Books topic


Owen Easterwood is a performance coach with a rich Maori heritage that informs the central premise of this book, that in order to thrive we need a sense of belonging. A philosophy that was a strong influence on Gareth Southgate and the England Football team at the recent European Championships. invaluable for anyone interested in building strong teams and effective organizational cultures.

Belonging by Owen Eastwood

Owen Eastwood
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Leadership lessons from the All Blacks, New Zealand’s Rugby Team, statistically the most successful sports team in any sport ever.  Given that remarkable record there is much to pay attention to here as the All Blacks have found a way to institutionalize success, a system that is greater than any individual or coach.  Like similar successful organizations, the right culture, learning, humility and the pursuit of excellence at the heart of what they do.  Great read if your interested in teams and high performance regardless of any interest in rugby.


James Kerr
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Alex Pentland is a Professor & Director of the Human Dynamics Lab, which aims to use the collection and analysis of big data to better understand society in order to use social networks to address a range of social policy challenges.  This book is important for anyone interested in team performance because of the insights his research is providing into how the best teams communicate and develop ideas.

Social Physics How Good Ideas Spread

Alex Pentland
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The authors are both research academics and Harvard, the book looks at 3 companies who have developed a culture of individual learning and development which they see as intrinsic to their success as organizations.  Anyone interested in how to build a high performance culture at work should consider this essential reading.

An Everyone Culture

Robert Kegan & Lisa Laskow Lahey
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The story of how a team of engineers led by Adam Steltzner designed and built the technology to put the Mars Rover vehicle onto the surface of Mars as part of NASA’s Mars robotic exploration programme.  The complexity of the challenge is breathtaking and the team work required to make it work was world class.

The Right Kind of Crazy

Adam Steltzner & William Patrick
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New York Times best selling author of The Talent Code and a well known sports journalist.  This book brings together a fusion of research and applied examples from sports teams, business, public services and the military.  The book unpacks how groups create strong cultures on which outstanding performance can be built.

The Culture Code

Daniel Coyle
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Sports Psychologist Damien Hughes unpacks the key characteristics of Barcelona FC’s culture.  Undoubtedly one of the most consistently successful sports teams Barcelona particularly under the leadership of Pep Guardiola.  Extensively researched and illustrated through interviews and access to key players and management this is a great book for anyone who want to understand a winning culture and how leaders build and sustain this atmosphere.

The Barcelona Way

Damien Hughes
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Robert Townsend was a legendary CEO who transformed Avis into a global car rental giant. Not a new book, it was originally published and was a New York Times bestseller in 1970. However the fundamental focus on leadership and empowering people to get on with the work wont date and the hard nosed common sense approach is great.

Up the Organization

Robert Townsend
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Joost Minaar & Pim De Morree quit their corporate jobs disgusted and disillusioned with the soulless culture they experienced. In the belief there was a better way they founded the Corporate Rebels and set off on a global research trip to find, leaders, innovators, companies and organizations that though and behaved differently. The book is a summation of their work and does much to sign post the way to building organizations that are communities of human beings and not collections of human resources.

Corporate Rebels

Joost Minnaar & Pim De Morree
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This book is about innovation and ideas derived from groups outside of the mainstream economy.  Understanding how these groups think, organize, act and adapt provides plenty of food for thought for anyone interested in innovation, culture and adaptation.

The Misfit Economy

Alexa Clay & Kyra Maya Phillips
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Co-authored by Reed Hastings the founder and CEO of Netflix and Erin Myer a professor from the Insead Business school.  This excellent book is the story of the evolution and importance of Netflix culture and its importance to how Netflix operates and competes as a business.  Anyone who is interested in how cultures do and can shape the performance of a business will find this invaluable.

No Rules Rules

Reed Hastings & Erin Meyer
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