As Christmas approaches, and the holiday shopping season continues, it’s likely that by now, someone will have asked you what you’d like for Christmas. And you have probably asked that question yourself, possibly multiple times!
If you’re buying books as gifts, or putting them on your Christmas wish-list, you might be interested to know that books were among the first mass-produced items to be given as presents.
This began in the 1820s when publishers started to produce and promote ‘Gift Books’, anthologies of stories, poems, essays and pictures, with something to suit all tastes and all types of reader. It has been said that this was a key factor in commercialising Christmas.
Giving books as gifts has endured, and publishers gear up for this by releasing books by their highest profile authors just in time to hit the shelves for Christmas. The day when most books are released is known as Super Thursday. This year some 300 new books were released on Super Thursday, with authors including Tom Daley, John Le Carré , Dave Grohl and Billy Connolly, to name but a few.
There’s a tradition in Iceland known as Jolabokaflod, which translates as “the Christmas Book Flood”, similarly supported by publishers. This is where Icelanders give and unwrap books on Christmas Eve, and spend the evening reading and drinking hot chocolate or jolabland. Doesn’t that sound great?
Our own new book, the 4th edition of Lean Six Sigma for Dummies hits the shelves in December. We don’t think it was a Super Thursday book, but it really does feel super to see it come out after putting such a lot of work into it this year.
Being asked to develop a 4th edition demonstrates the ongoing relevance and effectiveness of Lean Six Sigma. We began to blend Lean and Six Sigma together more than 20 years ago, welcoming a pragmatic rather than purist approach. Along the way we discovered how essential it has been to consider people and change management when improving processes‚ leading to higher levels of acceptance and more effective change.
We have come a long way since then, and now find ourselves applying Lean Six Sigma to types of work that had not been invented when the methodologies were developed and using them to solve problems that the creators may never have imagined.
In the 4th Edition of Lean Six Sigma for Dummies we have added a few more ingredients into the cocktail. You can find out how Agile approaches (and an Agile mindset) can accelerate results. We also discuss how Design Thinking approaches, tools, and techniques for creativity can encourage different thinking about the way the work gets done. “Drinking our own champagne” is important to us – we practice what we preach and have continuously improved our application of the Lean Six Sigma methodology and principles. We use what works, and this stuff really does work.
Dummies books are all about transforming the hard-to-understand into the easy-to-understand , and this is very much the Catalyst way. And we all know that people who read Dummies books are not dummies, they’re learners wishing to fuel their pursuit of professional and personal development! We’re looking forward to celebrating the new Lean Six Sigma for Dummies in the new year.
Before we sign off, and head away to buy Christmas books we’d love to wish you a very Merry Christmas , Happy Holiday or Jolly Jolabokaflod.