Reading…….

This list of some of the books I’ve enjoyed reading over the last few years is taken from my previous website. I deleted the list in an update and someone emailed to say it was useful would I pit to back – so here it is ………

The World Cafe, Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter, Juanita Brown and David Isaacs

Fierce Conversations, Susan Scott

The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins – Enjoyed this but also read Religion is not a Delusion, Peter Thompson, Guardian Saturday 11th August 2007.

The Experience Economy, B. Joseph Pine & James H. Gilmore – the progression is from products to services to experiences, believe it!

The Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb – It’s the unexpected that we should worry about. I love the message that we (as Tom Peters says) don’t plan, plan, plan – play, play play

The Laws of Simplicity, John Maeda – Beautifully simple. 

The Great Good Place, Ray Oldenburg – The original – Ray Oldenburg invented the idea of the Third Place that in thinking about libraries and the learning society over the years.

The Long Tail, How Endless Choice is Creating Unlimited Demand, Chris Anderson – Although this labours the point a little it does give food for thought about the deep socio-economic impact of new connected technologies and makes you think about the possible consequences for your industry. 

Presence, Exploring Profound Change In People, Organization and Society, Peter senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers – Like no other management book that I have read. Humanising and connecting are two key themes that made me reflect on how badly, in management generally, we do things now and how we could do it better. Well worth reading.

Dialogue and the art of thinking together, William Isaacs – This is an insightful book on communication that fits with curremt thinking on conversational learning. Great book.

Nanotechnology, A gentle introduction to the next big idea, Mark Ratner, Daniel Ratner – The coming thing (at least when I read it!) – well worth reading

How to Get Rich Quick, Felix Dennis – Well I thought I would but according to Dennis I’ve left it a bit too late! (Both reading the book and trying to get rich)

How Buildings Learn – What happens after they’re built, Stewart Brand – A great book that is really readable and full of useful insights.

The Clock of the Long Now, Stewart Brand – Covers some key ideas about preservation and the need to establish some degree of balance between speed and longevity, froth and substance, and the importance of cultural transmission into the future

Information Anxiety, R.S.Wurman – I read this ages ago. If you are worried about, or  perplexed or terrified by, the torrent of information we are subjected to then read this. It might help

Out of our Minds, Ken Robinson – critiques traditional educational provision and emphasises the importance of creativity


Making Sense of Strategy, Tony Manning – really concise great book on strategy.

Images of Organization, Gareth Morgan – Classic text on organisations.

Built to Last, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras – Great book on what makes organisations endure.

Good to Great, Jim Collins – Good is not good enough

Creative Destruction – From Built to Last to Built to Perform, Richard Foster and Sarah Caplan – Good on the balance between disruptive and constructive change

It’s Alive, Christopher Meyer & Stan Davis – Considers the convergence of Information (technology), Biology, and Business. Interesting and thought provoking.

Jamming. The Art and Discipline of Business Creativity – Great title with some good ideas and new perspectives.


Funky Business, Ridderstrale & Nordstrom – great ideas, good fun

Circle of Innovation, Tom Peters – I haven’t read much Tom Peters but this is a great fun book full of endless truth and sound advice.

Re-Imagine!, Tom Peters – and this builds on COI in some ways but has a much broader content. Great book with stimulating layout.

Leadership, inspire, liberate,achieve, Tom Peters – If you’re not doing it and can’t find time to go on that leadership course then read this – NO better still go on the course and read this or just read this – it’s short and angry.

Strategy Safari, Mintzberg, Ahlstrand, Lampel – Really good on the variety of ways of conceptualising strategy

Simplicity, The New Competitive Advantage, Bill Jensen – Simplicity, if only we could. Lots of practical advice.


Finding Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi – I really like the ideas in here


Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi – and here

Good Business, Leadership, Flow and the Making of Meaning, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi – and here applied to business

Creativity, Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi – and here in relation to creativity


The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton Christensen – insights into why organisations find innovation so difficult


Oversold and Underused, Larry Cuban – good critique of why we’ve failed with IT in education


The Flickering Mind, Todd Oppenheimer – highly critical of the use of computers in education

Personalizing Learning, Transforming Education for Every Child, John West-Burnham & Max Coates – I saw a glowing review and recommendation of this book by Tim Brighouse in the TES. It gives a great summary of the case for personalized learning and is good on IT in education too.


The Design of Everyday things, Donald A. Norman – Great book on the ubiquity of design and its importance

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, Richard P. Feynman – some of the thoughts, lectures and writings of Feynman. Full of useful insight.

Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell – I think everybody must have read this now. The way the book connects information and ideas is great.

Blink, Malcolm Gladwell –  I always thought I trusted my intuition too much but not according to Gladwell. Great to have the reassurance. 

Einstein’s Dreams, Alan Lightman – Great title. Explains some of Einstein’s ideas in a fun and understandable way.

The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz – All we hear about is more choice nowadays but apparently its not good for us. 

The Medici Effect, Frans Johansson – Majors on interdisciplinarity and in particular the greater chance of insight, innovation and discovery at the intersection of current knowledge domains. Well worth a read.

The Imagineering Way, Ideas to Ignite your Creativity, The Imagineers – The way it’s done at Disney. 

Six Thinking Hats, Edward De Bono – If you haven’t read this then do. It can give you the power of multiple perspectives.

Simplicity, Edward De Bono – He does simplicity simply.

New Thinking for the New Millennium, Edward De Bono – You need to read this.`

Breakpoint and Beyond, George Land and Beth Jarman – Emphasises the importance of being driven by your envisioned future rather than forensic examination of the past. 

Teacher Man, Frank McCourt – Another Tim Brighouse recommendation. Great human story on the trials and tribulations of teaching

Parallel Paths to Constructivism, Susan Pass – Examines the work and lives of Piaget and Vygotsky and compares their theories and beliefs

The Development and Education of the Mind, Howard Gardner – This is a career long collection of selected words by Gardner. If you’ve always wanted an insight into his theory of multiple intelligences and didn’t know what to read then this would do the job

Intelligence Reframed, Howard Gardner – This would also do and it extends some of the ideas into leadership and business

Metaphors We Live By, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson – Fascinating book about the power of metaphor and its centrality to our understanding

The Wisdom of Crowds, James Surowiecki – I always thought I knew better than the rest. Looks like I was wrong collectively everybody knows better than anyone.

Unleashing the Idea Virus, Seth Godin – What’s behind viral marketing. Good read.

The World Cafe, Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter, Juanita Brown and David Isaacs