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Recommended Reading

"The Right Kind of Wrong"
Amy Edmondson, 2023

“We often know what to do during change, but human nature just makes the right behaviors really hard”. This is how Amy began our interview in 2021. Since then, the award-winning Harvard Professor of Management has expanded her iconic research on Psychological Safety to reframe our relationship with failure as a source of power and innovation. Using three archetypes of failure – basic, complex, and intelligent – Edmondson guides us through how to minimize unproductive failure while maximizing learning from errors. She also debunks the overused “fail fast, fail often” mantra that pervades Silicon Valley, and defangs the “name & shame” attitude that so often accompanies failure, replacing it with a more measured, intelligent, and powerful way for leaders to think about innovation and risk taking. Not since Thomas Edison’s famous line “I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 light bulbs that won't work" has there been such a fresh way to look at the unintended outcomes of our actions.

"The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward"
Dan Pink, 2022

With a fresh take on the traditionally pessimistic topic of regrets, Pink shows how to reframe them as important teachable moments in our lives. Using regrets to deepen our self-awareness, our ability to make meaning of events, and develop our sense of purpose, Pink draws on a vast data set from his unique World Regret Survey to help us understand how to transform regrets into a positive force for working smarter and living better.

"I, Human: AI, Automation, and the Quest to Reclaim What Makes Us Unique"
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 2023

Psychologist and Professor at University College London, Chamorro-Premuzic tackles the big questions we face as we adopt more and more AI into our lives. At an HBR event earlier this year the author told us how we are at a crossroad – whether we use AI to improve the way we work and live, or allow it to further alienate and potentially endanger us. Technology has the potential to boost our natural curiosity, adaptability, and emotional intelligence to build empathy, humility, and self-control. But it can also reinforce bad habits, making us more distracted, selfish, biased, narcissistic, entitled, predictable, and impatient. The author argues the choice is still there but it’s up to us to make it.

"Seeing Around Corners – How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen"
Rita McGrath, 2019

“Ice melts from the edges”, Rita told me when we met last year. What she meant was that the most important signals about change and disruption (as well as the biggest opportunities) happen at the periphery of business and leadership – and rarely in the C-suite or the Boardroom. Being attentive to these inflection points that are “around the corner” can generate major new entrepreneurial opportunities or, if ignored, sink seemingly unsinkable companies. The key is to spot inflection points before they hit, based on the knowledge these are not random events but a culmination of weaker signals. McGrath is a Columbia Business School Professor and corporate consultant who shares a range of powerful cases and tools in this excellent book for top leaders.

"Reboot: Leadership & the Art of Growing Up"
Jerry Colonna, 2019

Executive Coaching is sometimes dismissed as navel-gazing that has no place in the world of “real business”. Colonna adds a refreshingly hard-edged voice to the profession as he helps CEOs find focus, confidence, and tackle their blind spots. Classically, the patterns that help top performers succeed quickly become handicaps when overused. Blending spirituality, psychology and entrepreneurial straight talk, Colonna explores “radical self-inquiry” as the key to reshaping ourselves for professional success.

"Otherlands: A World in the Making"
Thomas Halliday, 2023

Award-winning Palaeobiologist Halliday takes us on a “journey into deep time, showing us the Earth as it used to exist. Going backwards in chronology, we start with the Asian steppes and European cave paintings of 20,000 years ago and travel over 500 million years into the past. We witness the first landmasses taking shape and early life forms beginning to inhabit the oceans. Describing geological points in what are today Russia, Kenya, Italy, the US or China, Halliday reminds us of the arbitrariness of our own human borders. His descriptions of the tenacity of life over the millennia renews our faith in Nature’s ability to reinvent itself. But he also underlines the fragility of seemingly permanent ecosystems – a valuable reminder of the need to do more to preserve our own.

"Benny the Blue Whale
A Descent into Story, Language, and the Madness of ChatGPT"

Andy Stanton, 2023

It had to happen. The first novel “co-authored” by a human writer and Artificial Intelligence software ChatGPT. The well-known children’s book author Stanton wanted to test recent claims that ChatGPT would “spell the end of creative industries forever by mimicking the spontaneity of human thought”. Many computer hours and even more hallucinations later, Benny the Blue Whale manages to mix entertainment, relevance, provocation and even philosophy. Reviews indicate the human/robot interface has created a surprisingly satisfying and profoundly human text. But as to the question of whether a “jumble of algorithms” will one day replace human authors like Stanton, the reviews also seem unanimous: we human writers are safe (for now).

"Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long & Happy Life"
Hector Garcia & Francesc Miralles, 2017

A Japanese word meaning “life purpose”, this slim volume looks at the practices and mindsets of the longest living communities in Japan. One of the so called “Blue Zones” where longevity outstrips global norms, the recipe for health and vitality boils down to simple principles of movement, social contact, laughter, and reflection. Easier said than done in our overloaded and digital lives, but a good place to start your New Year’s mindfulness practice.

"Time of the Magicians – The Decade That Reinvented Philosophy"
Wolfram Eilenberger, 2020

The Magicians examines the intertwining lives of Martin Heidegger, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Walter Benjamin and Ernst Cassirer. These major early 20th Century philosophers were reacting to the horror of the First World War and the economic, social and political chaos that ensued, trying to make sense of the human condition. 100 years later we are still asking similar questions, so these early thinkers – while not without their own flaws and prejudices – offer valuable perspectives as we try to imagine a more just society for ourselves today.

"The Quest for a Moral Compass – A Global History of Ethics"
Kenan Malik, 2015

At a time of increasing polarization and creeping culture wars, Malik provides a refreshing perspective on the advantages and drawbacks of different approaches to moral choices. His history of philosophical and intellectual developments around the world and through the ages offers a reframe for the divergent views and intolerance that dominate today’s narrative.

"The No Club: Putting a Stop to Women’s Dead-End Work"
Linda Babcock, Brenda Peyser, Lise Vesterlund and Laurie Weingart, 2022

Four academics use their research and experience about so-called “non-promotable tasks”, for which women often volunteer (or are volunteered) to solve under-appreciated workplace problems. Learning to say no is one solution to increase impact for women in business – the authors also identify the organizational and structural flaws that subtly sustain gender imbalances and provide practical solutions to redress these issues.

"Anthro-Vision - How Anthropology can Explain Business and Life"
Gillian Tett, 2021

While continuing to report for the FT with rigor and insight on topics ranging from Economics to Finance and the war in Ukarine, Tett brings her characteristic blend of business and behavioral insights in her latest work. Here she illustrates how Anthropology and behavioral science can revolutionize our understanding of human behavior, offering important guidance for leaders in a hybrid and post-pandemic world of increasing complexity.

"Travels with Epicurus:
Meditations from a Greek Island on the Pleasures of Old Age"

Daniel Klein, 2014

Author, TV Comedy Writer and erstwhile Philosophy student, Klein at age 73 filled his backpack with books from his student days and travelled from Boston to spend a month on the island of Hydra revisiting his studies in the hopes of uncovering the secrets of growing old gracefully. Klein concludes that a blend of Stoicism, Epicureanism, and a dash of Hedonism is one possible path to happiness. An uplifting and humorous take on how to survive and thrive as the years catch up with us.

"21 Letters on Life and Its Challenges"
Charles Handy, 2020

Written for his children and grandchildren with great foresight just before the pandemic, Handy’s reflections seem more apt than ever as he questions the relevance of our current institutions, how we think about business, and how we shape our societies. He offers valuable advice to the next generation as they take on the challenges of our future growth and prosperity.

"Memories, Dreams, Reflections"
C.G.Jung, 1989

A meditative but still relevant set of reflections from one of the fathers of modern psychology, Jung explores the essence of what it is to be human in a complex world, the role of symbols and archetypes, and how we can tap into our own lived experiences to find new insights to make meaning of the world around us.

"In Praise of Idleness"
Bertrand Russell, 1932

The great British Philosopher Russell passed away in 1970, leaving some prescient insights about the issues of his time, many of which are still with us today. He wrote on the role of architecture in society, arguing for shared communal living spaces that presaged today’s environmental movement and circular economies. He favored a radical overhaul of education, foreshadowing today’s gig economy skills and digital and hybrid working lives. And he even argued for the value of idleness as an important practice to stay in touch with ourselves in an increasingly distracted world. Wise words for today’s always-on culture.

Harvard Business Review

Editor-in-Chief Adi Ignatius guides us through essential bi-monthly insights on leadership, business and society with characteristic clarity, humor, and journalistic flair.

Jump Network Newsletters & Publications

Selected Speaker Topics

Building a Change Mindset
The Psychology of Leading and Thriving in an Uncertain World

Courage & Empathy
The surprising power of seemingly contradictory leadership skills

C-Suite Blind Spots
Top 12 Insights From 20 years of Executive Coaching

Widening Your Leadership Aperture
What Photography can Teach us About Leadership

People, Purpose, Performance
The New Triple Bottom Line

Further topics available on request

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