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KEVIN EXPLAINS HOW IT WORKS

HOW GREATEST HITS TRAINING CAN TRANSFORM YOUR BUSINESS

  • I take 15 minutes to explain what is in a book and discuss the content
  • Attendees apply the thinking to their business, customers, clients, or staff
  • This generates a minimum of 10 ideas per book
  • Repeat 6-10 times and you have 60-100 ideas to stimulate the business
  • 300 books to choose from

KEVIN’S BEST 15 BOOKS FROM 2015

The Yes Book – Clive Rich

The one sentence summary

Negotiation now requires a more sophisticated, collaborative approach.

WHAT THE BOOK SAYS THE YES BOOK

  • Few people enjoy going into a negotiation, but you risk losing out if you can’t do it skilfully.
  • Negotiation has changed dramatically, and now requires a more sophisticated, collaborative approach.
  • Effective negotiators can handle these three areas effectively:

Attitude: they can manage their own and others’ negotiation attitudes

~ Fusers: work in partnership to put the agenda of both parties together.

~ Confusers: distort first impressions and lead attitudes astray.

~ Users: are old-fashioned and it doesn’t work.

~ Losers: who wants to be one?

Process: they can manage the stages and the overall structure of the negotiation, which are:

~ Preparation: put in the spadework before starting.

~ Climate setting: create the right atmosphere.

~ Wants & Needs: why do people want what they say they want?

~ Coinage: value things you have that may be of value to the other party.

~ Bidding: ask for what you want, sound like you mean it, with good reason

~ Bargaining: keep reframing the issue or expanding the pie. Only offer concessions in a disciplined way.

~ Closing: move to closure briskly when the opportunity arises.

Behaviour: they understand and manage their own and others’

~ ‘I’ behaviour: state expectations; propose with reasons; test and probe; incentives and pressures

~ ‘You’ behaviour: disclose; explore; focus on common ground; listen

~ ‘We’ behaviour: visualise; check for consensus; share problems & solutions

~ Parting behaviour: pit stop; break; silence; terminate; stand up to tough guys

 WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT

  • Count your aces – most people have more bargaining power than they think. This could include information, expertise, market power, scale, weight, referral, network, numbers, relationships, rules & regulations, authority or personal.
  • Always establish a BATNA and WATNA before starting: Best/Worst Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement. This is better than a bottom line.

WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH

  • It could be a little shorter.

YES BOOK 2

 

YES BOOK 3

YES BOOK 4

Organizations Don’t Tweet – Euan Semple

Organizations don’t generate social media, people do.

WHAT THE BOOK SAYS ORGANIZATIONS DON'T TWEET

  • This book is a manager’s guide to the social web. It’s not about the technology – it’s how people behave and how companies should respond.
  • It has 45 pithy chapters that you can read in any sequence, and it plucks out themes that nail exactly what the social web is all about. These include:
  1. It’s the ultimate in democracy – anyone can have a view
  2. You leave a trace – that’s great for storing knowledge, and bad if you don’t consider what you’re saying
  3. It’s like evolution on steroids – ideas and knowledge disseminate faster
  4. We are writing ourselves into existence – forcing yourself to write online crystallizes thought and helps to rediscover literacy
  5. You can’t stop people saying what they want but you can operate a volume control on mob rule
  6. The more you give, the more you get – an “ooh that’s interesting” moment is to be articulated and shared
  7. Conversations can only take place between equals – dictating or controlling doesn’t work online
  8. It’s creatively messy – don’t try to categorise things too much and let them grow naturally
  9. The web is essentially small pieces loosely joined
  10. The best way to be safe is to be open – true for life in general

WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT

  • It gives helpful advice on dealing with a boss who doesn’t get it.
  • Being strategically tactical involves letting things develop iteratively.
  • You can do this by unleashing your Trojan Mice – small initiatives that cost little and can grab a foothold in or on something.
  • There is no such thing as staff as conscripts – they are all volunteers now, and ironically can become a company’s best advocates.
  • Back to Front ROI: ask what is the ROI of this not happening?
  • Radical transparency means assuming that anything generated on a computer is effectively public – being open is actually easier, cheaper, and safer, assuming your company isn’t crooked, in which case the web has served its purpose.
  • Social media users are often edglings – people at the edge of things that want to connect.
  • If you work in a big corporation, how about using the social web to be an intrapreneur?

WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH

  • This is pithy and on the money.

#Now – Max McKeown

The one sentence summary

You can’t change the past, but you can change the future, and now is where everything can be changed.

WHAT THE BOOK SAYS #NOW

  • For anyone who has ever been told to slow down, there is a surprising truth about the power of now. If you learn to nurture your newness, embrace your haste, and love your Nowist nature, you can discover effortless action and decisions, embrace opportunities, obstacles and crises, and keep moving forward in a thoroughly positive way.
  • Those living in the past are called Thenist – they suffer from loss, regret and worry. Nowists are more likely to achieve growth, joy and reward.

Thenists: tasks are a means to an end; they often forget to enjoy life; they agonise over decisions, which slows them down, so they often procrastinate, or suddenly lurch into a decision that makes no sense; they are easy to interrupt or slow down; they tend to be self-doubting, and often waste energy on worry.

Nowists: love moving and seek joy in doing things; they don’t waste their lives seeking happiness, so they seek it now; they make rapid, effortless decisions; they see sequences, and have a sense of where they are going; they are hard to stop and a force of nature; self-trusting, confident in their abilities; and have do-it energy.

  • One way to cope with stress is to lower expectations, but that means we may miss what makes us stronger. Instead of passively hiding or becoming overwhelmed, you can actively leap into the best that life has to offer.
  • If you are overwhelmed, you use up too much stress energy; but with too little stress energy, you are underpowered, and don’t get round to things.
  • We live in the present but carry the anxieties of the past and concerns about the future with us at all times. Yet you can only directly think, do or change anything at the point of now.

WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT

  • You get told to look before you leap but if you are too careful you may end up just looking. If you don’t start, you’re finished.
  • Effortless doesn’t equal lazy. Nowists satisfice, by giving it their best shot fast, and moving on to the next thing happily. They believe that done is better than perfect. They often practice precrastination – they move the priorities of the future into the present by starting things early.
  • Nowists do look back, but only constructively. When you remember feeling powerful, action becomes a powerful habit for next time.
  • Performance is ability minus interference.
  • Those confronted by tricky obstacles (such as cancer) are said to have a feisty spirit of survivorship.

WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH

  • The Nowist/Thenist (Taoist/Zenist?) labels take some getting used to.

 

The Ideal Team Player – Patrick Lencioni

The one sentence summary

There are three essential virtues that make someone the ideal team player: being humble, hungry and smart.

WHAT THE BOOK SAYS THE IDEAL TEAM PLAYER

  • There are three essential virtues that make someone the ideal team player: being humble, hungry and smart.
  • You can plot everyone on a Venn diagram examining these qualities, and the ideal team player has a combination of all three, most of the time.

Humble: humility is the single greatest and most indispensable attribute.

Hungry: these people are self-motivated and diligent.

Smart: these people demonstrate common sense when dealing with others (it’s not the same as intellectual smartness).

  • Things start getting interesting when you look at people with only one or two of the attributes (see charts). Those with just one are fairly easy to spot:

Humble only = the pawn, who often gets left out

Hungry only = the bulldozer, who often annoys everyone else

Smart only = the charmer, with great social skills but low contribution

  • Those with 2 out of 3 are much harder to spot:

Humble and hungry = the accidental mess-maker, unaware of their effect on people

Humble and smart = the lovable slacker, only does as much as asked

Hungry and smart = the skillful politician, out for their own benefit

WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT

  • The technique can be applied to hiring new staff, assessing current employees, developing those who are lacking in one or more of the virtues, and embedding the model into an organization’s culture – the book explains how.
  • Looking carefully at the use of language and the degree to which you pursue lines of inquiry can make a huge difference to the imperfect interview process, as can proper pursuit of references.

“Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” C. S. Lewis

WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH

  • Identifying people as these types shouldn’t be done flippantly. Wrong labelling can be very damaging.
  • Especially don’t assign labels to people who are relatively stronger in one of the three areas – they must significantly better or worse at each trait.
  • Managers also need to be intelligent about how, or whether at all, they use these terms with employees.

IDEAL TEAM PLAYER-1 IDEAL TEAM PLAYER

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smarter Faster Better – Charles Duhigg

The one sentence summary

It is possible to work smarter, faster and better by improving motivation, goals, team dynamics, decision-making, and the assimilation of data.

WHAT THE BOOK SAYS SMARTER FASTER BETTER

  • This is all about the secrets of being productive. There are eight main reasons why good companies and people get things done:

1.    Motivation: make choices that put you in control

2.   Teams: manage the how, not the who

3.   Focus: envision what will happen and plan for that

4.   Goal setting: choose stretching ambitions and break down into sub goals

5.    Managing others: push decision making to whoever is closest to problems

6.   Decision-making: envision multiple futures to plan ahead

7.   Innovation: recombine old and new ideas (90% of the most creative ideas include ideas previously mentioned somewhere else – from a database of 17.9m manuscripts. Innovators are actually intellectual middlemen.)

8.   Absorbing data: when encountering new information, force yourself to do something with it. This is best achieved by disfluency – engaging thoroughly with it, which is harder at first. Inability to do so is called information blindness.

  • Follow the engineering design process: define the dilemma; collect data; brainstorm solutions; debate approaches; experiment

WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT

  • The most successful people have an internal locus of control – a belief they can influence their destiny through their choices.
  • Cognitive tunnelling causes people to become overly focused on whatever is directly in front of them, rather than what really matters.
  • Always ask why you are doing something. If there’s no good reason, don’t.
  • People who take notes on laptops generate twice as many notes as those who write things down, but the hand writers score twice as well in subsequent tests because they absorb and remember more.
  • A little disturbance is the best way to get creative results – not too much, not too little.
  • Teams need to believe that their work is important; to feel their work is personally meaningful; clear goals and defined roles; to know they can depend on each other; and…
  • Psychological safety – this is a shared belief that the group is a safe place for taking risks – the opposite of a blame culture.
  • Creating mental models helps us predict what might happen and cope better – having a hypothesis about how things work reduces surprises.
  • Company cultures fall into 5 categories:
  1. Star: elite hirings and lots of autonomy
  2. Engineering: very technical, with few stars
  3. Bureaucratic: everything spelt out & thick layers of middle management
  4. Autocratic: similar, but with all goals dictated by the CEO
  5. Commitment: working happily for one company for life, because the culture is right (these companies are consistently the most successful)

WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH

  • The interwoven narrative examples are sometimes more akin to a novel than a business book.
  • The practical advice at the end is a bit muddled and doesn’t follow the chapter sequence.