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Please welcome Fortitude! (ALSO: Book me to talk to your team)
A huge announcement for you today. In August I have a brand new book, called Fortitude, coming out. The book is about resilience, and what we get wrong about it. There’s a video about it down the page - or on this Twitter thread.
Since writing it I’ve worked hard to get the book into the hands of intelligent people I respect, and I’ve been blown away with their reviews of it.
Oliver Burkeman said:
‘An important and well-timed book. A fascinating and important pushback against the narrow, joy-eroding version of 'resilience' that would leave us to sink or swim alone, Fortitude is an indispensable guide to a more energising, human, and effective approach to working and thriving in a post-pandemic world’
Noreena Hertz, author of The Lonely Century said:
‘A thought provoking exploration of what it takes to get through tough times and a compelling endorsement of the power of others to hold us up’.
Nadiya Hussain said:
'A much needed book that unfolds the surprising secrets of resilience. Something I never knew i needed to read but I'm so glad I did, it’s opened up a whole angle of thinking'
Steven Bartlett said:
‘This is a truly refreshing, captivating and important book that shifted my perception on a topic I thought I knew! A must read.’
Gary Lineker said:
‘A book that confirms what I've always believed, that we can't be resilient on our own. In fact resilience is about all of us being stronger than any of us.’
Alastair Campbell said:
‘A fascinating analysis of resilience - what it is, what is isn’t and why, when we develop it together, it becomes something better and more important, fortitude. It seems that resilience is a team game.’
It means a huge amount to new books to get pre-orders. It impacts the early pick-up of the book and ultimately determines how many people get to read a title that I’ve thrown myself fully into for the last two years.
It is genuinely the best thing I’ve ever created. But rather than just ask you to order something, I wanted to reward the people who help me out. So I’ve created something additional, just for the people who pre-order now…
Watch my free culture course today
In the months since I finished Fortitude I debated rewarding people who pre-ordered it with a PDF about workplace culture.
But who wants to read a PDF?
So instead I’ve put months of work into a video course about improving workplace culture in the hybrid age. It’s completely free and is only available as a thank you to anyone who pre-orders the book in the next couple of weeks.
In addition, during June and July I am doing a very small number of private talks for firms who pre-order multiple copies of Fortitude. I can talk about resilience, workplace culture or whatever you prefer and will stay to answer questions. We’ll do a pre-call to discuss the content of the talk, and then I will join your team on Teams, Zoom or whatever system you prefer for a private one hour session.
So now with the details out of the way, allow me to tell you more about Fortitude, to explain the book that is getting such a positive response.
Now on with the stories of the last week or so:
You’ll have seen plenty of coverage of Elon Musk demanding workers return to the office. There’s clearly the easily dismissed jackassery of Musk’s constant desire to be in the news but it does provide a glimpse of the challenges of organisations who have both in-person (factory) workers and remote (knowledge) workers. The desire to be equitable can lead to pressured decisions on the right thing to do. More than anything it speaks to a culture that lacks any sense of mutual trust (‘we’re all in this together’)
On the subject of trust, three quarters of UK workers feel that their manager trusts them to be productive when working remotely, but they in turn aren’t so sure about their colleagues
Another example of the rising tensions in the ‘return to the office’ debate - workers being told there are no exemptions to the emerging rules. In this case HR telling workers to start looking for a new job
One of the big challenges of the moment. Workers are favouring autonomy over co-ordination (from Nick Bloom's latest cut of data). To me this indicates the challenge of the moment, for work to create connection there needs to be some co-ordination, but most people don’t want to directed towards that. To my mind the solution is a smaller number of days (maybe one or two, that ismutually shared)
3000 workers across 70 companies are participating in a trial of four-day weeks that is set to find if workers can produce their full weekly output in 4 focussed days
There’s a unit on my workplace culture course coming up on the generational challenges of work ahead - and this Telegraph article highlights one of the emerging trends, Gen X and Boomer workers are especially reluctant to return to the office
(Turns out it’s actually in Mexico, not Europe)