Friday, 20 October 2017

Determining the road less travelled

The book that really inspired me in the 70's to make self-development a life-long quest was 'The Road Less Traveled' by M. Scott Peck. The title was inspired by the famous Robert Frost poem.
Today when I have a choice of two roads or more I have a preference to take the one I feel will most likely help me and/or other people to disrupt the status quo when sameness is no longer serving.

Image by Miguel Cortes

Often there doesn't seem to be much difference about the roads ahead and so closer examination is required. The following are the questions I ask:

Will taking this road inspire me (and/or other people) to become more of whom I'm capable of becoming?

Will taking this road mean greater value delivery?

Will the culture (world, community, team etc etc) be enhanced if I take this road?

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

What are the differences between propaganda and news?

My trusty Google dictionary says propaganda is:
information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.

as an aside it also says
a committee of cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church responsible for foreign missions, founded in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV.

I laughed out loud when I read this second definition.

When I Google fake news I get the following from Wikipedia
Fake news is a type of yellow journalism or propaganda that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional print and broadcast news media or online social media.[1] Fake news is written and published with the intent to mislead in order to gain financially or politically, often with sensationalist, exaggerated, or patently false headlines that grab attention.

When I Google news the following is prominent
newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent events.
and information not previously known to (someone).


Why am I on this trail?

Recently while enjoying conversation over a coffee with my wife in one of our favourite coffee shops it suddenly occurred to me that everyone else in the shop was on their so-called smart phones! This observation led us to explore what news is.

One of my conclusions is that we mostly scroll, watch and listen to news that is actually someone else's propaganda. This is a major distraction in our lives that has us trapped.

What's your thoughts? I would genuinely like to know. Please email ian@ianberry.biz I'll publish your answers (with permission) here.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Monday, 16 October 2017

When one side deserves to lose and the other doesn't deserve to win

Referring to his home state Nick Xenophon on announcing his intention to quit Federal politics and contest a state seat said "We have a government that deserves to lose, and an Opposition that does not deserve to win."

Source of quote 

This is a very sad state of affairs that I believe applies to all levels of politics worldwide. Mediocrity is a consequence.

What's also interesting is that Xenophon still has 5 years to sit in the Senate so his decision is driven by self-interest more than the national interests or the interests of his state which he loudly proclaimed as his reasoning for forming a party and gaining extra Senate seats.

I despair at politics and political systems worldwide.

The key lesson for business leaders is say what you mean and mean what you say about your purpose, and never abandon it.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

Friday, 13 October 2017

There's always more in situations than we initially see

There are many great examples of serendipity throughout history - the discovery of penicillin and the inventions of the microwave oven and the Post-it note get a mention on Wikipedia.

How about in your life?

Serendipity traditionally means discovering something good without looking for it.

I find in reality that the more I look for what else is, might be or could be in circumstances and situations the more I discover.

I find this particularly so when I look for the good, the great and the remarkable in situations where there's conflict, difficulty or disagreement.

When things don't go according to plan asking What if?, What else and What can be? are great questions to ask.


Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes."
Marcel Proust

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Value and Values Based Businesses Continue Their Rise


Here's my first post on this topic on 6th February 2012.

High values, high value business are continuing their rise for 3 key reasons:

1) Generation Next, currently aged 36 and younger, will soon be half the workforce. They are attracted to organisations who live their values more than any group of people ever have been

In previous surveys, Millennials have told us that businesses’ greatest contribution was the financial benefit associated with job creation—but they see this as an outcome rather than a guiding principle of business conduct. So, to better understand their values, we asked Millennials, “What are the most important values a business should follow if it is to have long-term success?” They responded that businesses should put employees first, and they should have a solid foundation of trust and integrity. Customer care and high-quality, reliable products also ranked relatively high in importance. Attention to the environment and social responsibility were also mentioned by a significant number of Millennials.

Source The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016

One of the keys to values is that they must be behaviours not words as I explore in the 4 minutes 35 seconds video below:



2) Machine's are taking over routine work and therefore it's easier that it's ever been to find your dream role

Machines can do algorithmic work. Soon they will do most of what's simple, routine and repetitive.

This represents a great opportunity for us humans.

According to 80000hours.org there's 3 keys to finding a dream job

"The bottom line
To find a dream job, look for:

Work you’re good at,
Work that helps others,
Supportive conditions: engaging work that lets you enter a state of flow; supportive colleagues; lack of major negatives like unfair pay; and work that fits your personal life."

The full article where I found the above is here. 

In my work I go a step further and help people to do remarkable, meaningful to them and highly valuable to others work.

There's a plethora of research about this. The premier book to read is 'Deep Work' by Cal Newport. Learn more about this here.

A key to helping people to do remarkable, meaningful to them and highly valuable to others work is through what I call the number one role of leadership, 'enhancing their (your) gifts. I explore this in the  4 minutes and 57 seconds video below.



3) The rules have changed in the new world of work

Two of the books that I added to my top 21 recommended reading list last year were and The Purpose Economy and Technology vs Humanity.

You can read my full Amazon review here.

There's is much to love about this book. Three aspects that I love in particular are:

1) The idea of exponential humanism "the philosophy to find a way forward that will allow us to embrace technology but not become technology, to use it as a tool not as purpose."

2) The concept of "key human indicators" as a far better way forward than the traditional and tired KPI's.


3) The insight of androrithms "those qualities that makes us human" having more meaning than algorithms.


I personally don't like the use of word economy. I get it's currency. No pun intended. I don't like the use of the term 'Fourth Industrial Revolution' either.

A shift I've noticed in my lifetime is the economy has moved from being part of society to society being part of the economy.

I for one don't believe this shift has been a healthy or helpful one.

Nevertheless this book is an all time favourite. It contains great case studies.

I particularly like the 12 New Work Rules put forward in this book pictured below.

How will you better embrace the new world of work?

How will you increase the number of people in your organisation doing remarkable, meaningful to them and highly valuable to others work?

How will you better turn your values into behaviours?

Be remarkable.
Ian

PS If you'd love some short term help go here and then contact me.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Adopting the Rule of three for better meetings, emails and other messaging

Image courtesy of organisational physics.com

I unwittingly slumped in my chair a little as my client told me he was back to spending 50% of his time reacting or responding to emails, and about 30% of his time locked in meetings where mostly he was wondering why he was there.

“I know, I know” he blurted out loud in frustration and in response to my slump.

I regained my composure and engaged in conversation with my client using my four standard accountability conversation questions:

What happened?

What do you need to do to get back on track?

Is their anything I can do to help you?

Anything else?

As a consequence my client mapped out the following course of action. It may help you as much as it’s helped him get his life, his time and his mojo back.

Firstly three key principles to apply in your own best way:

1) You have control over most of the 168 hours you have at your disposal every week.
2) The consequences of pushing back on unsolicited, unwarranted or unclear requests are never as bad as you think they might be.
3) "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." William James

3 rules for better meetings encompassed in the one rule of only participating in meetings that have one of the three as their purpose

1) Assessment/review of data meetings where the purpose is to extract usable insight.

2) Decision-making meetings where an agreed process is followed.

3) Learning and development meetings where there's been pre-work and when there will be post work to integrate the learning with what you're already doing well.

It's a disappointing waste of time, resources and talent to spend money to work on a problem that actually should be a conversation first.
Seth Godin

More from Seth on meetings here.

3 rules for a better email experience

1) Only write and respond to emails twice a day.

2) Only send emails that inform, inspire or invite.

3) Only read email newsletters and other subscriptions once a week.

3 rules for other forms of message exchange

1) Let other people know your preferred ways to receive information. Mine is telephone and second preference texting where text is short and sweet with a link if appropriate and clear expectation of a reply request or not.

2) Ask people what their preferred way/s are for receiving information from you are and do that.

3) Use proven digital collaboration tools when working on projects with other people.

Here's a review of 10 online collaboration tools

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

PS Below are 3 further articles I've found valuable on the topics of meaningful meetings, emails and messaging in general.

Thought Leaders Global Founder Matt Church on elemental meetings

How to stop wasting time a guide to more effective meetings from Brian Neese and Alvernia University

Three key actions real leaders take every day

and here is a bonus two page manifesto for best practice in communication in general that I wrote way back in 2005 yet still highly relevant today.

Friday, 6 October 2017

The 7 really useful models on video

Below are the short video profiles of each of my 7 really useful models for building and sustaining remarkable workplace cultures. Total viewing time is around 30 minutes.

You can view them as a playlist on YouTube here.

I'm conducting a very special online conversation about the models and how you can use them in your own best way on October 16th. Find out more and register here. 



Be remarkable.
Ian

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

VUCA is only one side of the story

You've no doubt heard of VUCA


I like the approach of Kevin Roberts in what he calls SUPER VUCA. He says

"Our job as creative leaders is to turn a volatile, uncertain. complex and ambiguous world, into one that is vibrant, unreal, crazy and astounding."

Watch under 5 minutes from Kevin on this here.

In my world while accepting VUCA I help people to focus on the opposites - Dependable, Predictable, Simple and Clear.

VUCA is certainly one side of the story and we should never ignore it, however focusing on the bright side of dependable, predictable, simple and clear leads to a better life and better business results.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

Monday, 2 October 2017

Remarkable people have ditched dogma and instead lead by example

One of my 14 principles for being remarkable is:

Remarkable people have ditched dogma and instead lead by example.

When I Google the meaning of dogma I get
“a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.”

Dogma is trouble wherever you find it. It's where what someone in authority says is more important than the original sound principle on which the dogma is based.

We see this in religion of course where a good principle articulated by Buddha as below for example is overruled by dogma (and therefore behaviour) making a lie of the good principle.

“All spirituality is about relieving suffering.” Buddha

Dogma being what we follow and how we behave, rather than living by the good principle on which the dogma is based in our own best way, is true in most places including your workplace.

Steve Jobs got it right I reckon when he said "Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking."


The great spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi articulated what I think is a principle highly relevant in all of life. He said

"Be the change that you wish to see in the world."

One of the key questions I ask my clients is "How can you better be the change you want to see in your workplace?" Honest answers lead to ditching dogma and leading by example.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian