helping you master the people side of data & analytics

You need more time to think, how this book can unleash it

More Time to Think

Having read the prequel over twenty years ago, I was fascinated to find what I’d learn from “More time to think” by Nancy Kline. This book was written over a decade ago now, so I’ve been procrastinating, wondering what else there was to learn about this approach. How wrong I was.

This is such a powerful book. One that could be potentially transformative, both for leaders and everyone else. In fact, I prefer this sequel to the original as Nancy is able to share so much that has been learnt in practice.

Nancy Kline has dedicated her life to the cause of helping others think better. As an author, speaker, coach, mentor, trainer & consultant, this clarity of purpose has served her well. I rarely meet another coach who has not been inspired by her writing or classes.


Could Very Brief Cognitive Behavioural Coaching (VBCBC) help you?


As a break from our recent focus on a technology poll, let me share the benefit of Very Brief Cognitive Behavioural Coaching (VBCBC). Specifically the value of a book on this subject from leading academic and experienced coach, Windy Dryden.

Regular readers will recall that from time to time I share posts on coaching practice, the coaching community and books that can help. As a practising leadership coach, I share these partly because of my own interest. But I also hope they inspire both fellow coaches & potential coachees.

There are a wealth of different approaches to effective coaching and over the years I’ve seen the value of listening to each. Previous posts have shared on Narrative Coaching, the Integrated Leadership Model & the Thinking Environment. In this post, I turn my attention to the benefits of Cognitive Behavioural Coaching within a very limited time period.


Data Visualisation 2 – because there is so much to Data-Driven Design

Data Visualisation 2

This month I read Andy Kirk’s absorbing Data Visualisation 2, or to give it its proper title “Data Visualisation” 2nd Edition.

The subtitle for this book is ‘A Handbook for Data-Driven Design‘, that hints at how this is packed with advice. Although the paperwork version is a comfortable weight it is astonishing how much it contains. This really is a guide for practitioners and one they will want to refer back to.

Comparing this book with two other Data Visualisation books that I’ve previously reviewed might be a good place to start. “How Charts Lie” by Alberto Cairo is much more aimed at a general audience, all concerned citizens if you like. “Storytelling with Databy Cole Nussbaumer-Knaflic includes more on the wider challenge of storytelling. Plus, it narrows its focus to fewer chart types and a design style that works in most corporations.


Why you need to be indistractable, a practical book to help you get there


The latest leadership book that I’ve finished reading is once again focussed on personal productivity, it’s “Indistractable” by Nir Eyal.

Loyal readers may recall that I previously recommended Nir’s very successful book “Hooked”. In that, he helped product designers (and everyone else) recognise how psychological techniques can be used to get us hooked into using products. Well in this book he focusses on the remedy.

As well as being a best selling author, Nir Eyal also teaches at Stanford University, blogs and invests in habit-forming innovations. So, it is no surprise to find in this book that Nir both writes well and knows this industry.


Succeeding at difficult conversations with Radical Candor

difficult conversations

During this time of teams being physically apart, it is easy for leaders to avoid difficult conversations.

Empathy & compassion matter from leaders at this time, but you will not be serving your team if you use those as an excuse to avoid all criticism or challenging feedback.

For that reason, I am hearing from a number of my clients, who value some help on having more challenging conversations. For that reason, I am pleased to share another book recommendation. This review covers a book that I have found provides a very useful model.


What analysts can learn from Storytelling with Data

Storytelling with Data

One of the most practical Data Visualisation books for my clients is “Storytelling with Data“. So, this is a longer than usual book review of this modern classic.

I say that because it is not just accessible for those with no background in Data Viz but also focusses on the kind of charts most analysts produce. You won’t find admonitions to keep update with the latest packages for R or Python. You won’t be overwhelmed by award-winning Data Viz art.

But, before I rush in with too much enthusiasm, let me tell you a little about the author. Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic started her data viz career at Google. There she honed her craft & transformed their People Operations with incisive charts. She has since gone on to found Storytelling with Data, her own training & consulting business.


Changing your life through Atomic Habits – why this book will help you

Atomic Habits

Recently, I’ve heard many people mention their need to establish new habits, so it was a great time for me to read Atomic Habits.

This bestseller from popular blogger, James Clear, is a brilliant guide to understanding the power of habits. Within only 264 pages (excluding endnotes), James shares so much research on habits & practical tips to apply.

So, in this book review, I’ll share what this book contains. But your real learning will come from putting the exercises into practice. Many are finding they currently have more time for reading & self-improvement. So, read on for why now might be an ideal time for you to buy this book…