2015 CIO must reads: Win the book list

2015 CIO must reads: Win the book list

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CIO Holiday Reading List

Which books made the biggest impression on our Enterprisers this year and why? Here are their recommendations for CIOs and IT leaders. 


A lucky reader will have a chance to win the entire list of books below, and two runners-up will win a choice of three books. See details below, and read the rules. You must enter by 11:59 p.m. ET Dec. 18. Here's how to enter:

  • Follow us on Twitter: @4enterprisers
  • Then tweet us with a link to this page and include the hashtag #CIOBooks.
  • We will choose the winners Dec. 21 and notify winners via direct message on Twitter

Example Tweet: "Hi @4enterprisers, I'd like a chance to win all the books from your holiday reading list: http://red.ht/21Krw4z #CIOBooks" or just Click to Tweet.



By: Marc Goodman

Recommended by: Nancy D'Amico, SVP and CIO, LeasePlan

Book Description: One of the world’s leading authorities on global security, Marc Goodman takes readers deep into the digital underground to expose the alarming ways criminals, corporations, and even countries are using new and emerging technologies against you—and how this makes everyone more vulnerable than ever imagined.

Why it's a must read: "Marc Goodman is an expert in next-generation security threats. I’ve just started reading his book, and I have already shared it with my team. I heard Marc Goodman speak once, and he was great — this book goes into more detail on the digital underground, and is written as a story. Security is a large concern for every IT leader, which is why I would recommend this book," said Nancy D'Amico



By: Moises Naim

Recommended By: Lee Congdon, CIO, Red Hat

Book Description: We know that power is shifting: From West to East and North to South, from presidential palaces to public squares, from once formidable corporate behemoths to nimble startups and, slowly but surely, from men to women. But power is not merely shifting and dispersing. It is also decaying. Those in power today are more constrained in what they can do with it and more at risk of losing it than ever before.

Why it's a must read: "Power is shifting and dispersing in today's globally interconnected world. It is also evaporating. You need to understand what the trend implies, and why it is happening," said Lee Congdon.



By: Patrick M. Lencioni

Recommended By: Terry Bradwell, Chief Enterprise Strategy and Innovation Officer, AARP

Book Description: There is a competitive advantage out there, arguably more powerful than any other. Is it superior strategy? Faster innovation? Smarter employees? No, New York Times best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni, argues that the seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre ones has little to do with what they know and how smart they are and more to do with how healthy they are. In this book, Lencioni brings together his vast experience and many of the themes cultivated in his other best-selling books and delivers a first: a cohesive and comprehensive exploration of the unique advantage organizational health provides.

Why it's a must read: "I’m a huge fan of movies, and if I find a good one, I can watch it over and over again and get something new out of it every time. With books, I’m the same way, and I’m a huge Patrick Lencioni fan. I’ve read probably every book that he's ever written two or three times. His books typically center around the concept of building strong teams, which is something I’m really passionate about," said Terry Bradwell.



By: Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Recommended By: Terry Bradwell, Chief Enterprise Strategy and Innovation Officer, AARP

Book Description: The primary obstacle is a conflict that’s built into our brains, say Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the critically acclaimed bestseller Made to Stick. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems — the rational mind and the emotional mind — that compete for control. The rational mind wants a great beach body; the emotional mind wants that Oreo cookie. The rational mind wants to change something at work; the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine. This tension can doom a change effort — but if it is overcome, change can come quickly.

Why it's a must read: "This book discusses the specific muscle memory that builds up when you go down a certain path as a company. It explores the pivot points — the specific points that enable a company to switch directions on a dime. It’s about transformation within the organization," said Terry Bradwell.



By: General Stanley McChrystal

Recommended By: John Marcante, CIO, Vanguard

Book DescriptionTeam of Teams offers insights into the modern practice of leadership and management required to navigate and succeed in this complex world. The book is not a military history, but instead a concise and exceptionally “fun to read” collection of insightful ideas told through entertaining stories ranging from industry to hospital emergency rooms. I recommend it for leaders and associates from all types of organizations who need to break down the effects of siloed teams in which information flow and decision making is ineffective in today’s increasingly complex environment. If you are working your teams harder and putting more resources against a problem that isn’t improving, read this book and be prepared to look closely in the mirror.

Why it's a must read: "Bill McNabb, our Chairman and my boss, recently suggested that our entire senior team read this book. Of course, the General focuses on how the military had to adapt long-standing structures and control to new and emerging challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan. For me, the book really talks about how the concept of teams has had to adapt to the ever-changing landscape.

I felt it was a great read and entirely applicable to the technology team challenges we all face today. Today CIOs are embarking on a journey to deliver business value continuously. This journey requires the implementation of DevOps and technologies like cloud and big data, which provide the capabilities for both automated deployments and real-time measurement of business outcomes (i.e. client behavior). But that tends to be the easy stuff. In order to truly deliver business value at startup speed (our journey), we need to 'fuse' together empowered teams from traditionally siloed organizations and focus them on solving problems and delivering business outcomes. Teams where disciplines (Business, UI, Development, Data, Ops) disappear and creative minds emerge. Technology and process change is easy; people change is hard but necessary in order for organizations to adapt to a changing world," said John Marcante.



By: Jez Humble, Joanne Molesky and Barry O'Reilly

Recommended By: John Marcante, CIO, Vanguard

Book Description: How well does your organization respond to changing market conditions, customer needs, and emerging technologies when building software-based products? This practical guide presents Lean and Agile principles and patterns to help you move fast at scale — and demonstrates why and how to apply these methodologies throughout your organization, rather than with just one department or team.

Why it's a must read: "This book explores how to apply the ideas that Eric Ries illustrated in the book, Lean Startup,  into the context of a global, highly complex and traditionally managed enterprise, leveraging management and operational principles such as Agile and DevOps. It is a great read for anyone that wants to create a culture of learning and experimentation that will allow their organization to change and adapt. It advocates creating empowered teams that are focused on business outcomes and increasing the speed of delivering business value," said John Marcante.



Published By: Tim Dempsey, Caxton Business & Legal Inc.

Recommended By: Houston Ross, Vice President, COO and CIO, NN Life Insurance Company

Book Description: Navigating the Digital Age is the definitive cybersecurity guide for boardroom members and executive officers. Developed in collaboration with the New York Stock Exchange Group and Palo Alto Networks, this one-of-a-kind anthology provides practical, actionable and expert advice on best practices for compliance, implementation, breach prevention and immediate response tactics for your company.

Why it's a must read: "The digital and physical world are converging and while these are exciting times with many opportunities we must recognize the new risks we must live with and manage effectively," said Houston Ross.



By: Robert M. Gates

Recommended By: Houston Ross, Vice President, COO and CIO, NN Life Insurance Company

Book Description: From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Why it's a must read: "Duty is an example of leadership under different governing philosophies in extremely challenging world. His consistency, integrity and clarity prove that in any arena, these qualities are necessary," said Houston Ross.


By: Susan Cain

Recommended By: Tim Elkins, Chief Information Officer, PrimeLending

Book Description: At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts — Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak — that we owe many of the great contributions to society.

Why it's a must read: "I think this is a great book for anyone who considers themselves an introvert. It will change how you see yourself and introduce you to many introverts that have changed our world," said Tim Elkins.



By: Adam Grant

Recommended By: Gene Kim, Chief Technology Officer, Researcher and Author of The Phoenix Project

Book DescriptionA groundbreaking New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller that is captivating readers of Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Pink, The Power of Habit, and Quiet. For generations, we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But today, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. It turns out that at work, most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return.

Why it's a must read: "Dr. Adam Grant is the youngest tenured professor at Wharton, and wrote an amazing book on studying people at the highest levels of achievement, noticing how most of them are 'givers,' rather than 'takers' or 'matchers.' For anyone who believes that the law of reciprocity is one of the most powerful laws of the universe, this is an amazing resource that provides insights and guidance," said Gene Kim.



By: George Hallenbeck, Graham Waller and Karen Rubenstrunk

Recommended By: Randy Franklin, Vice President and CIO, Premier Inc.

Book DescriptionGreat CIOs consistently exceed key stakeholders' expectations and maximize the business value delivered through their company's technology. What's their secret? Sure, IT professionals need technological smarts, plus an understanding of their company's goals and the competitive landscape. But the best of them possess a far more potent ability: they forge good working relationships with everyone involved in an IT-enabled project, whether it's introducing new hardware or implementing a major business transformation.

Why it's a must read: "This book expounds on the difficulties of moving from a technical leadership role into the CIO role and the fact that the skills employed in getting to that role will not result in success. While lesser roles focused heavily on technical prowess and the ability to drive through tough problems with analytical thinking and strategy, the CIO role is much more focused on the skills required to lead those persons to greater success. The people side of the equation weighs significantly greater for the CIO role than any other technical management role in a company. A wonderful book for anyone recently anointed with the CIO title or anyone who aspires for the title," said Randy Franklin.



By: Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford

Recommended By: Randy Franklin, Vice President and CIO, Premier Inc.

Book Description: Bill is an IT manager at Parts Unlimited. It's Tuesday morning and on his drive into the office, Bill gets a call from the CEO. The company's new IT initiative, code named Phoenix Project, is critical to the future of Parts Unlimited, but the project is massively over budget and very late. The CEO wants Bill to report directly to him and fix the mess in ninety days or else Bill's entire department will be outsourced. With the help of a prospective board member and his mysterious philosophy of The Three Ways, Bill starts to see that IT work has more in common with manufacturing plant work than he ever imagined. With the clock ticking, Bill must organize work flow streamline interdepartmental communications, and effectively serve the other business functions at Parts Unlimited. 

Why it's a must read: "A wonderful book for any manager who has been dropped into what seems like a war zone. The book illustrates that, no matter how tough the situation on the ground appears, there are proven tactics for extracting yourself and your team, but they require an absolute 100 percent commitment from all involved," said Randy Franklin.


By: Jim Whitehurst

Recommended By: Lee Congdon, CIO, Red Hat

Book Description: Today's leaders need to know that speed and agility are the keys to any company’s success, and yet many are frustrated that their organizations can’t move fast enough to stay competitive. The typical chain of command is too slow; internal resources are too limited; people are already executing beyond normal expectations. Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat, one of the world’s most revolutionary companies, shows how open principles of management—based on transparency, participation, and community—reinvent the organization for the fast-paced connected era. 

Why it's a must read: “This book is about how we lead Red Hat using transparency, participation, and collaboration to compete at speed. Jim provides great insights on what it takes to thrive as a passionate, open, mission driven culture, and why establishing a similar culture makes sense for other enterprises,” said Lee Congdon.



By: John Mackey

Recommended By: Peter Weis, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Matson Navigation

Book Description: In this book, Whole Foods Market cofounder John Mackey and professor and Conscious Capitalism, Inc. cofounder Raj Sisodia argue for the inherent good of both business and capitalism. Featuring some of today’s best-known companies, they illustrate how these two forces can—and do—work most powerfully to create value for all stakeholders: including customers, employees, suppliers, investors, society, and the environment.

Why it's a must read: "You can make money and keep your soul. I believe it’s good business to build meaning and purpose into organizations beyond just profits. In fact, the great irony is that the more you focus on meaning, the healthier and sustainable your ability to innovate remains," said Peter Weis.



By: Garr Reynolds

Recommended By: Peter Weis, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Matson Navigation

Book Description: Best-selling author and popular speaker Garr Reynolds is back in this newly revised edition of his classic, best-selling book, Presentation Zen, in which he showed readers there is a better way to reach the audience through simplicity and storytelling, and gave them the tools to confidently design and deliver successful presentations.

Why it's a must read: "I do a fair amount of speaking, presenting and teaching. This book takes an elegant, simple approach to presenting through visuals and storytelling, rather than presenting overwhelming reams of data that nobody can remember. It’s a quick read and a great reminder about the power of simplicity, clarity and storytelling," said Peter Weis.


  • Follow us on Twitter: @4enterprisers
  • Then tweet us with a link to this page and include the hashtag #CIOBooks.
  • We will choose the winners Dec. 21 and notify winners via direct message on Twitter

Example Tweet: "Hi @4enterprisers, I'd like a chance to win all the books from your holiday reading list: http://red.ht/21Krw4z #CIOBooks" or just Click to Tweet.

Click here for the full list of EnterprisersProject.com CIO 2015 Holiday Book Contest Rules

Nano Serwich is Editor of The Enterprisers Project and Global Awareness Content Manager at Red Hat.

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