Happy New Year!
Without getting too much into a reflection on last year, unsurprisingly I didn’t write as much as I had planned. As such, my 2020 goal is to read less and write more. This shouldn’t be too challenging given the standards I set for last year (82 books and like 4 posts). I won’t be counting my internal memos in my objectives (those sent to the team at Versett).
Khe Hy says 25 issues of writing a newsletter is the hurdle you need to clear, both to gain a rhythm but also to really make the habit stick. @carolynz is trying to write 100 pieces this year. These benchmarks are helpful for me trying to get my footing for a regular routine.
I am going to try something absurd (for me) like 50 posts this year, not including trying to do this newsletter. To make this feasible, topic quality will have to drop/fluctuate initially as I work through how I write. I have tended to lean on longer pieces which took me a long time and often ended up abandoned. Writing based on books is going to be a good starting point for me. Not necessarily writing book reviews, but expanding on the ideas that are triggered by reading them. Most books I read won’t warrant a post, but some hopefully compelling ones will.
This is brings me to my first post of the year titled Storytelling, not “storytelling”. If you are a founder, a product manager, building something, or even just leading a team, the ability to tell a story is crucial. It's how you rally a team, convey information clearly, and ultimately drive action or decision in the lisetning parties. The same is true for writing. Unfortunately, if you’re unfamiliar with what storytelling is referring to in the business context, you are stuck trying to draw parallels between mythical stories and what you’re trying to communicate.
After 7 years of trying to understand “storytelling” in the consulting/business context, it finally clicked for me. It's probably far overdue and obvious to many. This piece is based on a book called The Pyramid Principle.
Having just finished reading Keith Johnstone’s Impro, this article on improvisation within a consulting context was both timely and very interesting. Tom talks about how we can leverage social dynamics and stage presence within a client environment to do better work. This is just part one of a four-part series, so if you like it there’s more on his site.
I discovered Vaughn on a podcast called Invest Like The Best. I was fascinated by both his thoughts and his work on exploring what quality means in different domains. This sent me onto an internet quest to see what else he had written about. This piece talks about design thinking’s place in the Strategy conversation.
Dan writes a newsletter called Super Organizers about productivity experts. This issue of his newsletter is not about that though, it’s about his journey in writing and touches on some personal history. I found it moving and one of the better pieces of writing I read recently.
That’s all for this time. Have something on your mind? Just reply to this email. I would love to hear from you and I read every response.