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Sunday, December 22, 2019

Review: Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly

Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly by Bernadette Jiwa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Old wine in a new bottle. The insights are not new, but they are so important that they have to be repeated over and over. Thought provoking read.

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Saturday, December 21, 2019

Review: The Rollout: A Novel about Leadership and Building a Lean-Agile Enterprise with SAFe

The Rollout: A Novel about Leadership and Building a Lean-Agile Enterprise with SAFe The Rollout: A Novel about Leadership and Building a Lean-Agile Enterprise with SAFe by Alex Yakyma
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked up this book for professional reasons, and I am so glad that I did. I stumbled upon this boon while looking for some literature on Scaled Agile Framework for Enterprise (SAFe). Written as a novel, the author does a good job of walking you through the challenges the organization in the story was facing. The story of the transformation, told through the protagonist's point view, is pretty straightforward to follow. It was quite easy to understand how why SAFe is needed, how it could potentially be implemented and the challenges one might run into during its assimilation into the organization. All in all, good read, and I am so happy I came across this book at the right time.

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Sunday, December 8, 2019

Review: Big Billion Startup: The Untold Flipkart Story

Big Billion Startup: The Untold Flipkart Story Big Billion Startup: The Untold Flipkart Story by Mihir Dalal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been following Flipkart since 2008, since I first became a customer. In those days, what Flipkart achieved was nothing short of magical. Over the last 12 years, Flipkart has morphed into a behemoth worth billions of dollars, and is still has the highest market share of the Indian e-retail space. Big Billion Startup is a beautifully written un-putdownable tale of that journey. It almost reads like a plot of a movie that perhaps Hollywood might make about a world changing Silicon Valley startup. The book is meticulously researched and I strongly believe that the author has tried to present a balanced perspective. The book is not just the tale of Flipkart, but of the dawn of entrepreneurship of Internet companies in India.Netflix, please turn this into an awesome TV series!

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Monday, June 17, 2019

Review: A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The book is always better than the movie (tv show). Being a huge fan of the Tv series, I picked up the book after finishing season 8. It was such a pleasure to read the book, and experience the development of the characters with time, that no movie/tv-show can afford its characters. The book also exposes many facets of the society, the institutions and the characters themselves, that would be a tad harder to spot in the show. The book is a master piece by an epic storyteller, and I am all agog to read books 2 to 5.

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Monday, May 20, 2019

Review: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare".

Thus embarks the author, Patrick Lencioni, with his narrative in the form of a parable, that beautifully demonstrates the dysfunctions a team might suffer from. The author has developed a framework, and through this framework he drives his point across about the five dysfunctions that a team might have. The book also contains a lot of practical advice on how readers can apply the lessons learned from the book. At the end of the parable, the author re-iterates everything and provides very actionable and practical advice on how to make the most of the book.

All in all, this was a very valuable resource in learning how to weed teams of their dysfunctions and on how to build strong teams. As I was reading the book, I was taking copious amounts of notes. I will definitely be revisiting the book as I implement some of these exercises in my own team.

At the end of the day, we need to remember that human beings are way to complex to adhere to any model or framework that any other human can come up with. Bearing that in mind, we must recognize that even this model has its flaws and one needs to exercise judgement while using it. In the author's own words,

"...the reality remains that team work ultimately comes down to a practicing a small set of principles over a long period of tie. Success is not a matter of mastering subtle, sophisticated theory, but rather embracing common sense with uncommon levels of discipline and persistence".

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