13 Books: HR Summer Reading List 2023

For the second time, HR Exchange Network is sharing its summer reading list. There is no scientific method to these suggestions. Instead, they are the result of searches of bestsellers in specific areas like leadership, titles written by members of this community, and my preferences. One title was repeatedly suggested by ChatGPT. The purpose is to further thought-provoking conversation about workplace transformation and the role of Human Resources in today’s world.  

The list is just the beginning of a learning journey I hope we can take together. Join me on Sunday mornings in the summer for Book Club videos on LinkedIn. I will share my thoughts on each of the books on the list – one-by-one – and interact with anyone who wants to add his or her opinion on the title. In the meantime, check out the list for 2023:

ChatGPT’s Pick

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High

By Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler

In this pick from ChatGPT, readers get advice on how to have difficult conversations to improve relationships and solve problems. This is a bestselling book that was updated in 2021 to address more recent communication challenges, and it features information on how to have these kinds of discussions in various digital mediums.  

WATCH: Helping Underrepresented People Find Their Voice and Access Roles in Leadership

Editor’s Picks

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know

By Adam Grant

This book is about finding the will to be wrong once in a while. Grant, who is an organizational psychologist, questions how people have moved toward these silos that mirror their own opinions rather than being challenged. As a result, they are living in a world that is not quite set in reality. His goal with this book is to get people to think more like scientists seeking truth.

The No Club: Putting a Stop to Women’s Dead-End Work

By Linda Babcock, Brenda Peyser, Lise Vesterlund, and Laurie Weingart

This book has two purposes. First, it provides women with guidance on how to control their schedules, so they stop doing work that does not contribute to climbing the career ladder. Second, it provides research that proves women are burdened with workplace tasks that take time away from the tasks that matter and could help them win leadership roles. The whole premise of this book came from the women in it and their own experiences with never-ending to-do lists that were thrust upon them and made it impossible to focus on growing their careers. 

Talent Tectonics: Navigating Global Work Shifts, Building Resilient Organizations, and Reimagining the Employee Experience

By Steven T. Hunt

Hunt wrote this book in response to accelerated change, advanced technology, shifting demographics, and the need to adapt. In these pages, readers will find advice on how to improve the employee experience to ensure organizations maintain a competitive edge during this transformative time in history.

Hunt was a guest during an HR Exchange Network webinar with Limeade.

Embrace the Power of You: Owning Your Identity at Work

By Tricia Montalvo Timm

Tricia Montalvo Timm had hidden her Latina identity from youth when she changed her name to get more auditions as a child actor. Then, she moved into the business world as an adult, and continued to gloss over her heritage and keep the fact that she was a mom out of her professional life. When she finally brought her authentic self to work, she says her career soared. This book explores her personal story and how truly belonging to an organization requires true authenticity.

WATCH: Timm in a Panel Discussion on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Remote Not Distant

By Gustavo Razzetti

Razzetti is a guru of workplace culture, and he has studied how Amazon, Slack, GitLab, Volvo, Microsoft and other organizations function. In this book, he argues that companies that fail to adapt to remote and hybrid work will suffer irrelevancy in the future of work. Also, he shares ways to reset the culture, collaborate in hybrid workplaces, and connect with remote workers.  

Life 3.0 Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

By Max Tegmark

The promo for this book suggests it is about the most important conversation of the times. It may very well be. Indeed, this book is about how to take advantage of AI’s benefits without leaving humans feeling a lack of purpose and anxiety about livelihood. Although the book is a few years old now, it is even more relevant today.

Leaders Eat Last

By Simon Sinek

Through the art of storytelling, Sinek demonstrates how leaders can build trust. He describes how in the military junior staff eat first and the leaders eat last. This is evidence that they will put their own comfort – even their life – on the line for their team. In a less heavy way, leaders in business can do the same to create a positive workplace culture and forge bonds among team members, according to the book.

They Did What? Unbelievable Tales from the Workplace

By Cornelia Gamlem and Barbara Mitchell

This is the guilty pleasure on the list because HR professionals will relate well to the anecdotes of people misbehaving on the job. Gamlem and Mitchell, who are contributors to HR Exchange Network, created a fictitious company to share stories based on real life about some of the more unbelievable encounters they and their friends in HR have had. As a behind-the-scenes look at HR promises to leave readers stunned.

Gamlem and Mitchell are contributors to HR Exchange Network, and they participated in a recent conversation about women at work. 

The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

By Robert Iger

In this autobiography, Iger shares some of the more profound moments of his first tenure as head of the Walt Disney Company. Leadership training is the top learning and development priority for HR professionals, according to the latest State of HR report. Therefore, this book makes the list for its insight into what it takes to run a mammoth corporation. Here’s to hoping that he updates the book after this second tenure at the helm of Disney.

READ: Employers Respond to the Increase in Employee Activism

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups

By Daniel Coyle

At a time when HR is transforming the workplace, a guide on how to shift culture is vital. This book promises to deliver three key aspects of creating a winning culture. By observing successful organizations, like U.S. Navy SEALS Team Six, IDEO, and the San Antonio Spurs, Coyle provides rich examples of how to foster cohesion and bonds that help people pursue a common goal with a little bit of magic.

The Future Normal: How We Will Live, Work, and Thrive in the Next Decade

By Rohit Bhargava, Henry Coultinho-Mason

The authors of this book have spent many years studying the latest inventions to help readers understand what is coming next. In this book, they look at the advances that are going to change the way we work and live. Consider this homework to prepare for the future, so HR professionals help their organizations – and themselves – to remain relevant.

Why Managers Prevail: The 5 Essential Leadership Skills for Creating a Culture of Belonging that Drives Performance and Loyalty within Your Organization

By John and Katie McCann

The mantra has always been that people leave managers and not companies. In fact, in the description of this book on Amazon, readers learn that more than 80% of people say they would quit their jobs over bad bosses. Thus, this book becomes vitally important at a time when many industries are facing a labor shortage caused by long-term demographic shifts. Read this one to understand how to help managers find their way to help with both recruitment and retention.

Photo by joao Guerreiro for Pexels

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter