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Summer is already started and maybe you are looking for a good book you can tackle during your vacation or a weekend afternoon at the park. In our team, a few of us love reading. For my colleague François, the reading happens while he takes his daily commute to work. Through this, he manages to read many books in one year, about creativity, project management, UX/UI, team efficiency. On the other hand, I read any chance I get: waiting in line, before going to sleep, for 30 minutes before going to work. While I read a lot of fiction, I enjoy from time to time a good non fiction book. In this post, we decided to share some of our favorite reads from the last few months:

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

(by: François Gauthier - Creative Director & Project Manager)

Super quick read if you are ever in need of some kind of creative motivation or inspiration. “Steal like an artist” seems like some guy’s (artist) rant but it truly isn’t. In those hundred something pages you’ll find great tips, tricks and interesting quotes/point of views on the creative process of great creative minds. Mainly, you’ll learn to start making things right away. Not to wait on no one or anything to make it happen. The “how to” details are up to you but still… just do it! Make it (constantly), show it (from the get go) and talk about it (often) are portrayed here as the main keys to a successful creative career path. Also, everything in there is worded in a way that makes you realize the importance of being self-critique and to NOT take your “creative genius” too seriously. In other words:

  • Be nice
  • Be boring (consistent)
  • Be curious

The Switch, by Dan and Chip Heath

(by: Ivana Markovic - Marketing)

Whether you hate change or love it, it is clearly inevitable in our personal and professional lives. This was a very interesting, yet simple book, on how to incite change and how to make it successful. I loved the examples the authors gave from a variety of fields: business, elementary school teachers, families. The thought process the authors developed can help you whether you are looking to incite change with one person, your family, your team or a whole organization. I think the authors deserve bonus points for a very detailed yet simple framework that can be used to help you plan the changes you are trying to make. Change is never easy and we all know this. But with the right mindset and conditions, it might become less difficult. My key takeaways to incite change from this book are:

  • You need to adjust the environment, so you can set it up for success. Are we giving the people we are asking to change the best environment to succeed?
  • Motivation and inspiration can be big drivers of change. What do we want people to aspire towards?
  • You don’t need to start by changing everything, small bites work best. What is one thing I can do in the next five minutes, next day or week to make me feel like I am moving in the right path of change?

Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni

(by: François Gauthier - Creative Director & Project Manager)

I know, just reading the title can make you uncomfortable. I got a couple of crooked eyes stare at this book in the metro. But don’t worry this has nothing to do with nudity in the work space (or in public transportation). That would definitely be uncomfortable.

Getting Naked is mostly about vulnerability and honesty. About true, long lasting relationships and how to get there. According to the author, this come by:

  • Overcoming fears
  • Allowing us to self-sacrifice and accept discomfort
  • Even taking one for the team or the client

Patrick Lencioni explains all of this this in a great matter. Allowing us to peek into the crucial stages of the professional career of a senior consultant at a San Fransisco major business management firm.

Jack Bauer (not the 24h character) needs to let go of his anger and ego to be able to integrate a small company that his employer acquired. A tiny company who served as his main competitor for the past years.

Getting to know more about them made him realize a lot of things about himself but also about how to deal with others. Personally and professionally. And getting to know more about him as you read through the pages will leave you wanting more and more Until the book ends (too quickly) in an unexpectedly manner.

François & Ivana