Thoughts on reading books during a pandemic – and; we need some hope…

I don’t know about you, but it is hard to focus on much of anything these days.

I have read, and presented synopses of, over 500 books over the last 22 years.  The majority of these books have been business books.  But a large “second” focus have been books on social justice.

Coming for our May 1 First Friday Book Synopsis on Zoom

Coming for our May 1 First Friday Book Synopsis on Zoom

Last week, a person who has attended our First Friday Book Synopsis asked me:  “have you read any books that helped you get ready for this moment?”  My answer is…not enough.

I mentioned Factfulness by Hans Rosling, who wrote that of the six great threats to our planet, one of them was a global pandemic.  And I mentioned Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who wrote that everyone and every organization must make themselves “antifragile,” in case such a day of danger and testing comes.

But…no….no book quite got me prepared for this.

I have read plenty of books in the  social justice arena that spoke to the human needs in times of difficulty.  The need for genuine universal health care; the need for some kind of universal basic income.

But, ultimately, I think we are going to have to get through this with grit, determination, and inventive creativity.

Innovation StackI will be presenting two books, remotely (Zoom),  for the May 1 First Friday Book Synopsis. One is on persuasion.  The other is on innovation.  Genuine innovation.  The author, co-founder of Square Jim McKelvey, says that very occasionally, a person/leader creates something truly new.  He describes the development of innovation stacks, put into practice to solve a “perfect problem.”  Well, if any moment has ever called for an innovation stack to do something new, to solve a perfect problem, this is it!

But, here is my personal comment.  I am finding it hard even to do my usual reading.  But I have inhaled The innovation Stack by McKelvey because it has given me a tiny glimmer of hope – hope that someone somewhere is going to come up with something new; something inventive, creative, to help get us through this time.

One can hope.

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