100 books like The Agility Factor

By Christopher G. Worley, Edward E. Lawler, Thomas D. Williams

Here are 100 books that The Agility Factor fans have personally recommended if you like The Agility Factor. 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 Designing Organizations: Strategy, Structure, and Process at the Business Unit and Enterprise Levels

Dave Ulrich Author Of Reinventing the Organization: How Companies Can Deliver Radically Greater Value in Fast-Changing Markets

From my list on how to improve organizations.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dave Ulrich is the Rensis Likert Professor at the Ross School of Business and a partner at the RBL Group, a consulting firm focused on helping organizations and leaders deliver value. He has published over 200 articles and book chapters and over 30 books. The organizations where we live, work, play, and worship affect every part of our lives. Organizations turn individual competencies into collective capabilities, isolated events into sustained patterns, and personal values into collective values. In short, organizations matter in our lives. By adapting their answer to “what is an organization,” leaders, employees, customers, and investors will be better able to improve their organization's experiences.

Dave's book list on how to improve organizations

Dave Ulrich Why did Dave love this book?

Jay Galbraith was the godfather of organization design. His work on how to design organizations has been the foundation of future work. He provides a system model with five parts (his star model) to diagnose and improve the organization. He also highlights the importance and role of information that flows from good organization design which was ahead of its time.

By Jay R. Galbraith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This Third Edition of the groundbreaking book Designing Organizations offers a guide to the process of creating and managing an organization (no matter how complex) that will be positioned to respond effectively and rapidly to customer demands and have the ability to achieve unique competitive advantage. This latest edition includes fresh illustrative examples and references, while the foundation of the book remains the author s popular and widely used Star Model. * Includes a comprehensive explanation of the basics of organization design * Outlines a strategic approach to design that is based on the Star Model, a holistic framework for…


Book cover of Competing for the Future

Dave Ulrich Author Of Reinventing the Organization: How Companies Can Deliver Radically Greater Value in Fast-Changing Markets

From my list on how to improve organizations.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dave Ulrich is the Rensis Likert Professor at the Ross School of Business and a partner at the RBL Group, a consulting firm focused on helping organizations and leaders deliver value. He has published over 200 articles and book chapters and over 30 books. The organizations where we live, work, play, and worship affect every part of our lives. Organizations turn individual competencies into collective capabilities, isolated events into sustained patterns, and personal values into collective values. In short, organizations matter in our lives. By adapting their answer to “what is an organization,” leaders, employees, customers, and investors will be better able to improve their organization's experiences.

Dave's book list on how to improve organizations

Dave Ulrich Why did Dave love this book?

This is another classic in that it redefines the organization less as morphology and structure and more as a set of capabilities. Capabilities represent what an organization is known for and good at doing. Creating the right organization is less about roles and rules, but more about identifying and creating the right capabilities.

By Gary Hamel, CK Prahalad,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New competitive realities have ruptured industry boundaries, overthrown much of standard management practice, and rendered conventional models of strategy and growth obsolete. In their stead have come the powerful ideas and methodologies of Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad, whose much-revered thinking has already engendered a new language of strategy. In this book, they develop a coherent model for how today's executives can identify and accomplish no less than heroic goals in tomorrow's marketplace. Their masterful blueprint addresses how executives can ease the tension between competing today and clearing a path toward leadership in the future.


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 Michele Zanini, Gary Hamel,

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 Competing by Design: The Power of Organizational Architecture

Dave Ulrich Author Of Reinventing the Organization: How Companies Can Deliver Radically Greater Value in Fast-Changing Markets

From my list on how to improve organizations.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dave Ulrich is the Rensis Likert Professor at the Ross School of Business and a partner at the RBL Group, a consulting firm focused on helping organizations and leaders deliver value. He has published over 200 articles and book chapters and over 30 books. The organizations where we live, work, play, and worship affect every part of our lives. Organizations turn individual competencies into collective capabilities, isolated events into sustained patterns, and personal values into collective values. In short, organizations matter in our lives. By adapting their answer to “what is an organization,” leaders, employees, customers, and investors will be better able to improve their organization's experiences.

Dave's book list on how to improve organizations

Dave Ulrich Why did Dave love this book?

In doing organization diagnosis, it is important to have a framework for thinking about and designing organizations. Like an architect, organization and management practitioners can become architects who build blueprints for creating the right organization. The Nadler/Tushman model is one of the most insightful and comprehensive frameworks for organization diagnosis and improvement.

By Michael Tushman, Mark B. Nadler, David Nadler

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

If the defining goal of modern-day business can be isolated to just one item, it would be the search for competitive advantage. And, as everyone in business knows, it's a lot harder than it used to be. On the one hand, competition is more intense than ever-technological innovation, consumer expectations, government deregulation, all combine to create more opportunities for new competitors to change the basic rules of the game. On the other hand, most of the old
reliable sources of competitive advantage are drying up: the hallowed strategies employed by GM, IBM, and AT&T to maintain their seemingly unassailable positions…


Book cover of The Myth of Multitasking: How "Doing It All" Gets Nothing Done

Liisa Kyle Author Of You Can Get it Done: Choose What to Do, Plan, Start, Stay on Track, Overcome Obstacles, and Finish

From my list on to boost your productivity.

Why am I passionate about this?

In order to earn my Ph.D. in Psychology before I turned thirty, I had to learn how to be efficient and productive. As a life coach and author of two dozen books, I’ve spent the past twenty years helping people overcome challenges, get things done, and get more out of life. 

Liisa's book list on to boost your productivity

Liisa Kyle Why did Liisa love this book?

It makes me a little crazy when people insist on multi-tasking because they are being unnecessarily hard on themselves. Research has proven that it is much less efficient and effective than simply focusing on one thing at a time. When I can convince my clients to stop multi-tasking, they are shocked at how much easier it is to get things done. They are calmer and less stressed. 

By Dave Crenshaw,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Multitasking Doesn't Work-Learn What Does!

"...multitasking is, in fact, a lie that actually wastes time, energy, and money. Most of all, it robs us of life and our relationships with others." -Chuck Norris, world-renowned actor and martial artist

Through anecdotal and real-world examples, The Myth of Multitasking proves that multitasking hurts your focus and productivity. Instead, learn how to be more effective by doing one thing at a time.

Productivity and effective time management end with multitasking. The false idea that multitasking is productive has become even more prevalent and damaging to our productivity and well-being since the first edition…


Book cover of Rhythm: How to Achieve Breakthrough Execution and Accelerate Growth

David Worrell Author Of The Entrepreneur's Guide to Financial Statements

From my list on building culture, teamwork, and leadership.

Why am I passionate about this?

Entrepreneurs have a tough lot in life. We dream of creating value for others, yet we are often cursed to pay a huge price in our own lives. My experience as an entrepreneur is no different – I struggled through three mediocre business startups, learning a little bit more with each one. Along the way, I have put my lessons learned into writing: textbooks, how-to guides and even cover stories for Entrepreneur magazine. Combining my own experience and the best advice from other entrepreneurs, I have systematically improved my current company… and have finally broken free of the curse! Now I love to share my experience with other business owners like you!

David's book list on building culture, teamwork, and leadership

David Worrell Why did David love this book?

If you really want to transform your business into a lean, mean profit machine, then Rhythm is the capstone to your journey. This is the book that pulls it all together and turns everything into a powerful growth system.

Rhythm is an easy read—full of colorful illustrations, short personal stories, and easy discussions of the impact that team building can have on the operations of a business—small or large.

I took it, hook line, and sinker, implementing the full range of metrics, reporting, planning, and goal setting. I also use the associated software. Rhythm and its ancillary tools help me to be comfortable and confident that my leadership team is hard at work, doing the right things at the right times.

As I step away from the day-to-day operations of my business, I rely on the structures taught by Rhythm (and the lessons from all the books above!).

By Patrick Thean,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author!
Want to achieve breakthroughs and get exceptional results? Discover the system that successful growth companies have used to achieve their results.

All growing companies encounter ceilings of complexity, usually when they hit certain employee or revenue milestones. In order to burst through ceiling after ceiling and innovate with growth, a company must develop a reliable system that prompts leaders to be proactive and pivot when the need arises.

You also need to learn simple systems to empower everyone in your company to become and stay focused, aligned, and accountable.

In Rhythm,…


Book cover of Winning the Right Game: How to Disrupt, Defend, and Deliver in a Changing World

Rita Gunther McGrath Author Of Discovery-Driven Growth: A Breakthrough Process to Reduce Risk and Seize Opportunity

From my list on understanding how breakthrough innovation happens.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I first started in the field of strategy, all the cool kids were doing industry-level analysis. Order of entry, strategic groups, R&D intensity…anything you could get sufficient data about to run complex models was the order of the day. Those of us studying the ‘insides’ of corporations, particularly the process of innovation, were kind of huddled together for warmth! Today, strategy and innovation have come together in a remarkable way, but I find that most people still don’t understand the processes. One of my goals is to de-mystify the innovation process – these books will give you a great start in understanding the practices that are too bewildering for too many people.  

Rita's book list on understanding how breakthrough innovation happens

Rita Gunther McGrath Why did Rita love this book?

Just as no man is an island, today no company is, either. An ecosystem approach to strategy leads one to make entirely different choices about how to engage, when to compete, and which capabilities to build than you would make without such a perspective. The book engagingly opens with a retelling of the well-worn Kodak story, with a twist – it wasn’t that Kodak didn’t “get” digital, it's that they doubled down on printing when screens were getting good enough to make printing irrelevant. In its chapters, you’ll learn about how a mapping company survived when its competitors gave away its product for free; how Amazon got its Echo technology to be adopted as a standard by other organizations and how a clearly promising new ecosystem can be stillborn when its champions don’t play nicely together. 

By Ron Adner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How to succeed in an era of ecosystem-based disruption: strategies and tools for offense, defense, timing, and leadership in a changing competitive landscape.

The basis of competition is changing. Are you prepared? Rivalry is shifting from well-defined industries to broader ecosystems: automobiles to mobility platforms; banking to fintech; television broadcasting to video streaming. Your competitors are coming from new directions and pursuing different goals from those of your familiar rivals. In this world, succeeding with the old rules can mean losing the new game. Winning the Right Game introduces the concepts, tools, and frameworks necessary to confront the threat of…


Book cover of Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates

Eileen McDargh Author Of Burnout to Breakthrough: Building Resilience to Refuel, Recharge, and Reclaim What Matters

From my list on for surviving and thriving in disruptive times.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to make a difference—by helping others become wiser and/or happier. But how? Colleagues, clients, and friends tell me that I have a capacity for energy that is boundless. I resisted that statement. It sounded “fluffy”. How could I make a difference if I saw “energy” as being some flighty firefly? Then, when I went through 2 bouts of burnout, I realized that energy was the secret—the secret to resilience, the secret to growth and service. Reading, writing, and speaking fill me with the energy to grow, learn, laugh, and serve. I trust these books and my writing will bring the same to you.

Eileen's book list on for surviving and thriving in disruptive times

Eileen McDargh Why did Eileen love this book?

To live and work in a world of turmoil and change requires courage. Resilience is a life skill that can be learned—but it takes courage. In this book, Hurt and Dye come up with very practical but realistic ways to identify organizational practices that encourage or cut-off valuable conversations.

I’m in the field of communications and their advice is not only timely but timeless. I reach for their book when I went to coach someone who is overwhelmed by the workplace. It might be a manager trying to hold a team together, or individual contributors trying to determine if a role is right for them.  Hold this on your bookshelf. I guarantee you will use it for yourself—or for others.

By Karin Hurt, David Dye,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From executives complaining that their teams don't contribute ideas to employees giving up because their input isn't valued--company culture is the culprit. Courageous Cultures provides a road map to build a high-performance, high-engagement culture around sharing ideas, solving problems, and rewarding contributions from all levels.

Many leaders are convinced they have an open environment that encourages employees to speak up and are shocked when they learn that employees are holding back. Employees have ideas and want to be heard. Leadership wants to hear them.

Too often, however, employees and leaders both feel that no one cares about making things better.…


Book cover of Energize Your Workplace: How to Create and Sustain High-Quality Connections at Work

Shannon Karels and Kathy Miller Author Of Steel Toes and Stilettos: A True Story of Women Manufacturing Leaders and Lean Transformation Success

From my list on real talk by women authors.

Why are we passionate about this?

We are relatable women who have successful careers in a predominately male industry.  We have run businesses, built teams based on trust and inclusion, become authors, speakers, and advisors, while simultaneously raising children with our also working husbands.  This is not done with ease or without making trade-offs, but we will share our stories and hope to inspire other women.  We believe in supporting women in all areas of our lives and we love to lift up the ones who have impacted us.

Shannon's book list on real talk by women authors

Shannon Karels and Kathy Miller Why did Shannon love this book?

Kathy loved this book by Jane Dutton, and found herself exclaiming, “Yes!” as she read through this book that validated the energy she did receive abundantly through small moments of connection at work!

As a senior executive, Kathy could have thousands of people in her organization. Wanting to know each and every one of them was a luxury she could not afford, so she did her best to make those opportunities she did have for meaningful connections, no matter how brief, to count for her and the other person with whom she was interacting.

Jane systematically provides the science of how and why this works, along with so many useful tools for those to whom this does not come naturally!

By Jane E. Dutton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Corrosive work relationships are like black holes that swallow up energy that people need to do their jobs. In contrast, high-quality relationships generate and sustain energy, equipping people to do work and do it well. Grounded in solid research, this book uses energy as a measurement to describe the power of positive and negative connections in people's experience at work. Author Jane Dutton provides three pathways for turning negative connections into positive ones that create and sustain employee resilience and flexibility, facilitate the speed and quality of learning, and build individual commitment and cooperation. Through compelling and illustrative stories, Energize…


Book cover of Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change

Nicolas A. Valcik Author Of Strategic Planning and Decision-Making for Public and Non-Profit Organizations

From my list on showing leadership through someone's own story.

Why am I passionate about this?

Leadership is always the key to success in strategic planning for any organization. Great leaders can drive their organizations to success, while poor leadership can crater the organization and take generations for it to rebuild. A good leader is essential in the aspect of providing good morale for the employees of the organization. Good leadership factors cause the organization to be seen as cutting edge and as an organization that others want to go work for in an effort to be better themselves. An organization with a superior strategic planning process, will have great leaders and employees to not only formulate the plan, but also execute the plan successfully.  

Nicolas' book list on showing leadership through someone's own story

Nicolas A. Valcik Why did Nicolas love this book?

This book is great for leaders who are coming into a new situation, or are currently in an evolving work environment. Any environment is going to have change, and leaders have to recognize and adapt when change occurs.

To be successful, a leader needs to ensure that the operations of their area can adapt and deliver to their clients. William Bridges' book is geared to assist managers and leaders with those changes and assists them with the key issues to be mindful of during a transition. This book is one that every manager and leader should have on their bookshelf.

By William Bridges, Susan Bridges,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The business world is constantly transforming. When restructures, mergers, bankruptcies, and layoffs hit the workplace, employees and managers naturally find the resulting situational shifts to be challenging. But the psychological transitions that accompany them are even more stressful. Organizational transitions affect people it is always people, rather than a company, who have to embrace a new situation and carry out the corresponding change.As veteran business consultant William Bridges explains, transition is successful when employees have a purpose, a plan, and a part to play. This indispensable guide is now updated to reflect the challenges of today's ever-changing, always-on, and globally…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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