Best of HR books: February 2024

We delve into new book releases to find out what HR has been reading.

Be the Unicorn

Author: William Vanderbloemen

Publisher: HarperCollins Focus

Price: £20

Subtitled ‘12 data-driven habits that separate the best leaders from the rest’, this book sets out how to stand out and become irreplaceable at work. In a time of uncertain jobs and the rise of AI, it is a pertinent question.


Our Least Important Asset

Author: Peter Cappelli

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Price: £22.99

Peter Cappelli argues that the use of financial drivers to improve the balance sheet is short-termist and ultimately self-defeating. He encourages business leaders to prioritise quality of hire over cost per hire, and regular employees over ‘leased’ workers.


Wiring the Winning Organization

Authors: Gene Kim and Steven J Spear

Publisher: IT Revolution Press

Price: £35

Gene Kim and Steven Spear set out their theory of organisational management, in which the most successful organisations slow down problems, simplify them, and then amplify the solution. Decades of research back up the authors’ arguments, with Kim and Spear focused on giving a practical guide rather than abstract theory.


Work-life Bloom

Author: Dan Pontefract

Publisher: Figure

Price: £17.95

In Work-life Bloom, Dan Pontefract contends that making a thriving workplace isn’t about engagement or employees bringing their ‘best selves’ into work. Instead, he argues, it’s a manager’s duty to help employees build that best self. For Pontefract, they achieve that through finding the right work/life balance for workers to flourish.


Feel-good Productivity

Author: Ali Abdaal

Publisher: Cornerstone Press

Price: £22

It’s hard not to think of productivity as hard work. Culturally, it tends to represent a daily grind. For Ali Abdaal, however, it’s a bizarre delusion: in Feel-good Productivity, he argues that enjoying your work is far more valuable than suffering long hours with little reward.


The Brave Leader

Author: David McQueen

Publisher: Practical Inspiration Publishing

Price: £26.99

You need to be brave to change the status quo. But when it comes to inclusion, argues David McQueen, leaders are terrified of doing the wrong thing – and so do nothing. In The Brave Leader, McQueen makes a case for a strategic, courageous approach to making your organisation inclusive.


This article was first published in our January/February 2024 print edition. Subscribe today to have all of our latest articles delivered right to your desk.