Laura’s April Reads

This month I am going to review some books that have made a difference for the business of Circa. I am a voracious reader and go through fiction books on a weekly basis. My kindle was a hard transition, but the immediate gratification of recommended reads and previews on-demand got me hooked and less concerned about the visibility of my bookshelf.

Business books are harder to digest but such a powerful force for team discussion. Tori (Circa co-founder) and I are always trying to read pertinent business books together so we can discuss and continue to progress. One of our principles at Circa is “Creative Curiosity” this curiosity facilitates always learning and always improving. These 5 books have been important in our journey as business owners, managers, and creative directors.

Sprint by Jake Knapp

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This book was the focus for our team retreat this year. Learning how google ventures use this 5-day process to test new ideas was very informative for our team. We discussed it in length then proceeded to turn it into our own by following the basic structure to evaluate and improve our own processes. Definitely worth a read if you have a product to test or an idea to analyze.

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A Technique for Producing Ideas by James Webb Young

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This is a book suggested by our speaker at this year’s staff retreat Chrisolux helped us navigate critique, concept, and collaboration through multiple discussions and exercises at this years staff retreat in Nashville. This short book discusses the creative process. We enjoyed using it as a reference for our own design process.

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Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

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We asked our team to read this book because of the wealth of creative inspiration it provides as well as the advice it renders regarding critique. This beautifully written book by a world-renowned poet really digs into the process of creativity through letters written as a critique of a young poet’s shared work. It would be an inspiration for anyone in the creative field, particularly writers.

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Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller

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The Circa team read this book last year while preparing for a rebrand of our own messaging. Donald Miller has really nailed the process of distilling your message into something that can effectively work as marketing in the digital age. I highly recommend anyone embarking on marketing their company or idea to read this book and follow his advice on distilling your message.

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Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull

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Tori and I read this book last year as we planned for the future growth of Circa and continue our quest to be better leaders. Ed Catmull of Pixar shares his experience of growing and evolving as a manager through his experience leading the Disney animation and Pixar teams. His take on what creative teams need was a great asset to our own growth as we plan for the future. Anyone managing creative teams would benefit from his knowledge.

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