Our books explore the human aspects of modern business and challenge the notion that the business world is an exclusively rational arena from which human emotion and social behaviours are excluded.

My Steam Engine Is Broken explores a number of paradoxical organisational behaviours that have been unthinkingly carried over from our industrial past – behaviours based on the industrial paradigms of control and efficiency. The book explores 10 ‘paradoxical’ organisational behaviours – behaviours that are highly likely to achieve the opposite of what organisations need in the modern world – and shows how these can be addressed ‘little by little and piece by piece’ to achieve painless but radical organisational transformation through the aggregation of marginal gains.

Perform To Win develops two interrelated themes: that business has a great deal to learn from the performing arts; and that ‘explicit learning’ – learning about new theories and ideas – is highly unlikely to change leaders’ embedded behaviours. Experiential learning (or ‘implicit learning’), on the other hand, gives people an instinctive grasp of new mindsets and perspectives, leading to gut-level understandings that deliver deeply-seated and long-lasting behavioural change. The book explores how bringing business leaders ‘up close and personal’ with top performing artists brings about genuine insights as to how these outstanding artists work together to deliver winning performances – and how this can be related to the business world.

Machiavellian Intelligence explores the little-discussed fact that most modern corporations are not, as people tend to assume, rational and meritocratic operations in which hard work and talent will inevitably be rewarded, but complex social systems which must be skilfully navigated to obtain power and influence. The book analyses six ‘good’ habits common amongst talented and hard-working executives that are, in fact, bad for their careers.

Jonathan Gifford’s earlier published works investigate the behaviours and mindsets of the great leaders from history; the personal stories of key leaders from modern business history; and the ways in which people’s unpredictable and irrational behaviours tend to throw spanners into the works of our best-laid business plans.