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Books on How to Accomplish Greater Things With Others

A sign of the growing popularity of all kinds of collaboration is the growing number of books on some aspect of the topic.  What are your favorites? Here are some I’ve come across:

Alone Together: Sociable Robots, Digitized Friends, and the Reinvention of Intimacy and Solitude by Sherry Turkle.

The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded American is Tearing Us Apart by Bill Bishop.

Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi.

The Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric Raymond.

Collaboration: How Leaders Avoid the Traps, Create Unity, and Reap Big Results by Morten T. Hansen.

Community: The Structure of Belonging by Peter Block

The Complexity of Cooperation: Agent-Based Model by Robert Axelrod.

Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler.

Consensus Through Conversation: How to Achieve High-Commitment Decisions by Larry Dressler.

Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide by Henry Jenkins.

Creating a Culture of Collaboration: The International Association of Facilitators Handbook by Sandy Schuman.

Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another by Philip Ball.

Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business by Jeff Howe.

The Culture of Collaboration by Evan Rosen.

Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software by Steven Johnson.

Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization’s Toughest Challenges by Andrew McAfee.

The Evolution of Cooperation by Robert Axelrod.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni.

The Hidden Power of Social Networks: Understanding How Work Really Gets Done in Organizations by Robert L. Cross.

Going to Extremes: How Like Minds Unite and Divide by Cass R. Sunstein.

Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li.

Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration by Keith Sawyer.

Herd: How to Change Mass Behaviour by Harnessing Our True Nature by Mark Earls.

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky.

Hot Groups: Seeding Them, Feeding Them, and Using Them to Ignite Your Organization by J. Lipman-Blumen and J. & H. Leavitt.

How to Make Collaboration Work: Powerful Ways to Build Consensus, Solve Problems, and Make Decisions by David Strauss and Thomas C. Layton.

How to Make Meetings Work by Michael Doyle and David Strauss.

Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers, and Copycats are Hijacking the Global Economy by Moises Naim.

Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge by Cass R. Sunstein.

Leading Teams: Setting the Stage for Great Performances by J. Richard Hackman.

Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi.

Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World by Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger.

Micromotives and Macrobehavior by Thomas Schelling.

Mirroring People: The New Science of How We Connect with Others by Marco Iacoboni.

Mirrors in the Brain: How Our Minds Share Actions, Emotions, and Experience by Giacomo Rizzolatti, Corrado Sinigaglia and Frances Anderson.

The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine.

New Tech, New Ties: How Mobile Communication Is Reshaping Social Cohesion by Rich Ling.

The Neuroscience of Fair Play: Why We (Usually) Follow the Golden Rule by Donald W. Pfaff and Edward O. Wilson.

Nexus: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Theory of Networks by Mark Buchanan.

Organizing Genius – The Secrets of Creative Collaboration by Warren Bennis.

Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Field Guide for Leaders, Managers, and Facilitators by Patrick Lencioni.

The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion by John Hagel III, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison.

The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player: Becoming the Kind of Person Every Team Wants by John C. Maxwell.

Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age by Duncan J. Watts.

Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution by Howard Rheingold.

Smart World: Breakthrough Creativity And the New Science of Ideas by Richard Ogle.

Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships by Daniel Goleman.

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom.

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin.

Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.

Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future by Margaret J Wheatley.

Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today’s Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves by Adam L. Penenberg.

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom by Yochai Benkler.

Why Teams Don’t Work by Harvey Robbins and Michael Finley.

Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki.

The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization by Jon Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith.

X-teams: How to Build Teams That Lead, Innovate and Succeed by Deborah Ancona and Henrik Bresman.

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  1. Michael Yanakiev
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    If I read all these books, will I qualify to become a citizen of the world ?

  2. Posted May 7, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Oh Michael you already do. Tell me which one you find most relevant. Here are some others:
    Clear Leadership, Revised Edition: Sustaining Real Collaboration and Partnership at Work by Gervase R. Bushe.

    The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together by Twyla Tharp and Jesse Kornbluth.

    The Complexity of Cooperation: Agent-Based Models of Competition and Collaboration by Robert M. Axelrod.

    Comprehension and Collaboration: Inquiry Circles in Action by Harvey Daniels and Stephanie Harvey.

    Interactions: Collaboration Skills for School Professionals (6th Edition) by Marilyn Friend and Lynne Cook.

    Open Government: Collaboration, Transparency, and Participation in Practice by Daniel Lathrop and Laurel Ruma.

    Radical Collaboration: Five Essential Skills to Overcome Defensiveness and Build Successful Relationships by James W. Tamm and Ronald J. Luyet.

  3. Posted May 13, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    In September see What’s Mine is Yours

  4. Posted May 17, 2010 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Another great book to add to the list:
    Fired Up or Burned Out by Michael Lee Stallard

  5. Posted May 17, 2010 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the recommendation. I just finished reading his ebook and was most touched by his description of welcoming (“Me2We”) he and his wife Katie had at a hospital when she was ill with ovarian cancer – and the very different experience (“alone”) their friend, also dealing with cancer, had when visiting a different location of that same hospital. What a different it makes to feel understood and supported by others, especially at crucial times in our life and our work – and many times we do not know until looking back what a difference that connected feeling gives us – ah the contagion of emotion.

    I am not buying his book – thank you

  6. Posted May 17, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Kare, great list! Most of these I haven’t read – enough to occupy me for a very long time!
    3 good books I’ve read recently include:
    1) Bargaining with the Devil by Robert Mnookin, on topic of negotiation
    2) Just Listen by Mark Goulston
    3) Collaborative Practice by Nancy Cameron, a book for anyone interested in collaborative law

    Cheers, Ben

  7. Posted May 18, 2010 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Thank you Ben. I found Goulston’s book quite helpful as he offers concrete behaviors for specific situations, especially for those where tensions are high – and his insights are based on his experience and/or resesearch.

    I will look up the other two. Have been a long admirer of Mnookin from the days when i wrote and spoke on conflict resolution.

    Keeping this list to collaboration-related coverage does still make it long – and I suspect it will get longer as more people call for collaboration in this increasingly competitive and connected world, describe it in general terms – and seek more specific ideas about how it can be accomplished.

  8. Michael Yanakiev
    Posted May 18, 2010 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Thank you Kare. Since you are asking, I find Clay Shirky’s book unbeatable. All else are advocating a piece meal approach. The true great book on this broad topic is yet to be born.Why don’t you give it a try.

  9. Posted May 18, 2010 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Michael – Thank you and yes I too, like it for one valuable slant on this topic that has different facets of interest to different people for their situation. That’s why I included Shirky’s book in this list and have referred to it several times in past posts as you can find by searching the blog

  10. Posted May 18, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    For collaboration at the executive level – Senior Leadership Teams: What it Takes to Make the Great by R. Wageman et al
    How to develop a senior leadership team whose members are focused on the good of the entire enterprise.

  11. Posted June 25, 2010 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    Wow, you are a true list builder. Thank you so much for all the business inspiration! Collaboration is a fabulous road to success for entrepreneurs – I totally agree with you.

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