Time to Relax, Recharge and Refresh

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This is my last blog for 2014 and like so many I am going to be celebrating the Festive Season with family and friends. I am also going to take the opportunity to refresh and recharge the batteries in readiness for 2015. In those quiet times between celebrations I look to the pile of books that I have gathered during the year which I am still to read, finish reading, or want to reread.

Here are my top reads if you are looking for something to stimulate your thinking over the break.

Firms of Endearment: Raj Sisodia, Jag Sheth, David B Wolfe. My thanks to Shaun McCarthy from Human Synergistics for recommending this book. Disruptive change is part of life in the 21st century. Amongst ongoing change people are searching for higher meaning and purpose in their lives, not just more possessions. This book is about gaining share of heart, not just share of wallet. It’s about aligning stakeholder interests and building companies that leave the world a better place.

Start with Why: Simon Sinek. Some organisations are more inventive and successful than others and they are able to replicate their success again and again. Organisations have become preoccupied with what has to be done which really matters little if people in the organisation are unclear as to why they are doing it. Starting with why this book outlines the steps to inspire everyone to take action.

What Matters Now: Gary Hamel. This is an opportunity to rethink the fundamentals we have about leadership and management and what will determine whether or not organisations thrive. Hamel suggests what matters now can be found in five paramount issues Values, Innovation, Adaptability, Passion, and Ideology.

Why The Mighty Fall: Jim Collins. Mention Jim Collins and most people will immediately reply he wrote Good to Great. To his credit Collins has continued his research. In this book he explores and shares research about how mighty companies fall. He suggests early detection is possible and shows that companies can reverse the course of decline.

QF 32: Richard De Crespigny. Eighteen months ago I read this extraordinary account of how Captain Richard De Crespigny and his amazing crew averted what could have been one of the worst air disasters in Australian aviation history during a Qantas flight by bringing 469 people safely back to Singapore. It is a compelling story of leadership, management and teamwork. I intend to reread it over the break as the lessons are so powerful.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North: Richard Flanagan. This Man Booker Prize winner is for pure pleasure. Amongst the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Death Railway, a surgeon is haunted by his love affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that changes his life forever. Through his command and use of language Flanagan evokes some of the most amazing and at times disturbing imagery.

Have a wonderful Festive Season filled with peace, joy and laughter. I will be back early in 2015 to share more thoughts, ideas, and tips.

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