Summer 2018 Reading List

Our Summer 2018 Reading List is here and we are eager to share some great suggestions, both new and old.  As usual, some of our choices are education focused and others take a broader view to issues that we think matter for schools.  And of course, we must put in a plug for our own book coming out in mid June: Creating Schools that Thrive: A Blueprint for Strategy.

Wishing you lots of sunshine and lazy days - please let us know what you are reading!


On the Future of Education:

Ted Dintersmith - What School Could Be: Insights and Inspiration from Teachers across America.  School can change and transformational work is happening everywhere. With poignant anecdotes, Dintersmith introduces us to inspiring educators, programs, and schools across the 50 states that challenge us to reimagine what school can and should be for learners of all ages! Never has a book been more timely, more compelling for educational change,  and more on point with respect to the extraordinary potential of our teachers and students.

Joseph Aoun - Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. Whatever predictions we make for the future, Aoun’s book is an important call to action and a solid higher-ed focused complement to Dintersmith’s book.  Aoun, President of Northeastern University, argues for a “robot-proof” education - one that stimulates creativity, emotional intelligence, interdisciplinarity and experiential learning.  He reframes learning across three essential literacies: data literacy, technological literacy, and human literacy. Whatever is ahead, these are the capacities we will need as learners, citizens and productive adults -- and his anecdotes describing how Northeastern is leading the way to innovate college learning are an example for all schools.  


On Talent and Learning:

Geoff Smart and Randy Street - Who. What’s more important than the effective recruitment of talented leaders in education? Ironically, too few schools have researched and implemented practices that promote successful hiring, retention and development of talent.  What’s more, educational search firms do little more than identify candidates and conduct routine reference and background checks. The cost to schools when hiring goes wrong is enormous. Read Who and level up the mindsets, process and practices you use to recruit and retain talent.  Learn how to pinpoint what you need in candidates, describe the attributes and skills you are looking for, and  interview and evaluate candidates with structured techniques that ensure success. Boards, Search Committees, and Heads will benefit most from this book, and increase the ROI on their talent searches.

Todd Rose - The End of Average: Unlocking Our Potential by Embracing What Makes Us Different.  For a teaser, check out Rose’s TEDx talk The Myth of Average.  With specific examples drawn from fields as diverse as astronomy, fighter jets, and learning design, Rose explodes the fallacy of the utility of “average” - demonstrating that by designing to the average we actually design for no one, dramatically undercutting both individual and collective performance within systems for learning.


On Strategy:

Barry Schwartz- The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less.  At GLP, we stress the need to make choices in leading schools and designing strategy. Drawing on a wide-array of social sciences research, Schwartz lays out a convincing argument for why “less is more” and how focusing on a few key choices - rather than every option for everything - leads to better outcomes, greater satisfaction, and improved well-being.  This book looks at decision-making in broad context, and offers great insight for organizations and the people within them.

Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt, and Sven Smit - Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick. Those of you who know us know that we love cartoons, so no surprise that I fell in love with this book.  Three Mckinsey consultants teamed up to write a book illustrated by comics and chock full of advice about how to design strategy that works.  While the focus is corporate, the lessons are relevant for schools and mission driven organizations. They encourage leaders to look outside, address the human dynamics that surface when forging strategy (whether in the boardroom or inside your school) and encourage a few carefully reasoned choices that capitalize on your assets and the trends. We couldn’t agree more!