Good Reads

You won’t find many books on this page. Those you do find have made the cut by proving their value in the real-world.
All have been reviewed for practical use and we believe they will benefit a wide range of Agile enthusiasts. Some we actively re-read for insights and reminders of what is possible. For the technically minded, some are deeper than others. However, please do not take our word for it. Go to the Amazon link and read live reviews to get a better idea of what the wider world thinks. After all, Agile is about collaboration…

Clicking on a BUY button does not commit you to a purchase, it will just take you to the book’s Amazon page, where you can find more info. As an Amazon Associate we may earn a small commission from purchases using the links on this site. This is at no extra cost to you.

Leadership

In a world where bookshelves are filled with Leadership guidance requiring sustained study, sometimes with good reason, Begin with WE has a an excellent method of getting straight to the point from any of the 10 WE principles.

All 10 can be safely outlined here without fear of Kyle McDowell missing out on a sale. These outlines are only a starting point. Trying to get the most out of these guidelines without understanding the supporting content would be like jumping in a power-boat with only oars to get you moving.

1 – WE do the right thing. Always.
2 – WE lead by example.
3 – WE say what we’re going to do. Then WE do it.
4 – WE take action.
5 – WE own our mistakes.
6 – WE pick each other up.
7 – WE measure ourselves by outcomes.
8 – WE challenge each other.
9 – WE embrace challenge.
10 – WE obsess over details.

Accelerate is the next stage in taking Kotter’s 8-step leadership guide into the digital era. In it, he demonstrates how business agility can be linked directly to your people at the coal-face.

Here, Kotter introduces us to 5 core principles that – in turn – link into no less than 8 accelerators any leader can use to obtain buy-in from any stakeholders. Even those you thought would never leave their comfy siloes.

For those familiar with Scaled Agile’s framework (SAFe), you’ll quickly recognise where the dual-operating system came from. Here’s a clue… Kotter. However, there’s a catch. Accelerate outlines the dual-operating system, and does it well using an analogy of the solar system revolving around a central point… but that’s where it stops. To fully understand HOW to implement a dual-operating system you’ll need additional guidance.

So, Accelerate is a good source to build your dynamic business agility on if you use it as part of a wider transformation or implementation plan. Luckily, Crack Agile provide a variety of training courses providing exactly that. They can be found on our Training page.

Ultimately, if you are a leader looking to evolve your teams into delivering faster than your current hierarchical organisation will permit… and maintain your hard-fought built-in quality along the way – This book is for you.

Before Accelerate came Leading Change.

Before we even turn to page 1, the penguined cover reminds us this book is linked to the later Kotter/Rathgeber fable-styled short book Our Iceberg is Melting, and it’s a good link too. If you understand Kotter’s now famous 8-steps from Iceberg, you’ll quickly translate this story into real-life as you flow through Leading Change.

Is it a bit messed-up to suggest a later book can influence your understanding of one that came almost 20 years earlier?… Well, yes. But what Iceberg did for those who didn’t think a leadership book had anything to do with them, quickly translates into a more in-depth understanding of Kotters 8-steps – in the original format.

If you are swithering on buying Leading Change… then don’t buy it. Go buy Our Iceberg is Melting instead.

What you’ll probably find is that after reading Iceberg – which you could easily do with a few spare hours and a cup of coffee – you’ll come back and buy Leading Change to see what else is possible.

Whichever one you choose to start with… you’ve made the right decision.

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