Weekly Bookmarks –
121st Edition – May 30, 2021
The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues.Abigail Adams in a letter to her son, John Quincy Adams
1. Uplifting and a Breath of Fresh Air
I purchased Leadership: In Turbulent Times almost two years ago to the day, but I just started reading it this week. I’m about 100 pages into the book, but the introduction had me hooked.
Doris Kearns Goodwin explores the lives of four different presidents: Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Johnson. Her goal is to find out where their leadership abilities came from.
Are leaders born or made? Where does ambition come from? How does adversity affect the growth of leadership? Do the times make the leader or does the leader shape the times? How can a leader infuse a sense of purpose and meaning into people’s lives? What is the difference between power, title, and leadership? Is leadership possible without a purpose larger than personal ambition?Doris Kearns Goodwin
If you are intrigued, the average Amazon rating is 4.8 on more than 3.1k reviews. The author’s Masterclass is personable, conversational, and at times, inspirational.
2. Understanding Wardley Mapping
I stumbled upon the writing of Simon Wardley about three years ago, and I wanted to keep digging deeper and deeper into his process of mapping strategy.
First, it’s hard. The learning curve is high. After reviewing some sample maps, it’s easy to give up.
I face this obstacle regularly when companies ask “how will mapping benefit me” to which the answer that “it depends upon what you observe and then what you do” is seldom welcome. They often want the concrete, the definite, and a world of levers you can pull or buttons you can press. I long to say “By turning this mapping dial you will save 12% of costs” or “press the mapping button to increase your rates of successful innovation by 34%” but it just isn’t true. The benefits are context-specific and they depend upon you.Simon Wardley – Chapter 14 of Wardley Mapping
I have three tips to learn the basics of Wardley Mapping. If you gain nothing, that’s fine – move on.
3. Three Tips to Learning Wardley Mapping
- Start with Chapter 1 of Simon’s writing. I appreciate how he integrates John Boyd’s OODA Loop in his strategy circle.
- Ben Mosior is one of the best teachers of Wardley Mapping I’ve encountered. His Easiest Way to Do Wardley Mapping video is short and easy to grasp.
- CFO Bookshelf released two podcast interviews over the weekend on Wardley Mapping. One is with Simon Wardley and the other is with Ben Mosior.
4. Know Your User
Every Wardley Map starts with a simple question. Who is the user?
When I think of that question, it reminds me of one of my favorite books on Drucker. The book is A Class With Drucker by William Cohen.
Drucker famously asked similar questions about the customer (user) too. Cohen has modified those questions in his book as such:
- What is the mission of your client or customer?
- What do they value?
- What results are they trying to obtain?
- What results are they achieving?
- What is their (ongoing) plan?
5. Summertime Sports and The Game of Work
While the next season is still about three weeks away, the Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. is the unofficial start of summer in this country.
And that means a ramp-up of more games and outdoor sporting activities. Regarding games, I got to visit with one of my consulting heroes this past week, Chuck Coonradt, the author of The Game of Work.
Once again, I was reminded that healthy teams on plant floors, distribution centers, and even those pounding code behind Macs and PCs tend to score big when their leaders do the following:
- clearly define goals
- implement better scorekeeping and scorecards
- require more frequent feedback throughout the entire organization
- offer a higher degree of autonomy on how to get work done
- conduct consistent coaching
If you haven’t read it, the book reads fast and I guarantee you will take many notes.
Deep in the Archives – Bookmarks 61 – The Requisite Organization, digital minimalism, and the Law of Unintended Consequences
Thank You For Reading. Thank you for making this a successful newsletter and have a great holiday weekend.
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Always be learning and growing.