68: Measure What Matters; 69: The Culture Code; 70: Living the 80/20 Way

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68.  Measure What Matters.  I picked this up a while ago, on the recommendation of Bill Gates, and it can be summed up in OKRs.  But then I was asked to give a speech on it at work, and it turned into a two-hour presentation with a workshop, and now I might be presenting it to the company as a whole at our annual tech event, and really, it’s quite a remarkable idea.  What struck me was when two of the workshop participants were charged with coming up with OKRs – Objectives and Key Results – and one of them, an otherwise shy woman I work with said to the other, an aggressive man, “You’re not being ambitious enough!  We need to think big!”  She then took OKRs to her manager and said, “We need to do this.”  So they’re powerful, I think, and worth implementing where possible.  It was a good book, on the whole, but it could have been a single chapter long.

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69.  The Culture Code.  What I like about Coyle, besides the fact that he’s from Cleveland and we know a few people in common, is that besides describing aspects of successful team cultures, he gives solid, concrete ways to implement them in any team.  I am planning on working on one aspect a week with my team at work to see if we can become better; last week, it was vulnerability, which was really, really scary.  I forced myself to be vulnerable…

and the results were remarkable.  I admitted a couple of vulnerabilities and weaknesses in a standup and, instead of falling on me like a pack of ravenous wolves, everyone became super supportive and rallied to figure out how they could support me.  Long story short, this is a great book for teams.  Highly recommended.

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70.  Living the 80/20 Way.  Absolute tripe.  I was so interested in sticking with this book, and so disappointed that I actually did.  There are perhaps two or three interesting sentences in the whole thing.  I wish I’d spent my time with something worthwhile.

But that is 70 books for the year.  I might make 75 by January, but I’m trying to make sure that what I read is worthwhile now – the 20% of books that will give me 80% of the pleasure and knowledge and, hopefully, wisdom.  I wish I’d learned that lesson sooner.

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