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LEAN VS. AGILE VS. DESIGN THINKING

What you really need to know to build High-Performing Digital Product Teams, by Jeff Gothelf

As companies evolve to adopt, integrate, and leverage software as the defining element of their success in the 21st century, a rash of processes and methodologies are vying for their product teams' attention. In the worst of cases, each discipline on these teams -- product management, design, and software engineering -- learns a different model. This short, tactical book reconciles the perceived differences in Lean Startup, Design Thinking, and Agile software development by focusing not on rituals and practices but on the values that underpin all three methods.

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MAKING PROGRESS

The 7 Responsibilities of the Innovation Leader, by Ryan Jacoby

Making Progress is a tactical guide for you, the person charged with leading innovation, regardless of the product or domain, no matter the organizational structure you’ve inherited or are meant to create, no matter the process you’ve adopted or want to adopt, whether you work in a brand-new start up or a Fortune 500 corporation. Making Progress is for managers and consultants, design directors and chief innovation officers, board members CEOs and recruiters. It will help you juggle the needs of your team, your organization, and the projects, products, or services themselves. It will give you a framework for problem-solving your approach to problem-solving at a point in time where the pressures to solve big problems feels bigger than ever.

HIRE WOMEN

An Agile Framework For Hiring & Retaining Women in Technology, by Debbie Madden

Diverse teams are more effective and get more done than homogenous ones. Yet, despite decades of effort,  many  tech teams are failing at hiring and retaining women. The reason: we’re looking in the wrong place. Hiring women doesn’t start with recruiting.  It starts with creating a work environment that’s safe and equal for all. By reading this book, you will learn an agile, iterative framework for hiring and retaining women that’s practical and easy to use for any team, big or small.

Written by Debbie Madden, CEO and founder of Stride Consulting, two time Inc 500 CEO and serial tech entrepreneur, this book draws on Debbie’s decades of experience hiring and retaining women.

"Debbie Madden has cracked the code on hiring and retaining women. This book is a must-read for anyone serious about diversity and inclusion." —Verne Harnish, Founder of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0)

HIRING FOR THE INNOVATION ECONOMY

Three steps to improve performance and diversity, by Nicole Rufuku

The digital economy demands that high­ performing and highly adaptive teams work creatively and collaboratively to identify and seize new opportunities quickly. Managers who are serious about innovation have to abandon old and broken hiring practices in order to identify and hire the right people to build the future.

This book will help team leaders understand why they often fail to hire dynamic and agile team members who can challenge the status quo and scale with a fast ­paced and high ­growth business, while enriching the team’s culture and perspective.


Starting at Microsoft, Nicole Rufuku has spent her career in strategy and product, helping entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies build digital products. As a Principal at Neo Innovation (acquired by Pivotal Labs), she led engagements from ideation to scale. Nicole has built startup teams from the ground up, both as a founder and as a consultant. She developed an interest in hiring and diversity from her own experience hiring talent to power agile teams for rapid innovation. Nicole now applies her product expertise through her New York-based consultancy called Bonsai, where she helps growth-stage companies improve their hiring success.

COMING SOON...

We've got even more great stuff coming this year. Stay tuned for these great books (and sign up for our mailing list to be among the first to know when orders open!)

THE INVISIBLE LEADER: FACILITATION SECRETS FOR CATALYZING CHANGE, CULTIVATING INNOVATION, AND COMMANDING RESULTS, BY ELENA ASTILLEROS

With methods encouraging teams to lead themselves, good facilitation skills are needed more than ever before.  This book gives leaders the tools to drive their teams to the best outcome.

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Lateral Leadership: A practical Guide to Managing Agile Teams, By Tim Herbig

Agile doesn’t just change how teams work. It also changes how teams are led. Agile requires a radically different approach to leadership, one that puts business, design, and engineering at equal levels--where they must work as peers. But this creates a challenge for team leaders. Agile leadership requires teams to align around a committed vision and support it in the best possible way.

This book helps leaders and team members alike thrive in agile environments by providing hands-on guidance on how to align and manage experts to achieve a shared goal.

The Government Fix: How to Innovate In Government, By Sara Hudson & Hana Schank

When it comes to redesigning how government functions, most of the common assumptions about innovation don’t hold up. Hana Schank and Sara Hudson conducted nearly 70 interviews with people inside of government at every level to understand the common threads for successful innovation projects. In this book, they share what they’ve learned about how to truly make change.

GOALS FOR AGILE TEAMS, BY FELIPE CASTRO

Sixteen years after the manifesto, most companies use Agile for delivery only. Scaling frameworks usually do not help, as they concentrate on improving software development. As such, very few organizations ever achieve business agility.

One of the root causes of the lack of organizational agility is the way companies set priorities and incentives. The alternative is OKR (Objectives and Key Results), the goal framework used by companies like Google and Spotify.

Get this book to learn how to use OKR to take Agile to the next level.

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RIGHT QUESTION, RIGHT TIME: HOW INNOVATION LEADERS CAN GUIDE THIER TEAMS TO SUCCESS, By TENDAYI VIKI

As a leader, how do you track the progress of teams working on innovation projects? How close are they to success? How do you know where they are on their innovation journey? By asking the right question at the right time.

Teams today use Lean Startup, Agile, Design Thinking and other methods to keep their companies competitive in today’s economy. As a manager, however, your tools for managing teams probably need to catch up to these modern innovation methods.

Written by Tendayi Viki, the award winning co-author of The Corporate Startup and The Lean Product Lifecycle, this short book provides a practical guide to solving these problems.

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WHAT CEOS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DESIGN, BY AUDREY CRANE

As a leader, you've heard that design is important, and you believe it. But you may not know what you need to know about it, how to buy it, and how to manage it. This is the book for you.