Off the Bookshelf

Quick Read:


(Credit WSJ, 24 July 2018)

You Could be Too Much of a Team Player
By Sue Shellenbarger, Wall Street Journal, 24 July 2018 p. A9

Staying focused and getting things done means not always saying “Yes”. While you might feel inclined to help others, respecting your own capacity and setting boundaries facilitates effective collaboration. According to Dr. Robert Cross, “changing just a few behaviors can regain 18% to 24% of the time you spend collaborating.” Read more at

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Farsighted: How Make the Decisions That Matter the Most, By Steven Johnson

Haven’t read this one yet as it’s just out, but David A. Shaywitz gives a good review of Steven Johnson's Farsighted, an examination of the patterns of human decision making in the Wall Street Journal ("How to Make Up Your Mind," WSJ, 12 September 2018, p. A15).

Why should you care? Johnson suggests that we tend to define problems and their solutions narrowly, over-simplifying and deciding prematurely while missing the essential uncertainty that accompanies complex systems. While much decision making seeks to find common ground, Johnson argues that considering the perspectives of diverse individuals, focusing in particular on the ideas not shared in common creates a rich information soup from which to make better decisions.

— Jim and Melissa