All posts tagged: review

Book Cover Guide to Organisation Design by Naomi Stanford

Book Review: Guide to Organisation Design by Naomi Stanford

The Economist Guide to Organisation Design by Naomi Stanford is a very well written and documented handbook on Organisation Design. Its subtitle Creating high-performing and adaptable enterprises immediately hints at the focus the author gives to the book, which is not just a list of methods and tools, but rather gives direction on a sound methodology to design organisations. I cannot compare this second edition with the previous ones, but it is evident that there is an effort to have a contemporary view on the topic of organisational design, including most recent trends and ideas. This Guide is not meant to give all the tools that are needed for a practitioner to be able to actually perform an entire OIrg Design project but gives a very sound idea of the sequence of event. It turns to be the perfect tool to be used with managers especially before starting a change journey. As well as it is a very good tool for all those HR professionals that never had the chance to have formal training in …

Book Review: Agile People by Pia-Maria Thoren

Book Review: Agile People by Pia-Maria Thoren

Agile People by Pia-Maria Thoren is one of those books that you wonder why it wasn’t written already. It’s a straightforward book in the way it is written, full of easy to grasp concepts, concrete examples and real-life experiences. And while you read it, you really wonder why is HR not working this way already? This work is high on the experience of the author, a People Management consultant that has turned to Agile (and its various practices) to find concrete answers to the needs that HR has. And the book subtitle doesn’t leave anything out from the fact that what is being proposed is a radical approach. Agile is a way of moving forward and creating value. It’s a mentality that allows people and groups to meet challenges, learn quickly, and respond to change. It’s a different and new way of managing teams, individuals, projects, and development. Pia-Maria Thoren Agile People, page 16 Agile above all. The book talks of Agile, from its principle as a discipline up to its more recent developments. And then addresses several typical …

Book Cover of The Dark Side of Empathy by Fritz Breithaupt

Book Review: The Dark Sides of Empathy by Fritz Breithaupt

This book, for sure challenges a lot of common assumptions around Empathy and what pushes some of Human Behaviors. First thing first, this book is not against Empathy. The title is probably a bit “sensationalist” and written to drive curiosity. The author is clear from the introduction of the book that he wants to ensure that we understand why people also do “negative” things because of Empathy. Thus simply disconnecting the concept of Empathy linked to moral standards. Empathy makes us human and it would be naive to imagine we should just get rid of empathy, even if we could. Fritz Breithaupt, The Dark Sides of Empathy. A big part of the book is focused on some questions linked to the darkest sides of human history, where the author interrogates himself how it was possible that millions of people did not “empathize” with the victims of the Holocaust (just as an example). “Empathy is a riddle,” Breithaupt says. While it can enrich our lives, Breithaupt says our ability to identify with others’ feelings can also …

Book Cover of Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed

Book Review: Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed

Some books leave a mark when you read them, and I genuinely believe this is one of them. In this book, Matthew Syed is able to thoroughly revert a big part of Diversity Thinking moving away from being “a politically correct distraction, an issue of morality and social justice” and transforming it in a central notion for performance and Innovation. Not just in teams and organisations, but for the entire humankind. The book title: Rebel Ideas have immediately attracted me. Since the appearance of Gary Hamel’s book Leading the Revolution, I’ve found a way to reconcile my “rebel mindset” with the work within a large corporation. This book has given me once more a confirmation that I’m on the right path! Through compelling prose, well-sustained scientific research and many examples of really appropriate storytelling, the books examine how Diversity adds value in all of the human contexts, and especially in organisations. The way it demolishes the perception of “individual intelligence” and instead builds that of “collective intelligence” is staggering, and somewhat unsettling. The book moves by examining the concept of homophily, the …

Book Cover of Digital Transformation by Alessandro Braga

Book Review: Digital Transformation by Alessandro Braga

I tend to avoid Italian business books, as too often, their approach is very narrow in terms of thinking, or not useful in terms of business impact. But I do respect a lot the work of Talent Garden, and Italian start-up that focuses on creating co-working spaces, but also nurturing a healthy start-up environment and fostering Digital Education. So I was very interested in reading this short book, as one of the few focusing on Digital Transformation currently available in Italy. Alessandro Braga is presently the Chief Digital Officer of Talent Garden. I must say that I was a bit disappointed. The problem I see in this book, (and many more written by people working in start-up environments) is that they have a simplistic view of the world. And unfortunately this comes up from the structure of the book, well thought in terms of construction of the chapters, but weak of recipes replicable in a traditional organisation. The introduction, by Alessandro Rimassa, one of the cofounders of Talent Garden, is genuinely fully aligned with my thought process …