Book and Café @Doctusoft — because reading is good!

Andrea Stéber, Training & Development @Doctusoft

In November we held the Book and Café together with the DS TED. It was a classic Knowledge Management (KM) event, which gave space for informal conversation as well. The aim of the initiative was to remember how exciting and interesting reading is, which is based on getting to know the world, encouraging and inspiring us to have new ideas and take action.

While it is important to read professional literature, we believe that it’s not only professionalism that motivates us. At the Book and Café event our colleagues shared their recent reading experiences, experiences which were not necessarily linked to work, but rather to their personal interests; experiences they felt interesting and ideas they thought useful enough to share.

Let’s have a look at their reading recommendations.

1. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek’s Start with Why is an entertaining and inspiring read for those people who work in a team, lead a team, want to sell a product, or would like to build a company of their own. It looks for the answer to why some companies can achieve their goals and create a strong brand image, and why some companies remain nameless.

The answer is quite simple: some companies start by asking why, and some companies don’t.

A clear why can determine your success and the success of your business. This book offers a great model, gives some great rules of thumb, and explains this why phenomenon simply with biology.

I liked this book because it is not some new way for me to sell my product; rather it opened my eyes to the fact that being true to the market is just as important as being true to myself. We can only succeed if we are credible … not just for our clients, but for our own employees as well.

Recommended by Bernadett Kovács

Here is the short TED video about the Why model — The Golden Circle.

2. Value Proposition Design

Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, Gregory Bernarda, Alan Smith

Value Proposition Design is a great toolbox for validating early-stage business ideas. This is a typical manual you will go back to time and time again to review, and look for inspiration when you get stuck somewhere. It starts with the customer empathy map which helps you get a deeper understanding of your potential customers and create a relevant value proposition. Later it recommends gathering all the assumptions in a broader context and gives several methods to validate them. I think an important message of the book is that the value proposition is not a product, or a service function list, but a happier future picture of the client, one we can help them to be.

Recommended by Tamás Szatmári

3. The Power of Habit

Charles Duhigg

Charles Duhigg’s book is a readable and thorough introduction to how habits work. The author, a journalist, guides us through the world of individual and group habits with the thoroughness of his profession by sharing stories of medical researchers, business people, product developers, and social change-makers.

I recommend this book to all leaders who trust in well-established systems and believe in the habitual adherence to those.

Recommended by Gergely Orbán

4. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

Chris Hadfield

This book takes us from the childhood to the veteran days of the famous astronaut Chris Hadfield. Don’t worry; instead of being a boring biography, it’s full of interesting and very motivating stories and life advice. As a programmer, it was instructive to read about a similar technical science which is still very different. I bet that you will love this book if you are interested in any science or even if you like Star Wars :-) Although lightsabers are not mentioned in the book, you will feel the force and the motivation to do something for mankind!

Recommended by Gábor Volczér

5. The Aware Baby

Dr. Aletha J. Solter

As an engineer-parent, it was a great experience to read a book, one in which I didn’t feel that “in absence of a reference to supporting research, I can’t accept it.”

Parenting questions regarding babies are often examinable with the scientific methodology of biology. Later we enter the swampy soil of psychology, but it still contains more truth than the “it works for the neighbor, so they are probably right”. Fortunately the mindset reflected in the book is better known: the child is not a machine, but a companion; they are seen as another full human being.

Recommended by Gábor Farkas

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