Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson

ROWE

Moving on from Dan Pink and it’s taking it to the next level with a concept known as Results Only Working Environment. The basic concept is simple – rather than be judged by how you work it’s what you do that matters. As long as you deliver it doesn’t matter whether you work 40 hours a week or 4. Come in to the office, work from home, work from a beach in the Seychelles – you choose! It was certainly a radical concept that the authors created and used at Best Buy. While the book seems slightly overlong and repetitive it did make some compelling arguments. Again, would my work be willing to be so bold? I highly doubt it. But I do know some people these concepts would resonate with so let’s get that conversation started.

 

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Drive by Daniel H. Pink

Drive

I’ve used Dan Pink’s work in training before but was eager to pick up this book. On the day it arrived I was in a meeting with someone who referenced it so pity it hadn’t arrived a day or so before. Anyway, when I finally got to read it I found it to be thought provoking. The three key ideas were that people are motivated by Autonomy, Purpose and Mastery rather the more traditional ideas of how to manage people. It certainly resonated and I think could be a useful tool for training discussions. Is everyone at my work ready for the true implications of all this? Perhaps not but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying.

Dividing the Spoils by Robin Waterfield

Spoils

By the time he was 32 Alexander the Great had conquered the known world. I’m was a training manager for a mid-size market research firm. At first glance it may seem that Alex had got one over on me but then again I saw my 33rd birthday which is something he never managed to do so I’m going to claim that as a draw.

The story of Alexander the Great is a familiar one. But this book looked at what came after his death. His empire had been recently captured so his generals needed to use all their wits and military expertise to keep it. They also fought among each other as to who should get what. It’s an absorbing tale and one most people who know anything about which is strange given the sheer scale of some of these conflicts.

The Rider by Tim Krabbe

Rider

Another cycling book but it’s fiction this time. Author Tim Krabbe uses his own experience as an amateur racer to describe just what it’s like to actually compete in a race. We get a great insight in the thoughts that go through his mind – the pain, the suffering, the fears, the insecurities. They are all laid bare for us to experience.

Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape by Paul Howard

Anquetil

Jacques Anquetil is one of the greats of cycling. The first man to win the Tour de France five times. But his private life was a soap opera – he ended up have a child with his step-daughter (among other things). Although it would be easy to sensationalise, and this book does attempt to do that sometimes, the story and the man are interesting enough in themselves to keep you going. Anquetil was a unique and driven individual. But he was also a jumble of paradoxes.

Blue-Water Empire by Robert Holland

Water

So. Clearly I am not a very conscientious blogger. But fortunately I am a little better at keeping up with my reading. So here are a few blog posts to get me back up to date.

First off is Blue-Water Empire about the British and their role in the Mediterranean over the last couple of hundred years. It was a very interesting book that discussed the importance of places like Gibraltar, Malta and Cyprus to the British Empire. An easy to read popular history book it has certainly increased my understanding of this element of our history.