Buy. Read. Share. Repeat.

Here’s a simple four step idea you can use to help encourage development and strengthen connections.

Step 1. Buy

Buy a book. See, I told you this was simple!

Step 2. Read

Read the book. With me so far…?

Step 3. Share

Share the book. Once you’ve finished reading the book, send it to someone else. Maybe someone in your team, maybe someone in another team at your company, maybe someone in another company, or another part of your network. Think of a group of people who may benefit from reading the book and start to pass it around. Before you pass it on, photograph the book. Maybe take the picture near a local landmark, or a close by favourite place – somewhere you feel connected to. Share the photo with your network. Repeat this process either until everyone in the group has read and photographed the book, or it has fallen apart from being read so much. Share your thoughts about the book. What did you like about it? What didn’t you like about it? What did you learn from it?

Step 4. Repeat

Repeat steps one through three until you know everything there is to know. And that’s it. See, I told you this was simple!

Credit where credit is due

This idea is not mine, I’ve just tweaked it a teeny bit. It is the brainchild of Anthony Allinson, and he and his team are already bringing it to life. Why don’t you give it a try?

photo credit

Sourcing Inspiration

Back in February 2013, I read ‘You’re Not That Great’ by Dr Daniel Crosby. In his book – the good doctor writes about idea jamming, creation and remixing and suggests:

Choose three books that you’ve always wanted to read (or that would deepen your understanding of some desired content area) and purchase them today. Right now. Seriously….go ahead. Now choose a date three months from now by which you will have read all the books. Determine a reward for reading them in time as well as a punishment for not having read them and and make it known to someone you trust who will hold you to your goal.

My desire for reading had been drifting so I took the challenge, stating that I would read Good to Great by Jim Collins, The No Arsehole Rule by Robert Sutton, and Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.

Three months later I have failed the challenge. I read Tipping Point, well most of it – truth is I got completely turned off by Gladwell’s circular repetitive style. The way he continually loops stories back on one another feels patronising to me, so I quit on him at Page 202 and drifted away from the challenge. I wasn’t the only one who failed though. Despite Gladwell’s best efforts to turn me off reading again, he failed too. I had taken just enough value from reading Tipping Point to want to carry on with my renewed interest in reading. The irony of this is not lost on me.

Since abandoning Gladwell I’ve discovered Daniel Kahneman. He’s written Thinking Fast and Slow, a fascinating book about how we reason, how we choose and how we think. It’s quite a heavy read for a simple guy like me – but I’m enjoying the challenge and I’ve gained great material for my talks, and for my stories on this blog, from this valuable book. I’m also reading Adapt, by Tim Harford – recommended to me by Joe Gerstandt. This is a fascinating book on why success always starts with failure, and I’m loving it. I have a small stack of books waiting for me beyond my current read, and I’m excited by what more I will learn and share.

I failed the challenge – but I feel like a winner.

Thank you Daniel Crosby for the challenge. Thank you Malcolm Gladwell for trying your best to put me off. Thank you Daniel Kahneman for stretching me. Thank you Joe Gerstandt for the excellent recommendation.

PS – if anyone wants my copy of Tipping Point – get in touch and I’ll post it to you. You may have more luck with it than me, what have you got to lose?