The best books for creating collaborative relationships and organizations

James Tamm and Ronald Luyet Author Of Radical Collaboration: Five Essential Skills to Overcome Defensiveness and Build Successful Relationships
By James Tamm and Ronald Luyet

Who are we?

Jim Tamm was a Senior Administrative Law Judge for the State of California with jurisdiction over workplace disputes. In that role, he mediated more school district labor strikes than any other person in the United States. Ron Luyet is a licensed psychotherapist who has worked with group dynamics pioneers such as Carl Rogers and Will Schutz.  He has advised Fortune 500 companies for over forty years specializing in building high-performance teams. Together they wrote Radical Collaboration and are excited to share this list with you today.

We wrote...

Book cover of Radical Collaboration: Five Essential Skills to Overcome Defensiveness and Build Successful Relationships

What is our book about?

Collaborative skills have never been more important to a company's success and these skills are essential for every worker today. Radical Collaboration is a how-to-manual for creating trusting, cooperative environments, and transforming groups into motivated and empowered teams. James W. Tamm and Ronald J. Luyet provide tools that will help you increase your ability to work successfully with others, learn to be more aware of colleagues, and better problem-solve and negotiate.

Radical Collaboration is an eye-opener for leaders, managers, HR professionals, agents, trainers, and consultants who are seeking constructive ways of getting the results they want.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books we picked & why

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

By Stanley McChrystal, Tantum Collins, David Silverman

Book cover of Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

Why did I love this book?

An outstanding analysis of complex systems and the necessity of trust and collaboration on high performing teams. McChrystal uses SEAL teams as his model for a great team. McChrystal and his team point out that the primary purpose of SEAL training is not to develop super fit warriors as much as it is to develop the interdependence and trust needed to function collaboratively as an elite team in an ambiguous, volatile, complex and uncertain world.

By Stanley McChrystal, Tantum Collins, David Silverman

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Team of Teams as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As commander of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), General Stanley McChrystal discarded a century of management wisdom and pivoted from a pursuit of mechanical efficiency to organic adaptability.

In this book, he shows how any organization can make the same transition to act like a team of teams - where small groups combine the freedom to experiment with a relentless drive to share their experience.

Drawing on a wealth of evidence from his military career and sources as diverse as hospital emergency rooms and NASA's space program, McChrystal frames the existential challenge facing today's organizations, and presents a compelling, effective…

Book cover of Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict

Why did I love this book?

The author provides evidence that treating one another with dignity, encourages people to become more connected and more capable of creating meaningful and collaborative relationships. Drawing on her extensive experience in international conflict resolution along with insights from evolutionary biology, psychology, and neuroscience, she explains what the elements of dignity are and how violating them triggers defensiveness. Defensiveness makes cooperation and collaboration unlikely in any situation often leading to resistance, aggression, sabotage and even violence.

By Donna Hicks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dignity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first comprehensive exploration of dignity, its role in human conflict, and its power to improve relationships of all kinds

"This book is a must read for those who want to experience peace in their everyday lives and peace in the world around them. Without an understanding of dignity, there is no hope for such change. If you want to find the weak links in a democracy, look for where people are suffering. You will most likely see a variety of violations. If you want peace, be sure everyone's dignity is intact."-Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The desire for dignity is universal…

Book cover of Social Chemistry: Decoding the Patterns of Human Connection

Why did I love this book?

Yale professor Marissa King shows how anyone can build more meaningful and productive relationships based on insights from neuroscience, psychology, and network analytics. She explains that the quality and structure of our relationships has a great impact on our personal and professional lives. Our social connections profoundly affect our experience of the world, our emotions, and our personal and professional success.

By Marissa King,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Social Chemistry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'full of wisdom and entertaining anecdotes' The Economist

'fascinating' Financial Times

Social Chemistry will utterly transform the way you think about 'networking.' Understanding the contours of your social network can dramatically enhance personal relationships, work life, and even your global impact. Are you an Expansionist, a Broker, or a Convener? The answer matters more than you think. . . .

One of 2021's Most Highly Anticipated New Books--Newsweek
One of The 20 New Leadership Books--Adam Grant
One The Best New Wellness Books Hitting Shelves In
A Next Big Idea Club Nominee

Conventional wisdom would have us believe that…

Book cover of Under the Hood: Fire Up and Fine-Tune Your Employee Culture

Why did I love this book?

Stan captures the essence of the mindset needed to Collaborate. To quote Slap: “When an employee culture is repositioned as a newly precious, workable asset, a company will naturally protect it, same as with any asset. An employee culture can’t be protected without protecting their humanity. If we lose humanity in business, we’re all doomed. If we save it we will have saved ourselves. In case you fear this icy hand of altruism will grip your own company by the throat and choke the life out of revenue, not to worry: We’re talking here about making the business case for humanity. In any environment where meaning is determined by metrics, the point of view and processes in this book are going to cause measurable, sustainable results." We agree.

By Stan Slap,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Under the Hood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You can't sell it outside if you can't sell it inside.

You want maximum business performance? Look under the hood and you’ll find your employee culture: it is the power that drives the enterprise engine. To harness that rumbling power you’ve got to solve the mystery of what an employee culture actually is, how it operates and how to move it forward. These are the keys that this book will put right in your hands.

Renowned business culture expert Stan Slap knows the difference between understanding your employees and understanding your employee culture. The distinction isn’t semantics; it’s the key…

Book cover of Leading Through Collaboration: Guiding Groups to Productive Solutions

Why did I love this book?

A very personal look at strategies, mindsets and tools to create collaborative leaders and more collaborative organizations. John Glaser balances both theory and practical advice gained from his extensive experience as both an outside consultant and an internal leader, as school superintendent of one of California’s most prominent and successful school districts, Napa Valley Unified School District. John Glaser knows what he’s writing about.

By John P. Glaser,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leading Through Collaboration as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

`Written by a very successful leader, problem solver and negotiator, the book combines a strong rationale for its practices, well delineated practical strategies, and vignettes from John Glaser's extensive background that provides the reader with a clear understanding of how to become a truly collaborative leader' - Pat Wolfe, Education Consultant Mind Matters, Inc

'What a marvelous blend of theory and practice! Glaser's writing is so engaging, so personal, and so informative that you will want to read every word. This book should be a requirement for every person who is serious about learning how to lead.' - Leonard O.…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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