Link round-up (January 2020)

What follows is a compilation of articles, books, podcast episodes and videos that I came across in January. It’s not an exhaustive list of everything I read, watched and listened to, simply those I found notable and felt others might appreciate.

Articles

expands to fill the space it’s given by Anne Helen Petersen. A reflection on productivity and the four-day week. What particularly stands out to me in this piece is the notion that individual productivity needs to be supported by the expectations and systems of the whole team:

It wasn’t about one person being ruthless with their productivity, but a team deciding what wasn’t actually necessary to create that productivity. In their case: a lot of unnecessary attendance at meetings, inefficient communication, and aimless internet time. Their work had expanded to fill the five days it had been allotted. But that didn’t mean it needed to take five days.

Anne Helen Petersen

A Precious Hour by Michael Lopp. Another article about productivity. This time it’s a call (plea?) for us to carve out an hour every day where we have time to think with no expectations of there being an outcome.

In my precious hour, I am aware that it is quiet. During this silence, maybe nothing at all is built other than the room I’ve given myself to think. I break the flow of enticing small things to do, I separate myself from the bright people on similarly impressive busy quests, and I listen to what I’m thinking.

Michael Lopp

Ways of Seeing by Tom Critchlow. Framed in the context of organisational consultancy this is a great read on learning to look critically and honestly. It uses John Berger’s Ways of Seeing as a starting point.

What Happens When Your Career Becomes Your Whole Identity by Janna Koretz. There’s a lot I can relate to in this post about tying up your identity with your career and the challenges this can present when we face change.

Books

The Captain Class: A New Theory of Leadership by Sam Walker. A lot of what I’ve learnt about my own leadership style comes through my experience as the captain of a sports team, so I was eagerly anticipating reading this. It turned out to be not at all what I was expecting – it takes everyting you thought you knew about leadership and turns it on its head. An enjoyable and informative read. I’ve just come to the end and almost want to start reading it again immediately.

Podcasts

Holding Space for Yourself, Hurry Slowly. What would happen if we created space for ourselves to explore ideas, sensation and emotions without judgement or interruption? And how could we do that on a daily basis? In this short podcast Jocelyn Glei presents four ways to make it possible.

Russell T Davies, Desert Island Discs. I found this a fascinating insight into the mind of a writer which kicks off with Davies’ description of the writing process:

You see sketches sometimes and they’re gorgeous and full of life and then the finished painting is kind of fixed and solid and immutable. And writing is like that. I think honestly my head is full of fireworks and lines and spirals and noise and colour. And then you have to hammer that down on the page into letters and sentences and full stops and it becomes so dull, something is lost every single time. Writing is an act of loss every time.

Russell T Davies

Video

Identity and transition in professional careers. The first of three lectures in the 2017 Clarendon Lectures in Management series, delivered by Herminia Ibarra. This is a great introduction to Ibarra’s research on work and identity, it’s very much worth an hour of your time, especially if you’re thinking about or going through a career transition.


Featured image by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

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