Public Discourse on Humanize

At one level, getting a book published is a fairly scripted process. You write it, you publicize the heck out of it, you speak on it, and, if all goes well, a bunch of people buy it. Thousands of authors/publishers do this (in roughly the same way) every single year.

Of course, when it’s YOUR book, it always somehow feels more unique, unpredictable, even magical. When Maddie and I wrote Humanize, we gave it our all. We wrote from our hearts. We put down on paper thoughts and ideas that tied together years of our personal and professional development, both separately and together. That’s a little bit of us you’re reading in that book. We really had something to SAY in there.

So when it’s deeply personal like that, I don’t want to settle for a scripted process. Sure, I want good reviews, good sales, etc. But I want it to MEAN something. I want people to USE this book. As I said over on the SocialFish blog, we’re activists. We want to see change.

So here’s the good news: I think that’s what people are doing with Humanize. There have been dozens of online reviews of the book. Lots are very kind descriptions of the book with a plea for people to buy it. We obviously love those. But the ones that excite me the most are the ones that talk instantly about application.

For example, Holly Ross, Executive Director of the Nonprofit Technology Network, did a great post where she actually asks her readers (staff at nonprofit organizations, generally) to give her feedback on her reactions to the book. She shares her reaction to three of our ideas (that best practices are evil, that decentralization requires everyone to deeply understand the organization, and that “ownership” is easier said than done) and she asks what her colleagues are doing about it:

As your organization has felt the push of technology – social media and otherwise – what has it meant for how your organization is structured? What are you doing to humanize?

What are you doing. I love that. It’s time we made management and leadership more of a practitioner’s art, rather than a ground for theoretical models and cute acronyms. Get out there and do some things differently. Don’t let the fact that there’s not a “best practice” for humanizing your organization out there stop you. Just make it happen.