What are they Reading? Book Picks from Top Government Executives

3 mins read


ccolemanCasey Coleman ,CIO of the GSA

Casey Coleman is a big fan of “Management 2.0” consultant Gary Hamel.  She featured his work, Moonshots for Management, on her GSA blog last summer.  The piece is part of a larger initiative at the Management Lab on Management Innovation, defined as “an organization’s ability to effect fundamental changes in its way of working.”

Hamel’s basic premise is that many of today’s management principles have their foundations grounded in the industrial era, when most work was physical labor.  Today, most work relies on information and creativity, creating the need to change organizational management processes and adopt more innovative processes.

Other works on her reading list include Follett’s Creative Experience, whose insightful analysis of integration, power and experience provides a valuable glimpse at the inner workings of a postindustrial economy.  For an alternative viewpoint to Follett’s, she recommends Frederick Winslow Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management.  Check out Chapter 2 and compare it with Creative Experience.

MarthaDorrisMartha Dorris, Office of Citizen Services and Communications at the GSA

Martha Dorris recommended several books to FCW.  Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team will give you insight into why your team might not be performing as well as it could, and it’s presented as an easy-to-digest case study.

Fired Up or Burned Out by Michael Lee Stallard provides ideas for reigniting your team’s passion to better engage your workforce, leading to better customer service.

She also recommends Jeff Jarvis’ What Would Google Do? to teach a new approach to problem-solving, and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia for personal and professional lessons unearthed through Gilbert’s journey of self-discovery.

RobCareyRobert Carey, Navy CIO

Robert Carey recommends Transparency: Creating a Culture of Candor by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman and James O’Toole.  The book examines the enemies of a “culture of candor” in organizations and their disastrous effects, and suggests ways to minimize them.  Transparency is a buzzword in government, industry, and even personal relationships.

For insight into web 2.0 collaboration, Mr. Carey offers Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams.  The book analyzes the process of mass collaboration and its far-reaching implications to the business community.

Finally, check out Jim Collins’ Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t to keep your organization ahead of the curve.  Collins, author of Built to Last, examines the common traits of 11 game-changing companies, including Fannie Mae, Gillette, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo, and what made them successful.

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