in anonymity, how a basketball executive responsible for multiple draft busts transformed his franchise into a winner, and how we could have anticipated Enron's demise four years before the company collapsed-- without ever looking at a single number. CM NOTE: One of the best books I’ve read.

The Hidden Life of Trees: What they feel and how they communicate

by Peter Wholleben In The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific processes behind the wonders of which we are blissfully unaware. Much like human families, tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, and support them as they grow, sharing nutrients with those who are sick or struggling and creating an ecosystem that mitigates the impact of extremes of heat and cold for the whole group. As a result of such interactions, trees in a family or community are protected and can live to be very old. In contrast, solitary trees, like street kids, have a tough time of it and in most cases die much earlier than those in a group. Drawing on groundbreaking new discoveries, Wohlleben presents the science behind the secret and previously unknown life of trees and their communication abilities; he describes how these discoveries have informed his own practices in the forest around him. As he says, a happy forest is a healthy forest, and he believes that eco-friendly practices not only are economically sustainable but also benefit the health of our planet and the mental and physical health of all who live on Earth. CM NOTE: This book contains a great deal of interesting research that open up for a completely new perspective on how important collaboration is for survival, even among plants. 

The Academy: Making of a Ruler

by C.C. Monö Please note, this is a fiction novel “I want you to remember something, Mr Hallman,” she whispered. “At the Academy you’re always evaluated. Even when you least expect it.” Very little is known about the Eagle King’s Academy, but when 22 year-old Axel is admitted, he’s catapulted into a world filled with luxury, gruelling trainings, and dark secrets. In this world built on lies, ambition and pride, he’s primed to become one of the most influential and powerful leaders of his time. The only problem is - Axel never wanted to become a ruler. Nine years earlier, Sarah Wangai entered the prestigious academy with hopes of changing the world for the better. No one has heard of her since, but her story is eerily similar to Axel’s.  The road to leadership is dirty and treacherous. To graduate, students must be willing to sacrifice everything they hold dear. But Axel isn’t the only one at odds with the Academy. An enemy lurks in the shadows, and soon Axel finds himself caught in the crosshairs of a very sinister game of power. CM NOTE: www.ccmono.com for more information about this and up-coming books.