McKinsey on Books – Author Talks

Global management consultancy McKinsey and Company offers a regular online series called Author Talks in which they present interviews with authors of newly published business books. 

Through these interviews readers are able to gain more insight into the author’s experiences and knowledge on their topics.

In today’s blog we’ve linked some of these interviews with the books available in the Wellington City Libraries collection.

Author Talks: Unleash your team’s full potential
Bestselling author Daniel Coyle defines the essential elements that create the foundation for optimal company culture.

The culture playbook : 60 highly effective actions to help your group succeed / Coyle, Daniel
“What is great culture made of? How do you get more of it, or turn around a group that needs improving? In The Culture Playbook, Daniel Coyle delivers a field-tested guide for building strong, cohesive, high-performing groups. Coyle, author of the New York Times bestselling The Culture Code, has spent the last six years studying and consulting with some of the most successful groups on the planet – including Pixar, Navy SEALS Team 6 and others. Here, he distils his findings into 60 concise, actionable, scientifically proven tips for building safety, generating trust, and establishing purpose – plus a set of conversation-igniting exercises to help you assess and improve your current culture. The result is a book that will sharpen the skills of any leader and strengthen the cohesion of any team – because it demonstrates that great culture is not controlled by fate or luck; it’s controlled by you”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

Author talks : Think digital
People have long worried about being replaced by machines, but Tsedal Neeley says the true threat to job security in the digital age is other humans—namely those who know how to use digital tools.

The digital mindset : what it really takes to thrive in the age of data, algorithms, and AI / Leonardi, Paul M.

“The digital revolution is here. It’s changing how work gets done, how industries are structured, and how people from all walks of life work, behave, and relate to each other. To thrive in a world driven by data and powered by algorithms, we must learn to see, think, and act in new ways. We need to develop a digital mindset. But what does that mean? Some fear it means that in the near future we will all need to become technologists who master the intricacies of coding, algorithms, AI, machine learning, robotics, and who-knows-what’s-next. This book introduces three approaches – Collaboration, Computation, and Change – that you need for a digital mindset and the perspectives and actions within each approach that will enable you to develop the digital skills you need. With a digital mindset, you can ask the right questions, make smart decisions, and appreciate new possibilities for a digital future. Leaders who adopt these approaches will be able to develop their organization’s talent to prepare their company for successful and continued digital transformation. Award-winning researchers and professors Paul Leonardi and Tsedal Neeley will show you how, and let you in on a surprising and welcome secret: developing a digital mindset isn’t as hard as we think. Most people can become digitally savvy if they follow the “30% rule”-the minimum threshold that gives us just enough digital literacy to understand and take advantage of the digital threads woven into the fabric of our world”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Author Talks: How to fall in love with work
Out of the thousands of moments in a workday, says Marcus Buckingham, you should spend 20 percent on your most beloved areas of mastery.

Love + work : how to find what you love, love what you do, and do it for the rest of your life / Buckingham, Marcus
“We’re in the middle of an epidemic of stress and anxiety. A global pandemic has wreaked havoc on our lives. Average life expectancy in the United States is down. At work, less than 16 percent of us are fully engaged. In many high-stress jobs, such as distribution centers, emergency room nursing, and teaching, incidences of PTSD are higher than for soldiers returning from war zones. We’re getting something terribly wrong. We’ve designed the love out of our workplaces, and our schools too, so that they fail utterly to provide for or capitalize on one of our most basic human needs: our need for love. As Marcus Buckingham shows in this eye-opening, uplifting book, love is an energy, and like all forms of energy, it must flow. It demands expression-and that expression is “work.” Whether in our professional accomplishments, our relationships, or our response to all the many slings and arrows of life, we know that none of this work will be our best unless it is made with love. There’s no learning without love, no innovation, no service, no sustainable growth. Love and work are inextricable. Buckingham first starkly highlights the contours of our loveless work lives and explains how we got here. Next, he relates how we all develop best in response to other human beings. What does a great work relationship look like when the other person is cued to your loves? What does a great team look like when each member is primed to be a mirror, an amplifier, of the loves of another? Finally, he shows how you can weave love back into the world of work as a force for good, how you can use your daily life routines to pinpoint your specific loves, and how you can make this a discipline for the rest of your life. Today, too often, love comes last at work, and we are living the painful consequences of this. Love + Work powerfully shows why love must come first-and how we can make this happen”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Author Talks: Quiet!
Noise, notifications, anxiety. Internally and externally, life has never been more distracting—which is why finding moments of silence has never been more important.

Golden : the power of silence in a world of noise / Zorn, Justin
Golden, The Power of Silence in a World of Noise offers a new way of understanding the unprecedented mass proliferation of sensory input we live with, how it impacts us, and strategies and practices we as individuals, groups, organizations, and society at-large can use to turn down the noise. Silence isn’t simply an absence of noise. At a time when everyday life demands our attention at every waking moment, Justin Zorn shares what scientists, philosophers, spiritual practitioners, creatives, and businesspeople have discovered about the nature of silence. In this timely and enlightening book, they examine how we can be quiet together-suggesting how we create group norms among colleagues, in families, and between partners. With the explosion of open workspaces, the issue of working quiet is an urgent one; Justin offer innovative often counterintuitive strategies to create productive environments. Thought-provoking and practical, Justin Zorn asks why we are letting silence slip away and what we can do to stop it?” — Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

Author Talks: Africa is not a country
News, entertainment, and even charity campaigns tend to promote a stereotypical image of Africa that ignores its nuance and history. Dipo Faloyin is correcting this narrative.

Africa is not a country : breaking stereotypes of modern Africa / Faloyin, Dipo
“You already know these stereotypes. So often Africa is depicted simplistically as an arid red landscape of famines and safaris, uniquely plagued by poverty and strife. In this funny and insightful book, Dipo Faloyin offers a much-needed corrective. He examines each country’s colonial heritage, and explores a wide range of subjects, from chronicling urban life in Lagos and the lively West African rivalry over who makes the best Jollof rice, to the story of democracy in seven dictatorships and the dangers of stereotypes in popular culture. By turns intimate and political, Africa Is Not A Country brings the story of the continent towards reality, celebrating the energy and fabric of its different cultures and communities in a way that has never been done before.” — publisher.” (Catalogue)

Author Talks: 25 million … and counting
Despite life-threatening circumstances, refugees are some of the most entrepreneurial people in the world. Andrew Leon Hanna shares why.

25 million sparks : the untold story of refugee entrepreneurs / Hanna, Andrew Leon
25 Million Sparks is a powerful story of hope – a beautiful reminder of our equal dignity, common humanity, and brilliant potential for innovation. It sheds light on the brutal injustices of war and violence – while celebrating refugees’ records of uplifting communities, generating transformative ideas, and creating peace even amid disaster. Hanna’s captivating human-centered narration of the stories of three women entrepreneurs in the Za’atari camp allows their voices to be heard clearly. These stories, along with others across the globe, are illustrative of the resilience and the power of refugees – and particularly of refugee women – to heal, lead, and advance communities around the world… if only the world recognizes, listens to, and invests in them appropriately.”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Author Talks: People, planet, profits, and …
Simmons University President Lynn Perry Wooten refreshes the triple bottom line with a fourth pillar for leading through compounding crises.

The prepared leader / James, Erika H. 
“In no other time in recent history have leaders in every industry and on every continent grappled with so many changes that have independently and simultaneously undermined their ability to lead. The Prepared Leader encapsulates more than two decades of the authors’ research to convey how it has positioned them to navigate through the distinct challenges of today and tomorrow. Their insights have implications for every leader in every industry and every worker at every level. In their must-listen, actionable book, James and Wooten provide tools and frameworks for addressing and learning from crises, and they provide insight into what you need to know to become a Prepared Leader, including: the five phases of crisis management and the skills you need for each phase; making the right decisions under pressure and how to avoid common mistakes; and building a crisis leadership team and how to lead one that you’ve inherited. James and Wooten argue that-in addition to people, profit, and the planet-prepared leadership should be the fourth “P” in a company’s bottom line. They bring decades of world-renowned research on crisis leadership, diversity and inclusion, management strategy, and positive leadership to the table to help leaders better prepare themselves to lead through crises-and for whatever lies around the corner.” (Catalogue)  E-audiobook format only

Author Talks: Dismantling double standards in business with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin
Julia Boorstin, creator of CNBC’s Disruptor 50 franchise, shares the lessons she’s learned on adaptability and decision making from some of the world’s top female CEOs.

When women lead : what we achieve, why we succeed and what we can learn / Boorstin, Julia

“In her groundbreaking, deeply reported work, Julia Boorstin reveals the odds-defying leadership approaches of women running the world’s most innovative and successful companies – and what we can learn from them. Now, in When Women Lead, Boorstin brings together the stories of over sixty of those female CEOs and leaders, and dozens of new studies. Her combination of narrative and research reveals how once-underestimated characteristics, from vulnerability and gratitude to divergent thinking, can be vital superpowers – and that anyone can work these approaches to their advantage. Featuring new interviews with Gwyneth Paltrow, Jenn Hyman, Whitney Wolfe Herd, Lena Waithe, Shivani Siroya, and more, When Women Lead is a radical blueprint for the future of business, and our world at large. ‘Filled with top-notch research, practical insight and stories from the most inspiring women in business, Julia Boorstin lays out a new, inclusive vision for leadership and our world at large that we all will benefit from.’ – Arianna Huffington, Founder & CEO, Thrive ‘When Women Lead is replete with concrete insights that have personally helped me navigate our unprecedented times of change. Weaving together perspectives from tech, business, politics, the cultural sphere and beyond, Boorstin’s deep reporting and voracious inquiries serve not only as a tactical manual for individuals, but as a toolkit for building interdisciplinary connections.’ – Bettina Korek, CEO of the Serpentine Galleries, London” (Catalogue)

Author Talks: How to learn and lead calmly through volatile times
Three McKinsey veterans condense decades of boardroom experience and cognitive science into a guide for learning proactively and leading dynamically amid the most uncertain circumstances.

Deliberate calm : how to learn and lead in a volatile world / Brassey, Jacqueline
“A trio of McKinsey & Company veterans draws from a combination of psychology, neuroscience, and consciousness practices plus a combined 50-plus years of international board room experience to offer as approach to learning and leading with awareness and intentional choice, even amidst the most challenging circumstances”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)


Author Talks: Turn your work enemies into allies
Whether you’re being interrupted in meetings or challenged at every turn, Amy Gallo shares tactics for getting value out of difficult work relationships.

Getting along: how to work with anyone (even difficult people) / Gallo, Amy
“Named one of “22 new books . . . that you should consider reading before the year is out” by Fortune: A research-based, practical guide for how to handle difficult people at work.” (Catalogue)



Author Talks: What poker pro Annie Duke can teach you about quitting on time
Ever been told to quit while you’re ahead, or that winners never quit? Poker player-turned decision strategist Annie Duke explains why this advice is costing you time and money.

Quit : the power of knowing when to walk away / Duke, Annie
“From the bestselling author of Thinking in Bets comes a toolkit for mastering the skill of quitting to achieve greater success Business leaders, with millions of dollars down the drain, struggle to abandon a new app or product that just isn’t working. Governments, caught in a hopeless conflict, believe that the next tactic will finally be the one that wins the war. And in our own lives, we persist in relationships or careers that no longer serve us. Why? According to Annie Duke, in the face of tough decisions, we’re terrible quitters. And that is significantly holding us back. In Quit, Duke teaches you how to get good at quitting. Drawing on stories from elite athletes like Mount Everest climbers, founders of leading companies like Stewart Butterfield, the CEO of Slack, and top entertainers like Dave Chappelle, Duke explains why quitting is integral to success, as well as strategies for determining when to hold em, and when to fold em, that will save you time, energy, and money. You’ll learn: How the paradox of quitting influences decision making: If you quit on time, you will feel you quit early What forces work against good quitting behavior, such as escalation commitment, desire for certainty, and status quo bias How to think in expected value in order to make better decisions, as well as other best practices, such as increasing flexibility in goal-setting, establishing “quitting contracts,” anticipating optionality, and conducting premortems and backcasts Whether you’re facing a make-or-break business decision or life-altering personal choice, mastering the skill of quitting will help you make the best next move”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

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