Archive for the ‘BookLists’ Category

  • I read a lot of books, I always have.

As a coach, I decided some years ago, that the books I read as a coach, I want to have in my possession. I decided this because I try to learn something from every book I read.

The number of books that I really have to say, I did not learn anything from is very very low.
During my coaching, I referred people to the different books I had read.
I know that not every one likes to read as much as I do, yet in every organisation there is at least someone who loves to read.

And gradually I began to bring books to the clients I was coaching.
Every company/person has their own proces for lending books.

I call my proces: the library of trust.

Here is how the Library Of Trust works:

  • You select a book you would like to read
  • You take a picture of you with the book
  • You send this picture to my work and personal e-adres (a bookfie)
  • You read the part of the book that interest you (mandatory)
  • You bring the book back
  • You ask me to take a picture of me with the book and send it to you (important, that way I have a trace it’s back)

I get two kind of reactions to this proces:

  • Wow cool proces
  • How many books have you lost already?
    Ah that last question is interesting. I also bring my books to the XPdays conference and I leave them in the hotel lobby.
    There I lost 2 books in the last 10 years. One of them came magically back the next year at the conference.
    So I lost 1 book in 10 years.
    The reaction of one of the people that asked me this question. Wow we have a very rigid proces and we loose about 1 book a year. I rest my case.

My friend and colleague Franky Redant said that the SCARF model kinda explains why. Something I let you figure out on your own.

Actually the situation has changed since the taping of the video, we are now aiming for 89 people who answer the questions. (With 89 being a fibonacci number )
You can buy the who is agile book here.

As a coach I have been lending my books for years to my customers. With kindle books I could not do this, until today.

Read my review for Jurgen’s book on amazon.

(Read more on Jurgen’s post on why and how he offered money)

The next person in the Who is serie, is Liz Keogh, also know as Lunivore. I met Liz when I was working in London at the end of 2009, when we had a great talk at an XTC event. She left a big impression on me, and I was not surprised to see her win the Gordon Pask Award in august 2010. I’m looking forward to her book on BDD
What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?
I went to Cambridge University for a year. It didn’t work out. I left by mutual agreement. I’m glad I went; my family were pretty serious about my education and I would always have wondered, “What if?” if I hadn’t. Afterwards I went to Bath, where I had a fantastic time and got on well. I learnt that your dreams aren’t always in the places where you think. Now I like to look around, wherever I happen to be, rather than drive myself forward all the time.
If you would not have been in IT, what would have become of you?
I hope I would have found my way into psychology and hypnotherapy. That whole field – the human brain, and how it’s programmed; how we program ourselves and mis-program ourselves – it’s even more fascinating than programming computers. There are so many things we take for granted about the way we think and the nature of our consciousnesses, and we’re so often wrong about those things.

What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you?

My biggest challenge is my energy, both physical and mental. I get tired if I’m training or coaching all day. Realising that has helped me recognise the need to only work part of the time, and take some time out for myself. That’s made me more effective when I’m working, which has allowed me to earn higher rates, which lets me take time out. I look back on what it was like to do this five days a week, and how much I was just floundering, and I laugh.

What drives you?
My parents have been a big influence on my life, particularly my mum. I’ve always wanted them to be proud of me and what I do. More recentlyI’ve driven myself. I feel a responsibility to my communities because of the Pask award, and because I’m privileged to hang out with some amazing people who have amazing ideas and are too busy to spread them
to everyone else. London is a wonderful place in that respect. Maybe London drives me.

What is your biggest achievement?
I wrote a fantasy fiction book in my early twenties. I even sent it out to agents and got some positive feedback, but no takers. Lots of people say “Oh, I’m going to write a book”, and if – when!  Dan North and I finish the BDD book, that will be an even bigger achievement, but I have already done it once.
What is the last book you have read?

What question do you think I should also ask and what is the answer?
“What’s the secret to eternal happiness?”

Real Options. Having choices, and living your life in a way which keeps giving you more choice, is wonderfully freeing and leads to some surprising outcomes. My next challenge is to be ready for anything, while travelling light – I still have a very big suitcase!

Who do you think I should ask next?
Chris Matts. I’d love to see his answers to some of these questions. His perspective on life and people is unlike anyone else’s I’ve come across, and some of his ideas are phenomenal – Real Options is only one of them.
Dan North created BDDand taught it to me – he’s also a good choice. Chris took it further, though; it’s his ideas which have spawned most of my recent work and presentations, and I often find that I’m using his words when I teach BDD. His ideas are deceptively simple; he explains, and then you think about it, and the next time you look round your whole world has changed without you noticing. Every time he comes up with something new I find myself thinking – what will he come up with next?


Update: if you liked this, please buy the “Who is agile” book. It contains similar answers from other agilists. And Liz’s answer to the question: If you could have any super power, what would it be?

The most popular item on my blog is the book list I made at Agile 2010.
As I read a lot of books, I wondered what other booklist could I make. I try to read at least one book every month that has nothing to do with IT. At this moment I am preparing a 2 day leadership course, although I have lots of agile, and IT books on my desk, these are the non IT one’s I have at my desk:

The 7 habits of effective people

Speed of Trust

The Black Swan


The Goal

A Sense of Urgency


The paradox of Choice

Getting Things Done


Training From the back of the room

The Five dysfunction of a team

On my kindle I have:

How the brain learns to read (Reading this one)

Implementing Beyond Budgeting (Read last week)

Open Space technology (Loaded because I like the book so much)

This is your brain on music (David said it is a must read book)

Drive (next on my reading list)



As any list, this list is not complete, I even think it is very biased in one direction (I feel that all these books could reference each other) What books do you think I should add?