UPDATED: The eliot Book Club

Get the full overview of the books that inspired us to think, feel and understand culture and collaboration 2.0.

Rasmus Noah Hansen
Published in
6 min readOct 21, 2020

A big driver for starting eliot, was being able to design our own “work-life” — where one big focus area was to spend much more time on our own learning and development.

Over the last decade or so we’ve been reading books of various topics, ranging from creativity and innovation to leadership and self-development to group dynamics and neuroscience to organisational design and management theory.

Below you’ll find all of the books inspired us in one way or another — hopefully, you will find some that might inspire you as well. We’ve divided the books into 7 categories:

  • Organisational Design & Self-Managing Systems
  • Organisational Culture & Belonging
  • Creating Healthy and Effective Teams
  • Applied Neuroscience & Psychology
  • Effective Communication & Collaboration
  • Leadership and Personal Development
  • Facilitation and Process Design
  • Danish Books
  • Other Inspirational Reading

Instead of writing reviews on every single book, I’ve marked them to give you a quick overview differentiating the ones we like from the ones we love.

** Great
*** Must Read

PS. Support your local book shop — don’t buy from Amazon!

Organisational Design & Self-Managing Systems

Over the last decade or two, many thinkers and leaders have been exploring new ways of designing and structuring organisations to become more resilient and innovative. Even though there’s never a one size fits all when it comes to organisations, these books may inspire you to think differently about designing and structuring your organisations.

**Many voices one song, by Jerry Koch-Gonzalez & Ted J Rau

**Holacracy, by Brian J. Robertson

**Reinventing Organizations, by Frederic Laloux

***Lead Together, by Brent Lowe, Susan Basterfield & Travis Marsh

***Brave New Work, by Aaron Dignan

**Corporate Rebels, by Joost Minnaar & Pim De Morree

*Emergent Strategy, by Adrienne Maree Brown

*Measure What Matters, by John Doerr

*Self-management, by Astrid Vermeer & Ben Wenting

*Beyond Empowerment, by Doug Kirkpatrick

***The Fifth Discipline, by Peter M. Senge

*Thinking in Systems, by Donella H. Meadows

*Cynefin, by Dave Snowden

*Going Horizontal, by Samantha Slade

*The Systems Thinking Playbook, by Linda Booth Sweeney

*Exponential Organisations, by Salim Ismail

Still on the shelf to be read

Organisational Culture & Belonging

As a follow up on Org. Design & Self-managing teams we thought it would be fitting to have a full section on Culture & Belonging that differentiates in focusing more on the Mindset and how people relate to and feel engaged in your organisation. A little less hands-on, but still with tons of great cases and examples from inspiring companies all around the world.

*How Google Works, by Eric Schmidt

**Beyond Measure, by Margaret Heffernan

*Team of Teams, by Stanley A. McChrystal

*Creativity Inc., by Ed Catmull

*Work Rules, by Laszlo Bock

*Humanocracy, by Gary Hamel

*An Everyone Culture, by Robert Kegan & Lisa Laskow Lahey

*Essential Management, by First Round

*Six Simple Rules, by Yves Moriex & Peter Tollman

*The Culture Code, by Daniel Coyle

Still on the shelf to be read

The Progress Principle, by Teresa Amabile & Steven Kramer

Adapt, by Tim Harford

Great at work, by Morten T. Hansen

Creating Healthy and Effective Teams

We are truly fascinated by teams and how to create healthy and effective teams — for many reasons. The best work gets done by teams, we are mostly affected by the people we work closest with, and if we structure our organisations into nimble and self-managing teams, there’s no obstacle that’s too big to tackle.

*Creating Intelligent Teams, by Anne Rød and Marita Fridjhon

***Creating Effective Teams, by Susan A. Wheelan

*The Fearless Organisation, by Amy Edmonson

*The 4 stages of Psychological Safety, by Timothy R. Clark

**Team Habbits, by Charlie Gilkey

Applied Neuroscience & Psychology

Over the last couple of years, Social Cognitive Neuroscience has been an interest of ours and that means reading as much as possible about it! If you’re curious to understand how our brains affect our performance at work, our ability to collaborate with others, and how we make decisions, this topic is definitely something for you!

***Your Brain at Work, by David Rock

**Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect, by Matthew Lieberman

*The Leading Brain, by Friederike Fabritius

*The Emotional Brain, by Joseph LeDoux

***Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman

***Mindwise, by Nicholas Epley

*Behave, by Robert Sapolsky

Effective Communication & Collaboration

Being able to communicate effectively with other people is one of the most crucial skills that any professional can have. Being able to intentionally listen and ask great questions, give and receive feedback, and how to effectively solve conflicts are the keys to innovation, resilience, and deep relationships with trust.

*Thanks for the feedback, by Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen

**Leading with Questions, by Michael J. Marquardt

*A More Beautiful Question, by Warren Berger

**Nonviolent Communication, by Marshall B. Rosenberg

*The Feedback Imperative, by Anna Carrol

Still on the shelf to be read

Radical Candor, by Kim Scott

Leadership, Personal Development & Productivity

If you stack all leadership books on each other, they could probably reach the moon and back. We believe that leadership is not something for the few in power, but something that all people in your organisation should think about.

*Deep Work, by Cal Newport

*The Mind of the Leader, by Rasmus Hougaard

*Co-Active Leadership, by Karen and Henry Kimsey-House

**Make Time, by Jake Knapp

*The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey

***Atomic Habits, by James Clear

*Four Thousand Weeks, by Oliver Burkman

***So Good They Can’t Ignore You, by Cal Newport

***Building a Second Brain, by Tiago Forte

***Clear Thinking, by Shane Parrish

*Elon Musk, by Walter Isaacson

Still on the shelf to be read

The coaching habit, by Michael Bungay Stanier

Facilitation and Process Design

Being able to effectively lead people from A to B is a key aspect of the work we do at eliot. We help teams collaborate better and get more work done through facilitation and process design whether the format is workshops, meetings, team development sessions, kick-offs, retrospective, feedback sessions etc. (you get the point).

**The Art of Facilitation, by Dale Hunter

**Gamestorming, by Sunni Brown

**Sprint, by Jake Knapp

*The art of gathering, by Priya Parker

*From the Front of the Room, by Dan Newman

Still on the shelf to be read

Rituals for Work, by Kursat Ozenc & Margaret Hagan

Danish books

For our danish friends, we’ve also gathered a few of the danish books that we can recommend!

*Fatale Forandringer, by Christian Ørsted

**Jytte fra Marketing er desværre gået for idag, by Morten Münster

*Pseudoarbejde, by Dennis Nørmark

*Effektive Sammen, by Trine Kolding

**Livsfarlig Ledelse, by Christian Ørsted

Still on the shelf to be read

Jytte Vender Tilbage, by Morten Münster

Other Inspirational Reading

All of the books that don’t fit into any of the categories above.

*Let My People Go Surfing, by Yvon Chouinard

**The Power of Moments, by Chip & Dan Heath

*Start with Why, by Simon Sinek

*The Infinite Game, by Simon Sinek

If you have any books you want to tip about, we’d be super happy if you could write a comment below the article or reach out directly on LinkedIn!

Happy reading 📚

I’m Rasmus, an independent Org. Designer & Facilitator who supports empathic leaders transform their organisations by creating engaged, effective & psychological safe teams.

If you want to explore how we can work together, book a call.

Connect with me on LinkedIn to get insights and knowledge on how to create more resilient teams and organisations.



Rasmus Noah Hansen

Independent Org. Designer & Facilitator