When you visit the website for Menlo Innovations, you’ll find a link titled “Experience by Reading” on the top bar. Click there, and you’ll find not only find information about Menlo books, but also a link to Recommended Reading, which features 25 books from innovation to design to social science. So this edition of “On Business & Books” is particularly appropriate.
Q. What is the one unanswered question about business you are most interested in answering?
I am very interested in questions of scale and legacy. How do we get to the May, 2018 vision I describe in the “Stepping into Joy” chapter. I am also thinking about the things we can put in place to give Menlo the best possible chance to outlive me and retain its unique culture.
Q. What business book has influenced your work the most?
Peter Senge’s book The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of The Learning Organization convicted me at a pivotal point in my early career. I knew there was a better way of doing things, and I was determined to find it. This book gave me a structure as to how to think about the journey I was about to undertake. It also gave me a picture of what the future would look like when I found it.
Q. What is the business book you wish you had written and why?
Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team. This book so clearly outlines the challenges and opportunities in creating a great team. The book is also written in such an approachable style that it is easy to put it to good use within our team. I would very much like to have Patrick Lencioni visit Menlo one day.
Q. What business book are you reading right now?
I just finished Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger Institute. This may turn out to be the most important book I have ever read. The powerful lessons it teaches apply at work, home, and in the community.
I am currently reading What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell. I read everything he writes. I always find great business lessons in Gladwell’s writing. I was particularly fascinated by his comparison between puzzles and mysteries.