Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
I’m Zuzana ‘Zuzi’ Sochova, I was born and living in Prague, Czech Republic, the magical city in the center of Europe. I started my professional career in the IT industry moving from developer to HR director and CTO. The next step was building my own company and work as an independent consultant in Agile field. I’m helping companies to be successful in nowadays constantly changing world, improve their performance, implement a culture changes, and help organizations to become Agile. I’m member of the Board of Directors of the global Scrum Alliance (USA) and also a Certified Scrum Trainer. I mostly work globally these days and enjoying work with my clients at all different parts of the world.
During my career as Enterprise Agile Coach and Trainer I felt that there are so many people who need support on their Agile journey so I can never help them in my lifetime so I decided to write books to make my experience more accessible. The first book was written in Czech and was focused on my home country to help local professionals with understanding Agile values and principles. The Book is called ‘Agilni metody rizeni projektu’ (Computer Press, 2014). I discovered that I love writing and the book was very successful so I decide to push myself and write another one in English, so it can be easily translated and become more international. And “The Great ScrumMaster: #ScrumMasterWay” book was born. In the end, the book is published by Addison-Wesley (2017) which made it available globally. It was already translated into Russian, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Czech languages which makes the book rely widespread and successful.
What is/are the story(ies) behind your book(s)?
When I worked with my clients, I feel that we are successful together in our cooperation, and in the meantime, I was sad that I can’t help all other companies/clients who asked for help. In this type of business, we needed to focus on a few current clients and can’t help everyone who asked so I started thinking about how to share my knowledge with more people to help them improving their way of working.
Somewhere there I decide that to write a book is a chance how to help others, even without seeing them. I wanted to share the way how they can work, the steps they can implement to be successful. I decided to share all my professional knowledge and experience via my books and write them as much practical as possible, create books which are become a field guides for practitioners.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
Inspiration is coming from my day-to-day work, both coaching and training. Speaking with practitioners and seeing which challenges they are facing. At the end of the day, the issues companies are facing are similar.
How do you deal with creative block?
I don’t have a typical creative block as I can imagine when you are writing poems or some novel. I’m writing about my experiences which makes it easier for me. The biggest issues I’m fighting with is the lack of time. I have to combine my coaching and family and writing time all together which is sometimes not easy.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
Not really, I like short titles which goes to the point. Therefore, I’ve chosen The Great ScrumMaster. I tried to use a hashtag #ScrumMasterWay as a subtitle, but I can’t say that it would make it easier to spread the message around.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
I always try to do my best. Of course, it happens that someone doesn’t like your text, your ideas, and recommendations. When I get negative feedback I always try to figure out, what’s the current reader situation and why my ideas do not help him to improve the workplace. Make a note about it and go back to it when I’m thinking about revised editions or new books. I’m sad of it but it doesn’t block me from working on new projects because I’m sharing only my personal experiences which I know that they are working.
How has your creation process improved over time?
I improved my time balance and I have dedicated hours just for writing. I also learned that the best time to write is during the overseas flights.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
I was surprised how it’s time-consuming. When I finish the writing, which was longer than I expected I was happy that the manuscript was sent to the publisher. I expected that long hours of writing and editing are over. But the book was far from being done. The publishing process is very professional and it’s outstanding how publisher houses are handling everything. But I still needed to be ready for any corrections and questions.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I’m trying to serve my readers because I’m writing books for them. My satisfaction is positive feedback. My books can’t exist without readers.
What role do emotions play in creativity?
Hard to say for me I’m an emotional person but in I’d not say it’s connected with creativity on my case.
Do you have any creativity tricks?
Not so much, it’s about sharing real experiences with the readers.
What are your plans for future books?
I’m just made a small ‘project’ – free book in Czech language about ‘Agile HR’. It’s just small intermezzo to check the readers and market before preparing the next bigger book. But let’s see 🙂
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I love to taste different cuisines, tastes, dish textures. I love creativity in other areas than I working in and I fell in love with the cuisine experimental tastes. If I have a chance I try something new I go for it.
You can check my bio and pictures here: https://sochova.cz/speaker-bio.htm