Business Agility Summer Reading List

Looking for business agility books to add to your summer reading list and not sure how to choose from all the great ones out thereWe asked our community of business agility consultants to provide a review for a book written in the last couple years that impacted them and helped them deliver more client value. Here is the curated list of their reviews – read on to find your next big read! 

The Age of Agile by Steve Denning

Review by Joe Fecarotta
“Leaders of multi-billion-dollar initiatives need data and evidence before committing to changing the way they work. In ‘The Age of Agile,’ Steve Denning skillfully summarizes the Agile movement and his direct experience inside the transformations of some of the world’s largest organizations. With numerous examples and stories, ‘The Age of Agile’ will support change agents that labor to move their organizations towards greater agility and light a fire under those who resist joining a revolution that is already underway.”

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Project to Product by Mik Kersten

Review by Peter Buijs
“By introducing the Flow Framework, Mik Kersten introduces a way to move away from managing projects towards delivering the most valuable products to customers. It enables companies to implement business agility in order to deliver innovative products ”

Want to hear from the author himself? Check out our recent Agile Amped podcast with Mik Kersten called “From Projects to Products.

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The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni

Review by Janel Lanza
“The Advantage is plain spoken, solid writing with roots in business agility. Recommended for new teams and organizations forming, so they can be set up for agility, among other successful environment factors. I use this book in some way (as a coach or consultant or offsite experience designer) with every client I work with, because the concepts are practical and sustainable.”

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The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Review by Roger Turnau
“If you have been involved in business agility, you have probably heard of minimum viable products, strategic pivoting, and innovation accounting. So now it’s time to dive into what may be the single most influential book on business agility in recent years. Ries walks you through everything you need to know to turn a heavily-siloed organization into a nimble machine that can react quickly to volatile market conditions.”

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The Responsibility Process by Christopher Avery

Review by Alan Dayley
“This book is foundational to changing the way we approach difficult relationships. It provides a way to process past patterns of blaming to useful patterns that support the relationship while getting through difficulties. The responsibility process presented enhances self-organization skills and the ability to grant the same to others.”

Here’s another opportunity to hear from the author – check out this Agile Amped podcast with Christopher Avery.

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The Journey to Enterprise Agility by Daryl Kulak and Hong Li

Review by Amy Ikenn
“This book resonated with discussion and ideas around moving delivery in legacy organizations working on legacy products to Agile. It provides realistic ideas on how to have the discussions around investing in transformation at various levels.”

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Reinventing Organizations by Frederik Laloux

Review by Emilia Breton
“This book resonated with discussion and ideas around moving delivery in legacy organizations working on legacy products to Agile. It provides realistic ideas on how to have the discussions around investing in transformation at various levels.”

Review by Yehor Kachanov
“Great book about the next generation of organizations – purple one, with soulful workplaces, authenticity, community, passion, and purpose. Full of inspirational stories with practical examples and insights.”

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Radical Focus by Christina Wodtke

Review by Shailesh Kalmegh
“The case study in the beginning is well written and far more interesting than a typical case study. Yet it really helps to drive home the importance of identifying specific objectives and remaining diligent in focusing on meeting those goals we’ve set out to achieve. It also covers how having specific roles and adhering to those roles helps so that everyone is contributing to a universal goal by using their individual strengths. The second part of the book is very helpful. Good insights and tips in how to apply OKRs in companies. The first part is more or less like a story to set the base for the second part.”

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Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo

Review by Joe Fecarotta
“Modern organizations that want to move towards Agility (and perhaps survival) need to move beyond hierarchies and fads, and into understanding complexity. In Management 3.0, Appelo draws this new landscape of management theory, sampling a wide array of existing methods and practices. The book does a blitz review of complexity theory and then moves on with practical topics, such as team dynamics, team size, and where management fits in an Agile world.

Managers wish for the answer, the management recipe, the theory of everything for leaders in this new century. Mr. Appelo dashes that concept into the ground because there is no one answer. Instead, there is a patchwork of theories, methods, and frameworks because teams and organizations are complex, and that means what worked in one area at one time may not work elsewhere with different conditions. Management 3.0 is like a new-world MBA in a book, and an essential work for leaders, coaches, and change agents if they have any chance at succeeding in growing business agility.”

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Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World by John Kotter

Review by Vincen Collins
“Kotter’s book provides a case for how companies can grow and remain relevant in a changing world. Companies that refuse to evolve and choose to remain in the old management paradigm will not be successful going forward with being unable to delivery on their goals and ambitions. This book is great for anyone interested in learning about how Agile can help companies create a successful way of navigating the realities of today’s business landscape.”

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The Connected Company by Dave Gray

Review by Uldis Karlovs-Karlovskis
“Although the review of the book is almost 5 years old and first edition came out in 2012, it still is very relevant to nowadays world where IT is at the core of company and can slow it down or just the opposite – make it flourish. This book widened my view about business and companies as such. It gives a lot of simple but very powerful examples from around the worlds of successful companies who reorganized their business to act in more Agile ways. Basically, I became a “Business Agilist” after reading this book, before the term Business Agility even existed.”

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The Trusted Advisor by David H. Maister

Review by Dana Mata
“The Trusted Advisor is an awesome read – audio book. Trust is foundational to ANYTHING we want to accomplish as a unified team and this book speaks to that and so much for “consulting” professionals. It’s my new BBFF – book best friend forever.”

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Note: we are not receiving compensation in any way for promoting these books.  These are just honest reviews from our passionate business agility consultants. Links to purchase these books are provided for your convenience.