Books We Love!

In preparing leaders to address the new world of work, we build on the expertise of the writers, researchers, and leaders who have already done so much to improve business practices and guide people toward success. Here are two ways that you can learn from the authors that we admire:

  1. Our review of the books we love provided below
  2. List of more than 60 books that we recommend (membership required) 

Reviews of Books We Love

<< First  < Prev   1   2   Next >  Last >> 
  • 25 Nov 2020 10:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Unlike the usual business books, Frederic Laloux's 'Reinventing organizations' invites readers to evolve their view of work roles and places to create a newer and kinder way of working. Describing organizational structures from the viewpoint of developmental theory, belief systems, and worldviews, Laloux embarks on a journey to answer fundamental questions about the world of work and future organizational structures. Are there better, more fulfilling, and soulful ways to arrange organizational structures? If so, what do these organizations look like, and how do we bring them to life?

    I suspect Laloux had a hunch the answer to his first query was a 'yes' when he embarked on his research. Reinventing Organizations delivers examples of a range of businesses working in kinder and more accepting ways and provides a framework that new and existing organizations can follow or adapt to build or bring about change within their own companies.

    From hierarchical structure to devolved power systems

    Laloux begins by explaining the various iterations of humanity's development, concluding that most organizations today are run with an 'Achievement' worldview. From this perspective, innovation, keeping ahead of the competition, and aiming to run a business similar to a 'well-oiled machine' makes sense. Every person has their place in an organization, working both cooperatively and independently of the other parts.

    'Evolutionary' organizations, on the other hand, see themselves as integrated, continually changing, adapting, and self-managing living structures. There is no-one at the helm pulling leavers or steering toward a brave new future. Every cell can affect change and is vital to the health of the entire system. In these kinds of organizations, individuals join the higher cause that enables them to 'punch above their weight,' achieving outcomes they would never have managed on their own and developing new ways of being.

    Initially, this kind of thinking appears to be rooted firmly in utopic fantasy. Yet, through the analysis of 12 very different companies across disparate industries – manufacturing to community nursing, education to running electrical grids – the author shows us that organizations can effectively and profitably pioneer self-management, wholeness, and evolutionary purpose in the workplace.

    These self-managed organizations have no power struggles because the power reserved for top players in 'Achievement organizations' has been entirely devolved. Everything from purchasing decisions to pay, hiring, training, firing, performance assessments, and more have been handed over to its members. No-one and everyone hold the power in self-managed organizations. Paradoxically, the organization becomes more powerful and more agile than could ever been previously possible.

    Making assumptions

    Most organizations today base their structure, rules, and policies on a set of assumptions. Sometimes overt and at other times inferred by how these organizations are run; workers are assumed to be lazy, only interested in remuneration, self-interested above all else, and incapable of making the right decisions.

    These assumptions are in line with Douglas McGregor's 'Theory X' of management and place employees in the role of reluctant servants. Their ideas, aspirations, and personal purpose have little value in such a structure. Their worth comes only from what they can produce.

    Self-managed organizations dance to a different tune. Their systems and processes are based on a drastically different set of beliefs. There are no unimportant people, and no-one holds controlling power.

    Colleagues are assumed to be essentially good (unless proven otherwise); they enjoy being accountable and responsible for their decisions and actions; they are motivated by more than extrinsic rewards. They are eager to use their talents and skills to make a positive contribution to their lives and the organizations they work for. Based on this set of assumptions, organizations create new processes and ways of working that enhance a business' viability aligned with its purpose and the people who work within it.

    The rules of self-managed business

    Most self-managed organizations rely on a structure of multiple, small teams. Depending on the nature of the business, these teams range in size from 12 people to 50. Team leaders are advised to delegate tasks wisely, avoid over-reliance on any team member, and avoid reverting to traditional hierarchical behaviors: regular meetings and coaching help keep teams up to date with their work and track. The team members themselves agree on everything from annual targets to the rules of work.

    In hierarchical organizations, decisions are often made by just a few people. The CEOs and the executive team are expected to understand any given issue's intricacies and make all-knowing, wise decisions.

    In some organizations, consensus is the central process for decision making. With this process, reaching agreement throughout the tiers of management can take weeks, if not months. These delays can cause new market opportunities to be lost.

    Self-organized teams side-step both processes elegantly with the advice process. Any individual within an organization can make decisions – big or small. There is just one stipulation – decisions cannot be acted upon until all parties affected by it have been consulted along with experts on the topics related to the decision. Once this has been achieved, decisions are made, accepted, and the organization's direction, priorities, or processes can change. Actions can be performed at any organizational level, for any topic, and be instigated by any individual, regardless of their role and responsibilities.

    Along with the advice process for decisions, other foundational techniques for conflict resolution, information sharing (everyone has access to everything), and feedback, support self-managed organizations to remain stable while adapting to the market's demands and pursuing new opportunities

    As colleagues in a self-managed organization come to terms with the freedom and voice they have been granted, respect, responsibility, and intrinsic motivation blossom amongst the workforce. Comradery grows, and people begin to pull together without their egos getting in the way of progress. Individuals are asked to abandon roles of 'Rescuer,' 'Persecutor,' or 'Victim' and instead adopt the role of 'Challenger,' 'Coach,' or 'Creator' – in many teams. Colleagues take on all three in varying degrees.

    As unlikely as it may seem, self-managed organizations are not just possible; they're already in existence around us. In many cases, companies with this organizational structure have risen to be leaders in their fields. A simple look at Patagonia, Morning Star, or Sun Hydraulics shows this to be true.

    While many business specialists talk of flattened organizational structures and increasing engagement through management-led initiatives concerned with culture, these few self-managed organizations have been approaching the many problems with the current ways of working from an entirely different worldview perspective.

    Laloux's book provides an eye-opening exposé into a revolutionary way of running an organization based on wholeness, trust, and the building of relationships. These organizations support individual development and come together with honesty, trust, and confidence to make great things happen.

  • 27 Oct 2020 10:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Shepherd and Phaup's book begins with a look at our technology-driven future and invites readers to recognize the challenges of change, glimpse new possibilities, and start planning for what's ahead.

    If ever there was a time to evolve and grow into a new tomorrow, it is now. The World Economic Forum has described the 4th Industrial Revolution as a new chapter in human development. The turning of history's pages is set to accelerate, driven by the stream of technological advances we have witnessed in recent decades. These changes can be likened to the dramatic shifts societies experienced in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Industrial Revolutions. Today's advances are merging the physical, digital, and biological worlds to create enormous opportunities alongside daunting challenges. Standing still against this tide of change is not an option for ambitious business leaders.

    The authors lean on the wisdom of researchers, thinkers, and practitioners across a broad range of disciplines from management theory and psychology to decision making and motivational techniques.  They map a framework, supported with resources, thoughtful questions, and easy-to-understand charts, that leaders can use to plan their way into the future with confidence and clarity.

    From little things, big things grow

    The changes to the world and workplaces will affect people, businesses, and societies at all levels. We will need to adapt and prepare for the new job roles of the future. That will demand that we cultivate creativity and flexibility, strengthening our ability to engage, cooperate, and collaborate while attaining new technical skills.

    As machines and computers take over repetitive, mundane, and dangerous tasks, new tasks will emerge. These tasks will call on us to develop and use essential human skills and qualities such as creativity, communication, and empathy. People will need higher levels of interpersonal skills to work with each other in the same or dispersed locations. We will need to understand the new technologies that power our workplaces. Employers and employees alike will prize adaptability, creativity, and emotional intelligence.

    The book names ten essential skills for adapting to this new work environment: complex problem solving; critical thinking; creativity; people management; coordinating with others; social, conversational, and emotional intelligence; decision-making; service orientation; negotiation; and cognitive flexibility. A short, dynamic work cycle of learn/ change/repeat – will replace traditional, long-term working careers. The days of earning credentials that will see us through from entering the workforce to retirement are behind us.

    It's not just employees who will need to adapt to the new cycle of work-life and the skills. Organizations will also play a role in mapping career paths, identifying critical skill sets, and communicating the behaviors needed to achieve that vision.

    Preparing for change

    Whether change is thrust upon an organization or chosen boldly by visionary leaders, the first step is to develop a crystal-clear vision. Transformation is easier said than done. But the authors provide pertinent and insightful questions to help leaders articulate their vision and bring stakeholders with them.

    As with any change, not everyone will be thrilled with their organization’s new direction and goals. By explaining the types of resistance and offering tips for addressing them, this book will help leaders and managers move through inertia, gain momentum, and reach their goals.

    At the heart of this book is the Talent Transformation Pyramid, a framework for executing change that any organization can adapt to its needs. The Pyramid provides a complete model for improving individual and team performance by building on technical skills, creativity, flexibility, and emotional intelligence. This model highlights twelve critical factors for enabling employees, teams, and the entire organization within an easy-to-understand framework for predicting performance. It also addresses environmental factors that impact performance, and it neatly incorporates technical competencies, tools, information, policies, and culture. The model illustrates how factors support each other and help you understand the puzzles of competence, performance, and working in teams.

    Assessing the road ahead

    Talent Transformation asserts that assessments will play a larger role in recruitment, onboarding, learning, credentialing, and certification. Multiple studies have already shown that valid and reliable tests are better predictors of organizational fit, job fit, and job performance than interviews. The range of assessments is likely to grow with the increased adoption of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

    Although assessments and the measurements that come from them will never be perfect, perfection is not the goal. Assessments and measures need only to deliver the information required by the recruiter to make sound decisions.

    Assessments are not only for recruitment. They can also help to identify appropriate career paths for individuals, evaluate team dynamics, and enhance compatibility across team roles. They can be a powerful aid to give us a deeper personal understanding of our personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.

    It’s clear that employees are increasingly working remotely and distributed teams are becoming more commonplace. It is therefore important to note that dispersed teams need more support than those onsite, if we are to forge robust connections and stay engaged. Assessments can help this support and increase the engagement of distributed teams and remote employees.

    Assessments are also vital throughout a team's lifecycle and to an organization's growth. Through forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning, each stage of a team's lifecycle provides an opportunity for greater connection, creativity, and communication. Assessment results are a fast and straightforward way for individuals to understand themselves, others, and their team's dynamics

    In summary

    Improving individual and team performance helps leaders build organizations that are greater than the sum of their parts.

    Improving an organization’s outcomes calls for setting SMART goals, selecting the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and regularly monitoring progress. These efforts help organizations succeed as they move away from rigid, vertical hierarchical structures toward horizontal models that support agile ways of working, information sharing, and collaboration between functions.

    The world of work is changing. Customers are also changing, moving toward hiring services over owning goods, seeking personalized experiences, and using innovative marketplaces that put buyers in direct contact with creators and sellers. Customers increasingly expect businesses to embrace social responsibility.

    Tomorrow's world of work will demand new skills and require greater agility, responsibility, and vision from leaders. Talent Transformation provides a clear framework and practical pointers to help you begin your journey into the future today.

  • 22 Sep 2020 10:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This fascinating book offers new insights into our common biases, how we ignore pertinent information, without even realizing it, where overconfidence comes from, and how to overcome flawed intuitive assumptions.

    Throughout the 400 or so pages of Thinking fast and slow, Daniel Kahneman shows us how much more goes on behind our eyes than we realize. We also learn strategies to avoid making big mistakes in both our work and personal lives. The lessons taught in his book will significantly affect how you think and lead you to question more and intuit with more accuracy. Based on over four decades of study and research into biases, the psychology of judgment, decision-making, and behavioral economics, Kahneman sheds light on how we come to conclusions throughout our life and what prompts the intuitions we use for decision making. He reveals that we need first to understand our minds' workings to make better decisions and understand the impact of our biases. In doing so, decision-makers will be able to make better choices as we, their critics, will judge them more fairly on how they come to these conclusions rather than just the outcomes of them.

    Two inter-dependent personalities in a single mind

    At the beginning of his book, Kahneman introduces two aspects of our minds – System 1 and System 2 – and invites us to think of these as different personalities embodied within us. Neither system is embodied in a particular area of the brain. Each system functions using a variety of locations throughout our grey matter.

    System 1 is our automatic, fast, and unconscious thought. It cannot be turned off; it does not need a conscious direction to function. System 1 creates our impressions, intuitions, and supplies System 2 with information to aid its conscious decisions. The instigator of biases, System 1 is also responsible for several functions that get us safely through our day.

    Detecting one object is further away than another, orienting us to the source of sounds, completing simple, common phrases, automatic expressions of disgust at horrible images, detecting hostility in voices, answers to simple equations, reading words on a large billboard, and recognizing stereotypical resemblances are all functions attributed to System 1.

    System 2 is how we think of as 'me.' To function, it requires our attention, and it is disrupted when our focus is drawn elsewhere. While System 2 can discern information and figure out answers to difficult questions, it's often lazy and defers to System 1 if it can.

    Examples of System 2's work include bracing for a starter's gun in a race, focusing on a singular voice in a crowded room, looking for a specific person in a crowded space, and monitoring behavior in social situations. System 2 completes tax forms, checks the validity of complex arguments, and can also change System 1 works by programming ordinarily automatic functions of attention and memory.

    Intensely focusing activates System 2 and can effectively make us temporarily blind or deaf to stimuli that would typically attract our attention. An excellent, amusing experiment – the Invisible Gorilla Movie – was able to prove this. A short clip of people dressed in two different colors passed a ball between them. Viewers were asked to count how many times people wearing a particular color received or passed the ball. Participants who managed the task completely missed seeing the person dressed in a gorilla suit walk into the shot, beat their chest several times, and exit the scene.

    System 2 doesn't manage multiple distinct choices or inputs at once very well. However, it can hold conflicting ideas and information in focus simultaneously, and it enables us to follow rules.

    While System 1 might be imperfect for making decisions and influencing behavior – particularly for suiting social situations, we couldn't do without it. System 1 is as necessary as System 2 we think of as being who we are.

    Finding a happy balance

    Rely too much on System 1, and you are more likely to make mistakes. Ask too much of System 2, and you may have to stop everything else you are doing to allow it to function. In cases of effortful forms of thinking – using System 2 but putting time pressure on it for an answer – energy from other functions may be redirected to System 2, leaving you without the energy to see or hear someone speaking to you.

    Both self-control and deliberate thought seem to draw on the same limited budget of effort and energy. What's more, System 1 has more influence over behavior when System 2 is busy, and it has a sweet tooth, too, demanding glucose to keep System 2 working. Intuition is also generated by System 1.

    Fortunately, cognitive thought is not always arduous. Without exerting willpower, people can spend long periods expending considerable effort. It's known as a flow state and was studied and identified by the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly.

    Another feature of exerting effort is the building of skill. As skill is developed, less energy is needed, and new skills are added, at least in part, to System 1's repertoire. Our lazy System 2 is more than happy to delegate to System 1, where it can.

    There is a link between cognitive control and intelligence: training attention improves our executive control. Non-verbal tests of intelligence also improve. System 1 is impulsive and intuitive. System 2 is capable of reasoning, cautious, and for some people, lazy.

    Finding a balance between System 1's work and the deployment of System 2 is one of the keys to thinking and reasoning well. Recognizing when we need to defer System 1's judgments and assumptions can help us make better decisions by slowing down a little and employing System 2.

    Activating System 2

    We are more likely to learn something by finding surprises in our behavior than hearing surprising facts about people in general. Our own experience teaches us best and understanding how our minds work using the System 1/System 2 idea, we can become more conscious of our behavior. Knowing that we like to make causal stories to explain events, people, and actions we see, a System 1 process won't stop us from doing it. But it can help us pause and think again using the more remarkable abilities of System 2. Understanding that many of our biases are generated by System 1 won't stop us from making them. Many of them are helpful in daily life – people who act friendly often are. People who are shouting are likely to be angry and thus worth avoiding.

    Understanding our different thought processes, how they are generated, and where they are likely to come from, at least allows us to spot them, pause and choose a different course of thought and action.

    The attentive System 2 is who we think we are. In reality, we are both, in many cases, more System 1 than 2. Our thoughts and behaviors are often guided by System 1, and generally, this works well. When we use attention and practice to develop skill, we add another arrow to System 1's quiver. The intuitive judgments and lightening choices that come to mind will mostly be accurate thanks to the adaptability and growth of System 1.

    That said, System 1 is still prone to some outstanding errors of judgment and assumptions. These massive mistakes are often to do with not recognizing that information is incomplete, of low quality, or even that we are answering a more straightforward associated question than the one posed. The only way to avoid these errors is to understand that navigating through life can be a cognitive minefield. Slowing down and pushing System 2 to action is the only way we can hope to dodge the innate errors System 1.

    The very nature of the slow-moving establishments and policy-making organizations makes them better at decision-making than individuals. They naturally think more slowly, with more heads and energy resources than a single person. They have the power and facilities to implement checklists and orderly procedures. If we can learn to slow our thinking and recognize when System 1 may not be up to the task, not only will we enhance our own lives and decisions, the businesses we work within will also become more robust.

  • 8 Sep 2020 8:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Rather than choosing to believe the unbelievable accounts of talent come from nowhere, Coyle traveled the world to explore what's behind the skills that have appeared over the past decades. He details his journey and the research behind it, so we can understand what underlies these seemingly unconnected expressions of mastery. Backing up the enticing subheading 'Greatness isn't born, it's grown' for The Talent Code, Coyle provides many examples of how exceptional talent is grown, an engaging explanation of what talent is and an easily replicable framework for building a unique skill sets.

    Beginning with a definition for talent – the possession of repeatable skills that are not reliant on physical size – Coyle goes on to delve into the physiology behind skill-building. We find that skill relies on myelin - a substance made up of proteins and fats that coat specific neural pathways. In doing so, the white matter improves the firing of our synapses. He argues that this underrated matter is the basis of skill, a standpoint that is supported by years of neurological research. By focusing our efforts, we can grow myelin in specific areas of our brains and improve our skills. Throughout, he illustrates the many concepts with easily understandable vignettes, true stories, and discussions with experts in the areas of motivation and myelin. Take-aways from this book can be easily applied to many aspects of our lives, not least our workplaces.

    Forging Talent

    Thanks to our genes and the biological processes they engender, each of us can develop nearly any skill. By firing our neurological circuitry repeatedly, we prompt our bodies to respond by optimizing these pathways, ensuring the electrical impulses that are fed along our nerve cells aren't lost or misdirected.

    However, merely firing a circuit doesn't always result in improved skill. To gain mastery, we need to refine the circuitry associated with the skills we wish to develop. This is when 'deep practice,' as Coyle calls it, comes into play. Rather than randomly firing our brain's circuitry, we need to push ourselves beyond our comfort zone and find our sweet spot of difficulty. This is most often at the edge of our ability, where we reach and make mistakes. It's the mistakes and the process of correcting them and trying again that makes us smarter, faster, and more insightful.

    Coyle likens the process of laying broadband cabling within to produce faster and more accurate signals throughout our brain and body. These simple to understand concepts are just one example of how the author illustrates difficult to visualize processes and simplifies them so we can understand and apply the practices in our own lives.

    The best way to build robust skill circuits is to fire them, attend to any mistakes made, and then fire the same circuit again. In real-life terms, that's attempting an action – playing the part of a song, swinging your bat, or writing a paragraph - stopping when you notice a mistake, correcting your course and playing, swinging, or writing again.

    The process is not a simple one and requires enormous amounts of energy, focus, and time. To build new skills, we must be motivated and passionate about the learning process. We must be hungry for the skill, attentive to mistakes, and single-mindedly focused on its development. Without the passion and persistence to push at the edges of our ability, we would never have the tenacity required to reach mastery. Anders Ericsson, Herbert Simon, and William Chase quantified the effort needed to gain mastery of any skill as a decade of deep practice or 10,000 hours of focused repetition of the skill we were aiming to attain.

    Once we are on the path to mastery, the new skills we once worked so hard to attain, begin to feel natural, as though we always possessed the ability. Such is the nature of well-developed talent.

    Prompting a passion for learning

    If the deep practice is the conscious and continual reaching for more, the drive needed to persist along the path to skill attainment could be likened to a flash of inspiration. The author calls this 'ignition' or the primal urge to become the future self we see when viewing the great skill of another.

    These motivational signals come in countless ways – such as the loss of a parent, watching someone just like you achieve unimaginable feats of prowess, or simply trying to keep up with others. These can be categorized as drivers to meet more basic needs – the need to belong, the urge for safety, or our craving for connection. These simple motivational signals can prompt us to unleash the energy needed to reach our goal, at a primal level, to belong, guard against scarcity, and create safety in our lives.

    But a single moment of ignition may not be enough to sustain the level of energy output needed to reach a master level of skill. Clear messages that let us know what is valued need to be repeated and reach us on a personal, fundamental level. This is so we can keep firing the skill circuits over a long enough period to enable the myelination of our nerve cells to the point where skill appears to become an innate talent.

    It isn't easy to create these prompts of our own. This is where the value of a great coach, mentor, or teacher cannot be overstated.

    The final piece of the puzzle

    If talent is a well-practiced skill, and our drive to learn is a primal cue we cannot ignore, then great coaches and mentors are the ringmasters who muster our urges and direct them to enable us to become better.

    Great coaches understand the work required to master a skill and have the ability to push us in the right direction toward attainment. They encourage and demand the deep practice, coaching us to try, fail, refine, and try again, never ceasing to push us forward over more hurdles.

    A common way great coaches work is to demonstrate a complete skill, break it down into the component parts, and have students practice using logical progressions and repeating cycles. Throughout the process, the coach will watch avidly, fine-tuning the practice with targeted comments that encourage, correct, and urge the student to reach further in the right direction for them to develop the brain's circuitry.

    Often, coaches' messages will affirm the value of effort, the importance of slow progress, and stir their students to try harder for longer to build healthy neural connections that support their blossoming talents. They understand that praise must be earned to motivate. What's more, they understand that each student needs a different set of motivators to keep them on the right path to develop their talent. There is no one size fits all when it comes to developing skills.

    Great coaches do what individuals are unable to do themselves; they continue to ignite the passion needed to persist. They provide the right drives that keep their students working past their milestone breakthroughs.

    Daniel Coyle's Talent Code gives us an excellent map for anyone who wishes to develop and preserve talent in themselves or others.  He shows us the importance of directed and sustained practice for the growth of myelin and the essential circuitry. More than that, he explains the importance of pushing ourselves, seeking new challenges, and preserving the carefully myelinated pathways of our brains and how we can all do this with great success if we are prepared to put in the extended effort required.

  • 18 Aug 2020 12:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In his seventh book of 15, Daniel Siegel, a clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA, provides an engaging exploration of our minds, coupled with tools to integrate the multiple regions of our brains and senses for increased wellbeing.

    Mindsight reveals that by understanding our minds better, we become more able to connect with others and unleash the intuition, inventiveness, authenticity, and compassion that our lives and future workplaces will demand. As some tasks of future workplaces become automated or relegated to computerized systems and robots, our humanity and ability to connect will be increasingly important for businesses to succeed and grow. By tapping into our innate ability to integrate a range of states, ideas, and feelings, we are better placed to access these valuable traits and talents. Siegel shows us the benefits of a deeper and more connected sense of self, but Siegel also provides practical exercises to achieve this in our own lives.

    The book provides a text that teaches while entertaining, engages, and primes us for a better understanding of ourselves, our relationships, and others. It’s illustrated with easy to understand explanations of our brain's physiology, vignettes of patient histories and their paths toward personal transformation, and exciting discoveries and inferences about how our minds function.

    The power of knowing ourselves

    Siegel describes mindsight as the ability to gain perception and knowledge from our minds, relationships, and the brain's mediating neural mechanisms. This ability removes the superficial boundaries that separate us. It allows us to see that we are part of a broader, interconnected whole – both internally and externally. Without this ability, we become inflexible, hostile, and lack a moral compass. This has a negative impact on us and can also adversely impact public policy, business relationships, and culture.

    The author asserts people can become objects, rather than subjects worthy of respect and understanding when we lack mindsight. We are more likely to act from unconscious biases, favor people we believe to be like us, and treat those who aren't with disdain, disregard, and less compassion. Indeed, our very humanity is at risk without mindsight in today's connected world,

    Wellbeing and happiness come from knowing ourselves and defining who we are as part of a larger, connected whole. A clear mindsight lens enables this to take place. Mindsight teaches us to remain curious, open and accepting of the thoughts and feelings that arise in us. It teaches us to observe and label our states of being and conduct constructive internal dialogue and even negotiations, so we become more able to monitor and navigate our inner world. In doing so, we are also able to modify our thoughts and behaviors. This moves us toward a state of serenity and clarity. It promotes wisdom and gives us the courage to behave with integrity while leaning into our vulnerabilities.

    A firm base for understanding

    At the beginning of the book, Siegel introduces us to the physiology and functions of our brains. We are equipped with an appreciation of what our brain does for us and how these tasks are done. From here, the reader moves on to explore the nine functions of the prefrontal cortex. That is, bodily regulation, attuned communication, emotional balance, response flexibility, fear modulation, empathy, insight, moral awareness, and intuition. The stable base for improving our mindsight is one of openness, observation, and objectivity. From this firm foundation, we can explore our minds clearly and confidently while embracing all that it means to be human within ourselves and others.

    Siegel explains how our brains' firing lays the pathways for our thought patterns and responses to the full range of stimuli we encounter daily. He illustrates how the brain-body connection is a part of this flow of information and energy while explaining why the integration of our different parts is essential for understanding and regulating the flow of this energy and information.

    We're shown through multiple patient stories that by becoming open to our body's feelings and states and the relationships woven into the fabric of our inner world, we open the gateways for clear mindsight. In doing so, we can achieve clarity about who we are and how we wish to shape our lives.

    Where focus goes, energy flows

    One of Siegel's book's most exciting revelations is the use of focused attention and how we can consciously shape our minds and lives. Likening our attention to a scalpel, he explains how we can channel our cognitive resources to directly activate neural firing and associated areas of the brain. As Siegel says – "what fires together, wires together." With mindful focus, we can direct the continued development of our brains.

    Simple mindfulness exercises – focusing on the breath, body scanning, insight, and walking meditations, and journaling and aerobic exercise are our natural tools for directing the expansion of our minds. These tools enable us to target particular areas of our brains, strengthen existing neural pathways, and even create new ones.

    Exercising attention is similar to developing a muscle. Monitoring our awareness and directing our intention is at the core of all mindfulness practices, from yoga to insight meditation. This ability to monitor our thoughts and feelings takes us on a path to a brain signature of resilience. It allows us to have an open and curious approach state to challenging situations, so we can move towards and through them with the confidence and calm needed to learn from each experience.

    A picture of our brain and body

    Our body is an extension of our brain, connected with neural extensions that are developed in the womb. Information, from our body, is transmitted via these pathways up through the brain stem, through the limbic system, and to the prefrontal cortex areas. This is where we can make sense of them. When we ignore or dismiss information from our bodies – gut feelings, heartfelt emotions – we are cutting vital information from our brains. Being aware of the states of our body is an essential part of full mindsight development. We are reminded of our inability to block bad feelings while keeping the good. We need to be aware of subcortical energy to have the full packet of information needed for informed thinking.

    Our lives can seem empty of meaning if we miss the information, energy, and engagement that come from this body/mind vertical integration. Each of us has a single-window or tolerance; when the experience happens that fit inside this window, we are at ease and able to comfortably feel the emotions, feelings, and bodily sensations evoked by them. We remain receptive and open to the experience. But when day to day experiences fall outside this window, we are inclined towards reactivity and automatic responses – falling apart, blowing up, or becoming unreasonably defensive. As we develop mindsight and appreciate our inner and outer states of being, our windows of tolerance expand. We can then experience the fullness of our lives and those around us with more acceptance and clarity.

    Mindsight shows us that mind, body, and temporal integration is not a luxury. It is integral to our work of caring and connecting with others. With developed mindsight, we can choose to advance the nature of our minds, lives, wellbeing, and relationships with others. This is undoubtedly a benefit for each of us now as well as for future generations in all aspects of our human existence.

  • 20 Jul 2020 8:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dan Pink reveals that the secret to high performance and satisfaction in today's world is less about financial reward and more about the deep human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and the world.

    There is a big gap between what science knows about motivation and behavior and what businesses do. What's more, science has been on the tail of this knowledge since the 1940s, amassing more evidence. Evidence that proves humans are more complex, more inventive, and require more to motivate them than the simple carrots and sticks offered by many companies.

    The world of work is changing rapidly. Where once workforces could be driven with rewards and kept in line with fear of punishment, today's employees buck this system. Jobs are changing from the routine and algorithmic and tilting towards empathetic, creative, and non-routine pursuits. This heuristic, right-brained roles now account for around 70% of job growth. As the author argues, the motivational system behind these changes needs to be updated from past modes to a newer model.

    Drive is backed by research, interesting historic business facts, and presented in an engaging, easy to read style. Daniel Pink purports that today's businesses need an overhaul of their management style to remain competitive in the job market and continue to grow and meet society's demands. He argues that the talismanic phrase "In a world of perfect information and low transaction costs, the parties will bargain to a wealth maximizing result" is no longer valid. Rewards are no longer the ultimate goal of employees. Once necessary comfort has been attained, increased remuneration does little to motivate a workforce or increase happiness.

    So often, we're hearing of people leaving high-paying jobs for lower-paid roles that provide a clearer sense of purpose.

    Intrinsic reward is trumping the extrinsic value of work. Extrinsic motivators are undermining business' goals. That is not to say the future's employees will not require payment for their service and expertise. But it is to say that this is far from the dominant motivator.

    The author gently and humorously leads us through human motivation levels. He likens each to a computer program, from what he calls 'Motivation 1.0' – biological urges and a meeting of our physical needs, on to 'Motivation 2.0', the carrot and stick approach to getting things done. We even take detour to 'Motivation 2.1' when workplace dress-codes relaxed, and businesses granted employees a little autonomy over their jobs and assistance towards skills development. Yet none of these are now entirely fit for purpose in today's world of work. People spend a third of their lives at work and want more from their employers. It's time for the latest development in management technology: 'Motivation 3.0'. This model taps into our need for intrinsic motivation and joy in a task. If we build it right, it will boost innovation and drive business into a sustainable future.

    Intrinsic motivation vs. extrinsic drivers

    Intrinsic motivation is driven by a desire to be creative, to reach a state of optimal challenge – flow – or to give a gift of ourselves, or our knowledge to our community. There are many examples around us of organizations – non-profit, for-profit, and low-profit – that have put intrinsically motivated groups to work to build incredible products or provide genuinely valued services for the world to enjoy. Wikipedia, Apache, and Linux are just a few.

    Not only are the fruits of intrinsically motivated groups delivering value to societies around the world, but jobs with high levels of intrinsic enjoyment and motivation built-in are also becoming most sought after. Humans are far more than one-dimensional extrinsically motivated profit maximizers. We are also intrinsically motivated purpose maximizers. Businesses who want to grow will do well to note this and adjust their workplaces accordingly.

    Intrinsic motivation is a slippery, sometimes contrary force. What the author dubs as the 'Sawyer effect' – the ability to turn work into play or play into work is a perfect example. Giving people autonomy over their work, removing all attachment to reward for their efforts, and let them get on with the doing it can transform work to play. The results are increased creativity, spikes in productivity, and improved enjoyment. Equally, attaching rewards, restricting, or removing autonomy, and enforcing strict guidelines to a task can turn play into work. What was once pleasurable becomes a drudge. Intriguingly it is the reward and the direction that has the most damaging effect over our motivation and view of work as play/play as work.

    Carrots and sticks have been shown in multiple studies to have a damaging effect on human performance. They can promote bad behavior (cheating, lying and taking dangerous shortcuts), create addiction, and encourage short-term thinking at the expense of a long-term view. The author explains how rewards for tasks activate the “nucleus accumbens” area of our brains (the part associated with recognizing rewards) with dopamine in a similar way to addictive drugs. The result is poor decision making and increased risk-taking. When taken in the context of say, bonuses for exceeding sales targets, the results might be just as destructive.

    Constructing a new system of motivation

    The 'if-then' rewards of 'Motivation 2.0' are not entirely defunct. Routine tasks that require little creativity can, and should, be encouraged with extrinsic rewards. To improve their effectiveness rationale for the completion of these tasks, an acknowledgment that the job is tedious and allowing as much autonomy as possible will further enhance the productivity and motivation for the staff tasked with their completion.

    However, beyond algorithmic, mundane jobs, rewards should be avoided in favor of a better, far more motivational approach. Self-determination theory (SDT) argues we have three innate needs: competence, autonomy, and relatedness. By tapping into these needs and going some way (or all the way) to meeting them, we can invigorate our employees, make our workplaces inspirational and inviting, attract talent and grow into the future.

    Intrinsically motivated behavior is fed with three nutrients that are directly related to SDT innate needs. Autonomy, mastery, and purpose are the new drivers of our teams. Encouraging intrinsic behaviors with these psychological 'foods' is critical for professional, personal, and organizational success of any kind, argues Pink. If we are to build a new system of motivation, it should be on the foundation of these human needs.

    Fortunately, plenty of examples surround businesses both in our current time and throughout history. Autonomy over our time, our tasks, our workplaces is nothing new. It merely has never taken off in the way that the traditional management style did. Autonomy in the areas of the four T's – time, task, technique, and team can be adapted to almost any workplace. 3M did this back in 1948 under the guidance of William McKnight, who implemented what became known as the 'bootlegging policy.' Employees were instructed to spend up to 15% of their time on projects of their choosing. Thank goodness for his foresight! If it weren’t for this unusual management development, Post-It notes might never have existed.

    Whether it's a percentage of time to spend on work tasks that bring joy or autonomy over who we work with, employee engagement soars, and so does businesses' growth. More than 50% of Google's innovations come from their '20 % time'. Call centers are reaching ever higher customer satisfaction levels by allowing employees to work from home, scrapping scripts, and enabling customer reps to manage the calls they receive in the best way they see fit (after training).

    Encouraging autonomy doesn't mean discouraging accountability. Time and again, the author shows us the opposite effect is achieved. Increased autonomy leads to improved engagement and accountability. Furthermore, engagement engenders flow, which facilitates the pursuit of mastery; this is where businesses can reap the big rewards. Innovations, creative outcomes, and developments that push the boundaries of industry are born here.

    By creating flow friendly, autonomous environments where employees are deeply motivated by their own and the business's purpose, organizations can answer the problem of stunted growth and revenue lost to absent unengaged workforces. The book provides an author's ‘Type I’ toolkit with nine ways to improve your company, office, or group. It even has tips and tricks to adjust remuneration packages, motivating employees instead of eroding their enthusiasm for their jobs. After explaining the whys and hows of motivation, Drive shows businesses, educational enterprises, and even parents how to embark upon a future of deeper engagement, meaningful purpose, and enthusiastic motivation to deliver the activation energy we all need to live more fulfilling lives.

  • 6 Jul 2020 2:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    John Doerr, the author of Measure What Matters, is an unashamed advocate of building organizations with the support of ambitious goal setting and continual improvement.

    John's book explains how leaders can reach new heights of profitability, innovation, and employee engagement with the implementation of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) that must be supported by Conversations, Feedback, and Recognition (CFR's). Today's world of commerce is fast-changing, endlessly challenging, and full of opportunity. Leaders and their organizations need to be agile, adaptable, and willing to reach for the stars. It can be challenging to make progress towards your star of choice without clear objectives. Without a culture that encourages innovation and isn't afraid to learn from its own mistakes, the motivation to work continually towards those high-flying goals can evaporate.The book is illustrated with numerous examples of how successful organizations have implemented OKRs and provides a blueprint for fostering a culture of collaboration, accountability, and with it, company-wide peak performance.

    Collaborative Goal Setting and Tracking

    OKR’s began life at Intel in the '70s as Management Business Objectives. OKRs help to push employees to succeed and collaborate to achieve more each day. Over the next three decades, the OKR methodology was honed and adapted for almost any organization – no matter how big or small, young, or old it is. OKRs have 'oomph' and accountability built in so each contributor to the business can be excited and enthusiastic about the work they are doing and the places it will take them.

    Research shows that simply writing a goal down increases your chances of reaching it. Public goals are more likely to be achieved than private ones. People who record their goals and share their progress towards them achieve 43% more than those who keep their dreams to themselves. These enlightening facts about how humans operate are behind the OKR process.

    The transparency and public availability of OKRs drive clarity within the business and accountability for individual action. They create momentum towards the goals that encourage everyone in the pursuit of greatness.

    While collaborative, clear objectives provide direction for the business and the teams within it, the ‘Key Results’ element provides a method for tracking progress. Key results should be metrics that are uncolored by opinion or perspective. A lofty objective is supported by three to five clear, actionable, measurable key results. Examples of good and lousy objectives and key result pairings are given throughout the book. Metrics can be set as key results to ensure that quality isn't compromised. Doerr uses the example of the number of vouchers processed being countered by the number of errors incurred to illustrate how multiple key results ensure that the intent of the objective is not compromised.

    OKRs Connecting Individuals to Organization's Mission and Values

    Studies show us that humans are driven to connect. We want to see how we belong in an organization and why and how we matter to the whole. OKRs answer this drive, they link employees at all levels of a business to the leader's aspirations. Doerr argues that when implemented well, OKRs provide a clear understanding of how each role weaves into the organization's mission and values.

    OKRs enable contributor alignment. Aligned employees are twice more likely to be top performers than unaligned colleagues. What's more, the process of public goal setting and measurement of progress towards these goals eliminates instances of doubling up on work – redundant efforts are jettisoned, time, money, and personal motivation are saved. If this alone were the benefit of the OKR process, all organizations should adopt it.

    The book also provides OKR case study examples and a checklist for OKR hygiene. This checklist ensures the objective setting, tracking, and review is continually refined and perfected to propel an organization forward.

    The truism that 'less is more' is used by Doerr to show that too many objectives can pull people in different directions. Inevitably this causes confusion and distractions, with goals being missed stakeholders becoming frustrated. Three to five objectives per cycle is optimal for pushing businesses towards success. Goal setting needs to be aspirational and functional, bottom-up, and top-down, so every person willingly gets behind them. Collaboration, flexibility, and a willingness to fail also need to be built into the OKR system for it to work.

    Continuous Performance Management

    To embark on a journey that takes businesses into the future, management and HR processes need to evolve. Systems of one-way feedback, annual reviews tied to remuneration, and opaque leadership decisions are old hat. These processes stifle creativity, collaboration, and innovation – the three behaviors that are critical for the future of work.

    Job seekers and employees today expect more from their workplaces than a monthly paycheck and benefits. Growth, innovation, and accountability are becoming the new stars of the workplace. New management styles need to support new forms of work that employees are demanding from their supervisors. Employees need to be empowered to deliver what their business needs and their customers demand. Regular conversations, networked communication, and consistent recognition support these new expectations. What's more, it fits perfectly with the OKR system for achieving more and engaging a workforce for greatness.

    Continual performance demands coaching moments that are decoupled from remuneration. OKRs work well within strengths-focused cultures, fact-driven decision making, along with a dose of emotional intelligence and empathy. OKRs are perfect for today's changing workplace, where inclusive and caring styles are replacing pure logic.

    Alignment and transparency are naturally present in the CFR (Conversations, Feedback, and Recognition) management style, especially ones underpinned by OKRs. CFRs are the way of the future and one that employees are demanding more and more. Employee engagement increases it by three factors with frequent "one to ones" which are at the core of the CFR management style. CFR conversations should include regular check-ins on progress, goal setting, and two-way coaching to career growth discussions and light-weight performance reviews. When coupled with the OKR system, this coaching style supports the achievement of objectives and quickly identifies poorly designed key results.

    Doerr reminds us throughout the book how easy it can be to lose track of progress and sight of goals in the day to day operations of a business. CFRs not only improve performance but enable people to keep sight of the big picture and the responsibility they must generate the brush strokes needed to paint their organization's future.

    Secret Sauce

    With strong leadership, a creative culture and sound judgment, OKRs can be the secret sauce that propels organizations to further success. OKRs combined with CFRs can provide the foundations needed to build a culture of success for those that don't. CFR's can inject the much-needed flexibility to change a stagnant culture into one that is vibrantly alive.

    The clear, collaborative goal-setting culture explained by Doerr helps teams and individuals to understand the current priorities. Clearly defined goals help build employee engagement and link teams' work to a broader mission. OKRs combined with CFRs may well be what drives the future of work.

  • 8 Jun 2020 8:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    This fascinating book reveals groundbreaking insights into the 52 discoveries from Gallup’s study of the future of work. Based on new research, it provides insights into key skills, and the importance of managers.

    As the fourth industrial revolution drives rapid change the demands on managers are also changing. Remote workforces, diversity, inclusion, increased automation, gig-workers, and remote working and requiring new working practices. Gallup represents that managers must be developing new skills to handle this new world of work.

    As the nature of work, and the demographics or workers, have changed dramatically in recent years, management practices have been stuck in the past. Millennials, and Generation Z make up more and more of workforces and they don’t want to work for command-and-control bosses. Traditionals (the generation before the Boomers) may be the most engaged of all generations, yet they are slowly disappearing from businesses. Younger generations expect something different, both as consumers and employees. Organizations need to keep pace with these changes and ahead of competitors to remain relevant. Managers are the most influential and powerful 'lever' an organization has for answering this need. More than any other role, managers can increase an employee's engagement, and with it, productivity. Yet, just like the needs and expectations of today's workforce, the role of managers is also changing.

    Unlike usual management books, It's The Manager, is written to be helpful for CEOs, CHROs, and managers. Doing so could well improve an organization's performance and profitability. Chapters are short and punchy. Ideas are deftly explained and presented in actionable ways. Authors Jim Clifton and Jim Harter begin by identifying declining economic dynamism and productivity as the # 1 problems for the world's organizations. Acquiring other businesses has become the most common strategy of organizational growth for all Fortune 1000 companies. Quite obviously, this is an unsustainable option. Maximizing human potential must replace this method of growth and increase profitability if businesses are going to thrive. Replacing the old 'boss' mentality with a new and improved coaching method for management is part of this. This new perspective has the potential to catapult businesses into a future that is both profitable and sustainable. When team inspiration grows, clients, revenue, and quality earnings grow with it. Managers are the key to unlocking an organization's potential, now and into the far future.

    With five sections – Strategy, Culture, Employment Brand, Boss to Coach, and The Future of Work – the authors lead us through how managers can influence teams and ultimately a business' viability at each of these junctures. This structure allows readers to dive into these pages at the point most relevant to their organization. The clear chapter titles make it simple to find scientifically-backed advice on any number of organizational questions leaders or managers may have. Written to be returned to time and again, this business and management book is based on more than 30 years of data, collected across 160 countries through interviews with employees and managers working in a wide range of industries.

    A core theme within the text is that people today aspire to have a good job more than almost anything else. Individuals engage with work that supports their lifestyle, development, idea of who they are, and whom they want to be. More than any other single thing a company can do to provide this ideal is to develop great managers because great managers are the facilitators of good jobs.

    When it comes to strategy, companies need to provide their workers with more than just a task and paycheck at the end of the month. Employees now want purpose with their paychecks, development with satisfaction, ongoing conversations with their managers, and managers who are more like coaches than bosses. Organizations need to develop their teams' strengths rather than focusing on eliminating weaknesses. Job seekers and employees are, above all else, looking for work that supports their life and growth as well as an income.

    To aid this aspiration, managers at all levels need well-defined, articulated missions, and purposes that they can convey to their teams with passion and enthusiasm. They need to be able to help everyone on their team relate to the work they do each day and understand how it is an integral part of creating a bigger picture and meeting a grander purpose. Managers need to feel inspired and valuable to do this; it is up to leaders to develop them. When managers feel this and work together with other managers, organizations can change and evolve with the demands of their market.

    The authors tell us culture begins with purpose, determines your brand, and has a direct, measurable impact on performance. A definite purpose leads to better employee retention. ALL organizations have a culture – yet only a small number have intentionally cultivated theirs. Lack of attention to developing the organization's culture is detrimental to the employees, managers, and leaders' motivation and thereby to the entire business. To understand a company's culture, leaders should be asking themselves some key questions:

    1. How well do our purpose, brand, and culture align?
    2. How clear is our purpose to employees?
    3. Are our employees committed to our culture?

    Once a leader has answered these questions, they can identify their culture and nurture it. Helpfully, the authors have supplied the tools to do just that. Healthy organizational cultures attract world-class talent. They can maximize the organic growth delivered from customer-employee interactions and are agile when responding to market needs. Simply put, organizations need strong cultures to remain competitive.

    In today's hyper-connected world, your company's employment brand is more important than ever. Millennials seek jobs that fit their lifestyle, bring them opportunities to learn, advance, and develop professionally. The quality of a business' managers and interesting, engaging work is more important to them than pay. What's more, these job seekers can research, review, and gain insights into most organizations before they even apply.

    Hiring experiences are shared far and wide – if they're negative, expect them to be shared far and wide.

    Valid assessment systems, psychometric testing, and enriching the talent pool are all strategies this book identifies for enhancing your employment brand and increasing the success of hires. As an added benefit the book comes with a code to take the Clifton Strengths Finder assessment for free!

    Businesses can augment college experiences with meaningful internships, providing mentors, or working with institutions to support semester-long projects. That will enable them to develop future employees for their organization while simultaneously filtering the talent that suits their needs. Students receive an enriched learning experience, and your company is future-proofing its hiring. From hiring to onboarding, through to exiting and succession planning, a company's employment brand and strategies can be adjusted and tweaked to protect the future while also improving the present. Managers are integral to each step of this process – encouraging teams, providing mentoring to students, listening to employees at exit interviews, and managing their path of development and engagement.

    Tweaking the manager's role and adjusting the perspective from boss to coach is a significant key to influencing the retention and engagement of all individuals in their team.

    It is estimated that poor management costs $7 trillion globally. Performance management needs to step aside for performance development. Eliminating weaknesses needs to be replaced with strengths-based coaching. Strength-based cultures consistently out-perform competitors. And who is best placed to implement these changes? It's the manager.

    Continual coaching of employees powerfully impacts performance; when accompanied by progress feedback, teams become more engaged, increase productivity, and are less likely to be lured away by better benefits or higher pay. Engaged employees need to be paid at least 20% more by a competitor to be convinced to switch companies.

    If leaders want to take advantage of these findings and boost their business' bottom line and shareholder's stakes, they need to invest in their managers. They need to equip them with the tools to become coaches. The manager's roles need to be redefined and expectations clarified, the resources required to coach their teams, and the professional development to make this switch of focus need to be delivered. Evaluation practices that accurately measure this performance need to be created.

    This book shows how managers can help organizations adapt to a fast-changing world. All organizations need them. They are the cohort that can mobilize the workforce to meet the challenges the future is thrusting towards us. From remote teams to artificial intelligence, attracting talent, and organizational agility, great managers, is the answer to building your business into the future.

  • 23 May 2020 8:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Rather than being devoid of emotion, workplaces are increasingly becoming reliant on the human heart. To quote Minouche Shafik, the Director of London's School of Economics, "In the past, jobs were about muscle, now they're about brains, in the future they'll be about heart." If you want your business to thrive in the future, 'Dare to Lead' is essential reading.

    Delving into the emotions of great leadership and the temptation we all feel to avoid difficult or emotional conversations in the workplace – and other areas of our lives – this book unpicks the values and skills needed to drive organizations to future profitability. Packed full of information based on more than 20 years of research and insights gleaned from countless interviews, a range of behaviors leaders need to enter the next era of work with confidence and courage are identified. Helpfully, clear strategies, and plans for developing these skills and qualities are also provided.

    Leading with Heart

    While automation and AI may be able to take on some of the workplace's analytical and processing tasks, they will never be able to replace human creativity, passion, or heart. Because of this, these qualities will become increasingly valuable in the future. As the author points out, time and again throughout the book, the only way to leverage these qualities is by becoming proficient at leading with heart, leaning into our values, building trust, and courageously exposing our vulnerability when it matters most. Often, this is when it feels the least easy to do.

    Beginning by explaining the intrinsic link between courage and vulnerability and how our emotional armor gets in the way of bold leadership, the book defines four sets of skills that are needed to lead with heart. Far from being 'soft' skills, these abilities are hard-won and require continual practice to keep sharp. Rumbling with vulnerability, living into our values, braving trust, and learning to rise after a fall can be learned, observed, and measured. The book comes with additional resources and a workbook downloadable from the author's website to help readers build these skills and measure them too.

    Sweeping away the myths about vulnerability, the text explains why this quality is needed to forge authentic connections, get to the heart of matters, and build trust within an organization. Vulnerability and trust are two sides of the same coin. To betray or withhold one is to do the same with the other. Organizations that lack trust are doomed to fail. Therefore, daring leaders are the ones who continue to learn and become willing to discard their emotional armor, expose their vulnerability, and lead with feeling and emotion.

    But this is not done carelessly. Safe spaces, clear boundaries, and clarity of direction and expectations are also needed if leading with vulnerability and integrity is to bring results. While this may seem to be a gross waste of time, investing effort to understand the fears and feelings of a team or workforce is far more effective than belatedly managing ineffective and unproductive behavior. Clear boundaries and language enable us to understand each other, expose vulnerabilities, and build stronger relationships. These authentic relationships and workplace comradery give people the confidence and freedom to innovate, experiment, and grow. It also allows individuals and teams to try new things without the fear of failure. Trying, failing, and then trying again is a necessary process for the growth of both individuals and organizations. The quicker and more willing we are to do this, the more likely we are to achieve greatness.

    Integrating thinking, feeling, and behavior enables wholeheartedness. This wholeheartedness allows us to engage in trust, creativity, innovation, and take accountability for our actions. These qualities are critical for organizations wanting to develop and grow with their market, keep their star employees, and build a workplace that is connected and peopled with engaged, enthusiastic, and switched on players.

    Emotional Intelligence helps

    When we are open and connected to our feelings so that we can understand what they are telling us, we can engage in critical thinking and make better decisions. Our emotional intelligence helps us navigate through difficult changes in our businesses effectively. As tempting as it can be to 'put on armor,' revert to limbic responses and protect our vulnerable areas, as soon as we do, we lay the path for leading with fear and other destructive behaviors that stifle creativity and growth. A table of common armored leadership techniques is provided with their antitheses, daring leadership methods. A whole chapter is given to support these daring leadership methods with anecdotes and examples. In doing so, the author leads us through the tactics and qualities daring leaders use to achieve brilliant results within their organizations.

    Instead of driving perfectionism and fostering fear of failure, we are challenged to model and encourage healthy striving, empathy, and self-compassion. Rather than reward exhaustion as a status symbol and attaching productivity to self-worth, we are invited to model and support rest, play, and recovery. These simple-sounding changes can be hard to amend if an organization struggles in a culture of shame that tells people to 'Suck it up' or 'Push through.' But if we are not brave enough to turn the tide of destructive thought patterns and emotionally stifling cultures, we are left with rising absenteeism, tumbling engagement levels, and half-hearted efforts at meeting company goals. Ultimately the business and its leaders will lose out.

    Daring leaders do what needs to be done for the business while always keeping the people in mind. Behaving with kindness and providing clarity, acting with generosity, and respecting others stop a toxic workplace from developing and shame eroding a business from the inside. Empathy, connection, and responsible vulnerability are the solid foundation of daring leadership; the workplaces of tomorrow, and the people within them, will need this foundation to create freely, innovate and work from their hearts. The path is not simple, and daring leaders are aware that it is their personal ability to thrive in the ambiguity of paradoxes and opposites that will drive their companies into the future. Grounded confidence, unwavering curiosity, and clarity of values all need to be in a daring leader's collection of qualities to avoid getting lost and resisting the urge to armor up.

    Build Trust

    Helpfully, the book finishes by tying behaviors to these values and feelings, making it easy to name the talents and skills needed to underpin them. It shows how daring leaders believing that people do the best with what they have, allows them to respect others for who they are and hold them accountable for what they are doing. By taking this perspective, organizations, teams, and individuals can build trust, develop their skills, and grow to be better. It identifies the behaviors of trust – boundaries, reliability, accountability, keeping confidences, integrity, holding back judgment, and generosity. In doing so, it provides the reader with tangible and actionable methods for building self-awareness, creating a climate of trust, and developing organizational resilience one hire at a time.

    All the qualities and behaviors discussed in the book are ones that will be most valuable in the future of work. They cannot be programmed. Machines cannot generate them. They are intrinsically human, challenging to master, and forever tied to our values and who we really are. Daring leadership is about the authenticity of self and enabling authenticity in those around us. It may not be easy, but it is undoubtedly worthwhile.

  • 10 May 2020 4:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This is the third book from bestselling authors and futurists Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler which tackles the challenges of the future. The first, Abundance, looked at the really big global issues, such as poverty and hunger. The second, Bold, considered our new emerging technologies and how they may create a raft of powerful new entrepreneurs. This latest volume, The Future Is Faster Than You Think, is a prophecy outlining how our world will change in response to the next ten years of rapid technological transformation.

    Jumping straight in with flying cars, you could be forgiven for wondering what this book has to do with the future of work. Yet the in-depth exploration of how the technologies of today are evolving and permeating every aspect of our lives includes a view on what the new world of work will look like. Not only is how we get to work going to change, the places we earn our living and the new areas of commerce that technology will open up are discussed and dissected in detail, laying out the opportunities and threats that will present themselves in the coming decade. And it’s all coming so much faster than you think.

    The Future Is Faster Than You Think is laid out neatly in sections covering all aspects of our lives – work, rest and play. Neatly packaged in three sections, the book takes you on a ride that gets faster and more fantastic with each section while never losing plausibility of the arguments and discussion posed.

    Part one: converging technologies

    Section one begins with fantastical flying cars that are already a reality. From here, individual technologies such as 3D printing, bespoke medications, applications for blockchain technology and materials science are all explored. All of these and more are advancing, on their own, at a rapid rate. Yet, as the book explains, when these technologies converge, the rate of advancement accelerates exponentially. Innovations explode, feeding off each other and creating a positive feedback loop that gets bigger and bigger, affecting more and more people around the world. What was once far-fetched fantasy could now be within the reach of reality and delivered to your door by the end of the decade. One of the biggest beneficiaries of this will be our new world of work.

    Daily commutes can be replaced with VR connections. Our hyperconscious world, with its constant stream of information, is likely to be managed largely by AI’s designed to makes sense of this barrage of data on our behalf; all with the aim of making our lives easier and happier. This same AI is likely to augment our workforces and deliver more meaningful, engaging and enjoyable jobs for all.

    Part two: welcome to the the experience economy

    Part two looks at how the seven main areas of America’s commerce – retail, advertising, entertainment, education, healthcare, insurance, and food – where more than 80% of Americans find their employment, will change beyond recognition in just a decade. Crowdsourcing ‘on steroids’ will negate the need for insurance. Healthcare will become accessible to more and more people around the world, and what’s more, it’ll be tailored to your own unique DNA. Education will become immersive and entertaining – geared towards putting students in a state of flow enabled by AI that monitors the student as well as providing lessons. Because of this we’ll be able to learn more, remembering and integrate the knowledge being imparted.

    All of this is made possible with the merging of technologies. The lack of teachers can be answered by virtual reality and artificially intelligent programs. Advertising will become so personal,thanks to Geolocation technologies and the understanding of our mountains of data by AI, that advertisers and brands will need to be careful not to overstep the line between helpful and creepy.

    The experience economy, already growing at scale, will come to replace the product and service economies. Retail will change so much it becomes unrecognizable in comparison to today’s experience of shopping. Customer service assistants will be supported by AIs or otherwise replaced by them.

    When taken all together and dissected to see how each of the advances in different technological fields will influence and impact the others, the question becomes not ‘how can this be possible?’, but ‘why aren’t we seeing more of these changes already?’

    The truth is, in some parts of the world, these changes are already afoot. Children in Africa are self-educating with a basic tablet loaded with educational games and tutorials, nothing more. Smart objects in the home are already ensuring we never run out of coffee and switching off the heating when there’s no one around to benefit from it. Blockchain technology is facilitating smart contracts between workers in the gig economy from different corners of the world. Our world is becoming smaller, faster, and smarter, thanks to the many individual technological advances. When these advances converge, technology bounds ahead at an increasing speed. We start to realize a world where every individual is connected and given agency and the ability to engage with any other human on the planet – no matter where they physically stand. This in itself could be the largest innovation in all of history to date.

    The waves of acceleration explored in part one are followed as they spread through all of the sectors investigated in part two. The impact on our daily lives is both far reaching and fantastical. Up until here, the book keeps its view to the coming decade, and if you through it was tracking fast then, in part three, things go into overdrive.

    After detailing the disruption we’ll grow to expect and accept in our daily lives over the coming decade, the authors begin looking at the global effects of these disruptions and how they can, and already are, being used to answer some of the most pressing problems of our times.

    Part three: a new technology-led World

    Part three is where things get really exciting; taking a longer term view that looks at the next century with ease. As well as exploring the solutions that are already in process for the pressing issues of clean water, climate change, biodiversity loss, extreme weather and pollution, the authors look at how various migrations will bring about a world far more akin to William Gibson’s Neuromancer than the one we’re living in now. Technology won’t take work away, it will simply change it to beyond anything we’ve imagined up until now.

    When the Internet took hold of the world, 2.6 new jobs were created for every one job that became extinct, across 13 different countries. The same pattern can be expected for the proliferation of AI, robots and other converging technologies. People will be able to retrain quickly and efficiently thanks to the advances in education and its cross-over with VR and AI. Workforces are likely to be made up of teams including disembodied AI, robots and creative humans. New tech will emerge to answer the new problems that arise with these changes.

    Technology has given us, and is still giving us, the tools to answer the problems facing us today. Unusual collaborations between massive corporations like Coca-Cola and prolific inventors like Dean Kamen are now providing drinking water to small, remote villages in Africa. Renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines are already surpassing traditional forms of electricity production. As is pointed out, time and again, the biggest hurdle holding us back from solving humanities biggest and most pressing crises today is cooperation on a global scale.

    However, even if we do learn to cooperate on this unprecedented level before it’s all too late, the convergence of technologies and multiple climate crises is likely to create more jobs as well as the biggest population migration the world has ever seen.

    Migration is one area of human movement that promotes innovation. The need to adapt to a new culture encourages immigrants to meld their familiar solutions with the new cultures they are integrating with. A natural byproduct of this adaption has been shown to be innovation – new products, processes, businesses and jobs. As new worlds open up through the coming century, migration to space, other countries, the cloud, virtual and augmented realities will take place.

    Further advances like brain-computer interfaces and nano-bots that enable extreme longevity will create a civilization that is light-years ahead of where we stand today, and all of this in less than 100 years.


    This book details our journey from now towards greater abundance, meaning and happiness. It’s going to be a wild ride that just keeps getting faster.

    If you’ve been wondering how cleaner air, more efficient agriculture or faster transport options are going to impact the world of work, this book lays it all out in scarily precise and plain detail. Our world is speeding forward on a path to an ever more healthy, wealthy and happy period of humanity.

    The Future Is Faster Than You Think is a terrific summary of how the world may change to the next decade’s wave of technological disruption. Well written and genuinely fascinating , The Future Is Faster Than You Think is a discerning and perceptive look at the future and the new world of work.

<< First  < Prev   1   2   Next >  Last >> 

Books We Love

Latest News

Featured member

© 2020 Talent Transformation

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software