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Showing posts from January, 2016

How Children Succeed: Rethinking What's Important (Book Review)

When listening to news coverage of education reform, and talking with parents and teachers, one hears a variety of views about what “The Best” approach to education is. While I’ve spent a lot of team learning about teams (of adults), and I have some opinions about what seemed to work best for me when I went to school, I realized that I didn’t really know much about research into education. To that end, I started reading How Children Succeed by Paul Tough, and in the process started to reconsider many of my preconceptions about what’s best for kids, and along the way I learned a few things that I can use to help the people I work with succeed. A lot of the discussion around elementary (and earlier) education is around what children learn and when. How Children Succeed reminded me that learning isn’t all about academics, and that not all learning happens in school. Some of the concepts and principles that the books discusses, like Flow, Grit, and the ideas of Seligman in Learned Optimis…

Turn the Ship Around: Agile Lessons from a Submarine Captain

I was not expecting a book about working on a Navy submarine to provide insights I could use to help a team be more agile. Having heard recommendations for Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders by David Marquet from both a colleague at work and people in the agile community who I respect, I decided to give the book a look anyway. I’m glad that I did. I thought that this was be a quick, enjoyable read with many lessons I could quickly employ at work. The chapters are all short and focused, and the author repeats the key themes often enough that they stick. Each chapter is centered around a story, so it’s easy to see that the lessons in the book are based on experience and not just theory. My focus is on working with agile teams, so I found that the lessons applied to that context. Even if you are not doing "Agile, this book highlights the value of an agile, adpative, self-organizing approach can have in any organization, regardless of the overall pr…