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Build to Thrive: An inspiring book list for change-makers and culture-builders in business and beyond.

Rebecca Lewis Smith

August 4, 2020   Culture

On my webinar for Barclays Eagle Labs, titled “Build to Thrive – how to build an amazing company culture” I wrapped up my talk with a list of books that I had found inspirational and helpful as I work to grow, evolve and maintain our company culture at Fountain.

In the webinar I promised I’d have a list of these up on our site, so here goes:

 

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

By Daniel H Pink

This book changed the way I understood motivation on a fundamental level, and helped us to avoid a lot of typical mistakes at Fountain. It helped me to recognise the different types of motivation, and the short-comings of the most wide-spread forms in business, and work towards sustainable motivation on our team.

 

Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secret of High Performance

By Matthew Syed

We have directly translated the theory presented in this book into practice at Fountain. It’s about how we treat mistakes matters – and how to create a path to continuous marginal gains.

 

Reinventing Organisations: An Illustrated Invitation to Join the Conversation on Next-Stage Organizations

By Frederic Laloux

Exceptional inspiration for looking beyond the constraints of traditional organisational models. This illustrated version is brilliantly presented and engaging, setting aspirational models for the future – with great case studies to demonstrate that the organisations of the future are not that far out of reach.

 

The Barcelona Way: Unlocking the DNA of a Winning Culture

By Damian Hughes

If you ever need to make the case for investing in culture to a football fan, this book is the key! Damian Hughes uses Barca FC as a case study in exemplary culture – and relates the learnings to business along the way. Incredibly applicable, engaging and enjoyable.

 

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

By Brene Brown

In this book, Brene Brown presents the research and learning she has done throughout her career and presented in so many brilliant books, framed to apply directly to leaders. I have been hugely influenced and inspired by her writing, and love this version that brings the challenge of Daring Greatly right into the heart of my work.

 

Culture: Awesome – the podcast

Or search ‘Culture: Awesome’ on iTunes, Spotify and other podcast platforms

In 2019 I had the pleasure of recording this podcast with my dear friend and fellow company culture enthusiast, Emily Groves, founder of Indigo Swan.

We cover in more detail many of the topics discussed in the webinar – and chat about all the things we’ve found useful as we have built, maintained and improved the company culture in our businesses. We’ve loved sharing thoughts, tools and inspirations with each other, and we hope you’ll find it interesting too.

 

Naming Your Monkeys: Company Culture When It Matters Most

If you’d like to hear more stories about how the culture at Fountain was shaped, this video is of a keynote I gave at an event we co-hosted in 2019 with UEA. It’s called “Naming Your Monkeys” and gives a warts-and-all account of the toughest time we went through (in the pre-Covid world, of course) and how we addressed our mistakes to come through with an even stronger company culture.

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