I have read a bunch of interesting stuff while I have been looking at how we work together and the structures and cultures of our workplaces. I have also been co-facilitating a leadership program so that has introduced me to a lot of leadership theory as well as corporate leadership and innovation speak (hence the reference to the airport management books in the last post!)

I wanted to add a post to the things that I reckon are worth reading and orgs to check out.

ReWork by 37 Signals – an organisation that specialise in web based collaboration and communications systems for organisations. Has anyone used campfire or basecamp? Any thoughts? I enjoyed ReWork – it was poppy and somewhat flippant, but the ideas resonated. The two that stick with me the most are “Close enough is good enough” – just get going don’t plan til the end of time, just get on with it. And to not sit on difficult decisions, just make them now; they will still be hard in a weeks time.

Robyn Archer’s Detritus. Robyn Archer is an inspiring think and leader, what makes her even more inspiring is that she puts her thoughts in to action and curates innovative and interesting public events and festivals. She articulates the role of culture and the arts with such smarts it is joyous to listen to her speak and read her words.

5 Dysfunctions of a Team (I read the manga version!) Someone I met in Canberra told me about the ‘5 dysfunctions of a team’ and I found it revelatory; particularly the avoidance of conflict aspect. Many times when working in a facilitation role I had tried to steer things away from disagreements; I think this is one of the limits of the way I was approaching consensus decision making. Reading about this made me realise it is not about avoiding difference of opinion, but finding more mature ways to have conflict and big disagreements without it getting personal.

Power and Love – Adam Kahane. I am deeply inspired by the systems approach to complex problems that Reos Partners have developed and continue to experiment with internationally. I would love to work alongside one of their projects at some point. The simple idea that Power without Love is authoritarian and oppressive and that Love without Power is weak and anemic provides a rigorous basis for thinking about social change in a way that I really appreciate.

Smart Meme Re:Imagining Change Smart Meme are an activist communications strategy organisation based in the USA. They are dynamic and have such smarts about movement building, campaign strategy and training for changing the story around social issues. This book is a wonderful resource (you can buy hardcopy or download PDF).

Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewtyn Chronicles. For fabulously gripping post nuclear apocalyptic fantasy with a kick ass heroine I can’t really go past Obernewtyn. Great analysis of war, campaigns against discrimination and how to deal with your gifts and leadership.

I have also been listening to a bit of Tara Brach‘s podcasts on mindfullness – she comes at this with good humour and a calm that I really dig. This is a very new space for me to be exploring, but feel like there is some really interesting stuff to draw on here to temper my general adrenalin fueled approach to projects.

What about you, what reading has been floating your boat in these areas?

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