A reading list for ‘this thing of ours’

I was chatting to Ann and Dai recently and Ann mentioned getting an extra copy of Sarah Richard’s book on content design to leave around the office to see if just leaving the book around inspires people to pick it up and get a better idea of just what it is we are all trying to do with a lot of this stuff.

I’ve done something similar over the years — I even created my own tabloid using Newspaper Club a couple of times containing blogposts I found inspiring as well as a few fun (but smart) infographics which I left in office coffee shops.

Anyway Ann’s brainwashing plan got me thinking about what books I would leave around if I hoped to encourage change from within again and in no particular order of importance this is a list I came up with.

What would your list be?


  1. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull
  2. Lean Enterprise: How High Performance Organizations Innovate at Scale by Jez Humble, Joanne Molesky, Barry O’Reilly
  3. Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock
  4. The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, George Spafford
  5. Sprint: How To Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Braden Kowitz

6. Radical Focus: Achieving Your Most Important Goals with Objectives and Key Results by Christina Wodtke

7. Turn The Ship Around!: A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking the Rules by L. David Marquet

8. Organizations Don’t Tweet, People Do: A Manager’s Guide to the Social Web by Euan Semple

The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses Kindle Edition by Eric Ries

10. Scrum: a Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction by Chris Sims, Hillary Louise Johnson

11. Remote: Office Not Required by David Heinemeier Hansson

12. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon Kindle Edition by Brad Stone

13. Smart and Gets Things Done: Joel Spolsky’s Concise Guide to Finding the Best Technical Talent by Joel Spolsky

14. Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience by Jeff Gothelf

15. Read This Before Our Next Meeting: How We Can Get More Done Kindle Edition by Al Pittampalli

16. Disrupted: Ludicrous Misadventures in the Tech Start-up Bubble Kindle Edition by Dan Lyons

17. Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord