• WE LOVE FRED.

    Meet Fred. He’s a cerebral chap. That's why we made him Head of Research. He doesn't say much and has yet to contribute to the biscuit drawer, but he does love a good book. This is where he shares his faves.

  • FRED'S BOOK OF THE MONTH...

    We Are Brass Tacks. Internal comms agency. Fred the Head. Book of the month. Visual Doing. Skull in yellow hard hat sitting on black office chair with a book in front.

    AUGUST 2019

    VISUAL DOING, WILLEMIEN BRAND

    ‘To win hearts and minds you need to present clear information in such a visual way that it oozes creativity, conviction, and passion.’

     

    Building on the principles established in the original (Visual Thinking - Book of the Month Feb 2019), Visual Doing is every bit a book in its own right. Packed full of creative gems like ‘breakfast furniture’ and 'thirty circles', not to mention the literally mind-blowing ‘UZMO’ light bulb method there is plenty here to keep you thinking and scribbling.

     

    What sets this volume apart, however, is the application of these ideas. Breaking down exactly how to use simple but strong visuals individually in your own work, collaboratively in your team and widely across your entire organisation.

    We Are Brass Tacks. Internal comms agency. Fred the Head. Book of the month. Leaders eat last. Skull with hard hat sitting beside black and white decision board and book

    JULY 2019

    PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL, DAN ARIELY

    Through plentiful experiments in social economics, Dan Ariely strongly contradicts the view that humans are completely rational beings with un-corrupted views of what we want and need. He suggests instead that we have an inherent irrationality when it comes to major financial decisions, controlled by various external factors. By showing that this irrationality is not random, the book works as a tool to help us understand our own decisions, and by doing so, helps us make them with a more planned and controlled approach.

    We Are Brass Tacks. Internal comms agency. Fred the Head. Book of the month. Pig Wrestling. Skull with hard hat sitting on a yellow couch next to a book and a mug.

    JUNE 2019

    PIG WRESTLING, PETE LINDSAY & MARK BAWDEN

    ‘Stop thinking about how you are going to solve this problem and start thinking about how you’ll know it is solved’.

     

    As anyone who watched the Game of Thrones finale will tell you, it's stories that matter. Here the authors present their problem-solving technique by way of a fable involving crystal balls, gold nuggets and porcine suplexes!

     

    Bullet pointed summaries can be a little... Knowledge is porridge – 'think less about fixing deficits and more about redirecting energies' - for example, but for the most part, the method rings true and encourages you to reassess the (often falsely assumed) root causes of the problems you face and find an answer to the ‘Miracle Question’… What does good actually look like?

    We Are Brass Tacks. Internal comms agency. Fred the Head. Book of the month. Leaders eat last. Skull with hard hat sitting on white black and gold book.

    MAY 2019

    LEONARDO DA VINCI A LIFE IN DRAWING, MARTIN CLAYTON

    After visiting the exhibitions at Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow and the Ulster Museum in Belfast, Fred felt obliged to pick up the full collection.

     

    200 draughts in red chalk and silverpoint give immediate confirmation of Da Vinci’s consummate and unrivaled expertise in the fields of anatomy, architecture, biomechanics, botany, cartography, engineering, geology and so on ad infinitum. The detail is so mesmeric and precise that you must remind yourself every few pages that the purpose of the exhibition is to celebrate Da Vinci’s death… 500 years ago! Breathtaking.

     

    See the entire collection for yourself at the Queen’s Gallery in Edinburgh from Nov 22nd to Mar 15th 2020.

    We Are Brass Tacks. Internal comms agency. Fred the Head. Book of the month. The Book of Questions. Skull with hard hat sitting beside white book yellow pen and puzzled emoji

    APRIL 2019

    THE BOOK OF QUESTIONS, GREGORY STOCK Ph.D

    A collection of ethical and moral conundrums designed to spark debate, conversation, and inevitably judgment, amongst peers.

    Some are tricky: 'If your child were to be boring, stupid or ugly, which one would you prefer?'

    Some not so much: ‘If you could take a pill and eat food all day without absorbing calories or nutrition, would you?'

    Ideal lunchtime water fountain fodder and guaranteed to get you thinking about who you are and what you stand for.

    We Are Brass Tacks. Internal comms agency. Fred the Head. Book of the month. Curious. Skull with hard hat sitting beside plant pot and blue book

    MARCH 2019

    CURIOUS, IAN LESLIE

    A journey from intelligent apes to the discovery of America via the printing press and myriad other examples, Ian Leslie traces the history of human curiosity. A clear advocate of lifelong learning, he argues for the importance of encouraging and nurturing curiosity despite its uncertainties, despite its distractions and despite theistic notions such as the dangers of forbidden fruit, and his case is strong. By the end, choosing whether to ‘explore the worlds of knowledge that present themselves to us’ or to ‘turn our face from the beauty and the mystery and make for the next appointment’ doesn’t seem like a difficult decision to make.

    We Are Brass Tacks. Internal comms agency. Fred the Head. Book of the month. Visual Thinking. Skull with hard hat sitting on book.

    FEBRUARY 2019

    VISUAL THINKING, WILLEMIEN BRAND

    "Your brain only needs three dots to recognise a face."  

     

    Without cliché about exactly how many words a picture might be worth, it's important to remember just how powerful simple imagery can be. Informative and practical, Visual Thinking functions as both a guide to the concepts behind the use of visuals and as a beginner’s handbook for the artistically impaired to create effortlessly engaging visuals on the fly. Whether collaborating, problem-solving, studying, or just reorganising your DVDs there is plenty to learn here, as Fred can attest to. He’s been doodling all over the office for the past month.

    We Are Brass Tacks. Internal comms agency. Fred the Head. Book of the month. The Nude Figure. Skull with hard hat sitting on book. Yellow and black pencil on book

    JANUARY 2019

    THE NUDE FIGURE - A VISUAL REFERENCE FOR THE ARTIST,

    MARK EDWARD SMITH

    After a rather heavy festive period, Fred didn't have a lot of reading in him, bless his hard hat. So, rather than skip this month, he thought it best to pick this beaut for his blog. Elegant and tasteful photographs entirely in black and white give rise to fascinating thoughts on how tone and contrast can affect the human form. Suffice it to say this is the only book to date which Fred has insisted on 'reading' twice.

    We Are Brass Tacks. Internal comms agency. Fred the Head. Book of the month. Make it Stick. Skull with hard hat sitting beside pale blue book.

    DECEMBER 2018

    MAKE IT STICK - THE SCIENCE OF SUCCESSFUL LEARNING,

    PETER C. BROWN, HENRY L. ROEDIGER III & MARK A. MCDANIEL

    “We harbour deep convictions that we learn better through single-minded focus and dogged repetition…” Make it Stick challenges this attitude to learning and many other attitudes like it. The book should appeal widely and is itself a fine example of the kinds of learning it encourages. A great advert for a work-smarter-not-harder approach.

    Skull with hard hat book Internal Comms Safety Anarchist. Skull wearing hard hat and lanyard sitting on black book.

    NOVEMBER 2018

    THE SAFETY ANARCHIST, SIDNEY DEKKER

    A colourful read which centres on the need for more human-centric approaches to safety in the workplace. Fred wouldn't go as far as Dekker to say that process and procedure infantilise the workforce but wholeheartedly agrees for the need to humanise HSE culture.

    We Are Brass Tacks. Internal comms agency. Fred the Head. Book of the month. Leaders eat last. Skull with hard hat sitting on white black and gold book.

    OCTOBER 2018

    LEADERS EAT LAST, SIMON SINEK

    “And when a leader embraces their responsibility to care for people instead of caring for numbers, then people will follow, solve problems and see to it that that leader’s vision comes to life the right way, a stable way and not the expedient way.”

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