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Bits And Pieces — March 19, 2016

by David Brock on March 19th, 2016

This weeks bits and pieces.  First, thanks to everyone who took the time to provide feedback and ideas on some of the things I covered in last week’s Bits And Pieces  (March 12, 2016).  Many of you sent great recommendations for learning more about Critical Thinking.  Some sent ideas for future blog posts.  I really appreciate this more casual way of sharing ideas.


This week was a heavy travel week, as a result, I was reading on airplanes and hotel rooms.  Here are 3 books I’ve completed this week:

Daily Rituals, How Artists Work, Mason Currey.  A number of blog sites have “How I Work Features.”  I’ve been asked to contribute to several of them (I’m not sure why anyone wants to know how I work, I think it works for me, but not many others -but here’s the original one I wrote in 2013).  Daily Rituals is a fun exploration of how 161 artists, scientists, philosophers worked.  Each profile is about 1-2 pages, it’s fast reading and pure fun.  You can read about Twyla Tharpe, Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway, Woody Allen, Picasso and others.

Beyond The Sales Process, 12 Proven Strategies For A Customer Driven World, Steve Andersen and Dave Stein.  I’ll be writing a more detailed discussion of Steve and Dave’s book soon, but I wanted to let you know about it.  At first, as I was reading it, I thought–this is all just the fundamentals of High Performance Selling.  Then I realized, no one writes books on these fundamentals–how to build relationships, how to nurture them, how to incite customers to buy, how to navigate them through the buying process, how to grow and build the relationship long after the deal has been closed.  No tricks, manipulative techniques, just the hard work of focusing on the customer.  It’s rock solid stuff, be sure to pick it up, I’ll be talking more about it soon.

The Sales Development Playbook:  Build Repeatable Pipeline And Accelerate Growth With Inside Sales, Trish Bertuzzi.  Like Steve and Dave’s book, this is rock solid from one of the top experts in Inside Sales.  Trish and I had an email exchange, she was surprised by a tweet endorsing the book.  I responded, that Sales Development/Inside Sales was an area where I needed to learn a lot more.  And I’ve learned a huge amount from this book.  I’ll also be addressing this more soon.

What I’m Studying:

A lot of you have provided great recommendations on books and materials for Critical Thinking.  I’ll share those I’ve completed here.  I’ve enjoyed all of these and highly recommend them

  1. Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, this is a fundamental book every professional should read.
  2. Black Swan, Nasim Nicholas Taleb, again a fundamental book around events that have the potential to change the world–or at least how we think.
  3. Psychology Of Intelligence Analysis, Richards J Heuer, Jr.  This was actually commissioned by the CIA to look at intelligence analysis and how to improve what analysts do.  It gets pretty deep into the science, but is fascinating.  The PDF is a free download.
  4. Mastermind, How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes, Maria Konnikova.  As a long time avid reader of all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyles’ Sherlock Holmes book, this was a fun read about how to see things differently.
  5. The Curious Mind, Brian Grazer.  I was surprised by this book.  It’s an interesting study of interesting people and how they think.
  6. Improv Wisdom, Don’t Prepare, Just Show Up, Patricia Ryan Madson.  This is really about creativity and collaboration–both of which are critical for thinking.

That’s enough for now, I’ve a long reading list of things I’ve read and things I’m reading.  Will filter through those in a future post.

What I’m Experimenting With:

For those of you that have followed me for some time, you know I’m a big fan of Lean/Agile techniques and tools.  We’ve been experimenting with applying Scrum techniques in sales.  It’s a structured technique to share updates, critical information, identifying road blocks, and keep people moving on their next steps.  Think of it as a “One-On-One” on steroids–but done with the whole team.  We’ve been experimenting with this in several clients and found hugely compelling results.

I’ll be writing some blog posts soon.


This week, I’m participating in two webinars/podcasts:

On Wednesday, March 23, 1:00 EST, I’m participating in a webinar sponsored by WideAngle:  1:1’s, How To Leverage The Most Powerful Management Tool.  Follow the link for more information and to register.  I’m really looking forward to it, the panel is great and it’s an important topic.

The following day, I’m the guest on Stu Heinecke’s Contact Marketing Radio.  That’s on Thursday, March 24 at 1:00 EST.  If you haven’t read his, How To Get A Meeting With Anyone, it’s a fun and very useful book.

What’s On Your Mind?

What am I missing, what are new things that you are thinking about?

 Book CoverFor a free peek at Sales Manager Survival Guide, click the picture or link.  You’ll get the Table of Contents, Foreword, and 2 free Chapters.  Free Sample

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  1. russell permalink


    another book you need to add to your list is Mindware – Tools for Smart Thinking, Richard E. Nisbett. Also, would love to hear what you doing with applying scrum techniques to sales — Had several conversations with Matthew when at OpenText about the concept.


    • Thanks Russell. I will be writing more on Agile/Lean approaches and Scrum in some upcoming articles. Regards, Dave

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