Downtime delight from Noha Shafik

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Looking for some great summer reading?

Some of you are planning your summer vacation, while others are on the way to the airport, so it's the perfect moment to introduce our latest downtime delight.

We were honoured to have Noha Shafik join us as a keynote speaker for our Digital Talent Programme Kickoff this year, and she also participated as a mentor. Noha Shafik is a public speaker and diversity ambassador in addition to being the Head of Tech Delivery, Partner Experience, and SRE Logistics at Alongside her inspirational career journey and achievements, one thing Noha enjoys is reading! She kindly shared some book recommendations with us, which we'd love to pass on to you.

Happiness is not something that you pursue; it is something you allow.

Chade-Meng Tan, Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness

First in Noha's list is "Search Inside Yourself" by Chade-Meng Tan, a mindfulness guidebook delving into emotions and human behavior. This book provides meditation techniques, insights into emotional intelligence, and methodologies for training the mind, all aimed at leading a happier life.

Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.

James Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Atomic Habits, written by James Clear, is a detailed guide that teaches you how to change your habits and make small improvements every day. It introduces the Four Laws of Behavior Change framework, offering simple rules for creating good habits and breaking bad ones. The book summary provides three key lessons from Atomic Habits, a four-step process for building habits, and a useful reference guide for the strategies discussed in the book.</span

The more we try to avoid the basic reality that all human life involves pain, the more we are likely to struggle with that pain when it arises, thereby creating even more suffering.

Russ Harris, The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living: A Guide to ACT

"The Happiness Trap" by Russ Harris is a self-help guide designed to empower individuals to conquer negative emotions and confront life's adversities with acceptance. Through a collection of practical techniques and exercises, the book equips readers with the tools to liberate themselves from what Harris terms the "happiness trap."

Excellent colleagues, a clear purpose, and well-understood deliverables: that's the powerful combination.

Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility

Now, let's turn our attention to a book that's applicable in the workplace setting. "Powerful" by Patty McCord is a business guide that provides valuable insights into establishing a high-performance workplace culture. It highlights the significance of transparent communication, constructive feedback, and empowering employees to assume responsibility for their tasks. If you're currently leading a team, this book is an invaluable resource for fostering a dynamic and productive work environment.

Innovation grows when people learn from each other, work together and challenge each other. Soft skills are the cherry's nutritious, sweet flesh that brings all the birds to the yard.

Anneke Keller and Tim Meeuwissen , The Cherry Model

In every tech organisation, or even across entire companies, there exists a natural rhythm of growth and transformation. Following a phase of abundant innovation, there often comes a period of stagnation and cutbacks. As a leader, how can you anticipate and identify these distinct phases, and leverage them to foster innovation within your organisation?

In 'The Cherry Model', Anneke Keller and her former colleague and technology expert, Tim Meeuwissen, take you on a journey through the seasons of innovation. They share their personal stories, lively anecdotes, and practical tips and tricks to help you navigate and capitalise on these cycles effectively.

One thing that makes it difficult to use outcomes inside larger organisations is that they’re almost never organised around achieving outcomes. Instead, they’re organised around making stuff.

Josh Seiden, Outcomes Over Output: Why customer behavior is the key metric for business success

The book emphasises a natural progression from Resources, Activities, Outputs, to Outcomes, and finally Impact, highlighting a chain of causality. Managing solely by outputs poses risks, as it doesn't ensure any outcomes. Conversely, focusing only on impact is often ineffective due to its high-level nature, with vague goals like "increase revenue." Outcomes strike the right balance, as they involve directing efforts towards changing customer behaviour in a manner that yields tangible business results.

Here are some of the books on Noha's list. We hope they pique your interest as much as they did ours! If you have any good reads you'd like to share with us, please don't hesitate. With summer approaching, reading in the sun is definitely a wonderful way to spend it!

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