Top 5 Books of the Year

I read voraciously.

I’ve collected the top five books that made the most impact on me professionally and personally in 2014 on a Pinterest Board.

Here they are in no particular order!

Follow David’s board 2014 Top 5 Books of the Year on Pinterest.

What book made the most impact on your professional work this year?

Lightening Talk topic at POD2014

The Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education is holding its annual conference in Dallas, TX in early November, and POD recently announced they would be holding a couple of UnConference sessions.

I am toying with proposing a lightening talk and have to brainstorm a proposed title and one-sentence summary by next week.

Here a five titles I brainstormed yesterday. Would you vote for any of them? Why?

1. Service Design, Team Coaching, and Work-based Social Performance Support, or How might we disrupt the dominant logics of educational development?

2. Everything I learned about educational development, I learned from Australia, Hong Kong, and Sweden, Or, Why North American educational developers should attend to ideas from elsewhere.

3. Against educational development relativism, or Why teaching and learning centres should resist anything goes.

4. “It’s the relationships, stupid!”: Non-directive educational development

5. What’s your unit of analysis? Individuals, teams, units, institutions or systems

What do you think? Seen a great lightning talk in the past? Help me out and. Share a link to the talk or description in the comments.

Next step in my coaching training journey

As I’ve written before, I am pursuing an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) professional coaching credential from the International Coach Federation.

As part of my journey so far, I’ve completed 60 hours of coaching training with Essential Impact and I have been coaching some amazing, creative people in my spare time.

Thanks to my long commute, I’ve been devouring some tremendous books on leadership team coaching and coaching practice from the UK and Australia. I’m compiling highlights and will post soon. Watch my Pinterest board for highlights.

Here is what I know so far:
1. Coaching is one aspect of the service I offer clients in my day job. The area that I specialize in is leadership team coaching in educational and creative organizations.

2. Leadership team coaching complements the other two foci of my professional practice: service and learning design. I’ve come to recognize that many organizations not only need design service but also need to design learning and development interventions to implement new services.

Curious about coaching and my approach? Get in touch… david at

Service design and organizational change


I’m drawn to creative people and to organizations seeking to design systems and solutions, to implement them, and to effect change.

Through my work, I’ve become aware of the gaps between developing coherent strategy, a kernel, as Richard Rumelt suggests and the endless complexity of implementation. Without strong shared commitments, teams dissolve into coalitions, people reenact learned habits, and conversations turn prematurely to the IKEA-instruction sets of implementation.

Service Design: Insights from Nine Case Studies offers an interesting collection of service design project descriptions, methods and interviews surrounding a public transit service design initiative in Utrecht, Netherlands. A recurring theme in the collection is the challenge of achieving consensus and buy-in from stakeholder organizations, particularly in the early stages. Co-creation and visioning workshops were among the most successful ways of bringing people together and moving forward. Reading the project reports persuades me that leadership team coaching offers a powerful set of tools for facilitating collaboration amongst design firms, client organizations, people and users, and other stakeholders.

Planning demands that teams step out of time and context and park egos and agendas, at least momentarily, to envision shared futures.

As another example, Kronquist et. al describe the challenges of aligning all the factors to “go all the way” and implement service design innovation. To create an innovative pharmacy required significant commitments amongst the pharmacy brand, the individual pharmacy owner, and the employees and customers.

What are your insights about initiating successful service design collaborations?