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15 great reads for OD practitioners, according to AOD’s associates and friends

Books to inspire you in 2020

27 January 2020

1. Andy Tilden (Skills for Care)

Inside the Nudge Unit: How small changes can make a big difference
by David Halpern

The reason I like behavioural economic theory is that I think it is a great accompaniment to large change and often reminds us that ‘it is the small things that matter.

2. Anna Lewis (AOD Associate):

Speak Up: Say what needs to be said and hear what needs to be heard
by Megan Reitz and John Higgins

A thought-provoking and practical read for anyone in a position of authority, about psychological safety and power dynamics, and specifically its relational or collective nature.

3. Christine Hamilton (AOD Associate):

Pause for Breath: Bringing the practices of mindfulness and dialogue to leadership conversations
by Amanda Ridings

Distils so much (complex) wisdom for our practice with groups, coachees and ourselves – making it doable and memorable.

4. Claire Harris (AOD Associate):

The Tao of Coaching: Boost Your Effectiveness at Work by Inspiring and Developing Those Around You
by Max Landsberg

It makes sense, you can dip into the chapter you are interested in and it’s great to recommend to managers and leaders who want to integrate coaching into their leadership and management practice.

5. Hilary Cotton (AOD Associate):

Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind
by Nancy Kline

The book on which I built my practice.

6. John Herring (Greater Manchester HSCP):

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
by Yuval Noah Harari

An accessible read which gives us a sense of the historical and current context in which we work. A combination of understanding of our social context, the science and ideas about the future are important in guiding how we work.

7. Jo Davidson (Mersey Care NHS Trust):

Organization Development: A Practitioner’s Guide for OD and HR
by Linda Holbeche and Mee-Yan Cheung-Judge

Reading this book for the first time was like ‘coming home’. Everyone I recruit gets a copy of this book. I apply it in practice every day, it is my battered, faithful bible.

8. Lynn Markiewicz (AOD Associate):

Deep Change &
Building the Bridge as You Walk on It
by Robert E Quinn

Both have steered me in my thinking about the leadership of organisational change.

9. Malcolm Evans (AOD Associate):

Scaling Leadership: Building Organizational Capability and Capacity to Create Outcomes that Matter Most
by Robert J. Anderson and William A. Adams

Why and how 80% of leaders don’t make much positive difference to the organisations they work in, but in comparison the most effective leaders multiply the value of their leadership. (Clue: it’s all about team working!).

10. Michael West (AOD Advisory Consultant):

Awakening Compassion at Work: The Quiet Power That Elevates People and Organizations
by Monica C. Worline and Jane E. Dutton

This is a practical and inspiring guide to creating compassionate workplaces by two of the leading scholars and practitioners in the world.

11. Michele White (AOD Associate):

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts
by Brené Brown

Why? Because it is Brené – a truly magnificent person and thought leader – just love her work!

12. Neil Taylor (Skills for Care):

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups
by Daniel Coyle

A very good read!

13. Penny Cortvriend (AOD Associate):

Positive Psychology In A Nutshell: The Science Of Happiness
by Ilona Boniwell

This is such a perfectly formed, concise book that contains a great evidence base as well as two chapters covering interventions and putting positive psychology into practice. I use it frequently when working with individuals and teams.

14. Sarah-Jane Dale (AOD):

Reading Book for Human Relations Training – 8th Edition NTL Institute
by Alfred L Cooke et al

Really powerful insight and learning supporting my own development journey in OD.

15. Steve Hearsum (AOD Associate):

Dancing at the Edge: Competence, Culture & Organisation in the 21st Century
by Maureen O’Hara and Graham Leicester

The best book I have read that integrates leadership, OD, change and digital age context.

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