Teams
May 24, 2024

Why a new GTD book?

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3:48 mins

Why a new GTD book?

Interview multiple candidates

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Search for the right experience

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Ask for past work examples & results

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Vet candidates & ask for past references before hiring

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Once you hire them, give them access for all tools & resources for success

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If you are reading this, chances are good that you are already a fan of GTD. You may be practicing at black belt level, or you may be currently off the GTD wagon, but if you are still getting our newsletter it is because you know GTD works (because it is working for you), or you know it would work, if you did it properly.

Either way, you already get the need for it. So twenty-three years after David Allen first wrote Getting Things Done and four follow up books later, why a new one? Here is why we thought it was time for a completely new perspective:

David and I have both dedicated the majority of our professional lives to bringing the benefits of GTD to the world. The work has been a source of huge satisfaction, as we’ve seen those who pick up the tools on offer make significant changes in their lives. Things like dodging incipient burnout, turning their entrepreneurial ideas into companies, being truly present with their children or making substantial contributions to their communities. Wonderful stuff. Getting positive feedback about the results of our work week in, week out has been a great blessing.

And yet…, something was nagging at us that we finally crystalized in a discussion over lunch a few years back. Though the feedback we were getting was always good, around the edges there was often a plaintive request: “How can I get other people to get on board?”

We realized that just training up more individuals around them to handle their own workflow better would only go part of the way to resolving their request. A team of individuals all using GTD for their own workflow would be great, but not if the team structure was wrong, its processes didn’t work, or it didn’t have clear standards for collaborating well.

The lightbulb moment was when we clarified that there were actually two different levels to intervene on:

  1. Helping individuals perform to their potential (covered in the first books)
  1. Supporting individuals on teams to work more effectively with each other (the place we could still add value)

The latter realization was the genesis for the book: Team – Getting Things Done with Others.

It is those interventions at a team level that complement what individuals are doing that are the subject of our book. One simple example should illustrate the difference:

When we first started teaching, getting on top of e-mail was a holy grail, and enabling millions to do so was part of what made GTD spread like wildfire via word of mouth. But in the past five years we noticed that there was less complaining about e-mails per se, and much more despair about all the different channels that our clients were having to check. At an individual level, we can teach people how to empty their inboxes and handle their workflow, but that doesn’t deal with the plethora of channels they are having to deal with. Deciding which communication channels a team will use, and what to use them for, is something only a team can decide. That is just one of dozens of interventions we identified that teams can make to optimize their workflow and collaboration.

We’ve been thrilled by the feedback we’ve had from those who’ve had a chance to read drafts. Positive endorsements from the likes of Charles Duhigg, Marshall Goldsmith, and Dan Pink are the stuff of a writer’s dream. Goldsmith called it, “Essential for any organization looking to harness the collective power of their people.”

Critical acclaim from bestselling business writers is wonderful, but you can’t pay the bills with it. So it was incredibly gratifying to learn from our UK editor that 86% of the initial print run of 8500 copies had already been sold in to retailers - a week before its release.

That too is wonderful, but back to the question I set out to answer in this blog. In the four years we’ve been working on this book, no one – not a single solitary soul – has ever asked why we were writing it. Once we’ve explained what it is about – taking the principles of GTD to the team level – all we’ve ever heard is “Hurry up!”

David and I both hope you enjoy the book, and that it helps you create what we know is possible: a culture of healthy high performance on your team.  

The book is available from May 21st at your local bookstore, or can be purchased online here

40%
of Fortune 100 have had some form of GTD training
15
years serving the UK market
446
UK Companies served
99%
past participants would recommend us

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If you’re looking to build a better foundation for clarity, focus and healthy high performance, reach out and see how we can help.

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