Posted by: PossibilityPartners | May 30, 2015

Books as Possibility Partners

Books are amazing possibility partners . . . we can be magnets for attracting them . . . and they can inform, motivate and move us forward on our intentions to unleash our individual and collective potential. . . especially in the workplace. So the three books read recently that qualify for possibility partnerships in my view are as follows:

CHANGE OR DIE The Three Keys to Change at Work and in Life, Alan Deutschman author.  Mr. Deutschman writes on p. 19, “Change or Die began as a cover story for Fast Company debunking what I called our most common ‘myths’ about how to motivate change, especially our reliance on facts and fear.”

His three keys to change are relate, repeat, and reframe. Or defined another way, to provide new hope, new skills, and new thinking. And on p. 34, “Denial is one of the biggest reasons it’s so difficult to motivate other people to change. We think we can enlighten them by telling them the facts, but they’re in denial because they’ve already confronted the facts and they can’t handle the facts. We try to use fear to motivate them to change, but they’re in denial because the fear is too overwhelming . . .If you’re hopeless, then what you need is someone to inspire a new sense of hope . . .”

IBM, GM, and Delancey Street are compelling success stories about change presented so effectively by Mr. Deutschman. The Delancey Street story is especially captivating since it’s an innovative approach to rehabilitating criminals that is working!

As the author states on p. 152, “The fearful connotations of Change or Die may have been enough to get you to buy or borrow this book, but I quickly substituted a message about the importance of new hope and new thinking, which is what sustains change. Instead of Change or Die, think Change and Thrive.” No matter your circumstances and possibilities, I promise this book will be well worth your investment of time and money.

Two additional books that are illuminating and empowering are Overwhelmed: Work, Love And Play When No One Has The Time, Brigid Schulte author and Joy, Inc. How We Built a Workplace People Love, Richard Sheridan author.

Brigid Schulte’s book is based on two years of extensive research, resulting in a comprehensive and insightful view of why we are all so busy being ideal workers, super moms and having no time for leisure. She also provides ideas about what we can do to combat this overwhelm of busyness and brilliantly illuminates the cultural factors that contribute to our current state. I found her comparisons of US cultural factors with other countries particularly illuminating and informative. (Would you be surprised to learn we don’t compare favorably with other countries?)

Richard Sheridan, the author of Joy, Inc.  is the co-founder of Menlo Innovations, a software development firm located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, that was founded on the desire, according to the author on p. 25, “. . .to create a place where we were excited to come to work every day.” And joy is defined on p. 29 as “the deep satisfaction you get from successfully training for and completing a marathon.”

And I love their description on p. 72 of  one of the key elements of a joyful culture, which is “having team members who trust one another enough to argue.” Innovative, progressive, democratic, imaginative are all words I would use to describe this successful business venture, and what I find particularly thought-provoking is stated on p. 147,  “Once the decisions are made and declared unambiguously, we must establish the practices that will ensure that the work will be done with rigor and discipline. Only then will you have the chance to produce the type of quality that yields the pride of a job well done. . . the quality effect of rigor and discipline is of paramount importance. What can we do to ensure we get a chance to work with the pride that emanates from knowing you did the best job you could? Heroes Rely on Risky Heroics, Great Teams Rely on Discipline.” This book really is a “must read” for anyone who’s remotely interested in creating great workplaces.

My read for next month’s “book report” is Healthy Brain, Happy Life A Personal Program to Activate Your Brain & Do Everything Better, Wendy Suzuki, PhD author.

 


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