• +61 (2) 9487 4822
  • Search
  • Sign in

recommended reading

Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change

Timothy D. Wilson, 2011, Allen Lane

On the cover of this book are glowing testimonials from both Malcolm Gladwell and Daniel Gilbert, so I was very much looking forward to reading it. And I was not disappointed. This book is full of wonderful, well tested, examples of how changing the way people think of themselves will result in changing their behaviour. Wilson shows this as he is tackling the difficult behaviours as well. Not only does he document successful projects that have reduced discrimination, teen pregnancy, peer pressure, substance abuse and crime prevention, he also identifies some common principles amongst t..read more

Six Thinking Hats

Edward de Bono, 1995 , Penguin - ISBN 014013784X

A classic. How to manage you own and your teams thinking in a highly imaginative and practical way that will produce excellent results. A must have on anyone’s bookshelf...read more

Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change

Don Edward Beck, Christopher Cowan, 1996, Blackwell Publishing

Probably the definitive work on Clare W. Graves ‘Levels of Existence’ theory. The theory itself is nothing short of astonishing, insightful, thought provoking, challenging and hopeful. It goes way beyond any personality profiling to explain the link between the life conditions that we face and how we evolve our thoughts, feelings, values and beliefs. This is the second time I have read this book and while the book itself is patchy (some parts speculative, others impenetrable) overall the book is incredibly important. Start with Sections 1 and 3 and then decide if you want t..read more

Stumbling on Happiness

Daniel Gilbert, 2005, First Vantage Books

I will re-read this. There is so much in this book. I have only digested a small amount after the first reading. It is one of an increasing number of books that shows us, quite convincingly, that we are little better than sheep when it comes to the vast majority of the decisions we make. It also leaves you questioning the value of surveys and questionnaires. We are hopeless at knowing who we are, what we want and how we will respond. Insightful and a little frightening.”..read more

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

Chip Heath, Dan Heath, 2010, Random House

he brothers Heath have done it again. Another highly readable book on how to help people make a change. The book is packed full of anecdotes, case studies and examples of organisations and the individuals who have shifted them to the next level. These stories are structured into a very neat series of principles a Direct the Rider (How to provide direction and competence), Motivate the Elephant (How to increase commitment) and Shape the Path (How to shape the environment). All three things together do not guarantee that change will take place but together they provide an easy to understand chan..read more

The Black Swan

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, ,

The title of this book is now being used as a euphemism for all that is unpredictable. ‘You can’t predict the Black Swan!’ With an astonishing grasp of mathematics, philosophy, economics and human behaviour Taleb shows why there are no economists in the richest 500 people. It is a little dense on occasions and he could do with a good editor… but then editing ideas and flow of thought is against everything Taleb stands for...read more

The Consolations of Philosophy

Alain De Botton, 2001, Penguin

This book makes philosophy accessible. Alain De Botton examines the work of some of the worlds greatest philosophers by starting with very human issues: Being unpopular, not having enough money, frustration, inadequacy, a broken heart and difficulties. It is a great read...read more

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

Jonathan Haidt, 2006 , Random House

This is one of my favourite books of all time. The sub title to this book is ‘Putting ancient wisdom and Philosophy to the test of modern science.’ Jonathan Haidt is exceptionally well read and researched. His breadth and depth of knowledge combined with an eminently readable style makes this book wonderfully enlightening and entertaining!!!”..read more

The Human Zoo: A Zoologist’s Study of the Urban Animal

Desmond Morris, 1969, Kodansha Globe

In this book, Desmond Morris continues his look at humans from a zoologist’s point of view. This time he looks at how the naked ape responds to the complex situation they have developed for themselves … civilisation. From tribes to super-tribes, bringing with it the issue of status to super-status, Desmond Morris builds a compelling position about how we are constantly trying to fine tune our lives as we struggle with the contrast and balance between our evolutionary psychology/biology and the environment in which we have developed for ourselves. I particularly enjoyed the..read more

The Moral Animal

Robert Wright, 1994, First Vintage Books

If we accept the theory of evolution as the explanation of how we came to be who we are, what does that tell us about our psychology and our morals? Has evolution fooled us to believe in free will? How much of our behaviour is evolutionarily justifiable? Why do so many religious sages preach the same morals? Robert Wright cleverly weaves his answers using Darwin’s life and his work as an illustration. His answer is utilitarian, exceptionally well thought out and a little confronting. It could leave the reader feeling hopeless and fatalistic. But the good news when we separate..read more