This month's new books explore topics such as sustainability, emotional resilience, and critical thinking.
Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth presents a visual framework for sustainable development that captures whether economic growth and social goals are being achieved within limits defined by environmental boundaries. Leading change towards sustainability by Bob Doppelt presents multiple case studies and examples of the leadership required to take us to a more sustainable future.
David Epstein's Range makes the case that generalists can do well in a world where we are expected to specialize in our careers but where the environment in which we work is complex and constantly changing. Other books explore how to become emotionally resilient, and how cultivating critical thinking is more relevant than ever.
Humanity’s 21st century challenge is to meet the needs of all within the means of the planet. In other words, to ensure that no one falls short on life’s essentials (from food and housing to healthcare and political voice), while ensuring that collectively we do not overshoot our pressure on Earth’s life-supporting systems, on which we fundamentally depend – such as a stable climate, fertile soils, and a protective ozone layer. The Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries is a playfully serious approach to framing that challenge, and it acts as a compass for human progress this century.
The environmental ceiling consists of nine planetary boundaries, as set out by Rockstrom et al, beyond which lie unacceptable environmental degradation and potential tipping points in Earth systems. The twelve dimensions of the social foundation are derived from internationally agreed minimum social standards, as identified by the world’s governments in the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. Between social and planetary boundaries lies an environmentally safe and socially just space in which humanity can thrive.
Since the first iteration of the Doughnut was published as a discussion paper by Oxfam in 2012, it has had traction in very diverse places – from the UN General Assembly and the Global Green Growth Forum, to Occupy London. Why such interest? I think it is because the doughnut is based on the powerful framework of planetary boundaries but adds to it the demands of social justice – and so brings social and environmental concerns together in one single image and approach. It also sets a vision for an equitable and sustainable future, but is silent on the possible pathways for getting there, and so the doughnut acts as a convening space for debating alternative pathways forward.
Written by three leading thinkers in the field of sustainability, All In defines the essential attributes of high-impact corporate sustainability leadership and describes how companies can combine and apply those characteristics for future success.
All In draws on research involving thousands of experts globally as collected via the GlobeScan-SustainAbility Leaders Survey over two decades. The book also reveals insights from dozens of interviews with Chairs, CEOs and Chief Sustainability Officers of pioneering companies, including 3M, BASF, BP, DuPont, Google, GE, Huawei, IKEA, Interface, Marks & Spencer, Natura, Nestlé, Nike, Novo Nordisk, Patagonia, Shell, Tata, Toyota, Unilever and Walmart, explaining how they have gained recognition, created value and boosted resiliency based on their sustainability leadership. All In also outlines what the private sector must do to lift sustainability performance, protect business’s license to operate and help deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
This unique book, rich with quantitative and qualitative insights, offers current and aspiring business leaders a succinct overview of the most important developments and trends in corporate sustainability and responsible leadership. All In will also appeal to others interested in why sustainability has become a critical mainstream business issue.
As the world struggles to cope with the growing threat of a global carbon crisis, Doppelt has revised one of the best books ever written about change management, leadership and sustainability to focus on de-carbonisation. Doppelt's research, presented in this hugely readable book, demystify the sustainability-change process by providing a theoretical framework and a methodology that managers can use to successfully transform their organisations to embrace sustainable development. Filled with case examples, interviews and checklists on how to move corporate and governmental cultures toward sustainability, the book argues that the key factors that facilitate change appear in the successful efforts at companies such as AstraZeneca, Nike, Starbucks, IKEA, Chiquita, Interface, Swisscom and Norm Thompson and in governmental efforts such as those in the Netherlands and Santa Monica in California. For these and other cutting-edge organisations, leading change is a philosophy for success. Leading Change toward Sustainability has been used by change leaders around the world to guide their internal global warming and sustainability organisational change initiatives. This new edition is essential reading for leaders from all types of organisations
What's the most effective path to success in any domain? It's not what you think.
Plenty of experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. If you dabble or delay, you’ll never catch up to the people who got a head start. But a closer look at research on the world’s top performers, from professional athletes to Nobel laureates, shows that early specialization is the exception, not the rule.
David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields—especially those that are complex and unpredictable—generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see.
Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range makes a compelling case for actively cultivating inefficiency. Failing a test is the best way to learn. Frequent quitters end up with the most fulfilling careers. The most impactful inventors cross domains rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area. As experts silo themselves further while computers master more of the skills once reserved for highly focused humans, people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will increasingly thrive
We live in an era where access to all the knowledge in the world is at our fingertips, yet that also means misinformation and falsehoods can spread further and faster than ever before.
In The Irrational Ape, David Robert Grimes shows how we can be lured into making critical mistakes or drawing false conclusions, and how to avoid such errors. Given the power of modern science and the way that movements can unite to protest a cause via social media, we are in dangerous times. But fortunately, we can learn from our mistakes, and by critical thinking and scientific method we can discover how to apply these techniques to everything from deciding what insurance to buy to averting global disaster. This book, packed with fascinating case studies and examples, helps ensure we are ready for the modern world.[Publisher Text]
The Leader’s Guide to Emotional Agility takes a new approach to emotional intelligence in action and translates it into critical skills that every leader needs to get the most out of themselves and their people.
It outlines 8 steps for achieving emotional agility and resilience:
Step 1: Becoming authentic
Step 2: Becoming self-aware
Step 3: Becoming aware of others
Step 4: Using the emotions
Step 5: Understanding the emotions
Step 6: Managing your own emotions
Step 7: Managing the emotions of others
Step 8: Mindfulness for leaders
The chapters, underpinned with scientific research, offer real-life illustrations from leaders facing real challenges and triumphs, as well as exercises, case studies, tips and strategies to put these steps into action. It also includes a self-assessment at the start of the book to help you find out how emotionally agile you already are.
This straight-talking guide is the ultimate guide for busy managers wanting hard advice on how to deal with the softer side of business life.
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