What are the Executive Team reading?


Own Your Culture


Culture expert Bretton Putter teaches the importance of company culture and offers leaders clarity on how to identify and manage it.

Having a strong, functional company culture is important—so why don’t more leaders invest in it? Simple: they don’t know where to start.

Culture is mostly invisible, subconscious, and intangible, so issues build up over time and often go unnoticed by leadership.

In Own Your Culture, Bretton Putter peels back the layers of company culture and provides leaders with actionable steps and tools they can use to define and embed it in their companies, based on more than 50 interviews with leaders around the world.




No Rules Rules

Netflix cofounder Reed Hastings reveals the unorthodox culture behind one of the world's most innovative, imaginative, and successful companies.

There has never before been a company like Netflix. It has led nothing short of a revolution in the entertainment industries, generating billions of dollars in annual revenue while capturing the imaginations of hundreds of millions of people in over 190 countries. But to reach these great heights, Netflix, which launched in 1998 as an online DVD rental service, has had to reinvent itself over and over again. This type of unprecedented flexibility would have been impossible without the counterintuitive and radical management principles that cofounder Reed Hastings established from the very beginning.

Here for the first time, Hastings and Erin Meyer, bestselling author of The Culture Map and one of the world's most influential business thinkers, dive deep into the controversial ideologies at the heart of the Netflix psyche, which have generated results that are the envy of the business world. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with current and past Netflix employees from around the globe and never-before-told stories of trial and error from Hastings's own career, No Rules Rules is the fascinating and untold account of the philosophy behind one of the world's most innovative, imaginative, and successful companies.


Head, Hand, Heart.

The coronavirus pandemic taught us something we ought already to have known: that care workers, supermarket shelf-stackers, delivery drivers and cleaners are doing essential work that keeps us all alive, fed and cared for. Until recently much of this work was regarded as menial by the the same society that now lauds them as 'key workers'. Why are they so undervalued?

In this timely and original analysis, David Goodhart divides human aptitudes into three: Head (cognitive), Hand (manual and craft) and Heart (caring, emotional). It's common sense that a good society needs to recognise the value of all three, but in recent decades they have got badly out of kilter. Cognitive ability has become the gold standard of human esteem. The cognitive class now shapes society largely in its own interests, by prioritizing the knowledge economy, ever-expanding higher education and shaping the very idea of a successful life. To put it bluntly: smart people have become too powerful.

Head, Hand, Heart tells the story of the cognitive takeover that has gathered pace over the past forty years. As recently as the 1970s most people left school without qualifications, but now 40 per cent of all jobs are graduate-only. A good society must re-imagine the meaning of skilled work, so that people who work with their hands and hearts are valued alongside workers who manipulate data. Our societies need to spread status more widely, and provide meaning and value for people who cannot, or do not want to, achieve in the classroom and the professions. This is the story of the central struggle for status and dignity in the twenty-first century.

Legacy

Champions do extra.
They sweep the sheds.
They follow the spearhead.
They keep a blue head.

The Evolve Trust Executive Team has just embarked on reading this latest book, Legacy, in which best-selling author James Kerr goes deep into the heart of the world’s most successful sporting team, the legendary All Blacks of New Zealand, to reveal 15 powerful and practical lessons for leadership and business.

Legacy is a unique, inspiring handbook for leaders in all fields, and asks: What are the secrets of success – sustained success? How do you achieve world-class standards, day after day, week after week, year after year? How do you handle pressure? How do you train to win at the highest level? What do you leave behind you after you’re gone?

What will be your legacy?




An Everyone Culture

An Everyone Culture is a team effort based on three detailed organisational cases, identified as “deliberately developmental organisations” and describes their work environment, relationships and how they engage employees in both growth and the organisational agenda. These organisations create “a culture in which people see their mistakes not as vulnerabilities but as prime opportunities for growth.”

While deliberately development organisations are currently outliers, and the three cases have created different cultures, strategies and tactics, the book inspires coaches to experiment with novel and diverse paths that could cultivate personal, professional, and cultural growth. Just what we are good at!

Description from Harvard Business Review Press

A Radical New Model for Unleashing Your Company's Potential. In most organisations nearly everyone is doing a second job no one is paying them for--namely, covering their weaknesses, trying to look their best, and managing other people's impressions of them. There may be no greater waste of a company's resources. The ultimate cost: neither the organisation nor its people are able to realise their full potential. What if a company did everything in its power to create a culture in which everyone - not just select "high potentials"--could overcome their own internal barriers to change and use errors and vulnerabilities as prime opportunities for personal and company growth? Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey (and their collaborators) have found and studied such companies - Deliberately Developmental Organisations.

A DDO is organised around the simple but radical conviction that organisations will best prosper when they are more deeply aligned with people's strongest motive, which is to grow. This means going beyond consigning "people development" to high-potential programs, executive coaching, or once-a-year off-sites. It means fashioning an organisational culture in which support of people's development is woven into the daily fabric of working life and the company's regular operations, daily routines, and conversations. "An Everyone Culture" dives deep into the worlds of three leading companies that embody this breakthrough approach. It reveals the design principles, concrete practices, and underlying science at the heart of DDOs--from their disciplined approach to giving feedback, to how they use meetings, to the distinctive way that managers and leaders define their roles. The authors then show readers how to build this developmental culture in their own organisations. This book demonstrates a whole new way of being at work. It suggests that the culture you create is your strategy--and that the key to success is developing everyone.

Infinite Games

Are you playing the Infinite Game?

In The Infinite Game, Simon Sinek uses game theory to explore how great businesses achieve long-lasting success.

In life there are finite and infinite games. Finite games have set rules, players and a start and finish line. Infinite games are games in which the rules and parameters can change every minute, with no finish line in sight. As Simon explains, business, and so many other areas of life, are infinite games. When players look only for wins in the short term - be it to exit strategies, austere spending targets or arbitrary performance metrics, the player inevitably loses.

With this graspable yet overarching observation, Simon disassembles some of the most famous successes and failures in business, conflict and politics of the last 100 years. He outlines how the only way to build truly long-term value, enduring growth and dedicated, motivated people, is by playing with an infinite mindset- by playing The Infinite Game.


Dare To Lead

Leadership is not about titles, status and power over people. Leaders are people who hold themselves accountable for recognising the potential in people and ideas, and developing that potential. This is a book for everyone who is ready to choose courage over comfort, make a difference and lead.

When we dare to lead, we don't pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don't see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it and work to align authority and accountability. We don't avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into the vulnerability that’s necessary to do good work.

But daring leadership in a culture that's defined by scarcity, fear and uncertainty requires building courage skills, which are uniquely human. The irony is that we're choosing not to invest in developing the hearts and minds of leaders at the same time we're scrambling to figure out what we have to offer that machines can't do better and faster. What can we do better? Empathy, connection and courage to start.

Brené Brown spent the past two decades researching the emotions that give meaning to our lives. Over the past seven years, she found that leaders in organisations ranging from small entrepreneurial start-ups and family-owned businesses to non-profits, civic organisations and Fortune 50 companies, are asking the same questions:

How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders? And, how do you embed the value of courage in your culture?

Dare to Lead answers these questions and gives us actionable strategies and real examples from her new research-based, courage-building programme.


Radical Candor - Kim Scott

If you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all . . . right?

While this advice may work for home life, as Kim Scott has seen first hand, it is a disaster when adopted by managers in the work place.

Scott earned her stripes as a highly successful manager at Google before moving to Apple where she developed a class on optimal management. Radical Candor draws directly on her experiences at these cutting edge companies to reveal a new approach to effective management that delivers huge success by inspiring teams to work better together by embracing fierce conversations.

Radical Candor is the sweet spot between managers who are obnoxiously aggressive on the one side and ruinously empathetic on the other. It is about providing guidance, which involves a mix of praise as well as criticism – delivered to produce better results and help your employees develop their skills and increase success.

Great bosses have a strong relationship with their employees, and Scott has identified three simple principles for building better relationships with your employees: make it personal, get stuff done, and understand why it matters.

Radical Candor offers a guide to those bewildered or exhausted by management, written for bosses and those who manage bosses. Drawing on years of first-hand experience, and distilled clearly to give practical advice to the reader, Radical Candor shows you how to be successful while retaining your integrity and humanity. Radical Candor is the perfect handbook for those who are looking to find meaning in their job and create an environment where people love both their work and their colleagues, and are motivated to strive to ever greater success.

The Barcelona Way

In The Barcelona Way, sports psychologist Damian Hughes reveals the key principles that have defined FC Barcelona’s success and shows how the DNA of a winning team can be successfully applied to any working environment, with dramatic results.

'A powerful book on the important principles of creating a high-performing culture.'

Eddie Jones, England RFU Head Coach

FC Barcelona are one of the most successful football clubs in the world. What makes FCB unique is the winning culture that has delivered sustained success for much longer than the customary four-year cycle of an elite team. Lying at the very heart of their success is how they deal with people and the care and attention given to the environment in which those people are nurtured: practices which are of equal relevance to all organizations trying to channel the activities of their talented individuals for the corporate good.

The key principles are: Big Picture, Arc of Change, Repetition, Cultural Architects, Authentic Leadership. These are the same principles that are adhered to in successful working environments across any industry.

Drawing on interviews with key architects of the culture, as well as his own extensive experience as a sports psychologist working with leading sports and business institutions, Damian Hughes provides unique insights into the crucial issues confronting the modern corporate environment, and shows how the lessons learnt at FC Barcelona can also be applied to develop your own winning culture.

Spike

In this groundbreaking book, leading executive coach Rene Carayol shares the magic and simplicity of the SPIKE (Strength, Positively, Identified, Kick, Start, Excellence) philosophy. In the world of SPIKE, there are no losers anymore - everyone has something they are great at! The product of 30 years of supporting the growth and development of thousands of individuals and organizations globally, the book brings together a proven formula for personal and business development. The vital and essential ingredient of SPIKE is that everyone has at least one inherent strength. Finding those sometimes hidden strengths and energies, and then mobilizing them for your and other's benefit, is the ultimate aim of this inspiring book.





The Culture Code

This term, the Headship Institute programme has focused heavily on The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle. We all know that great culture is the making of an effective organisation and in The Culture Code Daniel Coyle explores and answers two primary questions: Where does great culture come from? And how do you build and sustain it in your group or strengthen in a culture that needs fixing?

From his discovering journey visiting extraordinarily successful organisations—U.S. Navy’s SEALS Team Six, San Antonio Spurs, IDEAL Pixar, Union Square Hospitality and more—he concludes that “While successful culture can look and feel like magic, the truth is that it’s not. Culture is a set of living relationships working towards a shared goal. It’s not something you are. It’s something you do.”

The doing of culture is synthesized in three critical skills.

  • Build safety—“explores how signals of connection generate bonds of belonging and identity.
  • Share vulnerability—“explains how habits of mutual risk drive trusting cooperation.”
  • Establish purpose—“tells how narratives create shared goals and values.”

Daniel Coyle relates the fascinating research story about four person groups tasked to build the tallest possible structure using marshmallows, a yard each of string and transparent tape, and 20 uncooked spaghetti. Surprisingly counterintuitively, kindergarten teams dramatically and consistently outperformed groups of lawyers, CEOs, and business school students.

Business students prioritised what “psychologists call ‘status management’ they are figuring out where they fit into the larger picture . . . their interactions appear smooth, but their underlying behaviours are riddled with inefficiency, hesitation and subtle, competition. All of this distracts from the task at hand.

By contrast, “the kindergarteners” actions appear disorganised on the surface, but when you view them as a single entity, their behaviours are efficient and effective. They are not competing for status. They stand shoulder to shoulder and work energetically together. They move quickly, spotting problems and offering help. They experiment, take risks, and notice outcomes, which guides that toward effective solutions.”

As Coyle observes, “The kindergarteners succeed not because they are smarter, but because they work together in a smarter way. They are tapping into a simple and powerful method in which a group of ordinary people can create a performance far beyond the sum of their parts.” The Culture Code “is the story about how that works.”

Each of the reviews in the book are structured around five core questions:

  • What were our intended results?
  • What were our actual results?
  • What caused our results?
  • What would we do the same next time?
  • What will we do differently?”

The Culture Code wasan interesting read and Headship Institute is providing a safe space for senior leaders to consider the implications for their own context through full and frank discussion. More and more leaders across the Trust are also now engaging with this fantastic book. Whilst work around this text continues, we already know that it effectively informs and illuminates the true meaning of “culture” as derived from the Latin cultus, which means care.