It’s no secret that 2021 will bring new challenges for organisations of all sectors, sizes and locations. Repercussions of Covid-19 are apparent everywhere and circumstances continue to evolve at pace. The ability to adapt rapidly to change has never been more important.
As you take time to pause and reflect over the holiday period, you might find yourself reaching for a business book. It’s a great way to expand your horizons and challenge your thinking. A good read can equip you with fresh ideas and approaches, which may be exactly what you and your business needs to start the new year with confidence and purpose.
We’ve put together a list of our favourite, most informative and insightful business titles. If you read one book over the holidays, make sure it’s one of these.
DevOpsGroup’s recommended reading
The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford
This is the archetypal DevOps text. It follows the story of Bill, an IT manager at Parts Unlimited, and his efforts to save the failing Phoenix Project by introducing the Three Ways of DevOps.
The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt
If you want to see where the inspiration for The Phoenix Project came from, read The Goal. It explores the Theory of Constraints and shows the importance of identifying and eliminating constraints within an organisation.
Beyond the Phoenix Project by Gene Kim and John Willis
Originally published as an audiobook this is more a conversational transcript than a book. It expands on the relationship between The Goal and The Phoenix Project. It drills further into core concepts and is a fantastic read if you’re looking to deepen your understanding of DevOps.
Continuous Delivery by Jez Humble and David Farley
THE foundational text on Continuous Delivery! It sets out the principles and technical practices that enable rapid, incremental delivery of high quality, valuable new functionality to users. It contains almost everything you need to know about the continuous delivery aspects of DevOps.
Leadership books that align well with DevOps approaches
The Art of Action by Stephen Bungay
Do you want to learn how to operate effectively when faced with uncertainty? Then this is the book for you. Based on lessons learnt from examining the evolution of military leadership it focuses on how leaders close the gaps between Plans, Actions and Results. It’s not an easy read, but your efforts will be repaid with ideas on how to devise a winning strategy that continuously evolves.
Team of Teams by General Stanley McChrystal
Every enterprise leader should read this book. It offers profound insights on the creation of ‘shared consciousness’. When large organisations achieve this state, people are empowered to act at the individual level, which enables adaptiveness at the organisational level.
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Based on extensive research, this book outlines seven common characteristics of businesses that went ‘from good to great’ that you can emulate in your own organisation.
Start with Why by Simon Sinek
Sinek’s ‘why’ theory emphasises the need for all members of a team or organisation to understand the purpose of what they do. He urges leaders to apply this to their own decision making as well as conveying it to the wider team. If you don’t have time to read the book, Sinek’s TED Talk How great leaders inspire action covers the most salient points.
Practical guidance for adaptive ways of working
The Lean Startup by Eric Reis
Don’t be fooled by the title. The ideas in this book are equally relevant to both scale-ups and enterprises. Reis’ build-measure-learn cycle offers a powerful and effective way to continually evolve and adapt your business offering in line with customer needs and external factors.
Making work Visible by Dominica DeGrandis
Dominica DeGrandis provides a practical guide to help eliminate the five ‘thieves of time’ that are pushing workforces to the edge of burnout and destroying productivity.
Team Topologies by Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais
With some excellent ideas for organisational design, Team Topologies shows how and why a team-centric approach enables better agility. If you have adopted – or plan to adopt – DevOps principles in your business, the insights in this book could prove invaluable.
Have a well-earned Christmas break and may you be well-rested and inspired for 2021!