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...

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

By James Tamm, Ronald Luyet,

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.

The books we picked & why

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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 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.


Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict

By Donna Hicks,

Book cover of Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict

Why 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.


Social Chemistry: Decoding the Patterns of Human Connection

By Marissa King,

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

Why 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.


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

By Stan Slap,

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

Why 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.


Leading Through Collaboration: Guiding Groups to Productive Solutions

By John P. Glaser,

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

Why 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.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in organizational behavior, social psychology, and conflict management?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about organizational behavior, social psychology, and conflict management.

Organizational Behavior Explore 16 books about organizational behavior
Social Psychology Explore 27 books about social psychology
Conflict Management Explore 5 books about conflict management

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Upstream, Applied Empathy, and The Infinite Game if you like this list.