Recommended reading, audiobooks, podcasts and articles

As a leader and manager, over the years I have discovered a number of really useful resources about making change happen. As I talk to people I find myself recommending these resources again and again. I have listed some of these below.


Disclosure:   When I recommend something it is because I truly believe it will be useful to you.  I want you to know that some of the links on this page are affiliate links.  What that means is that if you click on the link and decide to purchase the resource, West Island Digital will earn a very small commission (at no extra cost to you).  

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Switch; How to Change Things When Change is Hard - Chip and Dan Heath

This is one of the most practical books on change management that I have come across. Chip and Dan Heath argue that leaders need to understand how people think and feel in order to be able to create change successfully. They illustrate their ideas using scientific studies and real examples.


The biggest value for me was that you can start implementing some of their techniques right away...after you've sat down and done some thinking and planning. It isn't magic or a silver bullet. There is a lot of hard work involved, but their techniques do help.

Harvard Business Review 10 Must Reads on Change Management

I keep coming back to these 10 articles. There is so much wisedom there and so many different angles with which to approach change efforts. All of them are worth reading, from Joseph P. Kotter's evergreen article on leading change to an article by Debra E. Meyerson on "tempered radicals"...people who choose to stay in difficult situations and bring about change over long periods of time. 


Like most books these days you can get this as a paperback, an ebook, an audiobook or a cd.

The Lean Startup - Eric Ries

Don't let the title fool you into thinking that this excellent book is only for startups. The Lean Startup can add value to any organisation of whatever size or shape.


The author, Eric Ries, lays out a framework, built on his and others experience, for applying the scientific method to new ideas, approaches and businesses. By using agile techniques, businesses can rapidly test ideas and approaches and validate (or not) whether they will work. The framework also provides a way forward (called a pivot) for when things don't work out as planned.

The 4-Hour Work-week - Tim Ferriss

This book is written for people wanting to escape the rat race so you could be forgiven for thinking that it is a little out of place here. However, what you will quickly find is that there are quite a few ideas here for the enlightened leader and manager that could help with keeping key staff and/or increasing productivity.


Despite the tile, author Tim Ferriss is not advocating that people take up a lazy lifestyle. Instead, his premise is that readers should be organising their work life in such a way that they CAN spend time doing what matters, rather than wasting it on administrivia.


Whether you agree with him or not, it's worth a read.

The First 90 Days - Michael Watkins

This book has been one of the most useful things I have ever come across to help with personal change, specifically if you are moving into a new organisation or a new role. I have used it many times and always found it inspired fresh thinking, helping me to get on top of my new role very quickly.