The P-word

I had a great ‘man-pamper’ weekend including a haircut, thai massage, mani/pedi, great food and walks in the sun… all topped off with a slice of mind expansion that came in the form of a book called Practical People Engagement by Patrick Mayfield. Here’s a summary of the nuggets that fertilized some new brain cells and contributed to a very pleasant weekend indeed.

You’ve all heard me shout about the importance of the people aspects in Portfolio Management and how crucial it is to harness peoples energy and curate a portfolio delivery community.  Well, I’m pleased to highlight a book that I’m sure will help you with this people stuff.  I’m not a big book reader myself –  I like to multi-task as I listen, however after the first paragraph I was hooked on the writing style because it was simple, clear and very authentic.

5 Key things I really liked

1) The model: Principles themes and steps of engagement.  I’m a picture person and right away the model diagram gave me a full understanding of how all the people engagement stuff would fit together which helped as I continued reading throughout.

2) Seven Principles: Some of the stuff is basic, and I for one love that – if only people would do the basics the world would be a better place.  The 7 principles include subjects like understand first then be understood, leading change, habits, integrity and feelings.

3) Direct links to organizational energy.  There a huge amount of links to MoP’s organizational energy.  I particularly liked the focus on triggering people to move away from old habits and into new  i.e. away from a resigned and corrosive energy states into productive energy states.

4) Links to other concepts expressed in the context of people engagement.  There’s a lot of reference to other models and thinking, such as Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats (which I also love).  Also discussed are things like World Café Collaboration technique and a very useful section on Agile engagement, and I absolutely loved the Pixar approach – I shall be stealing that immediately!

5) PPM Alignment: I mentioned the links to organizational energy and I would go one step further and say that this book is a perfect complimentary read to MoP for the people that want to zoom in on organizational energy, stakeholder engagement and collaboration.  In fact I would go two steps further and say that it’s not just portfolio people that would find this useful, programme managers, project managers and PMO’s would also benefit from checking this out.

So, there’s my top 5.  Some of you will be thinking this is all a bit too positive, yeah I suppose it is super positive but I really did enjoy reading this, oh and I also loved the use of the inspirational quotes – the positioning of which was very cleverly thought out and triggered my mind at just the right time.

“If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.” Win Borden


Grab a kindle copy for a steal at £ 9.36.


About the author: Patrick Mayfield is the founding director and Chairman of Pearce Mayfield and one of the authors of the 2007 Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) standard.


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