Giving books away

Paradigms Lost 300 cover

If there is one subject that I like to talk about it is the culture of organisations and the mess they get into. This was the subject that gave rise to my thinking about Guerrilla Working and is what I am still most passionate about and so when Carsten from Cintra HR and Payroll asked me if I would like to talk at their conference this year, I jumped at the chance.

You see, I am convinced that the way we think about work is wrong. We are fixated with control and what starts out as a desire to control process ends up controlling people. This is the last thing that you want to do and as the world of work is changing it is becoming more and more of a problem. We need to stop trying to control people and instead enable them to do what they do best.

Only they will truly know what that is and it is the role of leadership to work with their colleagues to help them find it out and develop their skills further. This is harder than telling people what to do yet in the long run is a far more productive way of treating people. Businesses will reap the rewards of such an approach.

I planned hard for the event and practiced my presentation several times. I had a lot of content I wanted to get across and so took notes with me. I do speak in public a lot but I am not as confident as I would like to be and so it’s good to have them to fall back on.

I had wondered how I would be able to gauge any reaction from the audience and had the idea to give some of my books ‘Paradigms Lost’ away. Everyone likes free stuff and so I took five of them with me. All the people had to do was come up to me at lunchtime and ask and a free copy would be theirs to treasure.

After I talked I had the agonising wait until lunchtime to see if anyone would actually approach me and ask. Was anyone that bothered? Has anyone been listening? 

The answer is yes. I gave the five books away quite quickly and had some good conversations while doing so. I also gave my card to three others that asked and I will send them in the post. When asked why I wrote my books I always answered to get them out of me. I never expected, thankfully, to get rich off the back of them. Thinking about it there is another reason and that is I believe passionately in what I am trying to say and it is a great medium to get my message across.

That’s enough free books for now, you can buy one here if you are that way inclined.

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