The Best Intranet, HR & IC Books You Should Read

October 22, 2015
Robin Dominik Havre
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Remember books? Those paper-bound objects that used to provide reading material that didn’t depend on us running out of battery on the commute to work?

Well, they’re still around. And, there’s something about the printed word that’s just as appealing as ever; perhaps even more so.

There are some excellent books for Intranet, HR and IC pro’s out there today. And, whether you’re looking for introductions to best practice fundamentals or more detailed examinations of more complex subjects, there’s something here for you.

In the interest of full disclosure though, we may include one or two e-Book only titles in the list… But most are available in paperback.

Let’s begin with our favourite three intranet books before moving on to the other two topics.

Best books on intranet

1. What Every Intranet Team Should Know

Author: James Robertson

This first entry is one of the most comprehensive collections of intranet design foundations we’ve encountered. If you’re an experienced intranet designer or running a team full of experienced people, it may not be for you.

But, if you’re relatively new to intranet design or are planning a new one sometime in the future, having a grasp of the principles discussed in this book will put you in very good stead for working with a team. Armed with this knowledge, putting together a solid, results-focused corporate intranet is more than achievable.

Incidentally, the author also has an excellent blog that can be found over at Step Two, a great site that was not long ago given a long-overdue redesign that we continue to enjoy.

Get the book here

2. Digital Success or Digital Disaster?

Author: Mark Morrell

Author Mark Morrell brings a wealth of experience to the table after managing an enormous intranet for UK telecoms giant, BT. And, in this book, he shares excellent advice and insights on governance and some other intranet best practices.

If you’re new to intranet governance, there’s a great introduction in this tome and, if you’re an experienced practitioner, you’ll probably find at least some ideas to improve your own processes in the 7-step framework therein.

Get the book here.

3. Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited

Author: Steve Krug

The full name of this book is Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability; a title that aptly describes the contents.

It’s frighteningly easy to get lost in features and technology when designing a website, and the same is true for your intranet.

Author Stephen Krug has many years experience in usability testing and has developed excellent techniques and processes to simplify things to a point where intuitive interfaces become second nature once you’re familiar with his work. It’s one of the best intranet design books you could read.

Get the book here.

Best books on human resources

4. The Sixty-Second Motivator

Author: Jim Johnson

We all love quick fixes and that’s likely to be one reason why this book has been such a top-seller for such a long time.

If you work in HR, there’s a good chance you’ve read this already, but it’s so good, this list simply wouldn’t be complete without it. As regular readers of the New Intranet blog will know, we’re big on research-backed strategies and discussion. And, in his book, Jim Johnson looks only at techniques from peer-reviewed journals and scientifically controlled experiments.

Get the book here.

5. Human Resource Management

Author: Derek Torrington

If you studied human resources at college or university, there’s a good chance you’ve already read this entry. If you came into the industry in a more organic way, Derek Torrington’s book should be a library staple that will soon turn into a well-thumbed reference manual.

Get the book here

6. Personnel Practice

Authors: Malcolm Martin & Tricia Jackson

Aside from having a fiendishly clever title, this is another academic-level human resource management book that’s simply too good to overlook. It was designed specifically to cater towards your Certificate in Personnel Practice (CIPD). The book also covers some particularly important legislative areas to ensure you keep out of trouble.

Get the book here.

Best books on internal communications

7. Internal Communications: A Manual for Practitioners

Authors: Liam FitzPatrick & Klavs Valskov

As the title suggests, Internal Communications: A Manual for Practitioners truly is an excellently put together set of tools for internal communications professionals who want quantifiable and verifiable results for IC in their business.

The strategies in the book were chosen by a couple of industry thought leaders and are as concisely conveyed as they are actionable.

Get the book here.

8. Making the Connections

Author: Bill Quirke

The full title this book is Making the Connections: Using Internal Communication to Turn Strategy into Action and it’s a solid mix of philosophical, conceptual thinking and actionable advice. The basic premise of the book is that good internal communication doesn’t just happen by itself, but rather must be nurtured and developed with strategic approaches followed by intentional action.

Get the book here.

9. Effective Internal Communication

Author: Lyn Smith & Pamela Mounter

Effective Internal Communications does an excellent job of breaking down the IC role in different types of organisations and gives case studies and real-world examples. Another reason we like this read is that it shows the importance of another topic we often bring up on the New Intranet blog, which is measuring results to ensure that new strategies are actually generating the desired effect.

Get the book here.

10. Over to you…

So, what should be the 10th book in this list? Don’t keep it to yourself; let us know which intranet, HR or IC book we’ve left out by adding it to the comments section below.

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Robin Dominik Havre

Robin is the CEO of New Intranet. He's helped many companies deploy successful mobile intranets that are easy to use and specially designed for employees not working in front of a computer. The goal of this blog is to provide research-backed intranet and internal communications advice for more successful HR strategies.

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