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Critical Skills Reading List

Notice

The content provided on the reading lists is for educational and informational purposes. The sources of the content are cited, and the content used represents a small portion of the whole. The use of the content, in such context and circumstance, falls under “Fair Use” pursuant of Section 107 of the Copyright Act. If you are the copyright owner and wish to have your content removed, please contact Corey Parson at corey.parson@ung.edu

Change, Innovation, and the Future

The Watchman’s Rattle: A Radical New Theory of Collapse

Rebecca D. Costa, 2012

“Why can't we solve our problems anymore? Why do threats such as the Gulf oil spill, worldwide recession, terrorism, and global warming suddenly seem unstoppable? Are there limits to the kinds of problems humans can solve?

"Rebecca Costa confronts - and offers a solution to - these questions in her highly anticipated and game-changing book, The Watchman's Rattle.

"Costa pulls headlines from today's news to demonstrate how accelerating complexity quickly outpaces that rate at which the human brain can develop new capabilities. With compelling evidenced based on research in the rise and fall of Mayan, Khmer, and Roman empires, Costa shows how the tendency to find a quick solution - leads to frightening long term consequence: Society's ability to solve its most challenging, intractable problems becomes gridlocked, progress slows, and collapse ensues.

"A provocative new voice in the tradition of thought leaders Thomas Friedman, Jared Diamond and Malcolm Gladwell, Costa reveals how we can reverse the downward spiral. Part history, part social science, part biology, The Watchman's Rattle is sure to provoke, engage, and incite change.”

Costa, Rebecca D. The Watchman’s Rattle: A Radical New Theory of Collapse. Vanguard Press, 2012.

Shortcut: How Analogies Reveal Connections, Spark Innovation, and Sell Our Great Ideas

John Pollack, 2015

“A former presidential speechwriter for Bill Clinton explores the hidden power of analogy to fuel thought, connect ideas, spark innovation, and shape outcomes.

"From the meatpacking plants that inspired Henry Ford’s first moving assembly line to the domino theory that led America into Vietnam to the “bicycle for the mind” that Steve Jobs envisioned as the Macintosh computer, analogies have played a dynamic role in shaping the world around us—and still do today.

"Analogies are far more complex than their SAT stereotype and lie at the very core of human cognition and creativity. Once we become aware of this, we start seeing them everywhere—in ads, apps, political debates, legal arguments, logos, and euphemisms, to name just a few. At their very best, analogies inspire new ways of thinking, enable invention, and motivate people to action. Unfortunately, not every analogy that rings true is true. That’s why, at their worst, analogies can deceive, manipulate, or mislead us into disaster. The challenge? Spotting the difference before it’s too late.

"Rich with engaging stories, surprising examples, and a practical method to evaluate the truth or effectiveness of any analogy, Shortcut will improve critical thinking, enhance creativity, and offer readers a fresh approach to resolving some of today’s most intractable challenges.”

Pollack, John. Shortcut: How Analogies Reveal Connections, Spark Innovation, and Sell Our Great Ideas. Avery, 2015.

Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation

Tim Brown, 2009

“The myth of innovation is that brilliant ideas leap fully formed from the minds of geniuses. The reality is that most innovations come from a process of rigorous examination through which great ideas are identified and developed before being realized as new offerings and capabilities.

"This book introduces the idea of design thinking‚ the collaborative process by which the designer′s sensibilities and methods are employed to match people′s needs not only with what is technically feasible and a viable business strategy. In short‚ design thinking converts need into demand. It′s a human−centered approach to problem solving that helps people and organizations become more innovative and more creative.

"Design thinking is not just applicable to so−called creative industries or people who work in the design field. It′s a methodology that has been used by organizations such as Kaiser Permanente to increase the quality of patient care by re−examining the ways that their nurses manage shift change‚ or Kraft to rethink supply chain management. This is not a book by designers for designers; this is a book for creative leaders seeking to infuse design thinking into every level of an organization‚ product‚ or service to drive new alternatives for business and society.”

Brown, Tim. Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. HarperBusiness, 2009.

Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking

Daniel C. Dennett., 2014

““The best new book I’ve read.”―Richard Dawkins, New York Times Book Review

Over a storied career, Daniel C. Dennett has engaged questions about science and the workings of the mind. His answers have combined rigorous argument with strong empirical grounding. And a lot of fun.

"Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking offers seventy-seven of Dennett’s most successful "imagination-extenders and focus-holders" meant to guide you through some of life’s most treacherous subject matter: evolution, meaning, mind, and free will. With patience and wit, Dennett deftly deploys his thinking tools to gain traction on these thorny issues while offering readers insight into how and why each tool was built.

"Alongside well-known favorites like Occam’s Razor and reductio ad absurdum lie thrilling descriptions of Dennett’s own creations: Trapped in the Robot Control Room, Beware of the Prime Mammal, and The Wandering Two-Bitser. Ranging across disciplines as diverse as psychology, biology, computer science, and physics, Dennett’s tools embrace in equal measure light-heartedness and accessibility as they welcome uninitiated and seasoned readers alike. As always, his goal remains to teach you how to "think reliably and even gracefully about really hard questions."

"A sweeping work of intellectual seriousness that’s also studded with impish delights, Intuition Pumps offers intrepid thinkers―in all walks of life―delicious opportunities to explore their pet ideas with new powers. 25 illustrations.”

Dennett, Daniel C. Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking. W. M. Norton & Company, 2014.

Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age

Michael Hiltzik, 2000

“In the bestselling tradition of The Soul of a New Machine, Dealers of Lightning is a fascinating journey of intellectual creation. In the 1970s and '80s, Xerox Corporation brought together a brain-trust of engineering geniuses, a group of computer eccentrics dubbed PARC. This brilliant group created several monumental innovations that triggered a technological revolution, including the first personal computer, the laser printer, and the graphical interface (one of the main precursors of the Internet), only to see these breakthroughs rejected by the corporation. Yet, instead of giving up, these determined inventors turned their ideas into empires that radically altered contemporary life and changed the world.

"Based on extensive interviews with the scientists, engineers, administrators, and executives who lived the story, this riveting chronicle details PARC's humble beginnings through its triumph as a hothouse for ideas, and shows why Xerox was never able to grasp, and ultimately exploit, the cutting-edge innovations PARC delivered. Dealers of Lightning offers an unprecedented look at the ideas, the inventions, and the individuals that propelled Xerox PARC to the frontier of technohistoiy--and the corporate machinations that almost prevented it from achieving greatness.”

Hiltzik, Michael. Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age. HarperBusiness, 2000.

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas

Warren Berger, 2016

“To get a great answer, you need to ask the perfect question. Warren Berger revives the lost art of questioning.

"In this groundbreaking book, journalist and innovation expert Warren Berger shows that one of the most powerful forces for igniting change in business and in our daily lives is a simple, under-appreciated tool--one that has been available to us since childhood. Questioning--deeply, imaginatively, "beautifully"--can help us identify and solve problems, come up with game-changing ideas, and pursue fresh opportunities. So why are we often reluctant to ask "Why?"

"Berger’s surprising findings reveal that even though children start out asking hundreds of questions a day, questioning "falls off a cliff" as kids enter school. In an education and business culture devised to reward rote answers over challenging inquiry, questioning isn’t encouraged--and, in fact, is sometimes barely tolerated.

"And yet, as Berger shows, the most creative, successful people tend to be expert questioners. They’ve mastered the art of inquiry, raising questions no one else is asking--and finding powerful answers. The author takes us inside red-hot businesses like Google, Netflix, IDEO, and Airbnb to show how questioning is baked into their organizational DNA. He also shares inspiring stories of artists, teachers, entrepreneurs, basement tinkerers, and social activists who changed their lives and the world around them--by starting with a "beautiful question."”

Berger, Warren. A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas. Bloomsbury USA, 2016.

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

Daniel H. Pink, 2006

“The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic "right-brain" thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn't.

"Drawing on research from around the world, Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others) outlines the six fundamentally human abilities that are absolute essentials for professional success and personal fulfillment--and reveals how to master them. A Whole New Mind takes readers to a daring new place, and a provocative and necessary new way of thinking about a future that's already here.”

Pink, Daniel H. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. Riverhead Books, 2006.

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

Peter Thiel, 2014

“#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"If you want to build a better future, you must believe in secrets.

"The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things. 

"Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself.

"Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique. 

"Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.”

Thiel, Peter. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future. Currency, 2014.

Gamestorming: A Playbooks for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers

Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, James Macanufo, 2010

“Great things don’t happen in a vacuum. But creating an environment for creative thinking and innovation can be a daunting challenge. How can you make it happen at your company? The answer may surprise you: gamestorming.

"This book includes more than 80 games to help you break down barriers, communicate better, and generate new ideas, insights, and strategies. The authors have identified tools and techniques from some of the world’s most innovative professionals, whose teams collaborate and make great things happen. This book is the result: a unique collection of games that encourage engagement and creativity while bringing more structure and clarity to the workplace. Find out why -- and how -- with Gamestorming.

  • Overcome conflict and increase engagement with team-oriented games
  • Improve collaboration and communication in cross-disciplinary teams with visual-thinking techniques
  • Improve understanding by role-playing customer and user experiences
  • Generate better ideas and more of them, faster than ever before
  • Shorten meetings and make them more productive
  • Simulate and explore complex systems, interactions, and dynamics
  • Identify a problem’s root cause, and find the paths that point toward a solution”

Gray, Dave, Sunni Brown, and James Macanufo. Gamestorming: A Playbooks for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers. O’Reilly Media, 2010.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Malcolm Gladwell, 2007

“In his landmark bestseller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. 

"Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant-in the blink of an eye-that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work-in the office, in the classroom, in the kitchen, and in the bedroom? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others?

"In Blink we meet the psychologist who has learned to predict whether a marriage will last, based on a few minutes of observing a couple; the tennis coach who knows when a player will double-fault before the racket even makes contact with the ball; the antiquities experts who recognize a fake at a glance. Here, too, are great failures of "blink": the election of Warren Harding; "New Coke"; and the shooting of Amadou Diallo by police.

"Blink reveals that great decision makers aren't those who process the most information or spend the most time deliberating, but those who have perfected the art of "thin-slicing"-filtering the very few factors that matter from an overwhelming number of variables.”

Gladwell, Malcolm. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. Back Bay Books, 2007.

 

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Malcolm Gladwell, 2002

“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.”

Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Back Bay Books, 2002.

Leading from the Emerging Future: From Eco-System to Eco-System Economies

Otto Scharmer, 2013

“We have entered an age of disruption. Financial collapse, climate change, resource depletion, and a growing gap between rich and poor are but a few of the signs. Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer ask, why do we collectively create results nobody wants? Meeting the challenges of this century requires updating our economic logic and operating system from an obsolete “ego-system” focused entirely on the well-being of oneself to an eco-system awareness that emphasizes the well-being of the whole. Filled with real-world examples, this thought-provoking guide presents proven practices for building a new economy that is more resilient, intentional, inclusive, and aware.”

Scharmer, Otto. Leading from the Emerging Future: From Eco-System to Eco-System Economies. Berrette-Koehler Publishers, 2013.

Scenarios: The Art of Strategic Conversation

Kees van derHeijden, 2005

“Scenario planning allows companies to move away from linear thinking and better understand external change. Eight years (and 30,000 copies) after publication Scenarios is still acknowledged as the definitive work in the field. Now, Kees van der Heijden brings his bestseller up to date, following up on his original case studies and adding significant new material. The Second Edition changes focus slightly by providing more in-depth analysis and application of the concept of the 'strategic conversation'. While maintaining the underlying rigour of the first edition, van der Heijden revisits the text to make it far more practical and accessible, and in doing so gives you the tools you need to set out and negotiate a successful future course for your organization in the face of significant uncertainty.”

Van derHeijden, Kees. Scenarios: The Art of Strategic Conversation. Wiley, 2005.

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

Philip E. Tetlock, Dan Gardner, 2016

“A New York Times Bestseller
"An Economist Best Book of 2015

"The most important book on decision making since Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow."
—Jason Zweig, The Wall Street Journal

"Everyone would benefit from seeing further into the future, whether buying stocks, crafting policy, launching a new product, or simply planning the week’s meals. Unfortunately, people tend to be terrible forecasters. As Wharton professor Philip Tetlock showed in a landmark 2005 study, even experts’ predictions are only slightly better than chance. However, an important and underreported conclusion of that study was that some experts do have real foresight, and Tetlock has spent the past decade trying to figure out why. What makes some people so good? And can this talent be taught?

"In Superforecasting, Tetlock and coauthor Dan Gardner offer a masterwork on prediction, drawing on decades of research and the results of a massive, government-funded forecasting tournament. The Good Judgment Project involves tens of thousands of ordinary people—including a Brooklyn filmmaker, a retired pipe installer, and a former ballroom dancer—who set out to forecast global events. Some of the volunteers have turned out to be astonishingly good. They’ve beaten other benchmarks, competitors, and prediction markets. They’ve even beaten the collective judgment of intelligence analysts with access to classified information. They are "superforecasters."

"In this groundbreaking and accessible book, Tetlock and Gardner show us how we can learn from this elite group. Weaving together stories of forecasting successes (the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound) and failures (the Bay of Pigs) and interviews with a range of high-level decision makers, from David Petraeus to Robert Rubin, they show that good forecasting doesn’t require powerful computers or arcane methods. It involves gathering evidence from a variety of sources, thinking probabilistically, working in teams, keeping score, and being willing to admit error and change course. 

"Superforecasting offers the first demonstrably effective way to improve our ability to predict the future—whether in business, finance, politics, international affairs, or daily life—and is destined to become a modern classic."

Tetlock, Philip E. and Dan Gardner. Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction. Broadway Books, 2016.

The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World

Peter Schwartz, 1996

“What increasingly affects all of us, whether professional planners or individuals preparing for a better future, is not the tangibles of life—bottom-line numbers, for instance—but the intangibles: our hopes and fears, our beliefs and dreams. Only stories—scenarios—and our ability to visualize different kinds of futures adequately capture these intangibles.

"In The Art of the Long View, now for the first time in paperback and with the addition of an all-new User's Guide, Peter Schwartz outlines the "scenaric" approach, giving you the tools for developing a strategic vision within your business.

"Schwartz describes the new techniques, originally developed within Royal/Dutch Shell, based on many of his firsthand scenario exercises with the world's leading institutions and companies, including the White House, EPA, BellSouth, PG&E, and the International Stock Exchange.”

Schwartz, Peter. The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World. Currency Doubleday, 1996.

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail – but Some Don’t

Nate Silver, 2015

"One of Wall Street Journal's Best Ten Works of Nonfiction in 2012

"New York Times Bestseller

“Not so different in spirit from the way public intellectuals like John Kenneth Galbraith once shaped discussions of economic policy and public figures like Walter Cronkite helped sway opinion on the Vietnam War…could turn out to be one of the more momentous books of the decade.”
—New York Times Book Review

"Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise is The Soul of a New Machine for the 21st century." 
—Rachel Maddow, author of Drift

"A serious treatise about the craft of prediction—without academic mathematics—cheerily aimed at lay readers. Silver's coverage is polymathic, ranging from poker and earthquakes to climate change and terrorism."
—New York Review of Books

"Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger—all by the time he was thirty. He solidified his standing as the nation's foremost political forecaster with his near perfect prediction of the 2012 election. Silver is the founder and editor in chief of the website FiveThirtyEight. 

"Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future.

"In keeping with his own aim to seek truth from data, Silver visits the most successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball, from the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA. He explains and evaluates how these forecasters think and what bonds they share. What lies behind their success? Are they good—or just lucky? What patterns have they unraveled? And are their forecasts really right? He explores unanticipated commonalities and exposes unexpected juxtapositions. And sometimes, it is not so much how good a prediction is in an absolute sense that matters but how good it is relative to the competition. In other cases, prediction is still a very rudimentary—and dangerous—science.

"Silver observes that the most accurate forecasters tend to have a superior command of probability, and they tend to be both humble and hardworking. They distinguish the predictable from the unpredictable, and they notice a thousand little details that lead them closer to the truth. Because of their appreciation of probability, they can distinguish the signal from the noise.

"With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver’s insights are an essential read.”

Silver, Nate. The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail – but Some Don’t. Penguin Books, 2015.

Collaboration and Decision Making

The Knowledge of Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone

Steven A. Sloman, Philip Fernbach, 2018

““The Knowledge Illusion is filled with insights on how we should deal with our individual ignorance and collective wisdom.” —Steven Pinker

"We all think we know more than we actually do. 

"Humans have built hugely complex societies and technologies, but most of us don’t even know how a pen or a toilet works. How have we achieved so much despite understanding so little? Cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach argue that we survive and thrive despite our mental shortcomings because we live in a rich community of knowledge. The key to our intelligence lies in the people and things around us. We’re constantly drawing on information and expertise stored outside our heads: in our bodies, our environment, our possessions, and the community with which we interact—and usually we don’t even realize we’re doing it.

"The human mind is both brilliant and pathetic. We have mastered fire, created democratic institutions, stood on the moon, and sequenced our genome. And yet each of us is error prone, sometimes irrational, and often ignorant. The fundamentally communal nature of intelligence and knowledge explains why we often assume we know more than we really do, why political opinions and false beliefs are so hard to change, and why individual-oriented approaches to education and management frequently fail. But our collaborative minds also enable us to do amazing things. The Knowledge Illusion contends that true genius can be found in the ways we create intelligence using the community around us.”

Sloman, Steven A. and Philip Fernbach. The Knowledge of Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone. Riverhead Books, 2018.

Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity

David Sibbet, 2010

“Use eye-popping visual tools to energize your people!

"Just as social networking has reclaimed the Internet for human interactivity and co-creation, the visual meetings movement is reclaiming creativity, productivity, and playful exchange for serious work in groups.

"Visual Meetings explains how anyone can implement powerful visual tools, and how these tools are being used in Silicon Valley and elsewhere to facilitate both face-to-face and virtual group work. This dynamic and richly illustrated resource gives meeting leaders, presenters, and consultants a slew of exciting tricks and tools, including

  • Graphic recording, visual planning, story boarding, graphic templates, idea mapping, etc.
  • Creative ways to energize team building, sales presentations, staff meetings, strategy sessions, brainstorming, and more
  • Getting beyond paper and whiteboards to engage new media platforms
  • Understanding emerging visual language for leading groups

"Unlocking formerly untapped creative resources for business success, Visual Meetings will help you and your team communicate ideas more effectively and engagingly.”

Sibbet, David. Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity. Wiley, 2010.

Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Approach to Building Cooperative Capacity

Frank J. Barrett, 2005

“This book provides a concise introduction to and overview of the growing discipline and practice of Appreciative Inquiry (AI). If you are intrigued by the prospect of mobilizing rapid, positive change with multiple stakeholders in a human system that is important to you, this book is for you.”

Barrett, Frank J. Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Approach to Building Cooperative Capacity. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platforms, 2005.

Drift into Failure: From Hunting Broken Componets to Understanding Complex Systems

Sidney Dekker, 2011

“What does the collapse of sub-prime lending have in common with a broken jackscrew in an airliner’s tailplane? Or the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico with the burn-up of Space Shuttle Columbia? These were systems that drifted into failure. While pursuing success in a dynamic, complex environment with limited resources and multiple goal conflicts, a succession of small, everyday decisions eventually produced breakdowns on a massive scale. We have trouble grasping the complexity and normality that gives rise to such large events. We hunt for broken parts, fixable properties, people we can hold accountable. Our analyses of complex system breakdowns remain depressingly linear, depressingly componential - imprisoned in the space of ideas once defined by Newton and Descartes. The growth of complexity in society has outpaced our understanding of how complex systems work and fail. Our technologies have gotten ahead of our theories. We are able to build things - deep-sea oil rigs, jackscrews, collateralized debt obligations - whose properties we understand in isolation. But in competitive, regulated societies, their connections proliferate, their interactions and interdependencies multiply, their complexities mushroom. This book explores complexity theory and systems thinking to understand better how complex systems drift into failure. It studies sensitive dependence on initial conditions, unruly technology, tipping points, diversity - and finds that failure emerges opportunistically, non-randomly, from the very webs of relationships that breed success and that are supposed to protect organizations from disaster. It develops a vocabulary that allows us to harness complexity and find new ways of managing drift.”

Dekker, Sidney. Drift into Failure: From Hunting Broken Componets to Understanding Complex Systems. CRC Press, 2011.

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions

Dan Ariely, 2010

“Why do our headaches persist after we take a one-cent aspirin but disappear when we take a fifty-cent aspirin? Why do we splurge on a lavish meal but cut coupons to save twenty-five cents on a can of soup?

"When it comes to making decisions in our lives, we think we're making smart, rational choices. But are we?

"In this newly revised and expanded edition of the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller, Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. From drinking coffee to losing weight, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, we consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They're systematic and predictable—making us predictably irrational.”

Ariely, Dan. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions. Harper Perennial, 2010.

Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions

Gary Klein, 2017

“A modern classic about how people really make decisions: drawing on prior experience, using a combination of intuition and analysis.

"Since its publication twenty years ago, Sources of Power has been enormously influential. The book has sold more than 50,000 copies, has been translated into six languages, has been cited in professional journals that range from Journal of Marketing Research to Journal of Nursing, and is mentioned by Malcolm Gladwell in Blink. Author Gary Klein has collaborated with Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and served on a team that redesigned the White House Situation Room to support more effective decision making. The model of decision making Klein proposes in the book has been adopted in fields including law enforcement training and petrochemical plant operation. What is the groundbreaking new way to approach decision making described in this modern classic?

"We have all seen images of firefighters rescuing people from burning buildings and paramedics treating bombing victims. How do these individuals make the split-second decisions that save lives? Most studies of decision making, based on artificial tasks assigned in laboratory settings, view people as biased and unskilled. Klein proposes a naturalistic approach to decision making, which views people as gaining experience that enables them to use a combination of intuition and analysis to make decisions. To illustrate this approach, Klein tells stories of people―from pilots to chess masters―acting under such real-life constraints as time pressure, high stakes, personal responsibility, and shifting conditions.”

Klein, Gary. Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions. The MIT Press, 2017.

Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision-Makers

Richard E. Neustadt, Ernest R. May, 1988

““A convincing case that careful analysis of the history, issues, individuals, and institutions can lead to better decisions—in business as well as in government” (BusinessWeek).

"Two noted professors offer easily remembered rules for using history effectively in day-to-day management of governmental and corporate affairs to avoid costly blunders. “An illuminating guide to the use and abuse of history in affairs of state” (Arthur Schlesinger).”

Neustadt, Richard E. and Ernest R. May. Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision-Makers. Free Press, 1988.

Communication

Brief: Make a Larger Impact by Saying Less

Joseph McCormack, 2014

“Get heard by being clear and concise

"The only way to survive in business today is to be a lean communicator. Busy executives expect you to respect and manage their time more effectively than ever. You need to do the groundwork to make your message tight and to the point. The average professional receives 304 emails per week and checks their smartphones 36 times an hour and 38 hours a week. This inattention has spread to every part of life. The average attention span has shrunk from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight in 2012. So, throw them a lifeline and be brief.

"Author Joe McCormack tackles the challenges of inattention, interruptions, and impatience that every professional faces. His proven B.R.I.E.F. approach, which stands for Background, Relevance, Information, Ending, and Follow up, helps simplify and clarify complex communication. BRIEF will help you summarize lengthy information, tell a short story, harness the power of infographics and videos, and turn monologue presentations into controlled conversations.

  • Details the B.R.I.E.F. approach to distilling your message into a brief presentation
  • Written by the founder and CEO of Sheffield Marketing Partners, which specializes in message and narrative development, who is also a recognized expert in Narrative Mapping, a technique that helps clients achieve a clearer and more concise message

"Long story short: BRIEF will help you gain the muscle you need to eliminate wasteful words and stand out from the rest. Be better. Be brief.”

McCormack, Joseph. Brief: Make a Larger Impact by Saying Less. Wiley, 2014.

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Die and Others Die

Chip Heath; Dan Heath, 2007

“NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The instant classic about why some ideas thrive, why others die, and how to improve your idea’s chances—essential reading in the “fake news” era.

"Mark Twain once observed, “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.” His observation rings true: Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus news stories circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas—entrepreneurs, teachers, politicians, and journalists—struggle to make them “stick.” 

"In Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath reveal the anatomy of ideas that stick and explain ways to make ideas stickier, such as applying the human scale principle, using the Velcro Theory of Memory, and creating curiosity gaps. Along the way, we discover that sticky messages of all kinds—from the infamous “kidney theft ring” hoax to a coach’s lessons on sportsmanship to a vision for a new product at Sony—draw their power from the same six traits.

"Made to Stick will transform the way you communicate. It’s a fast-paced tour of success stories (and failures): the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who drank a glass of bacteria to prove a point about stomach ulcers; the charities who make use of the Mother Teresa Effect; the elementary-school teacher whose simulation actually prevented racial prejudice.

"Provocative, eye-opening, and often surprisingly funny, Made to Stick shows us the vital principles of winning ideas—and tells us how we can apply these rules to making our own messages stick.”

Denning, Stephen. The Springboard: How Storytelling Ignites Action in Knowledge-Era Organizations. Butterworth-Heinemann, 2000.

The Springboard: How Storytelling Ignites Action in Knowledge-Era Organizations

Stephen Denning, 2000

The Springboard: How Storytelling Ignites Action in Knowledge-Era Organizations is the first book to teach storytelling as a powerful and formal discipline for organizational change and knowledge management. The book explains how organizations can use certain types of stories ("springboard" stories) to communicate new or envisioned strategies, structures, identities, goals, and values to employees, partners and even customers. 

"Readers will learn techniques by which they can help their organizations become more unified, responsive, and intelligent. Storytelling is a management technique championed by gurus including Peter Senge, Tom Peters and Larry Prusak. Now Stephen Denning, an innovator in the new discipline of organizational storytelling, teaches how to use stories to address challenges fundamental to success in today's information economy.

  • Provides innovative and powerful tools which can effect organizational change 
  • Helps organizations share knowledge critical to success in the information economy
  • First book on a major emerging trend in organizational change and K.M.”

Denning, Stephen. The Springboard: How Storytelling Ignites Action in Knowledge-Era Organizations. Butterworth-Heinemann, 2000.

The Story Factor: Secrets of Influence Through the Art of Storytelling

Annette Simmons, 2006

“The new material for this revised edition offers an expanded case study of storytelling in action that focuses on one of Simmons's success stories. Over one hundred stories drawn from the front lines of business and government, as well as myths, fables, and parables from around the world, illustrate how story can be used to persuade, motivate, and inspire in ways that cold facts, bullet points, and directives can't. These stories, combined with practical storytelling techniques show anyone how to become a more effective communicator. From “who I am” to “I-know-what-you're thinking,” Simmons identifies the six stories you need to know how to tell and demonstrates how they can be applied. This revised edition offers a guide to using storytelling in specific business circumstances, including corporate reorganizations, layoffs, and diversity issues.”

Simmons, Annette. The Story Factor. Basic Books, 2006.

The Elements of Grammar

Margaret Shertzer, 1996

“The essential guide to refining and improving grammar – from the basics of sentence structure to the art of composing written works. A concise, comprehensive handbook of the basic rules of grammar and usage that presents invaluable tips on how to implement these rules in everyday writing and speaking. Succinct and immensely practical with coverage of punctuation, capitalization, the parts of the sentence, words often confused, foreign words and phrases, numbers, signs and symbols, etc.”

Shertzer, Margaret. Elements of Grammar. Pearson, 1996.

Elements of Style. 4th Ed.

William Strunk Jr.; E.B. White, 1999

“You know the authors' names. You recognize the title. You've probably used this book yourself. This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual, now in a fourth edition. A new Foreword by Roger Angell reminds readers that the advice of Strunk & White is as valuable today as when it was first offered. This book's unique tone, wit and charm have conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. Use the fourth edition of "the little book" to make a big impact with writing.”

Strunk Jr., William and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. Pearson, 1999.

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century

Steven Pinker, 2015

““Charming and erudite," from the author of Enlightenment Now, "The wit and insight and clarity he brings . . . is what makes this book such a gem.” —Time.com

"Why is so much writing so bad, and how can we make it better? Is the English language being corrupted by texting and social media? Do the kids today even care about good writing—and why should we care? From the author of The Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment Now.

"In this entertaining and eminently practical book, the cognitive scientist, dictionary consultant, and New York Times–bestselling author Steven Pinker rethinks the usage guide for the twenty-first century. Using examples of great and gruesome modern prose while avoiding the scolding tone and Spartan tastes of the classic manuals, he shows how the art of writing can be a form of pleasurable mastery and a fascinating intellectual topic in its own right. The Sense of Style is for writers of all kinds, and for readers who are interested in letters and literature and are curious about the ways in which the sciences of mind can illuminate how language works at its best.”

Pinker, Steven. The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century. Penguin Books, 2015.

They Say, I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing

Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, 2016

"The New York Times best-selling book on academic writing―in use at more than 1,500 schools.

“They Say / I Say identifies the key rhetorical moves in academic writing, showing students how to frame their arguments in the larger context of what others have said and providing templates to help them make those moves. And, because these moves are central across all disciplines, the book includes chapters on writing in the sciences, writing in the social sciences, and―new to this edition―writing about literature.”

Graff, Gerald and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say, I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing. W. W. Norton & Company, 2016.

Critical Thinking and Innovation

The Pocket Guide to Critical Thinking

Epstein, Richard L. and Carolyn Kernberger, 2010

“A summary and guide to the art of reasoning well, this small book is a great aid to reasoning in daily life. Using everyday examples that relate to everyone's experiences, and with an extraordinary clarity of presentation, this Pocket Guide allows the reader to learn all the basic skills of how to reason well in a short, useful introduction. It is also the basic text for how to think clearly enough to write well. The Pocket Guide to Critical Thinking is a perfect supplement for any course, for self-study, or as a reference when writing.”

Epstein, Richard L. and Carolyn Kernberger. The Pocket Guide to Critical Thinking. Advanced Reasoning Forum, 2010.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Charles Duhigg, 2010

“NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The perfect graduation gift, this instant classic explores how we can change our lives by changing our habits.

“With the days of pulling all-nighters and eating pizza at 2 a.m. (hopefully) behind your new grad, there’s no time like the present to get into a good routine.”—Real Simple

"NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Wall Street Journal • Financial Times

"In The Power of Habit, award-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to the sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

"With a new Afterword by the author

“Sharp, provocative, and useful.”—Jim Collins

“Few [books] become essential manuals for business and living. The Power of Habit is an exception. Charles Duhigg not only explains how habits are formed but how to kick bad ones and hang on to the good.”—Financial Times

“A flat-out great read.”—David Allen, bestselling author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

“You’ll never look at yourself, your organization, or your world quite the same way.”—Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

“Entertaining . . . enjoyable . . . fascinating . . . a serious look at the science of habit formation and change.”—The New York Times Book Review"

Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Random House Paperbacks, 2010.

Curious: The Desire to Know Why Your Future Depends on It

Ian Leslie, 2015

““I have no special talents,” said Albert Einstein. “I am only passionately curious.”

"Everyone is born curious. But only some retain the habits of exploring, learning, and discovering as they grow older. Those who do so tend to be smarter, more creative, and more successful. So why are many of us allowing our curiosity to wane?

"In Curious, Ian Leslie makes a passionate case for the cultivation of our “desire to know.” Just when the rewards of curiosity have never been higher, it is misunderstood, undervalued, and increasingly monopolized by a cognitive elite. A “curiosity divide” is opening up.

"This divide is being exacerbated by the way we use the Internet. Thanks to smartphones and tools such as Google and Wikipedia, we can answer almost any question instantly. But does this easy access to information guarantee the growth of curiosity? No—quite the opposite. Leslie argues that true curiosity the sustained quest for understanding that begets insight and innovation—is in fact at risk in a wired world.

"Drawing on fascinating research from psychology, economics, education, and business, Curious looks at what feeds curiosity and what starves it, and finds surprising answers. Curiosity isn't, as we're encouraged to think, a gift that keeps on giving. It is a mental muscle that atrophies without regular exercise and a habit that parents, schools, and workplaces need to nurture.

"Filled with inspiring stories, case studies, and practical advice, Curious will change the way you think about your own mental habits, and those of your family, friends, and colleagues.”

Leslie, Ian. Curious: The Desire to Know Why Your Future Depends on It. Basic Books, 2015.

Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 2014

Antifragile is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand. The other books in the series are Fooled by Randomness, The Black Swan, Skin in the Game, and The Bed of Procrustes.

"Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world.

"Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.  

"In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. In Antifragile, Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better. 

"Furthermore, the antifragile is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events. Why is the city-state better than the nation-state, why is debt bad for you, and why is what we call “efficient” not efficient at all? Why do government responses and social policies protect the strong and hurt the weak? Why should you write your resignation letter before even starting on the job? How did the sinking of the Titanic save lives? The book spans innovation by trial and error, life decisions, politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine. And throughout, in addition to the street wisdom of Fat Tony of Brooklyn, the voices and recipes of ancient wisdom, from Roman, Greek, Semitic, and medieval sources, are loud and clear.

"Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world.

"Erudite, witty, and iconoclastic, Taleb’s message is revolutionary: The antifragile, and only the antifragile, will make it.

“Ambitious and thought-provoking . . . highly entertaining.”—The Economist

“A bold book explaining how and why we should embrace uncertainty, randomness, and error . . . It may just change our lives.”—Newsweek”

Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder. Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2014.

Learning from the Octopus: How Secrets of Nature Can Help Us Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Disease

Rafe Sagarin, 2012

“Despite the billions of dollars we’ve poured into foreign wars, homeland security, and disaster response, we are fundamentally no better prepared for the next terrorist attack or unprecedented flood than we were in 2001. Our response to catastrophe remains unchanged: add another step to airport security, another meter to the levee wall. This approach has proved totally ineffective: reacting to past threats and trying to predict future risks will only waste resources in our increasingly unpredictable world.

"In Learning from the Octopus, ecologist and security expert Rafe Sagarin rethinks the seemingly intractable problem of security by drawing inspiration from a surprising source: nature. Biological organisms have been living—and thriving—on a risk-filled planet for billions of years. Remarkably, they have done it without planning, predicting, or trying to perfect their responses to complex threats. Rather, they simply adapt to solve the challenges they continually face.

"Military leaders, public health officials, and business professionals would all like to be more adaptable, but few have figured out how. Sagarinargues that we can learn from observing how nature is organized, how organisms learn, how they create partnerships, and how life continually diversifies on this unpredictable planet.

"As soon as we dip our toes into a cold Pacific tidepool and watch what we thought was a rock turn into an octopus, jetting away in a cloud of ink, we can begin to see the how human adaptability can mimic natural adaptation. The same mechanisms that enabled the octopus’s escape also allow our immune system to ward off new infectious diseases, helped soldiers in Iraq to recognize the threat of IEDs, and aided Google in developing faster ways to detect flu outbreaks.

"While we will never be able to predict the next earthquake, terrorist attack, or market fluctuation, nature can guide us in developing security systems that are not purely reactive but proactive, holistic, and adaptable. From the tidepools of Monterey to the mountains of Kazakhstan, Sagarin takes us on an eye-opening tour of the security challenges we face, and shows us how we might learn to respond more effectively to the unknown threats lurking in our future.”

Sagarin, Rafe. Learning from the Octopus: How Secrets of Nature Can Help Us Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Disease. Basic Books, 2012.

Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty 3rd Ed.

Karl E. Weick, Kathleen Sutcliffe, 2015

“Improve your company's ability to avoid or manage crises

"Managing the Unexpected, Third Edition is a thoroughly revised text that offers an updated look at the groundbreaking ideas explored in the first and second editions. Revised to reflect events emblematic of the unique challenges that organizations have faced in recent years, including bank failures, intelligence failures, quality failures, and other organizational misfortunes, often sparked by organizational actions, this critical book focuses on why some organizations are better able to sustain high performance in the face of unanticipated change. High reliability organizations (HROs), including commercial aviation, emergency rooms, aircraft carrier flight operations, and firefighting units, are looked to as models of exceptional organizational preparedness. This essential text explains the development of unexpected events and guides you in improving your organization for more reliable performance.

"Expect the unexpected" is a popular mantra for a reason: it's rooted in experience. Since the dawn of civilization, organizations have been rocked by natural disasters, civil unrest, international conflict, and other unexpected crises that impact their ability to function. Understanding how to maintain function when catastrophe strikes is key to keeping your organization afloat.

  • Explore the many different kinds of unexpected events that your organization may face
  • Consider updated case studies and research
  • Discuss how highly reliable organizations are able to maintain control during unexpected events
  • Discover tactics that may bolster your organization's ability to face the unexpected with confidence

"Managing the Unexpected, Third Edition offers updated, valuable content to professionals who want to strengthen the preparedness of their organizations—and confidently face unexpected challenges.”

Weick, Karl E. and Kathleen Sutcliffe. Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty. Jossey-Bass, 2015.

 

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations

Thomas L. Friedman, 2017

"#1 New York Times Bestseller • Los Angeles Times Bestseller

"One of The Wall Street Journal's 10 Books to Read Now • One of Kirkus Reviews's Best Nonfiction Books of the Year • One of Publishers Weekly's Most Anticipated Books of the Year

"Shortlisted for the OWL Business Book Award and Longlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

"Version 2.0, Updated and Expanded, with a New Afterword

"We all sense it―something big is going on. You feel it in your workplace. You feel it when you talk to your kids. You can’t miss it when you read the newspapers or watch the news. Our lives are being transformed in so many realms all at once―and it is dizzying.

"In Thank You for Being Late, version 2.0, with a new afterword, Thomas L. Friedman exposes the tectonic movements that are reshaping the world today and explains how to get the most out of them and cushion their worst impacts. His thesis: to understand the twenty-first century, you need to understand that the planet’s three largest forces―Moore’s law (technology), the Market (globalization), and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss)―are accelerating all at once. These accelerations are transforming five key realms: the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and community. The year 2007 was the major inflection point: the release of the iPhone, together with advances in silicon chips, software, storage, sensors, and networking, created a new technology platform that is reshaping everything from how we hail a taxi to the fate of nations to our most intimate relationships. It is providing vast new opportunities for individuals and small groups to save the world―or to destroy it.

"With his trademark vitality, wit, and optimism, Friedman shows that we can overcome the multiple stresses of an age of accelerations―if we slow down, if we dare to be late and use the time to reimagine work, politics, and community. Thank You for Being Late is an essential guide to the present and the future.”

Friedman, Thomas L. Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations. Picador, 2017.

Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well

Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen, 2015

“The coauthors of the New York Times–bestselling Difficult Conversations take on the toughest topic of all: how we see ourselves

"Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen have spent the past fifteen years working with corporations, nonprofits, governments, and families to determine what helps us learn and what gets in our way. In Thanks for the Feedback, they explain why receiving feedback is so crucial yet so challenging, offering a simple framework and powerful tools to help us take on life’s blizzard of offhand comments, annual evaluations, and unsolicited input with curiosity and grace. They blend the latest insights from neuroscience and psychology with practical, hard-headed advice. Thanks for the Feedback is destined to become a classic in the fields of leadership, organizational behavior, and education.”

Stone, Douglas and Sheila Heen. Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well. Penguin Books, 2015.

The Thinker’s Guide to Analytic Thinking: How to Take Thinking Apart and What to Look for When You Do

Linda Elder, Richard Paul, 2007

“This guide focuses on the intellectual skills that enable one to analyze anything one might think about - questions, problems, disciplines, subjects, etc. It provides the common denominator between all forms of analysis. Why a Guide on Analytic Thinking? Analysis and evaluation are recognized as crucial skills for all students to master. And for good reason. These skills are required in learning any significant body of content in a non-trivial way. There are many varieties of analysis specific to particular disciplines and technical practices. These forms of analysis often require technical training of a specialized nature. For example, one cannot do qualitative analysis in chemistry without instruction in chemistry. What we have provided in this guide, however, is the common denominator between all forms of analysis because all forms require thoughtful application and all thought presupposes the elements of thought. For example, one cannot think analytically FOR NO PURPOSE. Or think analytically, with NO QUESTION in mind. In order to develop the analytic mind, there must be guidance, instruction, and practice in monitoring thinking using intellectual tools applicable to every discipline. Everyone needs to learn to question purposes, goals, problem definitions, information, concepts, etc. It is these interdisciplinary analytic tools that enable those skilled in them to understand and assess their analytic thinking, whether in a highly technical area or in an everyday personal application. It is these analytic tools that enable one to get at the most fundamental logic of any discipline, subject, problem, or issue. They provide the means for transfer of learning between and among subjects and disciplines. They enable motivated persons to gain an overview of their learning in any and every situation analyzed, to think their way into and out of various intellectual domains. This thinker's guide serves as a launching pad toward analytic proficiency.”

Elder, Linda and Richard Paul. The Thinker’s Guide to Analytic Thinking: How to Take Thinking Apart and What to Look for When You Do. Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2007.

The Field Guide to Understanding ‘Human Error’

Sidney Dekker, 2014

“When faced with a ’human error’ problem, you may be tempted to ask 'Why didn’t these people watch out better?' Or, 'How can I get my people more engaged in safety?' You might think you can solve your safety problems by telling your people to be more careful, by reprimanding the miscreants, by issuing a new rule or procedure and demanding compliance. These are all expressions of 'The Bad Apple Theory' where you believe your system is basically safe if it were not for those few unreliable people in it. Building on its successful predecessors, the third edition of The Field Guide to Understanding ’Human Error’ will help you understand a new way of dealing with a perceived 'human error' problem in your organization. It will help you trace how your organization juggles inherent trade-offs between safety and other pressures and expectations, suggesting that you are not the custodian of an already safe system. It will encourage you to start looking more closely at the performance that others may still call 'human error', allowing you to discover how your people create safety through practice, at all levels of your organization, mostly successfully, under the pressure of resource constraints and multiple conflicting goals. The Field Guide to Understanding 'Human Error' will help you understand how to move beyond 'human error'; how to understand accidents; how to do better investigations; how to understand and improve your safety work. You will be invited to think creatively and differently about the safety issues you and your organization face. In each, you will find possibilities for a new language, for different concepts, and for new leverage points to influence your own thinking and practice, as well as that of your colleagues and organization. If you are faced with a ’human error’ problem, abandon the fallacy of a quick fix. Read this book.”

Dekker, Sidney. The Field Guide to Understanding ‘Human Error’. CRC Press, 2014.

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

Jonathan Haidt, 2013

“In this “landmark contribution to humanity’s understanding of itself” (The New York Times Book Review) social psychologist Jonathan Haidt challenges conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to conservatives and liberals alike. 

"Drawing on his twenty five years of groundbreaking research on moral psychology, Haidt shows how moral judgments arise not from reason but from gut feelings. He shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong, and he shows why each side is actually right about many of its central concerns. In this subtle yet accessible book, Haidt gives you the key to understanding the miracle of human cooperation, as well as the curse of our eternal divisions and conflicts. If you’re ready to trade in anger for understanding, read The Righteous Mind.

Haidt, Jonathan. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. Vintage, 2013.

Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People

Mahzarin Banaji, Anthony Greenwald, 2016

“I know my own mind. I am able to assess others in a fair and accurate way.

"These self-perceptions are challenged by leading psychologists Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald as they explore the hidden biases we all carry from a lifetime of exposure to cultural attitudes about age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, social class, sexuality, disability status, and nationality.

Blindspot” is the authors’ metaphor for the portion of the mind that houses hidden biases. Writing with simplicity and verve, Banaji and Greenwald question the extent to which our perceptions of social groups—without our awareness or conscious control—shape our likes and dislikes and our judgments about people’s character, abilities, and potential.

"In Blindspot, the authors reveal hidden biases based on their experience with the Implicit Association Test, a method that has revolutionized the way scientists learn about the human mind and that gives us a glimpse into what lies within the metaphoric blindspot.

"The title’s “good people” are those of us who strive to align our behavior with our intentions. The aim of Blindspot is to explain the science in plain enough language to help well-intentioned people achieve that alignment. By gaining awareness, we can adapt beliefs and behavior and “outsmart the machine” in our heads so we can be fairer to those around us. Venturing into this book is an invitation to understand our own minds.

"Brilliant, authoritative, and utterly accessible, Blindspot is a book that will challenge and change readers for years to come.

“Conversational . . . easy to read, and best of all, it has the potential, at least, to change the way you think about yourself.”—Leonard Mlodinow, The New York Review of Books

“Accessible and authoritative . . . While we may not have much power to eradicate our own prejudices, we can counteract them. The first step is to turn a hidden bias into a visible one. . . . What if we’re not the magnanimous people we think we are?”—The Washington Post

“Banaji and Greenwald deserve a major award for writing such a lively and engaging book that conveys an important message: Mental processes that we are not aware of can affect what we think and what we do. Blindspot is one of the most illuminating books ever written on this topic.”—Elizabeth F. Loftus, Ph.D., distinguished professor, University of California, Irvine; past president, Association for Psychological Science; author of Eyewitness Testimony

“A wonderfully cogent, socially relevant, and engaging book that helps us think smarter and more humanely. This is psychological science at its best, by two of its shining stars.”—David G. Myers, professor, Hope College, and author of Intuition: Its Powers and Perils

“[The authors’] work has revolutionized social psychology, proving that—unconsciously—people are affected by dangerous stereotypes.”—Psychology Today

“An accessible and persuasive account of the causes of stereotyping and discrimination . . . Banaji and Greenwald will keep even nonpsychology students engaged with plenty of self-examinations and compelling elucidations of case studies and experiments.”—Publishers Weekly

“A stimulating treatment that should help readers deal with irrational biases that they would otherwise consciously reject.”—Kirkus Reviews

Banaji, Mahzarin and Anthony Greenwald. Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People. Bantam, 2016.

Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking

McInerny, D. Q., 2005

“An essential tool for our post-truth world: a witty primer on logic—and the dangers of illogical thinking—by a renowned Notre Dame professor

"Logic is synonymous with reason, judgment, sense, wisdom, and sanity. Being logical is the ability to create concise and reasoned arguments—arguments that build from given premises, using evidence, to a genuine conclusion. But mastering logical thinking also requires studying and understanding illogical thinking, both to sharpen one’s own skills and to protect against incoherent, or deliberately misleading, reasoning.

"Elegant, pithy, and precise, Being Logical breaks logic down to its essentials through clear analysis, accessible examples, and focused insights. D. Q. McInerney covers the sources of illogical thinking, from naïve optimism to narrow-mindedness, before dissecting the various tactics—red herrings, diversions, and simplistic reasoning—the illogical use in place of effective reasoning.

"An indispensable guide to using logic to advantage in everyday life, this is a concise, crisply readable book. Written explicitly for the layperson, McInerny’s Being Logical promises to take its place beside Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style as a classic of lucid, invaluable advice.

“Highly readable . . . D. Q. McInerny offers an introduction to symbolic logic in plain English, so you can finally be clear on what is deductive reasoning and what is inductive. And you’ll see how deductive arguments are constructed.”—Detroit Free Press

“McInerny’s explanatory outline of sound thinking will be eminently beneficial to expository writers, debaters, and public speakers.”—Booklist

“Given the shortage of logical thinking,
And the fact that mankind is adrift, if not sinking,
It is vital that all of us learn to think straight.
And this small book by D.Q. McInerny is great.
It follows therefore since we so badly need it,
Everybody should not only but it, but read it.”
—Charles Osgood”

McInerny, D. Q. Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking. Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2005.

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right By

Atul Gawande, 2011

“In his latest bestseller, Atul Gawande shows what the simple idea of the checklist reveals about the complexity of our lives and how we can deal with it.

"The modern world has given us stupendous know-how. Yet avoidable failures continue to plague us in health care, government, the law, the financial industry—in almost every realm of organized activity. And the reason is simple: the volume and complexity of knowledge today has exceeded our ability as individuals to properly deliver it to people—consistently, correctly, safely. We train longer, specialize more, use ever-advancing technologies, and still we fail. Atul Gawande makes a compelling argument that we can do better, using the simplest of methods: the checklist. In riveting stories, he reveals what checklists can do, what they can’t, and how they could bring about striking improvements in a variety of fields, from medicine and disaster recovery to professions and businesses of all kinds. And the insights are making a difference. Already, a simple surgical checklist from the World Health Organization designed by following the ideas described here has been adopted in more than twenty countries as a standard for care and has been heralded as “the biggest clinical invention in thirty years” (The Independent).”

Gawande, Atul. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right By. Picador, 2011.

A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving

Eugene Bardach, Eric M Patashnik, 2015

“In the Fifth Edition of A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving, Eugene Bardach and new co-author Eric Patashnik draw on more than 40 years of experience teaching students to be effective, accurate, and persuasive policy analysts. This bestselling handbook presents dozens of concrete tips, interesting case studies, and step-by-step strategies that are easily applicable for the budding analyst as well as the seasoned professional.

"In this new edition, Bardach and Patashnik update many examples to reflect the shifting landscape of policy issues. A new section with advice on how to undertake policy design in addition to making policy choices makes the book even more engaging. Readers will also appreciate a sample document of real world policy analysis, suggestions for developing creative, "out-of-the-box" solutions, and tips for working with clients.”

Bardach, Eugene and Eric M Patashnik. A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving. CQ Press, 2015.

The Thinker’s Toolkit: 14 Powerful Techniques for Problem Solving

Morgan D. Jones, 1998

“An invaluable resource for any manager or professional, this book offers a collection of proven, practical methods for simplifying any problem and making faster, better decisions every time."

Jones, Morgan D. The Thinker’s Toolkit: 14 Powerful Techniques for Problem Solving. Crown Business, 1998.

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days

Jake Knapp, 2016

“NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER

Sprint offers a transformative formula for testing ideas that works whether you’re at a startup or a large organization. Within five days, you’ll move from idea to prototype to decision, saving you and your team countless hours and countless dollars. A must read for entrepreneurs of all stripes.” —Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup

"From three partners at Google Ventures, a unique five-day process for solving tough problems, proven at more than a hundred companies.

"Entrepreneurs and leaders face big questions every day: What’s the most important place to focus your effort, and how do you start? What will your idea look like in real life? How many meetings and discussions does it take before you can be sure you have the right solution?

"Now there’s a surefire way to answer these important questions: the sprint. Designer Jake Knapp created the five-day process at Google, where sprints were used on everything from Google Search to Google X. He joined Braden Kowitz and John Zeratsky at Google Ventures, and together they have completed more than a hundred sprints with companies in mobile, e-commerce, healthcare, finance, and more.

"A practical guide to answering critical business questions, Sprint is a book for teams of any size, from small startups to Fortune 100s, from teachers to nonprofits. It’s for anyone with a big opportunity, problem, or idea who needs to get answers today.”

Knapp, Jake. Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days. Simon & Schuster, 2016.

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman, 2013

“Major New York Times bestseller
"Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award in 2012
"Selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011
"A Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 Title
"One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year 
"One of The Wall Street Journal's Best Nonfiction Books of the Year 2011
"2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient
"Kahneman's work with Amos Tversky is the subject of Michael Lewis's The Undoing Project: A Friendship That "Changed Our Minds

"In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation―each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

"Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives―and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011, Thinking, Fast and Slow is destined to be a classic.”

Kahneman, Daniel. Thinking, Fast and Slow. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013.

Delivering Presentations

Envisioning Information

Edward R. Tufte, 1990

“This book celebrates escapes from the flatlands of both paper and computer screen, showing superb displays of high-dimensional complex data. The most design-oriented of Edward Tufte's books, Envisioning Information shows maps, charts, scientific presentations, diagrams, computer interfaces, statistical graphics and tables, stereo photographs, guidebooks, courtroom exhibits, timetables, use of color, a pop-up, and many other wonderful displays of information. The book provides practical advice about how to explain complex material by visual means, with extraordinary examples to illustrate the fundamental principles of information displays. Topics include escaping flatland, color and information, micro/macro designs, layering and separation, small multiples, and narratives. Winner of 17 awards for design and content. 400 illustrations with exquisite 6- to 12-color printing throughout. Highest quality design and production.”

Tufte, Edward R. Envisioning Information. Graphics Pr, 1990.

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery

Garr Reynolds, 2011

“Best-selling author and popular speaker Garr Reynolds is back in this newly revised edition of his classic, best-selling book, Presentation Zen, in which he showed readers there is a better way to reach the audience through simplicity and storytelling, and gave them the tools to confidently design and deliver successful presentations.

"In this new edition, Garr gives his readers new, fresh examples to draw inspiration from, with a whole new chapter for those who present on more technical and educational topics based on techniques used by many presenters who give high-level talks at TED and other powerhouse events. Whether the reader is in research, technology, business, or education–this book will show them how to take what could look like a really dry presentation and reinvigorate the material in totally fresh (and sometimes interactive!) ways that will make it memorable and resonate with the audience.

"Staying true to the mission of the first), Garr combines solid principles of design with the tenets of Zen simplicity to help readers along the path to simpler, more effective presentations that will be appreciated, remembered, and best of all, acted upon.”

Reynolds, Garr. Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery.  New Riders, 2011.

Slide:ology

Nancy Duarte, 2008

“No matter where you are on the organizational ladder, the odds are high that you've delivered a high-stakes presentation to your peers, your boss, your customers, or the general public. Presentation software is one of the few tools that requires professionals to think visually on an almost daily basis. But unlike verbal skills, effective visual expression is not easy, natural, or actively taught in schools or business training programs. slide:ology fills that void.

"Written by Nancy Duarte, President and CEO of Duarte Design, the firm that created the presentation for Al Gore's Oscar-winning film, An Inconvenient Truth, this book is full of practical approaches to visual story development that can be applied by anyone. The book combines conceptual thinking and inspirational design, with insightful case studies from the world's leading brands. With slide:ology you'll learn to:

  • Connect with specific audiences
  • Turn ideas into informative graphics
  • Use sketching and diagramming techniques effectively
  • Create graphics that enable audiences to process information easily
  • Develop truly influential presentations
  • Utilize presentation technology to your advantage

"Millions of presentations and billions of slides have been produced -- and most of them miss the mark. slide:ology will challenge your traditional approach to creating slides by teaching you how to be a visual thinker. And it will help your career by creating momentum for your cause.”

Duarte, Nancy. Slide:ology. O’Reilly Media, 2008.

Speaking Powerpoint

Brice Gabrielle, 2010

“You use PowerPoint at work to create strategic plans, executive briefings, research reports and other boardroom-style slides. But could your slides be clearer, more convincing and built in half the time? You bet!

"Learn a new method for business managers who want to use PowerPoint at work to drive strategy. The Mindworks Presentation Method is based on 40 years of research in brain science, instructional design and information design and will help you to

  • Eliminate time wasters and complete PowerPoint decks three times faster
  • Enhance your credibility by creating visually pleasing slides using simple graphic design rules
  • Make complex slides easier to understand and avoid "Death by PowerPoint" forever
  • Make audiences more likely to agree with you by applying the proven principles of master persuaders”

Gabrielle, Brice. Speaking Powerpoint. Insights Publishing, 2010.

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (first published 1983)

Edward R. Tuftev, 2001

“The classic book on statistical graphics, charts, tables. Theory and practice in the design of data graphics, 250 illustrations of the best (and a few of the worst) statistical graphics, with detailed analysis of how to display data for precise, effective, quick analysis. Design of the high-resolution displays, small multiples. Editing and improving graphics. The data-ink ratio. Time-series, relational graphics, data maps, multivariate designs. Detection of graphical deception: design variation vs. data variation. Sources of deception. Aesthetics and data graphical displays. This is the second edition of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Recently published, this new edition provides excellent color reproductions of the many graphics of William Playfair, adds color to other images, and includes all the changes and corrections accumulated during 17 printings of the first edition.”

Tufte, Edward R. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Graphics Pr, 2001.

Game Theory and Simulations

Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction

Ken Binmore, 2007

“Games are everywhere: Drivers maneuvering in heavy traffic are playing a driving game. Bargain hunters bidding on eBay are playing an auctioning game. The supermarket's price for corn flakes is decided by playing an economic game. This Very Short Introduction offers a succinct tour of the fascinating world of game theory, a ground-breaking field that analyzes how to play games in a rational way. Ken Binmore, a renowned game theorist, explains the theory in a way that is both entertaining and non-mathematical yet also deeply insightful, revealing how game theory can shed light on everything from social gatherings, to ethical decision-making, to successful card-playing strategies, to calculating the sex ratio among bees. With mini-biographies of many fascinating, and occasionally eccentric, founders of the subject--including John Nash, subject of the movie A Beautiful Mind--this book offers a concise overview of a cutting-edge field that has seen spectacular successes in evolutionary biology and economics, and is beginning to revolutionize other disciplines from psychology to political science.

"About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, and Literary Theory to History. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given topic. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how it has developed and influenced society. Whatever the area of study, whatever the topic that fascinates the reader, the series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.”

Binmore, Ken. Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2007.

Rules of Play

Eric Zimmerman, Katie Sale, 2003

“An impassioned look at games and game design that offers the most ambitious framework for understanding them to date.

"As pop culture, games are as important as film or television―but game design has yet to develop a theoretical framework or critical vocabulary. In Rules of Play Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman present a much-needed primer for this emerging field. They offer a unified model for looking at all kinds of games, from board games and sports to computer and video games. As active participants in game culture, the authors have written Rules of Play as a catalyst for innovation, filled with new concepts, strategies, and methodologies for creating and understanding games. Building an aesthetics of interactive systems, Salen and Zimmerman define core concepts like "play," "design," and "interactivity." They look at games through a series of eighteen "game design schemas," or conceptual frameworks, including games as systems of emergence and information, as contexts for social play, as a storytelling medium, and as sites of cultural resistance.

"Written for game scholars, game developers, and interactive designers, Rules of Play is a textbook, reference book, and theoretical guide. It is the first comprehensive attempt to establish a solid theoretical framework for the emerging discipline of game design.”

Zimmerman, Eric and Katie Sale. Rules of Play. The MIT Press, 2003.

Simulating War: Conflicts through Simulation Games

Philip Sabin, 2014

“Over the past fifty years, many thousands of conflict simulations have been published that bring the dynamics of past and possible future wars to life.

"In this book, Philip Sabin explores the theory and practice of conflict simulation as a topic in its own right, based on his thirty years of experience in designing wargames and using them in teaching. Simulating Warsets conflict simulation in its proper context alongside more familiar techniques such as game theory and operational analysis. It explains in detail the analytical and modelling techniques involved, and it teaches you how to design your own simulations of conflicts of your choice. The book provides eight simple illustrative simulations of specific historical conflicts, complete with rules, maps and counters.

"Simulating War is essential reading for all recreational or professional simulation gamers, and for anyone who is interested in modelling war, from teachers and students to military officers.”

Sabin, Philip. Simulating War: Conflicts through Simulation Games. Bloomsbury Academic, 2014.

Innovations in Wargaming Vol. 1: Developments in Professional and Hobby Wargaming

John Curry, 2012

“The Art of Wargaming has never been static over the first two centuries of its history. In both the professional and hobby sides of wargaming, there has been a desire to strive to perfect and develop the many sets of rules into the best possible wargaming system. This book is about some of the key innovations in wargaming. It includes chapters on: Designing Wargaming Rules The Hunt for Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Committee Game An introduction to Kriegsspiel by Paddy Griffith A Naval Kriegsspiel by Paddy Griffith TEWTS Tactical Exercises Without Troops Space Invaders on the Rhine: A Hall Game Hijack! An anti-terrorism wargame Sen Toku A World War 2 Japanese Imperial Naval Staff Game. An extended discussion on How to Design and Play Historical War Council Games by Paddy Griffith The History of Wargaming Project is edited by John Curry.”

Curry, John. Innovations in Wargaming Vol. 1: Developments in Professional and Hobby Wargaming. Lulu.com, 2012.

The Art of Wargaming: A Guide for Professionals and Hobbyists

Peter Perla, 1990

“Bizarre but true games about war continue to grow in popularity. Perla (research analyst, Center for Naval Analysis) synthesizes the recreational and military aspects of wargaming. He explores the subject from its early history to its future potential, with particular attention to current practice and the fundamental principles and techniques governing the design and use of wargames. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.”

Perla, Peter. The Art of Wargaming: A Guide for Professionals and Hobbyists. Naval Inst Press, 1990.

The United States Naval War College Fundamentals of War Gaming 3rd Edition

Francis J. McHugh, 2016

Fundamentals of War Gaming provides an in-depth introduction to the basics of military gaming, and offers historical insights into the development of war gaming methodologies. It covers the evolution of gaming tools such as the ancient adaptations of chess and the development of Kriegspiel to teach military tactics to Prussian officers. The employment of gaming by various military powers, before and during the World Wars, is explored and culminated with the introduction of computer support and simulations in the U.S. Navy. This book presents a comprehensive treatment of the various forms of war gaming, from manual games to computer-assisted games; from one-sided to multi-sided games; and from free-play games to rigid style games. The author addresses every aspect of gaming imaginable, including data requirements, design, execution, and analysis. Even the use of probabilistic tables to emulate stochastic processing, and the use of flow diagrams for decisions are provided. Military leaders, strategists, soldiers, group commands, and platoons may be interested in this volume. Additionally political and military science students and professors may also be interested in this historical resource about different types of warfare.”

McHugh, Francis J. The United States Naval War College Fundamentals of War Gaming. Dept. of the Navy, 2016.

War Gaming for Leaders

Mark L. Herman, Mark D. Frost, 2008

“If you had the opportunity to probe the future, make strategic choices, and view their consequences before making expensive and irretrievable decisions, wouldn't you take advantage of it?

"Of course you would. And in a world of asymmetrical conflict, security threats, intense global competition, and economic uncertainty, there is an even higher premium on road-testing plans and strategies--whether they're spearheaded by government organizations, transnational corporations, or emerging megacommunities.

"Wargaming for Leaders provides a methodology to get at the issues that one leader, no matter how visionary, cannot grasp on his or her own. How? By bringing together the real experts on the topic at hand to wage "cognitive warfare." Through tapping the collective wisdom surrounding an issue, experts can experience the future in a risk-free environment and find answers to questions that had not been on their radar--often with unexpected and startling results.

"With examples from the fields of military, corporate, and public policy, three wargaming developers from Booz Allen Hamilton deliver compelling insights on this problem-solving method, including fascinating details on how.

  • A large equipment manufacturer determined whether making a merger was strategically right for its business growth, as well as which technology investments it needed to drop.
  • A four-star U.S. general tested his war plan for Iraq and uncovered specific fixes that might have prevented a prolonged conflict.
  • An increasingly clogged air-traffic system faced a security-versus-convenience issue determined whether military airspace could be used during peak demand periods

"Wargaming allows organizations of every type and every size to organize information, plot out scenarios, and tap into the collective expertise of participants. The results allow everyone to identify and tackle obstacles, solve problems, and find new ways to innovate and further performance goals.

"Get ready for the battle of your organizational life--and prepare to reap the spoils of victory.”

Herman, Mark L. and Mark D. Frost. War Gaming for Leaders. McGraw-Hill Education, 2008.

Military and Public Service

Assignment: Pentagon: How to Excel in a Bureaucracy 4th Ed.

Perry M. Smith, Daniel M. Gerstein, 2007

“Since the first edition of Assignment: Pentagon was published in 1988, great changes have occurred in the international environment, the application of U.S. national security strategy, and the manner in which the Pentagon functions. Now in its fourth printing and with a coauthor to lend a different perspective, Assignment: Pentagon remains the best book for anyone who works for the Pentagon, or for any big bureaucracy for that matter. Eminently readable, Assignment: Pentagon is the essential guide for the newly assigned military person, fresh civilian, and interested outsider to the Pentagon’s informal set of arrangements, networks, and functions that operate in the service and joint service world. From the type of wristwatch one needs to how to succeed on the Joint Staff, the book delivers a wealth of practical advice and helpful hints about surviving the pressures and problems of working in “The Building.” If you’ve been assigned to the Pentagon or are starting work for any large company, you need Assignment: Pentagon.”

Smith, Perry M. and Daniel M. Gerstein. Assignment: Pentagon: How to Excel in a Bureaucracy. Potomac Books, 2007.

Curious: The Desire to Know Why Your Future Depends on It

Ian Leslie, 2015

““I have no special talents,” said Albert Einstein. “I am only passionately curious.”

"Everyone is born curious. But only some retain the habits of exploring, learning, and discovering as they grow older. Those who do so tend to be smarter, more creative, and more successful. So why are many of us allowing our curiosity to wane?

"In Curious, Ian Leslie makes a passionate case for the cultivation of our “desire to know.” Just when the rewards of curiosity have never been higher, it is misunderstood, undervalued, and increasingly monopolized by a cognitive elite. A “curiosity divide” is opening up.

"This divide is being exacerbated by the way we use the Internet. Thanks to smartphones and tools such as Google and Wikipedia, we can answer almost any question instantly. But does this easy access to information guarantee the growth of curiosity? No—quite the opposite. Leslie argues that true curiosity the sustained quest for understanding that begets insight and innovation—is in fact at risk in a wired world.

"Drawing on fascinating research from psychology, economics, education, and business, Curious looks at what feeds curiosity and what starves it, and finds surprising answers. Curiosity isn't, as we're encouraged to think, a gift that keeps on giving. It is a mental muscle that atrophies without regular exercise and a habit that parents, schools, and workplaces need to nurture.

"Filled with inspiring stories, case studies, and practical advice, Curious will change the way you think about your own mental habits, and those of your family, friends, and colleagues.”

Leslie, Ian. Curious: The Desire to Know Why Your Future Depends on It. Basic Books, 2015.

Risk Intelligence: How to Live with Uncertainty

Dylan Evans, 2015

““With an arsenal of studies and statistics, Evans covers fascinating topics, including battlefield strategies, overconfidence, lies, and the tendency to follow the crowd…a valuable manual” (Publishers Weekly) introducing the recently discovered type of intelligence. “Risk Intelligence is really a great contribution for dealing with the biggest challenge we have in an interconnected world: complexity, velocity, and uncertainty” (Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum).

"As acclaimed author and lecturer Dylan Evans reveals in his latest work, there is a special kind of intelligence for dealing with risk and uncertainty. But shockingly, many people in positions that require high risk intelligence—doctors, financial regulators, and bankers, for instance—seem unable to navigate what Evans calls the “darkened room,” the domain of doubt and uncertainty.

"Risk Intelligence is a traveller’s guide to the twilight zone of probabilities and speculation. Evans shows us how risk intelligence is crucial to making good decisions, from dealing with climate change to combating terrorism. He argues that we can all learn a lot from expert gamblers, not just about money, but about how to make decisions in all aspects of our lives. Introducing a wealth of fascinating research findings and using a wide range of real-life examples—from the brilliant risk assessment skills of horse race handicappers to the tragically flawed evaluations of risk that caused the 2009 financial crisis—Evans reveals the common errors in our thinking that undermine our risk intelligence.

"Both highly engaging and truly mind-changing, Risk Intelligence shows how we can improve our thinking in order to enhance our lives.”

Evans, Dylan. Risk Intelligence: How to Live with Uncertainty. Free Press, 2015.

Red Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy

Micah Zenko, 2015

“Red teaming. It is a practice as old as the Devil's Advocate, the eleventh-century Vatican official charged with discrediting candidates for sainthood. Today, red teams-comprised primarily of fearless skeptics and those assuming the role of saboteurs who seek to better understand the interests, intentions, and capabilities of institutions or potential competitors-are used widely in both the public and private sector. Red teaming, including simulations, vulnerability probes, and alternative analyses, helps institutions in competitive environments to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses, challenge assumptions, and anticipate potential threats ahead of the next special operations raid, malicious cyberattack, or corporate merger. But not all red teams are created equal; indeed, some cause more damage than they prevent.

"In Red Team, national security expert Micah Zenko provides an in-depth investigation into the work of red teams, revealing the best practices, most common pitfalls, and most effective applications of these modern-day Devil's Advocates. The best practices of red teaming can be applied to the CIA, NYPD, or a pharmaceutical company, and executed correctly they can yield impressive results: red teams give businesses an edge over their competition, poke holes in vital intelligence estimates, and troubleshoot dangerous military missions long before boots are on the ground. But red teams are only as good as leaders allow them to be, and Zenko shows not only how to create and empower red teams, but also what to do with the information they produce.

"Essential reading for business leaders and policymakers alike, Red Team will revolutionize the way organizations think about, exploit, compensate for, and correct their institutional strengths and weaknesses. Drawing on little-known case studies and unprecedented access to elite red teamers in the United States and abroad, Zenko shows how any group-from military units to friendly hackers-can win by thinking like the enemy.”

Zenko, Micah. Red Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy. Basic Books, 2015.

Simulating War: Conflicts through Simulation Games

Philip Sabin, 2014

“Over the past fifty years, many thousands of conflict simulations have been published that bring the dynamics of past and possible future wars to life.

"In this book, Philip Sabin explores the theory and practice of conflict simulation as a topic in its own right, based on his thirty years of experience in designing wargames and using them in teaching. Simulating Warsets conflict simulation in its proper context alongside more familiar techniques such as game theory and operational analysis. It explains in detail the analytical and modelling techniques involved, and it teaches you how to design your own simulations of conflicts of your choice. The book provides eight simple illustrative simulations of specific historical conflicts, complete with rules, maps and counters.

"Simulating War is essential reading for all recreational or professional simulation gamers, and for anyone who is interested in modelling war, from teachers and students to military officers.”

Sabin, Philip. Simulating War: Conflicts through Simulation Games. Bloomsbury Academic, 2014.

The Defense of Jisr Al Doreea

Michael L. Burgoyne, Albert J. Marckwardt, 2009

“Following the invasion of Iraq in 2003 the U.S. military found itself in a battle with a lethal and adaptive insurgency, where the divisions between enemy and ally were ambiguous at best, and working with the local population was essential for day-to-day survival. From the lessons they learned during multiple tours of duty in Iraq, two American veterans have penned The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa, an instructional parable of counterinsurgency that addresses the myriad of difficulties associated with war in the postmodern era.

"In this tactical primer based on the military classic The Defence of Duffer’s Drift, a young officer deployed for the first time in Iraq receives ground-level lessons about urban combat, communications technology, and high-powered weaponry in an environment where policy meets reality. Over the course of six dreams, the inexperienced soldier fights the same battle again and again, learning each time—the hard way—which false assumptions and misconceptions he needs to discard in order to help his men avoid being killed or captured. As the protagonist struggles with his missions and grapples with the consequences of his mistakes, he develops a keen understanding of counterinsurgency fundamentals and the potential pitfalls of working with the native population.

"Accompanied here by the original novella that inspired it, The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa offers an invaluable resource for cadets and junior military leaders seeking to master counterinsurgency warfare—as well as general readers seeking a deeper understanding of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just as its predecessor has been a hallmark of military instruction, The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa will draw the road map for counterinsurgency in the postmodern world.”

Burgoyne, Michael L. and Albert J. Marckwardt. The Defense of Jisr Al Doreea. University of Chicago Press, 2009.

Nightmare on Wazir Street: Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures

Combined Arms Research Library, 2012

“This recollection of combat nightmares is dedicated to those who "stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat." A little more than a century ago, my great-great-grandfather Backsight Forethought returned to Ireland from service in the Boer War as a lieutenant in the Royal Irish Rifles. BF was, according to family oral history, something of a weird duck given to long walks and even longer conversations with himself. Most disturbing to his fellow Irishmen of the day was his tendency to refer to dreams as a guiding source in his life after his return from South Africa. Ultimately, the confining nature of Irish society, climate, and country prompted BF to emigrate from Ireland to the United States, where his ways blended in and he enjoyed greater room to roam as he murmured to himself about somebody named "Oom." BF passed away in 1945 with his family and heirs around him. One was my great-grandfather, BF II, and another was his son, BF III, my grandfather. True to our Irish roots, we had kept alive the patrilineal heritage, naming each firstborn son after the man who brought the family to America. With that shared name came a shared but selective gift. You see, every BF since Great-Great-Grandpa BF has been guided by his dreams. BF the First chose to write a short book about his dreams in the Boer War, hoping to share his hard won insights with following generations of lieutenants facing combat for the first time. BF II said that short work helped him survive the tragedy of the trenches in WWI. BF III, just back from Europe in 1945, assured his grandfather, BF the First, that his dreams had guided him in the long march up the Italian boot. My father, BF IV, experienced the same in Vietnam. And so it has proved for me. Like my great-great-grandfather, I have chosen to recount my experiences on paper. This tale encompasses an amalgamation of events and lessons learned that took place during the Iraq phase of the Global War on Terrorism. I hope that by reading this narrative, some leader on a future battlefield will apply the basic principles illuminated through the pain of another. Nowadays it is important to remember, when making an assessment of our enemies, that the insurgent has been practicing insurgency for a few years. He is extremely smart and adaptive. Right now one of them is hard at work developing a diabolical plan to try and kill you. Remember, all the dumb insurgents are dead.”

Combined Arms Research Library. Nightmare on Wazir Street: Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures. BilblioGov, 2012.

The Defense of Duffer’s Drift: A Lesson in the Fundamentals of Small Unit Tactics

E. D. Swinton, 2017

The Defence of Duffer's Drift is a work by Ernest Dunlop Swinton now brought to you in this new edition of the timeless classic.”

Swinton, E. D. The Defense of Duffer’s Drift: A Lesson in the Fundamentals of Small Unit Tactics. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017.

blues-zones-solution.jpg

The Blue Zones Solutions: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People

Dan Buettner, 2017

 

Negotiation

Brief: Make a Larger Impact by Saying Less

Joseph McCormack, 2014

“Get heard by being clear and concise

"The only way to survive in business today is to be a lean communicator. Busy executives expect you to respect and manage their time more effectively than ever. You need to do the groundwork to make your message tight and to the point. The average professional receives 304 emails per week and checks their smartphones 36 times an hour and 38 hours a week. This inattention has spread to every part of life. The average attention span has shrunk from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight in 2012. So, throw them a lifeline and be brief.

"Author Joe McCormack tackles the challenges of inattention, interruptions, and impatience that every professional faces. His proven B.R.I.E.F. approach, which stands for Background, Relevance, Information, Ending, and Follow up, helps simplify and clarify complex communication. BRIEF will help you summarize lengthy information, tell a short story, harness the power of infographics and videos, and turn monologue presentations into controlled conversations.

  • Details the B.R.I.E.F. approach to distilling your message into a brief presentation
    Written by the founder and CEO of Sheffield Marketing Partners, which specializes in message and narrative development, who is also a recognized expert in Narrative Mapping, a technique that helps clients achieve a clearer and more concise message
  • Long story short: BRIEF will help you gain the muscle you need to eliminate wasteful words and stand out from the rest. Be better. Be brief.”

McCormack, Joseph. Brief: Make a Larger Impact by Saying Less. Wiley, 2014.

Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life

Stuart Diamond, 2011

“Whether making a business deal, talking to friends or booking a holiday, negotiation is going on. And most of us are terrible at it. This book reveals the secrets behind getting more in negotiations - whatever 'more' means to you.”

Diamond, Stuart. Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life. Penguin Publishing Ltd, 2011.

Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond

Deepak Malthora; Max H. Bazerman, 2008

“From two leaders in executive education at Harvard Business School, here are the mental habits and proven strategies you need to achieve outstanding results in any negotiation.

Whether you’ve “seen it all” or are just starting out, Negotiation Genius will dramatically improve your negotiating skills and confidence. Drawing on decades of behavioral research plus the experience of thousands of business clients, the authors take the mystery out of preparing for and executing negotiations—whether they involve multimillion-dollar deals or improving your next salary offer.

What sets negotiation geniuses apart? They are the men and women who know how to:

  • Identify negotiation opportunities where others see no room for discussion
  • Discover the truth even when the other side wants to conceal it
  • Negotiate successfully from a position of weakness
  • Defuse threats, ultimatums, lies, and other hardball tactics
  • Overcome resistance and “sell” proposals using proven influence tactics
  • Negotiate ethically and create trusting relationships—along with great deals
  • Recognize when the best move is to walk away
  • And much, much more

This book gets “down and dirty.” It gives you detailed strategies—including talking points—that work in the real world even when the other side is hostile, unethical, or more powerful. When you finish it, you will already have an action plan for your next negotiation. You will know what to do and why. You will also begin building your own reputation as a negotiation genius.”

Malthora, Deepak and Max H. Bazerman. Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond. Bantam, 2008.

Research, Theses, and Dissertations

A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 8th Ed.

Turabian, Kate L., 2013

“A little more than seventy-five years ago, Kate L. Turabian drafted a set of guidelines to help students understand how to write, cite, and formally submit research writing. Seven editions and more than nine million copies later, the name Turabian has become synonymous with best practices in research writing and style. Her Manual for Writers continues to be the gold standard for generations of college and graduate students in virtually all academic disciplines. Now in its eighth edition, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations has been fully revised to meet the needs of today’s writers and researchers.

"The Manual retains its familiar three-part structure, beginning with an overview of the steps in the research and writing process, including formulating questions, reading critically, building arguments, and revising drafts. Part II provides an overview of citation practices with detailed information on the two main scholarly citation styles (notes-bibliography and author-date), an array of source types with contemporary examples, and detailed guidance on citing online resources.

"The final section treats all matters of editorial style, with advice on punctuation, capitalization, spelling, abbreviations, table formatting, and the use of quotations. Style and citation recommendations have been revised throughout to reflect the sixteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style. With an appendix on paper format and submission that has been vetted by dissertation officials from across the country and a bibliography with the most up-to-date listing of critical resources available, A Manual for Writers remains the essential resource for students and their teachers.”

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. University of Chicago Press, 2013.

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

William Zinsser, 2006

On Writing Well has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity and the warmth of its style. It is a book for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does in the age of e-mail and the Internet. 

"Whether you want to write about people or places, science and technology, business, sports, the arts or about yourself in the increasingly popular memoir genre, On Writing Well offers you fundamental principles as well as the insights of a distinguished writer and teacher. With more than a million copies sold, this volume has stood the test of time and remains a valuable resource for writers and would-be writers.”

Zinsser, William. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction. Harper Perennial 2006.

A Rulebook for Arguments 4th Edition

Anthony Weston, 2008

A Rulebook for Arguments is a succinct introduction to the art of writing and assessing arguments, organized around specific rules, each illustrated and explained soundly but briefly. This widely popular primer--translated into eight languages--remains the first choice in all disciplines for writers who seek straightforward guidance about how to assess arguments and how to cogently construct them.

"The fourth edition offers a revamped and more tightly focused approach to extended arguments, a new chapter on oral arguments, and updated examples and topics throughout.”

Weston, Anthony. A Rulebook for Arguments. Hackett Pub Co., 2008.

How to Write a Master’s Thesis

Yvonne N. Bui, 2013

“Yvonne N. Bui′s How to Write a Master′s Thesis is a step-by-step guidebook that demystifies a process that can often prove to be overwhelming and confusing to graduate students. The tone and format of this applied book is reader-friendly and includes practical suggestions that go beyond informing what "should" be done. It is chock full of detailed explanations, examples, and supplemental materials that have been used successfully in advising students in completing their master′s theses.”

Bui, Yvonne N. How to Write a Master’s Thesis. SAGE Publications, Inc., 2013.

How to Write a Thesis 1977

Umberto Eco, 2015

“Umberto Eco's wise and witty guide to researching and writing a thesis, published in English for the first time.

"By the time Umberto Eco published his best-selling novel The Name of the Rose, he was one of Italy's most celebrated intellectuals, a distinguished academic and the author of influential works on semiotics. Some years before that, in 1977, Eco published a little book for his students, How to Write a Thesis, in which he offered useful advice on all the steps involved in researching and writing a thesis―from choosing a topic to organizing a work schedule to writing the final draft. Now in its twenty-third edition in Italy and translated into seventeen languages, How to Write a Thesis has become a classic. Remarkably, this is its first, long overdue publication in English.

"Eco's approach is anything but dry and academic. He not only offers practical advice but also considers larger questions about the value of the thesis-writing exercise. How to Write a Thesis is unlike any other writing manual. It reads like a novel. It is opinionated. It is frequently irreverent, sometimes polemical, and often hilarious. Eco advises students how to avoid "thesis neurosis" and he answers the important question "Must You Read Books?" He reminds students "You are not Proust" and "Write everything that comes into your head, but only in the first draft." Of course, there was no Internet in 1977, but Eco's index card research system offers important lessons about critical thinking and information curating for students of today who may be burdened by Big Data.

"How to Write a Thesis belongs on the bookshelves of students, teachers, writers, and Eco fans everywhere. Already a classic, it would fit nicely between two other classics: Strunk and White and The Name of the Rose.

Eco, Umberto. How to Write a Thesis. The MIT Press, 2015.

How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading

Mortimer Jerome Adler, Charles Lincoln Van Doren, 1972

“With half a million copies in print, How to Read a Book is the best and most successful guide to reading comprehension for the general reader, completely rewritten and updated with new material.

"Originally published in 1940, this book is a rare phenomenon, a living classic that introduces and elucidates the various levels of reading and how to achieve them—from elementary reading, through systematic skimming and inspectional reading, to speed reading. Readers will learn when and how to “judge a book by its cover,” and also how to X-ray it, read critically, and extract the author’s message from the text.

"Also included is instruction in the different techniques that work best for reading particular genres, such as practical books, imaginative literature, plays, poetry, history, science and mathematics, philosophy and social science works.

"Finally, the authors offer a recommended reading list and supply reading tests you can use measure your own progress in reading skills, comprehension, and speed.”

Adler, Mortimer Jerome and Charles Lincoln Van Doren. How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading. Torchstone, 1972.

Case Study Research: Design and Methods

Robert K. Yin, 2017

“Recognized as one of the most cited methodology books in the social sciences, the Sixth Edition of Robert K. Yin′s bestselling text provides a complete portal to the world of case study research. With the integration of 11 applications in this edition, the book gives readers access to exemplary case studies drawn from a wide variety of academic and applied fields. Ultimately, Case Study Research and Applications will guide students in the successful design and use of the case study research method.

"New to this Edition

  • Includes 11 in-depth applications that show how researchers have implemented case study methods successfully.
  • Increases reference to relativist and constructivist approaches to case study research, as well as how case studies can be part of mixed methods projects.
  • Places greater emphasis on using plausible rival explanations to bolster case study quality.
  • Discusses synthesizing findings across case studies in a multiple-case study in more detail
  • Adds an expanded list of 15 fields that have text or texts devoted to case study research
  • Sharpens discussion of distinguishing research from non-research case studies.
  • The author brings to light at least three remaining gaps to be filled in the future:
  • how rival explanations can become more routinely integrated into all case study research;
  • the difference between case-based and variable-based approaches to designing and analyzing case studies; and the relationship between case study research and qualitative research.”

Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research: Design and Methods. SAGE Publications, 2017.

Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data

Charles J. Weelan, 2014

““Brilliant, funny . . . the best math teacher you never had.”―San Francisco Chronicle

"Once considered tedious, the field of statistics is rapidly evolving into a discipline Hal Varian, chief economist at Google, has actually called “sexy.” From batting averages and political polls to game shows and medical research, the real-world application of statistics continues to grow by leaps and bounds. How can we catch schools that cheat on standardized tests? How does Netflix know which movies you’ll like? What is causing the rising incidence of autism? As best-selling author Charles Wheelan shows us in Naked Statistics, the right data and a few well-chosen statistical tools can help us answer these questions and more.

"For those who slept through Stats 101, this book is a lifesaver. Wheelan strips away the arcane and technical details and focuses on the underlying intuition that drives statistical analysis. He clarifies key concepts such as inference, correlation, and regression analysis, reveals how biased or careless parties can manipulate or misrepresent data, and shows us how brilliant and creative researchers are exploiting the valuable data from natural experiments to tackle thorny questions.

"And in Wheelan’s trademark style, there’s not a dull page in sight. You’ll encounter clever Schlitz Beer marketers leveraging basic probability, an International Sausage Festival illuminating the tenets of the central limit theorem, and a head-scratching choice from the famous game show Let’s Make a Deal―and you’ll come away with insights each time. With the wit, accessibility, and sheer fun that turned Naked Economics into a bestseller, Wheelan defies the odds yet again by bringing another essential, formerly unglamorous discipline to life.”

Weelan, Charles J. Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data. W. M. Norton & Company, 2014.

Practical Research: Planning and Design

Paul D. Leedy, Jeanne Ellis Ormrod, 2015

“Engaging and cross-disciplinary, Practical Research: Planning and Design is a do-it-yourself, understand-it-yourself manual for planning and conducting research.  Suitable for a wide variety of courses in basic research methodology, the text guides the reader, step-by-step, from the selection of a problem, through the process of conducting authentic research, to the preparation of a completed report, with practical suggestions throughout. The authors emphasize the idea that quality research demands planning and design, and they provide what is needed for readers to be able to execute their own research projects effectively and professionally."

Leedy, Paul D. and Jeanne Ellis Ormrod. Practical Research: Planning and Design. Pearson, 2015.

Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation

Sharan B. Merriam, 2015

“The bestselling guide to qualitative research, updated and expanded

"Qualitative Research is the essential guide to understanding, designing, conducting, and presenting a qualitative research study. This fourth edition features new material covering mixed methods, action research, arts-based research, online data sources, and the latest in data analysis, including data analysis software packages as well as narrative and poetic analysis strategies. A new section offers multiple ways of presenting qualitative research findings. The reader-friendly, jargon-free style makes this book accessible to both novice and experienced researchers, emphasizing the role of a theoretical framework in designing a study while providing practical guidance.

"Qualitative research reaches beyond the what, where, and when of quantitative analysis to investigate the why and how behind human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior, but this presents a number of significant challenges. This guide is an invaluable reference for students and practitioners alike, providing the deep understanding that this sometimes difficult area of research requires to produce accurate results. The book contains a step-by-step guide to analyzing qualitative data and an addendum for graduate students with a template for a thesis, dissertation, or grant application.

  • Build a strong foundation in qualitative research theory and application
  • Design and implement effective qualitative research studies
  • Communicate findings more successfully with clear presentation
  • Explore data sources, data analysis tools, and the different types of research”

Merriam, Sharan B. Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation. Jossey-Bass, 2015.

The Craft of Research

Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, Joseph Bizup, William T. Fitzgereald, 2016

“With more than three-quarters of a million copies sold since its first publication, The Craft of Research has helped generations of researchers at every level—from first-year undergraduates to advanced graduate students to research reporters in business and government—learn how to conduct effective and meaningful research. Conceived by seasoned researchers and educators Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, this fundamental work explains how to find and evaluate sources, anticipate and respond to reader reservations, and integrate these pieces into an argument that stands up to reader critique.

"The fourth edition has been thoroughly but respectfully revised by Joseph Bizup and William T. FitzGerald. It retains the original five-part structure, as well as the sound advice of earlier editions, but reflects the way research and writing are taught and practiced today. Its chapters on finding and engaging sources now incorporate recent developments in library and Internet research, emphasizing new techniques made possible by online databases and search engines. Bizup and FitzGerald provide fresh examples and standardized terminology to clarify concepts like argument, warrant, and problem.

"Following the same guiding principle as earlier editions—that the skills of doing and reporting research are not just for elite students but for everyone—this new edition retains the accessible voice and direct approach that have made The Craft of Research a leader in the field of research reference. With updated examples and information on evaluation and using contemporary sources, this beloved classic is ready for the next generation of researchers.”

Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, Joseph Bizup, and William T. Fitzgereald. The Craft of Research. University of Chicago Press, 2016.

 

Doing Research in the Real World

David E. Gray, 2018

“This helpful book takes a pragmatic, real-world approach to research methods that gives readers the tools and confidence to carry out their own research in and out of the classroom. Expertly weaving quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods together, it encourages readers to be open-minded in choosing the most appropriate methods for their projects. 

"Featuring a full set of updated and integrated digital resources, as well as three new chapters on visual methods, qualitative data analysis with NVivo, and digital research, the new Fourth Edition remains on the forefront of practical, applied research and guides readers through every step of the research process from start to finish.

"Brimming with checklists, interdisciplinary examples, and tips about navigating the realities of planning a project, collecting and analyzing data, and sharing research findings, Doing Research in the Real World is still the companion for any student undertaking a research project.”

Gray, David E. Doing Research in the Real World. SAGE Publications, 2018.

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Grad School Essentials: A Crash Course in Scholarly Skills

Zachary Shore, 2016

“What’s the hardest part of grad school? It’s not simply that the workload is heavy and the demands are high. It’s that too many students lack efficient methods to let them do their best. Professor Zachary Shore aims to change this. With humorous, lively prose, Professor Shore teaches you to master the five most crucial skills you need to succeed: how to read, write, speak, act, and research at a higher level. Each chapter in this no-nonsense guide outlines a unique approach to acquiring a skill and then demonstrates how to enhance it. Through these concrete, practical methods, Grad School Essentials will save you time, elevate the quality of your work, and help you to earn the degree you seek.”

Shore, Zachary. Grad School Essentials: A Crash Course in Scholarly Skills. University of California Press, 2016.

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