100 books like Maverick

By Ricardo Semler,

Here are 100 books that Maverick fans have personally recommended if you like Maverick. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Small Is Beautiful: Economics as If People Mattered

Ray Cunningham Author Of The Post-Growth Project: How the End of Economic Growth Could Bring a Fairer and Happier Society

From my list on our fatal addiction to economic growth.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my career, I managed research into how the problems of modern industrial society are tackled in different countries. This reflected my own comparative instinct, which arose out of growing up bilingual and at home in two cultures. My journey into politics, sociology, and economics made me increasingly aware of the blindness of our social arrangements to the growing ecological crisis – and of how this blindness is perpetuated by the narrow silos of our political and academic systems. Our only hope now lies with thinkers who can escape those silos and integrate different perspectives into a holistic understanding. We don’t need more specialists, but generalists. Fewer economists, more moral philosophers. 

Ray's book list on our fatal addiction to economic growth

Ray Cunningham Why did Ray love this book?

The book that gave birth to the slogan... This is an iconoclastic look at the capitalist economy from a man who trained as an academic economist and worked for the National Coal Board. Schumacher thought creatively and wrote and spoke in a lively and engaging way and the book is an accessible introduction to a different way of thinking about what the purpose of an economy, or economics, is.

Also, Schumacher was invited to become the first Director of the Anglo-German Foundation for the Study of Industrial Society, but felt that he was already too old for the job. Many years later, I became the Foundation’s last Director.

By E.F. Schumacher,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Small Is Beautiful as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This New York Times bestselling “Eco Bible” (Time magazine) teaches us that economic growth must be responsibly balanced with the needs of communities and the environment.

“Embracing what Schumacher stood for--above all the idea of sensible scale--is the task for our time. Small is Beautiful could not be more relevant. It was first published in 1973, but it was written for our time.” — Bill McKibben, from the Foreword

Small Is Beautiful is Oxford-trained economist E. F. Schumacher’s classic call for the end of excessive consumption. Schumacher inspired such movements as “Buy Locally” and “Fair Trade,” while voicing strong opposition…


Book cover of Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them

Bartley J. Madden Author Of Value Creation Principles: The Pragmatic Theory of the Firm Begins with Purpose and Ends with Sustainable Capitalism

From my list on knowledge building and value creation.

Why am I passionate about this?

My intellectual journey has focused on three related passions: understanding how firms create value and the link to their stock market valuations, systems thinking, and knowledge building. This has led to the Madden Center for Value Creation at Florida Atlantic University that promotes the key value creation principles that are the foundation for a prosperous society. Prosperity is more widely shared through a society rooted in dynamism with enthusiastic support for experimentation, knowledge building, and innovation by firms. The Madden Center offers a Certificate in Value Creation online course that packages a learning experience to upgrade the knowledge, skills, and resources you need to create value. 

Bartley's book list on knowledge building and value creation

Bartley J. Madden Why did Bartley love this book?

Humanocracy addresses perhaps the biggest opportunity for value creation at scale, i.e., transitioning large command-and-control corporations to flatter organizations.

What I like most is the combination of rigorous thinking, plain language, and company stories illustrating the worldwide movement to purge bureaucracy. I have personally studied one of the companies spotlighted, the preeminent steel manufacturer Nucor. Four layers of management from the CEO to those working in the steel plants.

The authors understand what makes Nucor excel (page 82): “True to the spirit of humanocracy, Nucor’s model isn’t about pushing employees to do more, but giving them the opportunity to be more—more than blue collar workers, more than order takers, more than mere operators, more than employees… every job can be a good job.”  

By Gary Hamel, Michele Zanini,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Humanocracy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Wall Street Journal Bestseller

In a world of unrelenting change and unprecedented challenges, we need organizations that are resilient and daring.

Unfortunately, most organizations, overburdened by bureaucracy, are sluggish and timid. In the age of upheaval, top-down power structures and rule-choked management systems are a liability. They crush creativity and stifle initiative. As leaders, employees, investors, and citizens, we deserve better. We need organizations that are bold, entrepreneurial, and as nimble as change itself. Hence this book.

In Humanocracy, Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini make a passionate, data-driven argument for excising bureaucracy and replacing it with something better. Drawing…


Book cover of The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

Steve Fenton Author Of Web Operations Dashboards, Monitoring, & Alerting

From my list on DevOps from before DevOps was invented.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a programmer and technical author at Octopus Deploy and I'm deeply interested in DevOps. Since the 1950s, people have been studying software delivery in search of better ways of working. We’ve seen many revolutions since Lincoln Labs first introduced us to phased delivery, with lightweight methods transforming how we wrote software at the turn of the century. My interest in DevOps goes beyond my enthusiasm for methods in general, because we now have a great body of research that adds to our empirical observations on the ways we work.

Steve's book list on DevOps from before DevOps was invented

Steve Fenton Why did Steve love this book?

I was a long-time skeptic about the business novel format, but The Goal changed my mind.

In this book, Goldratt presents concepts like Theory of Constraints with a business thriller (seriously). You get to live the same aha moments as the protagonist, Alex Rogo, as he encounters the pipe-smoking philosopher Jonah.

The setting may be a factory, but you’ll find many parallels to your DevOps work in this book.

By Eliyahu M. Goldratt, Jeffrey Cox,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Goal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*A Graphic Novel version of this title is now available: "The Goal: A Business Graphic Novel"

30th Anniversary Edition. Written in a fast-paced thriller style, The Goal, a gripping novel, is transforming management thinking throughout the world. It is a book to recommend to your friends in industry - even to your bosses - but not to your competitors. Alex Rogo is a harried plant manager working ever more desperately to try improve performance. His factory is rapidly heading for disaster. So is his marriage. He has ninety days to save his plant - or it will be closed by…


Book cover of Breakthrough Thinking: The Seven Principles of Creative Problem Solving

Dr. Gerhard Plenert Author Of The XLs

From my list on developing innovative and creative thinkers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dr. Gerhard Plenert has a PhD in Resource Economics and Operations Management, which are fancy words for “a whole lot of math.” He spent 12 years as a university professor and the remainder of his life living and working all over the world in places like Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and of course North America. He has 8 children, and his grandchildren are just starting to get numbered, the last count was 15. He has successfully published over 30 books and close to 200 articles on various business and academic topics. But his loves include Sci-Fi movies like Avatar, Star Trek, and Star Wars, and mysteries like Jason Bourne and James Bond.

Dr.'s book list on developing innovative and creative thinkers

Dr. Gerhard Plenert Why did Dr. love this book?

This book describes a methodology of thinking that is used in Japan by Toyota for innovation and creativity. It describes a series of principles that are used to discover new ideas and gives examples and stories that demonstrate how these principles have been applied in industries throughout Japan. The “Breakthrough Thinking” methodology has been applied in businesses of all types throughout the world.

By Gerald Nadler, Shozo Hibino,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Anatomy of Successful Problem Solving
How do great leaders solve problems differently from the rest of us? In Breakthrough Thinking you will learn the seven steps consistently used by those who solve problems most creatively. By taking an analytical approach, Nadler and Hibino discovered that there is a specific method used to successfully make decisions that is both teachable and duplicable. This program is now presented to you in this volume.
"Finally, we have a beautifully lucid book which tells you how to get from here to there—how to get to 'excellence.'"
—Warren Bennis, co-author of Leaders
"I've used…


Book cover of Today and Tomorrow

Dr. Gerhard Plenert Author Of The XLs

From my list on developing innovative and creative thinkers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dr. Gerhard Plenert has a PhD in Resource Economics and Operations Management, which are fancy words for “a whole lot of math.” He spent 12 years as a university professor and the remainder of his life living and working all over the world in places like Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and of course North America. He has 8 children, and his grandchildren are just starting to get numbered, the last count was 15. He has successfully published over 30 books and close to 200 articles on various business and academic topics. But his loves include Sci-Fi movies like Avatar, Star Trek, and Star Wars, and mysteries like Jason Bourne and James Bond.

Dr.'s book list on developing innovative and creative thinkers

Dr. Gerhard Plenert Why did Dr. love this book?

This book first came out in 1926 but it’s interesting how much of what he teaches in this book is still relevant and lacking in today’s workplace. He is falsely remembered for his operations concepts as if they were more important than the employee, but he stresses over and over again the importance of focusing on the needs of the employee. This is also reflected in his objective of creating a vehicle for the average man, making his life easier and happier. If we would have listened and learned from him long ago we may not be rehearing these same messages again coming from Japanese automakers.

By Henry Ford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Henry Ford is the man who doubled wages, cut the price of a car in half, and produced over 2 million units a year. Time has not diminished the progressiveness of his business philosophy, or his profound influence on worldwide industry. The modern printing of Today and Tomorrow features an introduction by James J. Padilla, Group Vice President, Ford North America. It also includes an enhanced selection of photos illustrating the processes and facilities Ford covers in the text. Taiichi Ohno acknowledged that a key stimulus to JIT was his close reading of this book. Today, these same ideas are…


Book cover of Corporate Rebels: Make work more fun

Bjarte Bogsnes Author Of This Is Beyond Budgeting: A Guide to More Adaptive and Human Organizations

From my list on management innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about management innovation, exploring and embracing new and better ways of leading and managing. For almost 30 years, I have helped organizations all over the world get started on a Beyond Budgeting journey, alongside my Finance and HR roles in Borealis and Statoil/Equinor. I'm forever thankful for the great opportunities these companies have given me. I have now said goodbye to my corporate life for Bogsnes Advisory, hoping to help even more organizations radically improve their management practices. I'm Chairman of the Beyond Budgeting Roundtable (BBRT), a popular international business speaker and Beyond Budgeting coach, and winner of a Harvard Business Review/McKinsey Management Innovation Award. 

Bjarte's book list on management innovation

Bjarte Bogsnes Why did Bjarte love this book?

Pim de Morree and Joost Minnarr both left safe and good corporate jobs to explore the world of management innovation.

They toured the world, meeting and learning from great companies and leaders across a variety of industries. The result is a book of wonderful stories and deep insights about what these companies were rebelling against, and what they did instead.

Highly recommended!

By Joost Minnaar, Pim de Morree,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

8 radical lessons from 100 of the world's most inspiring companies

Today's workplaces are broken. Badly broken. With 85% of employees disengaged, 23% feeling burned out and 37% believing that their job makes no useful contribution to society, work as we know it today is simply not working.

The good news? There is a better way. And it's not just theory. It's already practiced in pioneering organisations around the globe. Drawing on Minnaar and De Morree's visits to 100+ of the world's most progressive organisations, this book gives direct evidence that you can make work enjoyable and rewarding, while boosting…


Book cover of Beyond Budgeting: How Managers Can Break Free from the Annual Performance Trap

Bjarte Bogsnes Author Of This Is Beyond Budgeting: A Guide to More Adaptive and Human Organizations

From my list on management innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about management innovation, exploring and embracing new and better ways of leading and managing. For almost 30 years, I have helped organizations all over the world get started on a Beyond Budgeting journey, alongside my Finance and HR roles in Borealis and Statoil/Equinor. I'm forever thankful for the great opportunities these companies have given me. I have now said goodbye to my corporate life for Bogsnes Advisory, hoping to help even more organizations radically improve their management practices. I'm Chairman of the Beyond Budgeting Roundtable (BBRT), a popular international business speaker and Beyond Budgeting coach, and winner of a Harvard Business Review/McKinsey Management Innovation Award. 

Bjarte's book list on management innovation

Bjarte Bogsnes Why did Bjarte love this book?

Jeremy Hope (RIP) and Robin Fraser were two British authors/researchers who, in the late nineties, discovered that a number of companies had ditched traditional budgeting and much more in favour of more adaptive and human management models.

They visited and interviewed these organisations, including the European petrochemicals company Borealis where we kicked out the traditional budget in 1995. The result was this fascinating book, and the international network Beyond Budgeting Roundtable which today is more active than ever.

By Jeremy Hope, Robin Fraser,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The traditional annual budgeting process--characterized by fixed targets and performance incentives--is time consuming, overcentralized, and outdated. Worse, it often causes dysfunctional and unethical managerial behavior. Based on an intensive, international study into pioneering companies, Beyond Budgeting offers an alternative, coherent management model that overcomes the limitations of traditional budgeting. Focused around achieving sustained improvement relative to competitors, it provides a guiding framework for managing in the twenty-first century.


Book cover of Future Ready: How to Master Business Forecasting

Bjarte Bogsnes Author Of This Is Beyond Budgeting: A Guide to More Adaptive and Human Organizations

From my list on management innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about management innovation, exploring and embracing new and better ways of leading and managing. For almost 30 years, I have helped organizations all over the world get started on a Beyond Budgeting journey, alongside my Finance and HR roles in Borealis and Statoil/Equinor. I'm forever thankful for the great opportunities these companies have given me. I have now said goodbye to my corporate life for Bogsnes Advisory, hoping to help even more organizations radically improve their management practices. I'm Chairman of the Beyond Budgeting Roundtable (BBRT), a popular international business speaker and Beyond Budgeting coach, and winner of a Harvard Business Review/McKinsey Management Innovation Award. 

Bjarte's book list on management innovation

Bjarte Bogsnes Why did Bjarte love this book?

UK based Steve Morlidge is a veteran in the Beyond Budgeting movement.

Together with US based Steve Player (RIP), they wrote what I would call the greatest book ever on business forecasting. Rooted in Morlidge’s PhD insights and his extensive experience as a Finance professional, this book provides invaluable learnings on how to provide unbiased, trustworthy, and relevant business forecasts.

It also reveals how to get rid of politics and gaming in this critical business process.

By Steve Morlidge, Steve Player,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The recent crisis in the financial markets has exposed serious flaws in management methods. The failure to anticipate and deal with the consequences of the unfolding collapse has starkly illustrated what many leaders and managers in business have known for years; in most organizations, the process of forecasting is badly broken. For that reason, forecasting business performance tops the list of concerns for CFO's across the globe.

It is time to rethink the way businesses organize and run forecasting processes and how they use the insights that they provide to navigate through these turbulent times. This book synthesizes and structures…


Book cover of Tao Te Ching

Isaac Getz Author Of Freedom Inc.: How Corporate Liberation Unleashes Employee Potential and Business Performance

From my list on transformational leadership books that will help you to practice it.

Why am I passionate about this?

One remarkable leader I've studied, Bob Davids, said that the greatest scarcity in the world is not oil or food but leadership. For two decades, I've been on a quest to uncover the essence of a transformational leader, someone who cultivates an environment where employees' needs are so well-addressed that they are eager to show up and give their best every day. This journey led me to study hundreds of leaders and books, all serving as the foundation for my thoughts and writings. I trust that these books will kickstart your own journey. Mine has guided me to play a pivotal role in the corporate liberation movement, involving hundreds of leaders who have transformed their organizations.

Isaac's book list on transformational leadership books that will help you to practice it

Isaac Getz Why did Isaac love this book?

I admire this first-ever book stating the principles of authentic leadership. Written by the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu in the 6th century BCE, it comprises a collection of paradoxical, enigmatic, and profound teachings that laid the foundation of Taoism.

I love all of them, but here is one regarding leadership: “Why do the hundred rivers turn and rush toward the sea? / Because it naturally stays below them / He who wishes to rule over the people must speak as if below them.”

While delving into this book, I find myself astounded by the universality and timelessness of the truths it unveils about authentic servant leadership. This modest volume—which adorns my bedroom as a wooden scroll—has proven to be a revelation, offering continuous inspiration to me.

By Lao Tzu, Sam Torode (translator), Dwight Goddard (translator)

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Tao Te Ching as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Path to Peace

The Tao Te Ching is a series of meditations on the mysterious nature of the Tao—the Way, the Light, the very Source of all existence. According to Lao Tzu (a name meaning "the old master"), the Tao is found where we would least expect it—not in the strong but in the weak; not in speech but in silence; not in doing but in "not-doing."

Compiled in China around 2,500 years ago, the Tao Te Ching is beloved by seekers all the world over. This edition is rendered in poetic language by Sam Torode, based on the…


Book cover of Up the Organization: How to Stop the Corporation from Stifling People and Strangling Profits

Isaac Getz Author Of Freedom Inc.: How Corporate Liberation Unleashes Employee Potential and Business Performance

From my list on transformational leadership books that will help you to practice it.

Why am I passionate about this?

One remarkable leader I've studied, Bob Davids, said that the greatest scarcity in the world is not oil or food but leadership. For two decades, I've been on a quest to uncover the essence of a transformational leader, someone who cultivates an environment where employees' needs are so well-addressed that they are eager to show up and give their best every day. This journey led me to study hundreds of leaders and books, all serving as the foundation for my thoughts and writings. I trust that these books will kickstart your own journey. Mine has guided me to play a pivotal role in the corporate liberation movement, involving hundreds of leaders who have transformed their organizations.

Isaac's book list on transformational leadership books that will help you to practice it

Isaac Getz Why did Isaac love this book?

This is the most impertinent yet constructive book on leadership I’ve ever read (and I've read many with one of these qualities, but none with both).

It’s written by the former CEO of AVIS, who led a radical transformation of its organizational culture, resulting in unmatched performance. First published in 1970, it quickly became the NY Times N°1 bestseller. Its commemorative 2007 edition is adorned with even more gems, including a nine-page segment that earns you a PhD in Leadership.

It starts with, “To hell with centralized strategic planning. If you don’t have a good leader, it’s all nothing; just a bunch of papers flying around.” Enjoy!

By Robert C. Townsend, Warren Bennis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Although it was first published more than thirty-five years ago, Up the Organization continues to top the lists of best business books by groups as diverse as the American Management Association, Strategy + Business (Booz Allen Hamilton), and The Wharton Center for Leadership and Change Management. 1-800-CEO-READ ranks Townsend's bestseller first among eighty books that "every manager must read."

This commemorative edition offers a new generation the benefit of Robert Townsend's timeless wisdom as well as reflections on his work and life by those who knew and worked with him. This groundbreaking book continues to remind us not to get…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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