gothamCulture’s 2022 Summer Reads – gothamCulture

Summer reading at the airport

Whether you’re sitting at the gate in the airport for your long-awaited trip or just relaxing in your backyard, it’s a great time of year to read a book. The team at gothamCulture has some interesting summer book choices to keep your attention and stretch your thinking.

Partner, Tim Bowden, is reading Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries by Safi Bahcall. A Ph.D. physicist and biotech entrepreneur look at why the most important and successful breakthroughs often come only after “they pass through long dark tunnels of skepticism and uncertainty, crushed or neglected, their champions dismissed as crazy”. Bahcall applies the science of physics to help organizations understand how to best unlock and nurture these “loonshots” through small changes in the structure, rather than culture of an organization. Just changes in temperature can transform a tub of water into a block of ice – Bahcall outlines how organizations can undergo “phase shifts” by changing structural elements to unlock transformational innovation. As a culture practitioner, Bahcall’s initial rejection of culture as a key lever for innovation was hard to get over. But, as the concepts develop throughout Loonshots, it’s clear that organizations need to attend to both structure and culture to master the complex process of creating the right conditions for transformational innovation and change.
Senior Associate, Kate Gerasimova, is reading Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown. In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances—a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection.
Senior Associate, James O’Flaherty recommends How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships by Leil Lowndes. What is that magic quality that makes some people instantly loved and respected? Everyone wants to be their friend (or if single, their lover!) In business, they rise swiftly to the top of the corporate ladder. What is their “Midas touch?” What it boils down to is a more skillful way of dealing with people. In her trademark entertaining and straight shooting style, Leil gives the techniques catchy names so you’ll remember them when you really need them, including: “Rubberneck the Room,” “Be a Copyclass,” “Come Hither Hands,” “Bare Their Hot Button,” “The Great Scorecard in the Sky,” and “Play the Tombstone Game,” for big success in your social life, romance, and business.
Marketing Manager, Andrea Bennett, is looking forward to reading Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less by Leidy Klotz. We pile on “to-dos” but don’t consider “stop-doings.” We create incentives for good behavior but don’t get rid of obstacles to it. We collect new-and-improved ideas but don’t prune the outdated ones. Every day, across challenges big and small, we neglect a basic way to make things better: we don’t subtract. Klotz’s pioneering research shows us what is true whether we’re building Lego models, cities, grilled-cheese sandwiches, or strategic plans: Our minds tend to add before taking away, and this is holding us back. But we have a choice―our blind spot need not go on taking its toll. Subtract arms us with the science of less and empowers us to revolutionize our day-to-day lives and shift how we move through the world. More or less.


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