HR’s top six podcast and book recommendations for 2022


As we edge further into 2022, HRM brings you the best HR-related podcast and book recommendations from AHRI members to dive into these holidays.

What does the La La Land Oscar fiasco have to do with a 16-century astronomer?

Are you finding it challenging to manage an employee with narcissistic tendencies?

Do you know what the three manners of speaking are, and why they can be problematic?? 

These are just some of the workplace-related topics covered in the podcasts and book recommendations we’ve received from AHRI members this year.

We’ve rounded up the best six podcast and book recommendations to ensure you’re entertained, challenged and informed for 2022.

1. Podcast: Cautionary Tales with Tim Harford

Recommended by Nadia Golenkova CPHR, L&D Manager, Tradelink, and AHRI QLD State Councillor.

HR is used to checking out the latest content from people or leadership gurus. But for something quite different, get into the mind of an economist and storyteller.

In Cautionary Tales, Tim Harford brings to life modern and historical stories of mistakes, blunders and even a couple of epic fails.

Do you know what the La La Land Oscar fiasco has to do with a 16-century astronomer? Or how a work of genius came from a broken piano?

Captivating and fun, Cautionary Tales also provides insightful analysis that dives well below the surface to help check our blind spots and understand the world a little better.

What it taught me: Much like fairytales do for kids, I find that these stories teach me adult-sized lessons. The episode called The Truth About Hansel and Gretel is a timely reminder, in our age of misinformation, about the value of intellectual humility and critical thinking.

In our work, we tackle conclusion-jumping every day, and this episode made me genuinely question how well I think through my assumptions, especially if a story I’m presented with feels credible and comfortable. Genuine insight wrapped in a memorable story – you can’t beat that!

2. Book: Think Again, The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, Adam Grant

Recommended by Tara Roopra, HR Consultant, Talenting, and AHRI WA HR Book Club host.

Success, according to Dr Adam Grant, lies in knowing what we don’t know. The faster we can rethink, the more innovative and successful we can be. 

Grant discusses the three manners of speaking that we generally fall into: the preachers, who become their beliefs; the prosecutors, who see flaws in others’ thinking and try to prove others wrong; and the politician, who wants to be liked and seeks out approval from others. 

He argues that we must spend more time thinking and speaking like a scientist, and says, “Treat your strategy as a hypothesis and your product as an experiment.”

For HR practitioners, this means we must remain curious in order to challenge our own assumptions and, most importantly, influence those around us.

What it taught me: The joy of being wrong. As I was reading this book, there were several occasions where friends or colleagues challenged my assumptions, and it made me smile. As a professional, I’ve realised my best persuasion tool is my ability to ask good questions. 

This is my top book recommendation for anyone who wants to develop a learning mindset and improve their relationships with people who are different to them. 

3. Podcast: Fast Track, Career Conversations with Margie Hartley

Recommended by Conna Read CPHR, Lead HR Business Partner, INPEX

As one of Australia’s leading facilitators and executive coaches, Margie Hartley has worked at senior levels in 11 of the top 20 ASX-listed companies and has a strong track record producing excellent outcomes at an individual, team and organisational level.

Her podcast, Fast Track: Career Conversations with Margie Hartley, interviews a range of interesting business leaders and experts on a range of work topics. 

Each episode provides tips and differing perspectives from successful professionals to help answer commonly asked questions and advance the careers of aspiring managers.

Hartley has covered topics including dealing with narcissistic managers, the burnout epidemic, building psychological safety in the workplace, and how to create social and cultural change. 

(Editor’s note: HRM’s Deputy Editor, Sophie Deutsch, was even featured in an episode based on an article she wrote about the cognitive impacts of remote work. Check it out here).

What it taught me: Hartley’s advice is simple, relatable and practical, and can be easily applied to my own work and leadership style.

Her interview with Dr Sean O’Connor, Director of the Coaching Psychology Unit at the University of Sydney, on how to cultivate inner resilience through self-coaching, offered some significant lessons. 

HR professionals tend to spend their time coaching, mentoring and looking after others. This episode focuses on self-coaching by using routine activities as moments of self-reflection. 


Join the AHRI Lounge, exclusive to members, to discuss workplace-related topics, including podcast and book recommendations, and more.


4. Book: Immunity to Change, by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey

Recommended by Hassan Zamil CPHR, Talent Support Chain Advisor, Accenture Australia

Sometimes the need for change seems obvious. However, the status quo prevails despite that logic and people struggle to get change to stick. Why is that?

Authors Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey answer this question in Immunity to Change. They explore a range of case studies, including heart patients with a desire to be well and healthy, who can’t kick their bad habits. if people can’t change behaviours to save their lives, what hope do we have to make change at an organisational level?

Fortunately, Immunity to Change gives us hope and offers practical tools to help us embrace change.

What it taught me: This book, and the authors’ Harvard Business Review article about it titled The Real Reason People Won’t Change, offered me an epiphany.

I learned about why we were struggling to implement a strategic change initiative in the workplace. I took the learning a step further by attending a training program with the authors to understand how to use their mode,, and then brought it into my organisation to great effect.

5. Podcast: Dare to Lead, Amy Cuddy with Brene Brown on Pandemic Flux Syndrome

Recommended by Desleigh White CAHRI, Managing Consultant, People Matter Mediation and HR Solutions, and member of AHRI’s NSW ER/IR committee

This conversation came about following Amy Cuddy and JillEllyn Riley’s article in The Washington Post titled Why this stage of the pandemic makes us so anxious

Brené describes ‘pandemic flux’ as a “different type of anxiety” and discusses “normalising the sh*tshow of emotions”. The uncertainty and constant flux we’ve been in depletes our nervous systems. We have been using our surge capacity, the system that helps us get through crises, for 18 months now, and it is not designed for long-term crises.

What it taught me: Normally a crisis has three phases. The Emergency Phase is where we use surge capacity and adrenaline kicks in.

The Regression Phase is where our nervous system is depleted, meaning we’re tired, agitated, powerless and not in control. The final phase is the Rebuilding Phase, and this requires effort. It’s here that future-focused learning is important for HR. We need to adapt to the reality that we will likely be in a state of flux for some time and develop a ‘flux mindset’.

With people feeling a loss of agency and autonomy, we have an opportunity to engage employees in decision-making and co-create how we return to work, giving them a sense of agency.

6. A Podcast of One’s Own with Julia Gillard

Recommended by Dana Grgas, Manager, HR knowledge and standards, AHRI

Former prime minister Julia Gillard presents a fascinating podcast as chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, interviewing female (and some male) leaders across a wide variety of backgrounds including business, politics, entertainment and sport.

Gillard celebrates the leaders’ expertise and insights, and draws out real life lessons on what they believe it takes to be a true leader.

What it taught me: My favourite episode features Gillard’s first male guest on the podcast, Professor Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, who spoke at AHRI’s National Convention in August.

In this episode, they discuss his  book, Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (And How to Fix It), as well as his background growing up in Argentina and how this influenced his work developing leaders. 

I found it fascinating to hear how stereotypical masculine traits can often be mistaken for competence, and how our systems can be fixed to level the playing field for both men and women.

If you’re an AHRI member and have workplace-related podcasts, TED talks or book recommendations you’d like us to include in a 2022 edition of HRM, let us know in the comments, and we’ll be in touch.

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HR’s top six podcast and book recommendations for 2022


As we edge further into 2022, HRM brings you the best HR-related podcast and book recommendations from AHRI members to dive into these holidays.

What does the La La Land Oscar fiasco have to do with a 16-century astronomer?

Are you finding it challenging to manage an employee with narcissistic tendencies?

Do you know what the three manners of speaking are, and why they can be problematic?? 

These are just some of the workplace-related topics covered in the podcasts and book recommendations we’ve received from AHRI members this year.

We’ve rounded up the best six podcast and book recommendations to ensure you’re entertained, challenged and informed for 2022.

1. Podcast: Cautionary Tales with Tim Harford

Recommended by Nadia Golenkova CPHR, L&D Manager, Tradelink, and AHRI QLD State Councillor.

HR is used to checking out the latest content from people or leadership gurus. But for something quite different, get into the mind of an economist and storyteller.

In Cautionary Tales, Tim Harford brings to life modern and historical stories of mistakes, blunders and even a couple of epic fails.

Do you know what the La La Land Oscar fiasco has to do with a 16-century astronomer? Or how a work of genius came from a broken piano?

Captivating and fun, Cautionary Tales also provides insightful analysis that dives well below the surface to help check our blind spots and understand the world a little better.

What it taught me: Much like fairytales do for kids, I find that these stories teach me adult-sized lessons. The episode called The Truth About Hansel and Gretel is a timely reminder, in our age of misinformation, about the value of intellectual humility and critical thinking.

In our work, we tackle conclusion-jumping every day, and this episode made me genuinely question how well I think through my assumptions, especially if a story I’m presented with feels credible and comfortable. Genuine insight wrapped in a memorable story – you can’t beat that!

2. Book: Think Again, The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, Adam Grant

Recommended by Tara Roopra, HR Consultant, Talenting, and AHRI WA HR Book Club host.

Success, according to Dr Adam Grant, lies in knowing what we don’t know. The faster we can rethink, the more innovative and successful we can be. 

Grant discusses the three manners of speaking that we generally fall into: the preachers, who become their beliefs; the prosecutors, who see flaws in others’ thinking and try to prove others wrong; and the politician, who wants to be liked and seeks out approval from others. 

He argues that we must spend more time thinking and speaking like a scientist, and says, “Treat your strategy as a hypothesis and your product as an experiment.”

For HR practitioners, this means we must remain curious in order to challenge our own assumptions and, most importantly, influence those around us.

What it taught me: The joy of being wrong. As I was reading this book, there were several occasions where friends or colleagues challenged my assumptions, and it made me smile. As a professional, I’ve realised my best persuasion tool is my ability to ask good questions. 

This is my top book recommendation for anyone who wants to develop a learning mindset and improve their relationships with people who are different to them. 

3. Podcast: Fast Track, Career Conversations with Margie Hartley

Recommended by Conna Read CPHR, Lead HR Business Partner, INPEX

As one of Australia’s leading facilitators and executive coaches, Margie Hartley has worked at senior levels in 11 of the top 20 ASX-listed companies and has a strong track record producing excellent outcomes at an individual, team and organisational level.

Her podcast, Fast Track: Career Conversations with Margie Hartley, interviews a range of interesting business leaders and experts on a range of work topics. 

Each episode provides tips and differing perspectives from successful professionals to help answer commonly asked questions and advance the careers of aspiring managers.

Hartley has covered topics including dealing with narcissistic managers, the burnout epidemic, building psychological safety in the workplace, and how to create social and cultural change. 

(Editor’s note: HRM’s Deputy Editor, Sophie Deutsch, was even featured in an episode based on an article she wrote about the cognitive impacts of remote work. Check it out here).

What it taught me: Hartley’s advice is simple, relatable and practical, and can be easily applied to my own work and leadership style.

Her interview with Dr Sean O’Connor, Director of the Coaching Psychology Unit at the University of Sydney, on how to cultivate inner resilience through self-coaching, offered some significant lessons. 

HR professionals tend to spend their time coaching, mentoring and looking after others. This episode focuses on self-coaching by using routine activities as moments of self-reflection. 


Join the AHRI Lounge, exclusive to members, to discuss workplace-related topics, including podcast and book recommendations, and more.


4. Book: Immunity to Change, by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey

Recommended by Hassan Zamil CPHR, Talent Support Chain Advisor, Accenture Australia

Sometimes the need for change seems obvious. However, the status quo prevails despite that logic and people struggle to get change to stick. Why is that?

Authors Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey answer this question in Immunity to Change. They explore a range of case studies, including heart patients with a desire to be well and healthy, who can’t kick their bad habits. if people can’t change behaviours to save their lives, what hope do we have to make change at an organisational level?

Fortunately, Immunity to Change gives us hope and offers practical tools to help us embrace change.

What it taught me: This book, and the authors’ Harvard Business Review article about it titled The Real Reason People Won’t Change, offered me an epiphany.

I learned about why we were struggling to implement a strategic change initiative in the workplace. I took the learning a step further by attending a training program with the authors to understand how to use their mode,, and then brought it into my organisation to great effect.

5. Podcast: Dare to Lead, Amy Cuddy with Brene Brown on Pandemic Flux Syndrome

Recommended by Desleigh White CAHRI, Managing Consultant, People Matter Mediation and HR Solutions, and member of AHRI’s NSW ER/IR committee

This conversation came about following Amy Cuddy and JillEllyn Riley’s article in The Washington Post titled Why this stage of the pandemic makes us so anxious

Brené describes ‘pandemic flux’ as a “different type of anxiety” and discusses “normalising the sh*tshow of emotions”. The uncertainty and constant flux we’ve been in depletes our nervous systems. We have been using our surge capacity, the system that helps us get through crises, for 18 months now, and it is not designed for long-term crises.

What it taught me: Normally a crisis has three phases. The Emergency Phase is where we use surge capacity and adrenaline kicks in.

The Regression Phase is where our nervous system is depleted, meaning we’re tired, agitated, powerless and not in control. The final phase is the Rebuilding Phase, and this requires effort. It’s here that future-focused learning is important for HR. We need to adapt to the reality that we will likely be in a state of flux for some time and develop a ‘flux mindset’.

With people feeling a loss of agency and autonomy, we have an opportunity to engage employees in decision-making and co-create how we return to work, giving them a sense of agency.

6. A Podcast of One’s Own with Julia Gillard

Recommended by Dana Grgas, Manager, HR knowledge and standards, AHRI

Former prime minister Julia Gillard presents a fascinating podcast as chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, interviewing female (and some male) leaders across a wide variety of backgrounds including business, politics, entertainment and sport.

Gillard celebrates the leaders’ expertise and insights, and draws out real life lessons on what they believe it takes to be a true leader.

What it taught me: My favourite episode features Gillard’s first male guest on the podcast, Professor Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, who spoke at AHRI’s National Convention in August.

In this episode, they discuss his  book, Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (And How to Fix It), as well as his background growing up in Argentina and how this influenced his work developing leaders. 

I found it fascinating to hear how stereotypical masculine traits can often be mistaken for competence, and how our systems can be fixed to level the playing field for both men and women.

If you’re an AHRI member and have workplace-related podcasts, TED talks or book recommendations you’d like us to include in a 2022 edition of HRM, let us know in the comments, and we’ll be in touch.

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