A great continuation of “Inspired”. A must-read for anyone who has any leadership responsibilities. Marty Cagan and Chris Jones make a great sum up of what works in successful companies and how to foster teams and an environment that is good for cultivating successful products.
It will help you acquire knowledge and principles that will help any product organization transform existing challenges and deliver valuable outcomes. It will help you do more with less.
This is a great book that really influenced how I approach product development and value validation in a dual-track fashion. I was also lucky to be part of a 2-day workshop with the Author of the book which really solidified the lessons the book is communicating.
It is a well-written and very down-to-earth read. The main points are fostering tight collaboration between the Product Owner, Product Designer, and Tech leads so that ideas can be validated in a quick fashion before they are broken down into actionable PBIs for the product team to execute.
The principles and methods fit right in together with the Desing sprint methodology and the User story mapping approach. If you are into product development, it is a must-read in my opinion.
User Story Mapping
A simple and straight-to-the-point book about User story mapping. The book is focusing on how to execute User story mapping in a productive way and how to use this methodology as a tool to align people’s understanding of the challenges and opportunities.
I was again lucky to be part of a workshop with Jeff Patton as a speaker. We had great practical exercises that helped us practice the knowledge from this great read. There are plenty of case studies and analogies that help the reader remember and acquire the information in a relatively easy manner.
Jeff Patton emphasizes a lot the importance of storytelling and how it helps us process information and that we should use it as much as we can when aiming to align understanding of problems and/or concepts between any number of collaborators.
Articulating Design Decisions
I think this one is the best book I’ve read so far that emphasizes the importance of communication when you work with Product Design. It is a thoroughly articulated and interesting read.
It portraits well the complexity and reality of design meetings and stakeholder management. I think this is a must-read for any designers out there. It will help you improve your communication and how to argument your design decisions even with the most vocal and opinionated stakeholders.
A lot of the advice Tom Greever has written in this book is very practical and actionable. You can read and try things out as you are progressing through this good read.
Try to get the newer version 2.0. It reduced the 5 days to 4 days.
Well if you are in the Design field you probably know this book. I do agree with the majority of opinions that it is a great read and guideline to facilitating productive design workshops and sprints.
I think you should try what the book recommends as the “classical” Design sprint. After a few sprints and when you feel comfortable with the methodologies, I would recommend you try and adapt them to your workflow.
You can even do separate days and you will find that the partial effort will still produce good outcomes and will bring the product team closer and will help you facilitate good conversations and align your teams’ understanding.
Leadership and communication reads I like to recommend
It is hard to pick which is the top book I have read from John C. Maxwell. This is the latest one I read on the topic of Leadership and I strongly recommend it to anyone who remotely thinks about developing their leadership skills.
It provides very good insights and principles on how to change your mindset and shift to become a better leader. It is one of those books that you can re-read several times and still get benefit from it.
The book acts as a catalyst to make you think about leadership the concept of it and how you can utilize the principles to increase your own influence and make a positive impact.
Never Split the Difference
Great book on the art of negotiation and communication. The author shares many examples from life and death situations and how good communication skills can influence the outcomes.
If you would like to improve your skill in negotiating and reaching out a better outcome in debates and during thought meetings this book can be a great help in my opinion. Again a good read that is worth reading several times over the years to learn all its dimensions.
The Lost Art of Listening
This book explores the topic of listening and actually absorbing the information so communication can happen. Personally, I found the content very valuable and worth every minute invested in it.
The principles and lessons are touching on a professional and personal level. No matter where you decide to apply the knowledge from this good read you will most likely gain benefits.
It helps the reader understand that in order to listen you need to forget your own agenda and open your mind to the person in front of you. Sounds like common sense but unfortunately, too many people are forgetting it when it comes down to everyday practice.
Personal develpment reads I like to recommend
Ego Is the Enemy
Very strong read on the topic of Ego and why it is good to keep it in check. The book provides a lot of interesting content to feed your mind and help you become aware of why an Ego that is out of control and dominating you can be harmful.
It is a book that will plant seeds in you to grow your humble nature. Some people might find a lot of the content repetitive but despite that, I enjoyed the books. I do think it is a read that more people should read and study in order for all of us to move towards a world with less Ego.
The Obstacle Is the Way
A second book from Ryan Holiday that I think changed my mindset so much that I really want to recommend to anyone that asks me about a good book in regards to personal development.
You might argue, why write a whole book about the “Just do it” type of attitude, but I find it often that the most difficult behavioural changes are the ones we think we know about and can execute whenever we want.
The book clicked with me very well and is pretty much based on Stoicism philosophy. It helps you focus on mental endurance in the face of hardship, do/change what is in your power and learn to accept the rest. It is always a matter of perspective and this can turn failures into learnings.
One strong read that I would be repeating again in near future.