December, 2020 by John Gøtze
According to UNESCO, more than 2,5 million books have been published in 2020. Even though I read many books, I have, of course, only read a small fraction of these.
Although I have not been able to find reliable data, it is my impression that 2020 has been a record year in terms of the number of books published, at least in areas I tend to follow.
So, when I sat down to make a list of books of the year as an end-of-the-year kind of thing, I quickly ended up with a long list. Other years when I have made such lists, it was a struggle just to list 10 books of the year that I found worthwhile recommending to my peers, clients, and students. Not so in 2020.
Therefore, I present the longest list of recommended books of the year that I have ever created. There are 52 books on the list!
The selection criteria I have used are as follows:
- All books have 2020 as publication year
- All books are in English
- All books are available for purchase in standard book outlets (Amazon and the like)
- For relevancy, I can think of at least some QualiWare clients who would/should find the books relevant and interesting. Few clients, however, are likely to find all 52 books relevant to themselves
- And of course, I have personally read all the books sometime during the year (frankly, I read a few of them as I made this list). Thanks, COVID-19, for giving us more time (less transportation, less going-out, less theater/cinemas/concerts/etc.)!
The topics covered by the books include Enterprise Architecture, Digital Transformation, Risk Management, Organizational Design, Impacting Change, Systems Thinking, Innovation, Agile, Design, and more.
The list is not prioritized and ranked. All 52 books are recommended!
by Scott A. Bernard
The EA Cube (EA3 and EA6) book has been updated (now fourth edition)! This is the only book on holistic (organization-wide) enterprise architecture (EA) that integrates strategic, business, and technology planning. The approach includes detailed information on EA governance, implementation, and use, including an example case study, a new chapter on solution architecture methods, and a new chapter on the use of EA to support organizational restructuring as part of mergers and acquisitions. This book is used when QualiWare runs EA certification courses. In 2021, we will offer online certification classes.
by Stefan Henningsson and Gustav Normark Toppenberg
This book tells you how to manage acquisitive growth in the digital era. It takes a distinct managerial perspective on acquisitions by focusing on how Enterprise Architecture relates to value creation. The book builds upon an extensive fundament of rigorous research, including Toppenberg’s excellent PhD thesis from 2015, first-hand experiences from using Enterprise Architecture to catalyze acquisitions in several Fortune 500 companies, and a wide pool of case examples from leading firms.
by Alfred Zimmermann, Rainer Schmidt, and Lakhmi C. Jain (Editors)
I wrote a chapter together with Alex Romanov on rapid digital transformation. This research-oriented book presents key contributions on architecting the digital transformation. It includes the following main sections covering 20 chapters: Digital Transformation, Digital Business, Digital Architecture, Decision Support, and Digital Applications. Focusing on digital architectures for smart digital products and services, it is a valuable resource for researchers, students, and academically inclined practitioners interested in digital transformation.
by Piethein Strengholt
As data management and integration continue to evolve rapidly, storing all your data in one place, such as a data warehouse, is no longer scalable. You need to migrate your enterprise from a complex and tightly coupled data landscape to a more flexible architecture ready for the modern world of data consumption. Strengholt provides blueprints, principles, observations, best practices, and patterns to get you up to speed.
by Casey Rosenthal and Nora Jones
As more companies move toward microservices and other distributed technologies, the complexity of these systems increases. You can’t remove the complexity, but through Chaos Engineering you can discover vulnerabilities and prevent outages before they impact your customers. This practical guide shows engineers how to navigate complex systems while optimizing to meet business goals. The authors pioneered the discipline while working together at Netflix.
by Eben Hewitt
With this practical book, architects, CTOs, and CIOs will learn a set of patterns for the practice of architecture, including analysis, documentation, and communication. Hewitt shows how to create holistic and thoughtful technology plans, communicate them clearly, lead people toward the vision, and become a great architect or Chief Architect.
by Gregor Hohpe
As the digital economy changes the rules of the game for enterprises, the role of software and IT architects is also transforming. Rather than focus on technical decisions alone, architects and senior technologists need to combine organizational and technical knowledge to effect change in their company’s structure and processes. To accomplish that, they need to connect the IT engine room to the penthouse, where the business strategy is defined.
by Riccardo Rialti and Giacomo Marzi
Addressing the effect of big data analytics-capable information systems on organizational ambidexterity, this book investigates how these systems can be used to enhance organizational agility and flexibility, the two key determinants of organizational ambidexterity. The authors highlight the impact of big data on ambidextrous organizations and how organizational structures can be modified to improve big data analytics and implement big data-capable information systems.
by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini
Overburdened by bureaucracy, too many enterprises are sluggish and timid. In the age of upheaval, top-down power structures and rule-choked management systems are a liability; they crush creativity and stifle initiative. Hamel and Zanini make a passionate, data-driven argument for excising bureaucracy and replacing it with something better. Humanocracy lays out a detailed blueprint for creating organizations that are as inspired and ingenious as the human beings inside them. https://www.humanocracy.com/
by Mark Schwartz
I loved his A Seat at the Table and The Art of Business Value, so I quickly picked up Schwartz’ new book where he reveals a new model for the often soul-shattering, frustrating, Kafkaesque nightmare we call bureaucracy. Through humor, a healthy dose of history and philosophy, and real-life examples from his days as a government bureaucrat, Schwartz shows how to master the arts of the Monkey, the Razor, and the Sumo Wrestler to create a lean, learning, and enabling bureaucracy
by Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, Alan Smith, and Frederic Etiemble
The new book explains how companies such as Amazon, IKEA, Airbnb, Microsoft, and Logitech, have been able to create immensely successful businesses and disrupt entire industries. The Invincible Company presents practical new tools for measuring, managing, and accelerating innovation, and strategies for reducing risk when launching new business models.
by Julia Sloan
Strategic thinking should be regarded as the most critical core competency for business leaders globally. This solid textbook delineates and defines strategic thinking as an advanced, conceptual cognitive capability, focusing on the nonlinear, divergent, a-rational and informal nature of strategic thinking. This unique and practical text is an original primer of how successful strategists learn to think strategically. Originally published in 2006, and now in its fourth edition, the book is more relevant than ever.
by Dave Snowden and friends
The Cynefin® sense-making Framework, brainchild of innovative thinker Dave Snowden, has never been more needed. The Framework empowers us to work with uncertainty – to navigate complexity, create resilience, and thrive. This book marks the 21-year journey of Cynefin. Discover how to not only ‘ride the rapids of complexity,’ but find in so doing, grace, power, and inexplicable opportunity.
by Ivo Velitchkov
For several years, I’ve been asking Ivo to write a book, and finally he has done so! And what a treat he has given us. What should you do if someone throws melons at you? What happens when a carrot turns into a rabbit? This book will walk you through these questions and more. Ivo guides you through a whole new way of seeing, thinking, and being. See and influence the three Essential Balances: Autonomy and Cohesion, Stability and Diversity, and Exploration and Exploitation.
by Etienne Wenger-Trayner and Beverly Wenger-Trayner
Traditional approaches to learning often fall short. In this book, the Wenger-Trayners introduce the concept of social learning spaces for developing both new capabilities and a sense of agency. They provide a rich framework for focusing on the value of social learning spaces: how to generate this value, monitor it, and learn iteratively through the process. The book is a useful extension and refinement of communities of practice and situated learning, the concepts coined by Etienne in the 1990s.
by Jonah Berger
Change is hard. Often, we persuade and pressure and push, but nothing moves. Successful change agents know it's not about pushing harder, or providing more information, it's about being a catalyst. Berger identifies the key barriers to change and how to mitigate them. Whether you're trying to change one person, transform an organization, or shift the way an entire industry does business, this book will teach you how to become a catalyst.
by Jim MacQueen
This book presents a new approach to organizational culture based in the ontologies of process metaphysics, complexity theory, and social constructionism, building on Schein's idea that culture emerges as a dynamic response to problem solving by the organization’s members. Through several case studies, he demonstrates that neglecting an organization's culture is responsible for the failures of organizational change efforts and shows how using this new model will lead to improved results.
by Wolfgang Goebl, Milan Guenther, Annika Klyver, and Bard Papegaaij
In this concise book my friends present a collection of 35 immediately applicable solutions to successful enterprise design. These patterns provide practical guidance on how to deal with commonly occurring obstacles in the enterprise design practice, deliverables that people love to co-create, building the strong relationships you need for a collaborative design process, and applying evidence-based design practices. Follow enterprisedesignpatterns.com and intersection.group.
by Jonathan Smart
And speaking of patterns: Smart – a business agility practitioner, thought leader, and coach – reveals the patterns and antipatterns that will help organizations from every industry deliver better value sooner, safer, and happier through high levels of engagement, inclusion, and empowerment. This book is about applying agility across the entire organization. It's a book that will put you at the front of change and ahead of the competition.
by Jim Kalbach
These days, consumers have real power: they can research companies, compare ratings, and find alternatives with a simple tap. Focusing on customer needs isn't a nice–to–have, it's a strategic imperative. The Jobs To Be Done Playbook (JTBD) helps organizations turn market insight into action. This book shows you techniques to make offerings people want, as well as make people want your offering.
by Jon Yablonski
This practical guide explains how you can apply key principles in psychology to build products and experiences that are more intuitive and human-centered. Yablonski deconstructs familiar apps and experiences to provide clear examples of how UX designers can build experiences that adapt to how users perceive and process digital interfaces.
by Stephen Wendel
In this updated edition, Stephen Wendel, head of behavioral science at Morningstar, takes you step-by-step through the process of incorporating behavioral science into product design and development. Product managers, UX and interaction designers, and data analysts will learn a simple and effective approach for identifying target users and behaviors, building the product, and gauging its effectiveness.
by Jonathan Whelan and Stephen Whitla
Visualisation is not an optional part of business transformation: to have a meaningful conversation about an organisation, you need some kind of model to be able to talk about how it works, and the linearity of words just isn’t enough to cope with the dynamics of a complex system. Everyone draws pictures and diagrams, but different silos do it in very different ways, and the different visual languages often don’t join up. In their extraordinary book, Whelan and Whitla explains how to visualize business transformation so all stakeholders get it.
by Tom Graves
Tom has written many books about enterprise architecture. His most recent one is the best. Change-mapping is a structured method to guide change affecting organisations. Inside this book you will find how to use Change-mapping to explore or resolve issues affected by change. The book introduces Change-mapping and takes you step by step through a basic mission to map change.
by Robert C. Martin
Martin (“Uncle Bob”) reintroduces Agile values and principles for a new generation - programmers and nonprogrammers alike. Martin, author of Clean Code, was there at Agile’s founding. In his new book, he strips away misunderstandings and distractions that over the years have made it harder to use Agile than was originally intended.
by Darrell K. Rigby, Sarah Elk, and Steven H. Berez
The authors break down how agile really works, show what not to do, and explain the crucial importance of scaling agile properly in order to reap its full benefit. They then lay out a road map for leading the transition to a truly agile enterprise. Agile isn't a goal in itself; it's a means to becoming a high-performance operation. The mantra of this Bain Book is: “Agile has the power to transform work—but only if it's implemented the right way.”
by David Rizzardo
This book addresses the root causes of why a majority of Lean transformations have not met expectations. It provides the information needed to turn around the failure mechanisms and transform them into critical success factors. Rizzardo delves into the psychology of change and motivation and clarifies the roles and responsibility changes which are required for alignment with Lean principles. I do like how Rizzardo highlights how misalignment can thwart Lean transformation efforts.
by Anders Lisdorf
At last, a book about smart cities from an enterprise architecture point of view. Anders is a good friend and an excellent, reflective author. In this book, he evaluates how our cities can behave in a more intelligent way, and how producing novel solutions can pose equally novel challenges. The future of the metropolis is here, and the expert knowledge in the book is your greatest asset. To get an introduction to the book, you can watch our webinar with Anders here (registration required).
by Germaine Halegoua
For a good introduction to the smart city concept, I recommend Halegoua’s book. Key concepts, definitions, examples, and historical contexts for understanding smart cities, along with discussions of both drawbacks and benefits of this approach to urban problems, all served in a very digestible manner. I love the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series which offers accessible, concise, beautifully produced books on topics of current interest (I liked the one on Nihilism, but that would be meaningless (sic) to include here).
by Perry Lea
Geeky architects will love this one. It encompasses the entire spectrum of IoT solutions, from IoT sensors to the cloud. It examines modern sensor systems, (technical) communication theory, near-range PAN, Bluetooth® 5.0 and mesh networks. It explores IP-based communication in LAN and WAN, including 802.11ah, 5G LTE cellular, Sigfox, and LoRaWAN. It also explains edge computing, routing and gateways, and their role in fog computing, as well as the messaging protocols of MQTT 5.0 and CoAP.
by Douglas W. Hubbard
This book provides expert examination of essential areas of risk management, including risk assessment and evaluation methods, risk mitigation strategies, common errors in quantitative models, and gives guidance on topics such as probability modelling and empirical inputs emphasizes the efficacy of appropriate risk methodology in practical applications. Recognized as a leader in the field of risk management, Hubbard combines science-based analysis with real-world examples to present a detailed investigation of risk management practices.
by Terje Aven
This book provides a comprehensive demonstration of risk analysis as a distinct science covering risk understanding, assessment, perception, communication, management, governance and policy. Aven presents and discusses the key pillars of this science, and provides guidance on how to conduct high-quality risk analysis. Aven is Professor of Risk Analysis and Risk Management at the University of Stavanger, Norway.
by Marvin Rausand and Stein Haugen
Norwegian scholars rule the risk research field. This is one of the few textbooks to address current risk analysis and risk assessment with an emphasis on the possibility of sudden, major accidents across various areas of practice - from machinery and manufacturing processes to nuclear power plants and transportation systems. Aligned with ISO 31000 and other amended standards, this all-new 2nd Edition discusses the main ideas and techniques for assessing risk today.
by Steven De Haes, Laura Caluwe, Tim Huygh, and Anant Joshi
This book provides clear and readily applicable guidance to corporate board members on the involvement of boards of directors in information technology (IT) governance. Specifically, it demonstrates ways in which board members can execute IT duties effectively. Specific tools such as a roadmap towards digital transformation and a board-level dashboard for digital strategy and oversight are also offered.
by Lee Newcombe
Newcombe gives an overview of security architecture processes and explains how they may be used to derive an appropriate set of security controls to manage the risks associated with working in the Cloud. This book will help organisations looking to implement Cloud services aimed at the enterprise. It explains key security architectures and covers security considerations for the different Cloud service models: IaaS, Paas, SaaS and FaaS.
by Paul C. Godfrey, Emanuel Lauria, John Bugalla, and Kristina Narvaez
This book presents a new approach to risk management that enables executives to think systematically and strategically about future risks and deal proactively with threats to their competitive advantages in an ever more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world. Strategic Risk Management (SRM) is a forward-looking approach that helps teams anticipate events or exposures that fundamentally threaten or enhance a firm's position.
by Robert F. Smallwood
This is a highly practical and deeply informative handbook for the implementation of effective Information Governance procedures and strategies. This book offers big-picture guidance on effective Information Governance, with particular emphasis on document and records management best practices. The author nicely connects the issue to risk management.
by Abhishek Chopra and Mukund Chaudhary
A good guide on implementing information security standards using ISO 27001, and how it offers best practices to be followed, including the roles of all the stakeholders at the time of security framework implementation, post-implementation, and during monitoring of the implemented controls. QualiWare is certified in ISO 27001, and can help protect your information assets and ensure a safer enterprise environment.
by Fernando González Aleu and Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes
This book is a reference for continuous improvement project (CIP) leaders interested in how organizations could produce more effective and efficient continuous improvement initiatives and projects. Cases include the improvement of the service level in a bottle manufacturing organization, reduction of changeover in a brewery manufacturing organization, and reduction of ambulance response time.
by Robert A. Woellner, John Voorhees, and Christopher L. Bell
With extensive analysis of practical applications of ISO 14000 and environmental compliance management systems, this book reflects ISO 14001 and offers a frame of reference and systematic approach to effectively manage environmental risk. It provides a pathway for readers to understand and systematically implement environmental management systems that symbiotically support: enterprise risk management programs; compliance, anti-bribery, and legal management systems; and product stewardship, carbon footprint assessments, and sustainability programs.
by Ozan Varol
A former rocket scientist reveals the habits, ideas, and strategies that will empower you to turn the seemingly impossible into the possible. Rocket science is often celebrated as the ultimate triumph of technology. But it's not. Rather, it's the apex of a certain thought process - a way to imagine the unimaginable and solve the unsolvable. Fortunately, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to think like one. Today, thinking like a rocket scientist is a necessity.
by Magnus Ramage and Karen Shipp
This book presents a biographical history of the field of systems thinking, by examining the life and work of thirty of its major thinkers. It discusses each thinker’s key contributions, the way this contribution was expressed in practice and the relationship between their life and ideas. This discussion is supported by an extract from the thinker’s own writing, to give a flavour of their work.
by Adedeji B. Badiru
It is a systems world. This concise book uses a systems-based approach to show how innovation is ubiquitous in all facets of endeavors, including business, industry, government, and academia. The systems approach facilitates process design, evaluation, justification, and integration. The book explicitly highlights the crucial role of integration in any innovation project. It presents conceptual and operational definitions of innovation. The context is related to the theme of systems thinking.
by Dan Heath
So often in life, we get stuck in a cycle of response. We put out fires. We deal with emergencies. We stay downstream, handling one problem after another, but we never make our way upstream to fix the systems that caused the problems. Upstream probes the psychological forces that push us downstream—including problem blindness, which can leave us oblivious to serious problems in our midst. And Heath introduces us to the thinkers who have overcome these obstacles and scored massive victories by switching to an upstream mindset.
by Amit S. Mukherjee
Offering a radical rethinking of leadership, Mukherjee shows why digital technologies call for a new kind of leader—one who emphasizes creativity, collaboration, and inclusivity. Focusing on practice, Mukherjee outlines goals and strategies, warns against unthinking assumptions, and explains how leaders can identify the mindsets, behaviors, and actions they need to pursue.
by Hubert Tardieu, David Daly, José Esteban-Lauzán, John Hall, and George Miller
This book takes lessons learned from the rise of the digital platform giants and explores how they can be adapted and effectively applied to established businesses, allowing them to compete within the new digital business paradigm. Offering a holistic perspective on the business and technology landscape, the book describes the megatrends, evolution and impact of digital technologies and business models.
by Nicole M. Radziwill
Quality 4.0 is for all industries, and this book is for anyone who wants to learn how Industry 4.0 and Quality 4.0 can help improve quality and performance in their team or company. Sift through the noise around AI, AR, big data, blockchain, cybersecurity, and other rising technologies and emerging issues to find the signals for your organization. Discover the value proposition of Quality 4.0 and the leading role for Quality professionals to drive successful digital transformation initiatives.
by Karolin Frankenberger, Hannah Mayer, Andreas Reiter, and Markus Schmidt
The authors show how to go digital while also advancing core business. The book emphasizes how to strike a difficult balance between establishing a new (digital) business and re-vitalizing – and digitizing – the legacy business. The core of the book is focused on the actual implementation of the digital transformation across both businesses, providing concrete tips, tricks, tools and action plans.
by Marco Iansiti and Karim R. Lakhani
AI-centric organizations exhibit a new operating architecture, redefining how they create, capture, share, and deliver value. Reinventing the firm around data, analytics, and AI removes traditional constraints on scale, scope, and learning that have restricted business growth. When traditional operating constraints are removed, strategy becomes a whole new game, one whose rules and likely outcomes are discussed in this book.
by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler
Technology is accelerating far more quickly than anyone could have imagined. During the next decade, we will experience more upheaval and create more wealth than we have in the past hundred years. In this gripping and insightful roadmap to our near future, Diamandis and Kotler investigate how wave after wave of exponentially accelerating technologies will impact both our daily lives and society as a whole.
by Tony Gerth and Joe Peppard
The transition into any leadership role can be a challenge and becoming a Chief Information Officer (CIO) has many kinds of challenges, as the role has evolved significantly over the years yet remains deeply ambiguous. This research-based book aims to help the newly appointed CIO take charge and does a remarkable good job at that. Enterprise architects and others working with or for a CIO will also find this book useful.
by Cyd Harrell A friendly guide for tech people who work, or want to work, in the public sector. Covers types of projects, partnerships, and methods to make lasting change. Cyd focuses on principles and sets of questions to help technologists find the right way to do the most good, starting with finding the people already doing the work. Practical tips and resources included.
That’s it, folks! 52 great books from 2020.
But wait, there’s more: As I was making this list, I announced that I was working on it in a post on LinkedIn. Amongst the comments that came in was one from my old friend Christian F. Nissen who mentioned the five most recent books about ITIL, available in the ITIL 4 Master Pack or individually:
- ITIL 4 Create, deliver and support (CDS), as it is built around value streams, i.e. EA
- ITIL 4 Drive stakeholder value (DSV), as it provides valuable tools for digital transformation through co-creation
- ITIL 4 High Velocity IT (HVIT), as it is ITIL's take on digital transformation
- ITIL 4 Direct, plan and improve (DPI), as it deals with impacting change
- ITIL 4 Digital and IT strategy (DITS), as it provides a strategic framework for digital transformation.
I have to admit that I have not read any of these fine books - yet. Added to my reading list.
I am curious now: Which of all these 57 books have you read, and what did you think of them, and also, which ones (or other books) have you now added to your reading list?
Share your comment on LinkedIn post.