I had a great break over the holiday season and managed to do loads of reading . 10 books read and not one of them disappointed! This shows that ideas and inspiration are easy to find and cheap.
Putting them into practice is what matters and is where the majority of people – me included – fall down. In fact much of my work with PMN is to get great ideas and turn them into simple recipes that can be applied and made to work well. Because the real learning happens not when we read the book – but when we try stuff out in practice.
So here are a couple of the books I read over Christmas that you can expect to see influencing future PMN workshops and blog posts.
Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly tells the story of management at Admiral Janitorial Services and how they managed to significantly reduce staff turnover and increase sales and quality. They did this by spending time listening to employees, encouraging them to talk about their aspirations (home ownership, provide a proper Christmas for the family, sort out debt problems etc.). They then put in place a service to help employees develop and put into practice plans to make these dreams happen.
By developing connections between peoples’ aspirations and their work, employees become significantly more engaged in their work. This enabled the company to experience phenomenal growth.
In the book Kelly shows how hiring a ‘Dream Manager’ to work confidentially with employees once a month on their dreams and (CRUCIALLY) the plans to make them happen can transform the workplace.
I loved this book and read it in a couple of sittings as it is short (150 pages), well written and with an engaging storyline.
Eddie Obeng’s Money Making Machine is a business fable designed to help entrepreneurs think about their business idea as if it were a money making machine. It provides powerful insights into how to build the machine most effectively to achieve financial success.
Now it is very rarely that I find myself working with anyone who simply wants their business to be a money making machine. Most want their business to make a ‘positive difference’ as a first priority. Making money is a necessary – but by no means sufficient criteria for most successful entrepreneurs. As well as providing some really practical insights this book got me thinking about what a ‘Progress Making Machine’ might be like. Watch this space for the outcomes from that piece of thinking.
You can see a full list of the Xmas reading here.