Community-Driven Consulting – Book List

In following up on Monday’s post, Nick has just transcribed the book list we generated from our 4 days of planning the Consultants’ Curriculum for the Community-Driven Institute.

And so I thought it would be fun to share that list here. For those heading into Summer Reading Season, this list will keep you busy. For those heading deep into winter, these will be great books to curl up in a blanket with.

The books range from consulting titles to community titles to life titles and all in between. I have read a number of them, and can’t wait to read the rest. Here goes!

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

How community efforts can multiply their passion and power through shared leadership. (A favorite in our office – we have given it as gifts and made it a required text in the Masters degree course we teach!)

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Whether we are creating a movement to turn the “nonprofit” sector into the Community Benefit Sector, or focusing on local neighborhood initiatives, we can learn to make those ideas “stick” with the people we want to engage in that work!

Reframe Your Blame, How to Be Personally Accountable
by Jay Fiset

The first principle of the Community-Driven Institute is “We accomplish what we hold ourselves accountable for.” Need I say more?

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Democracy, the Internet, and the Overthrow of Everything
by Joe Trippi

Joe Trippi used the Internet to take Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign from unknown to superpower. The Internet is distributing power to the people right now. Trippi shows how to use that power to accomplish our missions.

No Easy Walk to Freedom
by Nelson Mandela

The collection of Nelson Mandela’s articles, speeches, letters from underground, and transcripts from his trials. I cannot wait to read this book!

Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West
by Benazir Bhutto

I simultaneously read this book and mourned the loss of so brilliant a soul. I learned more about Islam, and more about the path that has led to the present reality in the Islamic world than I dreamed one book could teach. Bhutto’s thoughtful analysis of how to reconcile the West with the Islamic world is masterful. Both the book and her death create a call for us to follow her lead.

Attracting Perfect Customers: The Power of Strategic Synchronicity
by Stacey Hall and Jan Brogniez

The authors – both consultants – make one simple and compelling point: Consultants will make more money and be far happier if they only deal with customers whose values mesh with their own. As true for Community Benefit Organizations as it is for the consultants who serve them!

Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great
by Jim Collins

According to Collins, the difference between successful organizations is not between the “business sector” and the “social sectors,” but between good organizations and great ones.

No Contest: The Case Against Competition
by Alfie Kohn

This was actually suggested in response to my post about the Collaboration Prize being self-defeating. The premise of Kohn’s work fits with so much of my own writing – the fact that competition is not necessarily reality, and that we can instead assume “cooperation” is reality, creating grand results!

Black Elk Speaks
by John G. Neihardt

The story of Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk. Read it as a tale of a Lakota life, as a history of a Native nation, or as an enduring spiritual testament. This one came enthusiastically endorsed by a number of our group’s members.

The Biology Of Belief: Unleashing The Power Of Consciousness, Matter And Miracles
by Bruce Lipton

Bruce Lipton synthesizes the latest research in cell biology and quantum physics to show that our bodies can be changed as we retrain our thinking. (His You Tube video was one we watched during our sessions last week – see Monday’s post for details!)

The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements
by Eric Hoffer

Hoffer’s work is 50 years old, and is just as fresh in light of the religious fanatacism that seems to have our world in its grip today, as it was then. This is a classic.

Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment
by George Leonard

Drawing on Zen philosophy and his expertise in the martial art of Aikido, Leonard shows how the process of mastery can help us attain a higher level of excellence in all areas of our lives.

The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By
by Carol S. Pearson

Reaching our fullest potential by achieving a balance between work, family, and the self.

Million Dollar Consulting: The Professional’s Guide to Growing a Practice
by Alan Weiss

Can a group of consultants gather without extolling the virtues of Alan Weiss’s practical advice? If you are a consultant and do not read this book often, start now. Really.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
by Robert M. Pirsig

Another classic. The argument of quality vs. quantity, set as a story of a cross-country trip on a motorcycle by a father and son, is more accurately a journey through 2,000 years of Western philosophy. I know more than one person for whom this book has been life-changing.

Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
by Parker J. Palmer

Letting your life speak means really listening. It also means tuning out the preconceived ideas about what a vocation should and shouldn’t be so that we can better hear the call of that spirit within. There are no how-to formulas here, just fireside wisdom from an elder who is willing to share his mistakes and stories as he learned to live a life worth speaking about.

Hope Unraveled: The People’s Retreat and Our Way Back
by Richard Harwood

Richard Harwood examines the U.S. as a nation struggling with consumerism, distorted realities, and false divisions that cut across cultural, political, and media landscapes. From there he lays out an alternate path for politics and public life for all Americans.

I am quite sure I am forgetting at least one or two. And if you have a favorite, please share in the comments – what a grand list we might just create!

Happy reading, all!

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