There’s no shortage of experts saying we work best when we’re motivated and that means doing something we feel is worthwhile. ‘Worthwhile’ or not is owned by future you, but today it’s your choice that counts. If you are harbouring a secret start-up project then now is the time to get it off the ground. But how? Having a destination gives you a reference point. When you have a reference point, that means you have a choice to make, namely, how to get started.Read More
Shifting habits is hard. Doing different takes energy, especially if you are the boss making it happen. As a leader, you have to do what it takes to lower the resistance, leverage the effort and lift the rewards. The boon? Your job gets easier over time, not harder. Innovation becomes easier when the barriers are down.Read More
We all have habits. Something we don’t think about them—we just ‘do’. Sometimes our habits are good and sometimes they’re bad. As a manager, you need to sort through your own habits, and your team’s, to create a winning workplace.
Think about the Australian Open (whether you’re glued to the television watching or not). Good habits can catapult your team to efficiency and effectiveness just like the impressive habits drilled into the likes of Leighton Hewitt and Serena Williams take them to the top and keep them there win after win after win.Read More
You’ve taken a step to stand in the workplace, realising that making the office more active is a positive, productive position.
Working with procurement you’ve paid for the purchase and installation of sit-stand desks and chairs for your team. Now it’s time to report against this expense by measuring progress.
But what does progress genuinely look like? And what’s the best way to measure it?Read More
You might have made your first few steps back into and around the workplace for this year. Hopefully you are refreshed and have a little more spring in each step - spring which might have been missing at the end of last year.
How we turn up each day has to affect the quality of our work.
It’s not just all in the mind though; even the most intellectual jobs have a physicality about them that you can shape for better results. With a little thought you can put some grace and spice into the place you land in each day by owning both how you own and interact with the space and its contents and by noticing the results returned.Read More
If you were one of the exhausted many working ‘wounded’ at the end of 2015, what’s that telling you about what is working and what is not?
Towards the end of the year there is a collective sigh of relief which goes through the business world as we give ourselves and if you are a boss, our employees permission to refresh ourselves en masse. In droves, we reconnect with family, friends and fun. Unspoken in all of this is how we start up with more grace next year, what we leave out and what we add to make a cleaner go of it. Just omitting 2015’s failures might not bring you the best result. You did those things for a reason.
Phrases such as ‘thinking on your feet’ slip into everyday use easily; neuroscientists and their colleagues from related fields like to put these claims to the test. It’s not as simple as taking one idea - say that more blood flowing to the brain gets more oxygen up there and improves brain performance. That would be true but it’s never going to be the whole truth. Multi-factor problems are always intriguing.Read More
Have you noticed how big headphones of all types are a constant in the office? With compressed workplaces and trends towards apartment living, noise is a constant companion but not always a friendly one. Friend or foe, noise has an impact that affects the business bottom line, health and relationships. Figuring out the direction and extent of that impact for any single person or team is a technical job many designers and businesses find difficult to tackle.Read More
Searching for ways to get an edge on productivity always turns up some surprising facts. Remember Kiyosaki’s book Rich Dad Poor Dad? It turns out that extremes in your company’s resource environment (abundance or scarcity) when an employee starts work have long term consequences for problem solving, work with clients and successful job performance. Yet more proof that a performance edge can only come from looking at the wider context of work and not just the building.Read More
Few of us reflect on the place we work in much depth; seems we have a fascination for people who do just that as long as they do something fascinating. Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut is on tour and sharing his experience as a spaceman working on the International Space Station and in Australia, he’s drawing huge crowds. In space, the phrase ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ is the second to second reality of the spaceman.Read More
Every year in May Cebit (an annual technology expo in Sydney) shakes up my ideas about how work, or in this case, where work is done. Somewhere between the 3D printers and pens and the cloud services, the tablets, servers and virtual reality, my confidence in a stable place and process for work in any business is shaken.Read More
Have you've ever watched a corporate drama unfold in the office? I can hear David Attenborough's melodic tones in my head as he tells us about the mating ritual of the (insert name of exotic species). Think about this famous naturalist watching on as a senior executive fights back when told he won't have an office in the next refurbishment. The naturalist is examining plants and animals - in our losing-the-office-scenario, we are interested in the behaviour of people in the office environment.Read More
The hours, weeks and months of a year have patterns which we can learn to expect but possibly don't currently respect enough. There are patterns which, if not picked up in time, often get us into trouble. Were you one of those knowledge workers with a busy close to 2014 - a typical end of year mental exhaustion pattern? Were you one of those knowledge workers with a busy close to 2014 - a typical end of year mental exhaustion pattern? If you rely on the quality of your thinking as a tool for productivity, then taking a new toolkit into the New Year makes a lot of sense.Read More
Big, live data is starting to drive our businesses day-to-day and that information is fast turning into a real time measure of the health and activity at of workers at work. Imagine that overworked senior executives have their stress hormones monitored 24/7. Armbands with sensors can pick up your movement over the day as you walk around your new activity base work place.Read More
In a TED talk in 2008, Marc Pachter claimed that the modest person makes the worst interviewee. You might think that this isn’t a problem - most of us never get interviewed, you have to be pretty important or just in the right place at the right time. Business owners are seriously missing out though if we don’t think the ‘average’ person has something of value to share. That makes the remaining 87% of people a convincing ‘average.’Read More
There are many stories of highly talented and creative people who were never satisfied with their work. We, the mere mortals who admire what they produce, might never understand that. To the untrained eye there is little difference between brilliant 1.0 and brilliant 2.0, but to them there is a world of difference. The great leveler is that both of us can describe our experience of this result.Read More
Over the last month I've been working closely with people in a very safety focused industry. Their current issue is getting to grips with the detail of forms related to risk assessment and how to rate risk. Everyone does this in WHS and we all get stuck sometimes, but the forms do eventually get filled in to varying standards. Sometimes there's a backlog when the tough questions get asked because someone has started to think about what's behind the rating.Read More
It's interesting to see what people in a workplace come up with when given a glass of wine and the opportunity to speak freely and it amazes me just how different people are. I am a member of The Hub coworking space and at the Town Hall meeting yesterday in Melbourne there were fifty odd small to medium size business owners. Each person acts as a small corporation, and the word 'odd' would pretty much sum us up. Odd in an interesting way, as opposed to strange, as we are an inspired and creative bunch.Read More
There's nothing so satisfying in business as finding a way to blast away a road block to productivity. When the same barrier - 'middle management is the weak link' - pops up in two a high profile reports around the same time, it might pay to listen. Two recent messages fit well together. The first is that middle managers, unwittingly perhaps, inhibit productivity through lacking the right skills (for more, see Australian Institute of Management report).Read More
Work design is a daily activity. In running any business, everyone who is putting effort into that business will be contributing to the overall design of the work. There will always be a minimum of two dimensions, a who - the person doing the work and / or asking for the work, and a why, the purpose of the work. Part 1 of this post was about becoming more aware of the current work design, part 2 looks at those two main dimensions, who and why.Read More