For some 15 years, we have been fans and friends of Michael Ventura—founder and CEO of Sub Rosa, whose entire working process is based on Applied Empathy, a methodology that strengthens empathetic minds and brings together insight and action, resulting in creative problem-solving and change. The term “empathy” can be confused with simply “being nice,” but Ventura has always explored into the term’s true meaning (more inline with genuine understanding) as an action, and a principle. It makes sense then, that his technique has been applied in various workplaces all over the world (from Google to the United Nations) via workshops, lectures and even a Q+A card deck that’s part game, part self-reflection tool. Today, after years in the making, Ventura releases his first book on the subject: “Applied Empathy: The New Language of Leadership.”
Of course, empathy is the focus, but throughout the book, Ventura also examines the ways in which his methodology needs to be adapted and refined in regards to the changing ways in which we work—thanks to the ever-evolving world of business, and culture at large. The time was right for the book, and Ventura tells us, “Writing this book was something I needed to do for a variety of reasons. For Sub Rosa, it was an opportunity to really galvanize our philosophical approach to our work and share it with the world. As an entrepreneur, it was also a critical time for me to write this book. I wanted to take a moment to communicate something I care deeply about at a time in the world when empathy is needed. I hope in some small way it helps to shift things in the right direction.”
Like the cards, the book is anything but dry or dull (as is the case with so many work and leadership tools) which speaks to both Ventura’s passion and skill. With actionable activities and goals within each chapter, it’s much more than a guidebook; it’s a thoughtful and practical tome that can be applied to almost any industry. Approachable, thoughtful, innovative and pragmatic, “Applied Empathy” is essential reading for leaders of all levels in all realms—from marketing to education, non-profit to tech, and beyond.
Image courtesy of Sub Rosa