Summer is the perfect time to get inspired by books again.
In here you'll find our thoughts about the books we've been reading and how they connect to our philosophy.
Do you have a book recommendation for us? Then please let us know!
In this fast evolving and changing world of ours, we are ‘too busy’ keeping up to be able to focus on good work and meaningful progress.
According to Dr. Jason Fox, the curse of efficiency (resulting from our transition through the Industrial Age and still one of the main drivers for 99% of all businesses) provides us with the delusion of progress due to default thinking. Chew on that for a bit…
Real progress is made with curiosity and exploration and requires a different approach to leadership. In “How to lead a quest”, Dr. Fox brings the current adoption wave of Agile, intrapreneurship, experimentation and failure, bimodal approaches, sensemaking, cognitive biases diversity of thought and culture & behaviours around quest-augmented strategy to life with some nice metaphors like, among others, The Inevitable Kraken of Doom, The Hero’s Journey and The 9 Layers of Fell (combination of Failure and Hell).
His depiction of the fact that businesses seem to plan and operate as if they are playing an infinite game – a game with an end and the aim to win – is strong and something most of us will recognise. In just a few paragraphs pretty early on in the book he describes the need for changing this paradigm: we should be playing an infinite game focussing on progress, rather than success. This to me is the main caveat for quest-augmented strategy: the search for meaningful progress and enduring relevance.
The first part of the book unravels the patterns in humans and systems that call for the need of an alternative option. He then introduces an easy-to-understand framework around Quest-augmented strategy, bringing thinking and doing, pioneering and operational execution together. Dr. Fox then applies his deep background in motivation strategy and design in unpacking all the elements that come to play in adopting this framework and moving towards a pioneering culture.
From a young age we are encouraged to follow the rules. But why? According to Francesca Gino rebels are a great addition to each company. For example, they embrace conflict which leads to higher commitment. Moreover, ‘rebels’ in the workforce show a higher level of drive, passion, curiosity and creativity. Conclusions that she found after 15 years of research. In her book she describes more traits that lead to rebellious behaviour. GroupMapping challenges organizations to find that creativity, passion, and drive through the way we design events and guide programs. The lessons I learned from reading this book:
Ask for forgiveness, not permission.
Ask what could you do, instead of what should you do
Do you have a rebel in you? It helps!
According to Yuval Harari, there are two supporting structures that enable our species to collaborate.
Firstly, as a mammal species, we are able to collaborate in larger groups if and when we know each other well on a personal level. Secondly, and this sets us apart from all other species, we can collaborate if we create a shared myth or belief system.
In designing collaboration the GroupMapping way, we make extensive use of these two ingredients.We create a context in which people enrich the story they take into the future. By designing the work like we do, our process supports people to get to know each other on a deeper and more personal level, because they share their ideas, beliefs and visions in order to create that story.
Sapiens is a lengthy but great read. It is a well written and inspiring story of humankind, exploring how and why we came to be the people that we are today. To me, a must read!
Best, Franc Haverkort