Aaah, holidays are upon us! Some of the lucky few are already enjoying some time off recharging those exhausted batteries. Others, like us, look forward to those precious days of resting, reflecting and reading. If you’re still debating what to read poolside or in the plane, have a look at what our team will be devouring during PM’s traditional summer vacation.

Oh, next to reading, we’re writing as well! Hugo and myself are putting together a book on integrated crisis management. Register your e-mail address here so I can keep you in the loop.

But for now, back to the reading.

Free will and neuroscience
Hugo plans on exploring our human brains and minds by reading a publication of the Dutch neuroscientist Victor Lamme: ‘De vrije wil bestaat niet – over wie echt baas is in ons brein’. The publication is not yet translated to English but the title could read something like this: ‘There is no free will – who’s really in charge of our brain’. Hugo was triggered by an article on Victor Lamme in ‘De Morgen’. The book gives answers to current questions such as why are right wing parties popular again? and how it is possible Donald Trump won the USA 2016 elections? These topics from a neuroscientific point of view intrigue Hugo endlessly.

Homo sapiens and Bitcoin
Tim will be taking a holistic perspective on things (why didn’t that surprise me!) with ‘Sapiens’ and ‘Homo Deus’ by Yuval Noah Harari. The books were mentioned in a Lieven Scheire presentation. To learn more about an organization, we click About Us. Tim likes to see these books as the About Us of the whole of humankind. Valuable lessons are to be learned from the world of our ancestors that we know mostly from Ice Age movies. They are co-species members who aren’t that far away from us as we like to think. We wouldn’t even notice them walking in the street if they dressed in our garments and were raised in our cultures. What fascinates Tim the most is the non physical layer on top of reality that we collectively imagine as our culture, where we find the concepts of incorporations, ownership and using money to exchange value. This is exactly the imaginary part of our world that we identify with but where there are no things, just ideas. And ideas can be questioned and reshaped as we wish, as long as we pass it forward to large chunks of the next generations. In this perspective it actually makes sense for new innovations and technological inventions such as Bitcoin to take in the empty space. A mind blowing read!

Crisis exercises and quarterbacks
Robbert will be reading ‘The Applied Critical Thinking Handbook’, a free publication by the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies and formerly known as ‘The Red Team Handbook’. Robbert wants to sharpen his critical thinking and his knowledge of operational processes in the field. His next read ‘Fire fighting: a technical approach’ by Karel Lambert also serves that intention. As Robbert is intrigued by designing crisis exercises and evaluation of crisis situations I’m looking forward to his debrief after the read. Robbert combines his hobby with his PM ambitions by reading the story of NFL American Football  hero Tom Brady. The 40 year old quarterback writes in the ‘The TB12 Method’ about achieving a lifetime of sustained mental and physical peak performances.

Scrum for crisis teams
The last year I was continuously involved in over 40 different sized projects at the same time. Time to revise some working methods. I want to combine project management improvements with enhancing crisis management processes. Therefore I’m diving in ‘The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time: Scrum’ written by the American software developer Jeff Sutherland. The book aims to be thought-provoking on the matter of management processes and I aim to be thought-provoking about crisis management processes. Sutherland had me at his first line: ‘We live in a world that is broken.’ I hope to be inspired and see what Agile-thinking can mean for crisis teams. Next to the thinking there is the acting, therefore ‘Scrum in actie, maak van elk project een succes’ is a great addition to my nightstand. ‘Scrum in action, make every project a success’ bundles the practical Scrum stories of seven authors, only available in Dutch.

So that’s the list, if you have suggestions to share for our library or any comments on our posts, don’t hesitate. Meanwhile, enjoy summer!


P.S. Can’t get enough of crisis reads? Browse our most popular blogs according to our website visitors:


Stijn Pieters is a crisis strategist who specializes in risk and crisis management for companies and governments. He is co-founder and managing partner of PM and co-founder of the CIP Institute.