Reading List

Information is power and in the modern age that is never been more true. The curse of the Information age is how to separate the signal from the noise. This reading list a collection of books, videos and sites that I believe are contributing key information related to all areas of organizational effectiveness. Managing people, tools, time, money and raw materials is the fundamental challenge to all organizations.

Quick Links to Each List Section





People are a key element of any organization. Humans create and utilize technology so there will always be a need to improve on our understanding of how people work best. I believe effective communication is at the heart of how people interact and accomplish shared goals.

Abstract: Book on Organizational Health

The Advantage

By Patrick Lencioni

This book lays out what the author believes are the key ingredients of a successful organization:

  1. cohesive leadership team
  2. create clarity
  3. over communicate clarity
  4. reinforce clarity

These concepts may seem like common sense but how to really implement them is the payoff here.

Abstract: Book on Complexity in the Workplace

The Checklist Mainfesto

By Atul Gawande

Through compelling true stories this book explores how we can better deal with complexity in the workplace. By truly analyzing failures logically we can better avoid them, however the answer is the traditional "try harder" or "study more".  Humans memory fails us regardless of experience, education or character.  So its better to create systems that take account for that potential failure such as using checklists for complex or lengthy tasks and  communication checkpoints during projects.

Abstract: Book on the Hiring Process

Who: The A Method for Hiring

By Geoff Smart, Randy Street

Few would argue that hiring quality people is a key to the success of any organization, however the techniques used to find and asses candidates are no less then voodoo at most places. This book explains a hiring process that was developed to find C-level executives but the authors believe could be applied to any job.  Even if you can only incorporate a few of the tenants of this book you will be better at hiring then the majority.


Technology is currently the primary tool of business but it is not the only one.  Part of understanding technology is truly accepting that it is a tool and not a magical solution for all problems. The wheel was effective only because of its application. These works help explain different areas of technology and how they are best applied.

Abstract: Book on Windows Performance Analysis

Windows Performance Analysis Field Guide

By Clint Huffman

This book provides practical skills on how to analyze Windows operating system performance. To me it is a great illustration of using deductive reasoning and the empirical process in troubleshooting Windows operating system issues.  It also illustrates how important real time data collection is for analyzing IT issues.

Abstract: Websites on PowerShell is a non-profit that is a good source for articles and events about PowerShell.

MSDN Site for PowerShell

This the official Microsoft site for PowerShell.

Abstract: Book on Windows Internals

Windows Internals

by Mark E. Russinovich, David A. Solomon, Alex Ionescu

This is the definitive reference series for the Windows operating systems. With the 7th edition coming out soon this series continues to pull back the veil of the Windows OS. Being about as technologically dense as you can get this is no light reading but helpful to have if you want to truly dig into Windows.

Money, Time and Raw Materials

Money, time and raw materials are the other finite resources that make up an organization. Raw materials is different based on the industry you are in. If you build a physical product the raw materials are clear. In software development the raw material is the core problem the application will solve. In services and government the raw material is the need of the customer/citizen. Arguably how effectively you utilize people and tools will always effect how much time and money it takes to take your raw materials to reach the goals of the organization. The works in this section speak to the broader goals of business and organizations in relation to time/money/raw materials. What qualities make some businesses fail while others succeed.

Abstract: Book on How to Gain MBA level Knowledge without getting a degree

The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business

By Josh Kaufman

This book was one of the key works that inspired me to start my own business. It takes the often mysterious world of "business science" and breaks it down into is key components. It defines a business as a repeatable process that:

  1. Creates and delivers something of value
  2. That other people want or need
  3. At a price they're willing to pay
  4. In a way that satisfies the customers' needs and expectations
  5. So that the business brings in enough profit to make it worthwhile for the owners to continue operation

Abstract: Book on Free Time and the American Dream

Free Time: The Forgotten American Dream

by Benjamin Hunnicutt

This book provides an in depth academic analysis of how reducing the 40 hour work week was once a key goal of the American dream. Prior to the Great Depression many of the great economists and thinkers of the day believe that advances in technology would eventually reduce the amount anyone had to work. The goal was to have to time to improve yourself and have deeper connections with family, friends and the community.  This book illustrates how the prevailing values can change with events that may not always be for the best.