My June Reading List

I don't read as much as I used to, but these are the books that have me rivited right now

Salvation: The Bungsu Story: How Lean and Kanban saved a small hospital in Indonesia. Twice.

by Marcus Hammarberg

I first heard about the Bungsu story from Marcus several years ago. A hospital in literal ruins, unpaid and overworked staff, and a culture of blame. And yet, from that beginning, a combination of hope, enthusiasm, hard work and (yes) Lean, Agile & Business Agility coming together to create something amazing. It was a compelling story.

And now, three years later, I have the full story in my hands. And it’s incredible. Marcus transports you into Bungsu hospital in West Java, Indonesia, with such clarity. From the horror of walking into a flooded hospital (which was already losing money and suffering from poor morale), to catalysing staff and community alike in the clean-up efforts, to navigating a foreign culture - where saving-face and assigning blame is the default behaviour, to instilling a new leadership culture, to the palpable feeling of success at the end. His story of overcoming insurmountable odds and changing lives is not one you can put down.

And the book is more than just a true story. It provides practical examples of Business Agility - applying Lean and Agile practices in both time-critical emergency situations and longer-term strategic planning. I strongly recommended this book for anyone wanted to understand why and how to apply business agility. Especially those operating in mission-critical situations.

The Age of Agile: How Smart Companies Are Transforming the Way Work Gets Done

by Steve Denning

Steve’s latest book is a fantastic read. It takes a simple premise - that we have entered an age of agility - and provides a clear, and seductive, arguement as to why that is true. Every position is backed up by examples from the authors experience and recent case studies from the industry.

On top of this, Steve’s 3 laws are compelling an, I would say, unarguable.

  • The Law of the Small Team
  • The Law of the Customer
  • The Law of the Network

I first heard about these in Steve’s talk at the Business Agility Conference in 2017, but here they are presented in greater depth. This is certainly a must read for anyone wanting to become a business agilist.