July Book Blog

Keep reading for our July book picks.  Happy reading!

The Art of Gathering

 By Priya Parker

Just like food and water, social interaction is a basic human need.  And if the events of the last few years have taught us one thing, it’s that coming together with other people is very important and should never be taken for granted.

We spend our lives gathering – from the classroom to the workplace, weddings, conferences, social events and everything in between.  We’re more connected than ever … but it doesn’t really feel that way.  How many meetings have you sat through that ended up being a dire waste of time?  How many social events have you attended that didn’t really live up to expectations?  Why do some gatherings engage and inspire us while others don’t?

In The Art of Gathering, Priya Parker gets to the heart of these questions and reveals how to design a transformative gathering; to make our lives more productive and our interactions more meaningful.

“A brilliant and eminently practical guide!  The Art of Gathering will open your eyes to just how often we gather – and how we can turn those mundane events into dazzling opportunities for meaning, dreaming, and doing.  This book should be mandatory reading for everyone from the business executive to the community activist, the conflict resolution specialist to the dinner host.”

Daniel L. Shapiro ― founder of the Harvard International Negotiation Program and author of Negotiating the Nonnegotiable.

Find out more and buy on the author’s website.

Rebel idEAS

By Matthew Syed

Rebel Ideas is the number one bestseller by Matthew Syed.  He examines the power of ‘cognitive diversity’ – the ability to think differently about the world around us – and the impact it makes to the success of projects and plans.

Think about the last time you got a group of people together to thrash out ideas.  How did the diversity of that group reflect the ideas that were put forward?  It stands to reason that the broader the perspectives of the people involved, the broader the range of ideas and solutions you’ll get.  However, could we honestly say that we apply this logic in our day-to-day lives, and particularly, in the workplace, where success is often dependent on innovative thinking?  It’s doubtful.

Syed makes the case for diversity in all kinds of groups and in all kinds of situations.  Only diverse groups, he argues, have the ‘collective intelligence’ you need to solve complex problems, from designing a new product to tackling climate change.

This book will strengthen any team or organisation, but it has dozens of individual applications, too; from the art of reinvention to the remarkable benefits of personalised nutrition.  It shows us how to become more creative, how to collaborate in a world becoming more interconnected, and how to break free of echo chambers that surround us all.  Be a rebel!

Find out more and buy on the author’s website. 

Think Again

By Adam Grant

The world is more divided than ever and people seem to be increasingly entrenched to their own views without willing to budge an inch. 

However, evidence has shown that creative geniuses are not attached to one identity.  Instead, they are constantly willing to rethink their stances.  Likewise, leaders who admit they don’t know something and seek critical feedback lead more productive and innovative teams.  Grant writes “We learn more from people who challenge our thought process than those who affirm our conclusions.  Strong leaders engage their critics and make themselves stronger.  Weak leaders silence their critics and make themselves weaker.”

 Think Again is a book all about the benefit of doubt and how a fixed mindset closes us to opportunities and potentially better alternatives.  Rethinking our plans, answers and decisions and unlearning what we already know is actually a good thing … we just need to be willing to try.

If you’re looking to step out of your comfort zone and learn something about yourself, this book is worth a read.  No one says it will be easy, but choosing courage over comfort can equip you with the strength to face the unknown and *shock horror* … the joy of being wrong!

Find out more and buy on the author’s website.

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