Tribal Warfare in Organizations: Turning Tribal Conflict into Negotiated Peace
by Peg C. Neuhauser
multipliers This is an older book but an interesting read on how different departments in an organization behave like tribes from an anthropological point of view. It suggests a way of identifying tribes, a framework for identifying thinking pattern types and some migrating skills for communicating with tribes that think differently. The tribes are also identified as sub-cultures so I believe it also provides some nice insights into organizational cultures.

 

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter
by Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown
multipliers I have been neglecting this page but the reading has not stopped! This book is a good read with the notion that you can either multiply the genius around you or be a diminisher. Diminishers build empires, believe in fixed intelligence and think there are only a few people worth listening to - they are where talent goes to die! On the other hand, being a multiplier is not touchy feely. It is about expecting the best from people, holding them accountable, attracting talent, building on talent and not imposing boundaries. I've recommended this book to a few people and they have seemed to enjoy it.

 

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

Drive

I actually listened to this latest book. I don’t often listen to books except to sleep but I downloaded a sample on my Kindle and then was so excited to read it. Knowing I had 8 hours of driving ahead of me though, I decided to listen instead.

This book is so relevant for managers of teams making the transition from Waterfall to Scrum; in their understanding of intrinsic motivation and giving up task management of the teams; in trusting that the people on the teams will be more motivated if they have autonomy of their work and we don’t have to push the tasks on to people.

Understanding how If Then rewards have the opposite effect in a lot of cases is something I knew before but now (thanks to this book) understand.

 

Teamwork Is an Individual Skill:
Getting Your Work Done When Sharing Responsibility
by Christopher M. Avery (Author), Meri Aaron Walker (Author), Erin O'Toole (Author)
teamwork I read this book on my Kindle and I think I highlighted every page. I love Christopher’s work on Responsibility and this book helped me think about the individuals on teams and what we need to do to create an environment where the team can learn to trust each other and thrive.

 

Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn

agile This was the first Agile book I bought and it really helped me. The biggest thing I got from it that coming from the waterfall world I was struggling with was relative sizing and how story points work. The importance of prioritization really hit home for me when I read this.

 

Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great
by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen

If you have been doing Scrum for more than a year and you are doing Retrospectives every sprint and you are still asking the same three questions then your teams are probably bored and you will be getting little value out of the meeting. This book is chock full of things you can do in different conditions to make the retrospective valuable.

Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers
by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown and James Macanufo

gamestorming If you are looking for new ideas for your Retrospectives or brainstorming meetings to engage everyone on the team this book has tons of ideas in it.

 

Collaboration Explained: Facilitation Skills for Software Project Leaders
by Jean Tabaka

collaboration As a Scum Master and as a Coach Facilitation skills are essential. This book is packed with tons of great information and I love the anecdotes. It is about collaboration of course but written in the software development context and so is completely relevant to those of us who work in this arena it even gives a step by step guide of how to go about hosting such meetings is different team situations.

First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently
by Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman

The title of this book calls to me as a change agent. It was very easy to read and full of thought provoking information. I find myself referring to it in conversations with leaders ever since I read it. This challenged me to think about talent versus skill, outcome versus control and playing to people’s strengths.

 

Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology
by David J. Anderson, Donald G Reinertsen

I could not make Scrum work in highly volatile environments such as maintenance; you have to fix the customer’s bug no matter how long it takes. Trying to commit to which bugs would get fixed in a sprint was killing the throughput because we were spending too long investigating the bug to commit to fixing it. I started to look into Kanban and this book helped me understand the complete picture and think about where else this would work well.

 

Leading with Cultural Intelligence: The New Secret to Success
by Livermore Ph.D., David
Having coached distributed teams in multiple countries including USA, Europe, China and India I have come to appreciate the need in this ever shrinking world to have Cultural Intelligence. This book brought clarity to some issues like the adherence to meeting times, hierarchies and the resistance to speak out. It helped me adapt my style so that I could create a more comfortable learning environment for teams in different cultures.

 

The Secrets of Facilitation:
The S.M.A.R.T. Guide to Getting Results With Groups
(Jossey-Bass Business & Management)

by Michael Wilkinson

I read this book on the way to China and by using some of the techniques or secrets in it I was able to have one of the most productive workshops I had ever had there. This is one of those books that you can keep dipping into for ideas.