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CXBuzz Expert Panel – Who Is Reading What?

I must admit that my love for books knows no bounds. Therefore, today we are going to talk about one of my favorite topics: reading! How come?

First and foremost, I want to break the monotony of corporate topics a bit. Secondly, reading is one of the routines that the most successful people typically never miss. We have legendary examples of this: Elon Musk said in an interview that he spends around 80 to 90 hours a week reading; Bill Gates said he aims to read about 50 books in a year, and Zuckerberg said he tries to read at least two books per week.

Let’s take a look at some of the interesting reads shared with us by our guest experts at CXBuzz.

Denyse Drummond-Dunn, President & Chief Catalyst at C3Centricity

I am an avid reader, and the books I select are in many genres. I could suggest many that have inspired me for different reasons, including a couple that surprised even me how much I enjoyed and learned from them.

The first is Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. This is about negotiating as if your life depended on it. It is an important skill for us all, but not as literally as the hostage negotiation stories this book uses as examples to learn from. Fascinating.

The second is Beautiful Brain by Hana Walker-Brown. I bought this by mistake, as I thought it was about neuroscience. It is, in fact, about the damage that professional footballers do to themselves by heading balls. This topic is finally being studied to hopefully ban the act in all football matches in the near future.

I was so happy to have read it, as the research and analysis opened my mind to some totally new topics. I think we all need to make “mistakes” like this occasionally and challenge ourselves by studying new areas.

Other books that have inspired me include:

  • Breath by James Nestor
  • Limitless by Jim Kwik
  • Change your questions change your life by Marilee Adams

I have tens more to add if anyone wants the full list!

Oh yes, Denyse! I am coming to you for the list.

Nick Bush, Director Centre for Management Consulting Excellence

It’s actually a reread and a book that I’m applying to in 2021. Beyond Default by David Trafford and Peter Boggis was published in 2017 and is, in my view, the best book on strategy implementation that you can find. The basic idea is that organizations have a trajectory that’s subject to internal and external forces and, if you don’t have a proactive change strategy, you’ll end up in a “default” future that may be different from the one you’d like to see. If it isn’t, then you don’t need a strategy, but I’d say for most organizations, the default isn’t likely to be acceptable. The book sets out some practical approaches to setting your trajectory which is based on the author’s experiences with their clients.

Nick also shared that both of the authors are former colleagues of his. Wow! I wish I, too, had some authors as colleagues.

Maranda Dziekonski, Senior Vice President Customer Success at Swiftly

“While not a new book, one of the most insightful from 2020 is Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. Great read!”

Now here is an important lesson for me to learn from Maranda. Go for the insightful books rather than only paying attention to the most recent ones.

Somraj Choudhary, Partner, Retail and Distribution at Wipro Limited

Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data by Rishad Tobaccowala. I like the way the book balances the need for humans and AI to co-exist and work together. In the authors’ words, it is all about “spreadsheets and story.”

If anyone wants to learn creativity, then it is from writers who can make stories even out of spreadsheets.

Rick Adams, Founder and CEO Practical CSM

Would You Do That To Your Mother by Jeanne Bliss (who incidentally was kind enough to write the Foreword to my own book Practical Customer Success Management). Jeanne’s book is full of common sense aphorisms that time and again show how the world of Customer Experience is (or should be) just like a well-regulated family, based upon strong ethical values and operated for the mutual benefit of all.”

Well said, Rick!

What about you? Let us know what your favorite books are in the comment section below.

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