Thursday, October 24, 2019

Review: Do Disrupt: Change the status quo. Or become it.

Do Disrupt: Change the status quo. Or become it. Do Disrupt: Change the status quo. Or become it. by Mark Shayler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

On the surface this Is a book about business, but its message is relevant to other changes as well. It opens by explaining why “Disruptive” is over used, and what it really means and continues with motivating ideas, prompts and exercises.

This short book -- which the author encourages you to write in to complete the exercises-- would be useful for someone thing of doing something entrepreneurial ,either on their own or in the context of an organization they are a part of. Change agents of all sorts (consultants, as well as internal ones) might also find some of the exercises Inspiring.

I plan to revisit this book later for inspiration should I decide to become an independent consultant. I also find my self inspired to apply some of the thinking to make some aspects of my current job even better.

Also consider

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Monday, October 21, 2019

Review: Indistractable

Indistractable is an exploration of the reasons why we get distracted and strategies we can use to avoid the distraction. Based on research on motivation and compulsion, the information in the book is similar the things I learned in Drive and The Power of Habit, but from a different angle: being mindful of habits and motivators that take our focus away from important things. Or put another way, the things same inner mechanisms that motivate us, and encourage productive behavior can also have the opposite effect. The key, Eyal tells us, is to focus on the triggers.

I like that the book starts out by saying that technology is not the problem, even as we often place blame on the accessibility and draw of electronic devices. This resonates with me, as I can recall times when, as a child, the newspaper or radio was a way for a parent to ignore me, and now as a parent, when my child was able to ignore those around him while doing “good” tasks” like reading. The historical record bears this out as well, as the book quotes an article bemoaning the impact of the Gramophone on the ability of children to focus. There will always be distractions, and while strict rules about avoiding them can help, it’s more sustainable to solve the core reasons for why you are distracted.

As is appropriate for a book on the subject, the chapters are short, and thus easier to feel like you are making progress as you learn to manage your distractions. The book is both inspiring and actionable. After working through the framework there are sections dedicated to how you manage distractions in your various life domains, including work, relationships, and children. The section on making Indistractable children is particularly worth while (though will be more valuable if you read the earlier sections).

If you are an employee, manager, parent, or any combination, you are likely to find value in this book.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Review: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Sapiens is a thought provoking and insightful exploration of the physical and cultural evolution of our species.

The central theme of the book is that Homo Sapiens have the capacity to create and believe in abstract ideas, which enables larger groups to be coherent. This ability to conceive and believe in abstract ideas enables religion, financial systems, and social systems, all of which enables larger group coherence, but also allow for things like racism (or as the author suggests, “culturalism,” as the biases are often about “otherness” rather than simply race) to creep into our belief system. The book’s analysis of suggests that racism and animal cruelty and similar bad acts often enter into culture less out of malice and hatred than lack of thought -- though their persistence has other, less positive, motivators.

A mix of social history, science history, anthropology and social commentary, Sapiens is an engaging and though provoking read. Even if you don’t agree with the conclusions the author makes, the book can frame a though process. And for all the depth and comprehensiveness, the book is quite approachable and easy to read.

This thought provoking read about the history, and future of or species ends with an exploration of the future of humanity, our impact on the ecosystem, and the importance of being more thoughtful as we use the powers we’ve developed to change our world. If you read the book, consider getting it in physical form for the photos and illustrations, which add to the experience.

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Lessons in Change from the Classroom

This is adapted from a story I shared at the Fearless Change Campfire on 22 Sep 2023 I’ve always been someone to ask questions about id...