Some Summer Reading

Over the last several years, I have been on the lookout for books that offer practical guidance on the following issues

  • building ecologies
  • helping organizations use teams in place of hierarchy
  • empowering networks

The reason is that we are engaged in an experiment here in Estoina. Can we build a “smart society”? That is, a society that is dedicated to maximizing the welfare of our kids. Not just kids as they are now, but kids as they will be around 10 or 20 years from now. How can we maximize their opportunities?

You might ask, “Isn’t that why we have government? Other institutions? Indeed, those institutional arrays are important. But we recognize that they do not act in concert around a single vision. They are instead, bombarded by competing demands. So we need to push for our more focused vision of the future.

And we know that a lot of the heavy lifting to accomplish this relates to building an ecology — not just an institution — that is dedicated to that end. This ecology has to be team based and highly networked. Errr … so you see why my list looks like it does.

So far, I have gotten huge assistance from a selection of books. Most recently, Sutton and Rao’s “Scaling for Excellence”. I will now move on to a few new books that I take from Greg Satell’s excellent summer reading list. They are Duncan Watts “Six Degrees” and Chris Fussell, “our Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams”.

Greg offers other very cool books and I hope that you will check them out!



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