Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Letting It Happen Versus Making It Happen

I like this Medium article by Brad Stulberg particularly the fourth practice he recommends:

"Practice being a curious observer. Let things unfold on their own time and in their own way. When you feel yourself tempted to jump back in the driver’s seat, give it 24–48 hours before you do. See what happens."

Be remarkable.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Why I'm engaging less publicly online

I think the current Australian Federal Government is dysfunctional, deceitful, incompetent, wasteful, conservative (read out of touch), bullying, ignorant, and arrogant, just to mention a few negatives.

I find nothing attractive about them. It seems to me that they are self-interested and not at all interested in what we the people actually want.

So I can't wait for the current election campaign to be over. I've already made up my mind. I'm voting for the Labor Party.

Mind you I don't find Labor at all attractive either.

It staggers me that in a both/and world our political systems still operate on either/or.

If there was an Independent person running in my electorate I would be voting for them.

Recently I've been expressing my views as civilly as I can on Twitter.

Am I doing any good? Am I positively influencing anyone? Honesty I don't know.

This has led me to rethink once again about my online engagement which overall is considerably less since my month long rest from any form of media. (It was getting less and less before then anyway primarily out of boredom).

I've come up with a question that I endeavour to answer before I post or engage online: Who is this for and is this an important for them way I can reach them?

My answer is often no which is why I am engaging less and less with the masses and focusing on people who have subscribed to my blog or who have indicated that they wish to engage privately online.

You might also be interested in my post 7 solutions to lessen the negative impact of self-interest, party politics and economics?

This is a book I found very helpful in deciding my engagement levels online.

Learn more about this book here.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

PS I'm not anti technology.

I use Zoom for example for having conversations with my clients 1:1 and in groups.

I'm currently forming a private Facebook group for my clients.

People are enjoying my short (less than 10 minutes) podcasts.

Friday, 19 April 2019

In person communities are key to being our best as humans

Material for today’s podcast is mainly drawn from the Communities sparkenation of my Remarkable Workplaces book.

Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what’s normal.

Listen directly to the podcast version of this post here.

In a nutshell

There was no television in my home when I was born in 1953.

Consequently I am in awe of the vast array of technological advances of my lifetime. Many are simply breathtaking.

The only ones I truly value though are those that genuinely enhance the human experience ethically.

Our lives are entangled in the so-called ‘Internet of Things’, the network of connected “things” that we have allowed to invade our lives.

I’m grateful for the convenience that the things bring.

Yet I’m increasingly skeptical of their real value because what I am seeing is more human disconnection, less sense of belonging, and an absence of meaningful and caring communities.

Consider how much of social media is anti-social?

And how much of this new media is really just the old media on steroids? Where would the social media companies be without advertising?

Add to these Reality TV that isn’t real and artificial intelligence that by definition is artificial!

There’s a better way forward.

In August 2018 I undertook a month long experiment of not participating in social or mainstream media because I was seeking more human to human connection.

I faced some significant health challenges at the time and had lost touch with my proven methods for dealing with them. A friend had challenged me with these words “What’s going on mate? You’re obviously not feeling your best self.”

I was grateful for his challenge. On reflection I realised that I become distracted and disillusioned.

I wrote down that I was tired of social media, particularly the endless self-promotion, quoting of other people by so-called experts, and the lack of value.

I wrote down that I’d had it with mainstream media too. Endless negativity, bad news and self-interest.

I wrote down that I was tired of algorithms trying to dictate what I look at.

The more I wrote the better I felt!

My passion for ‘andorithms’, those qualities that make us human, reemerged.

Here’s my 9 key lessons from my month’s experiment of no media.

1) I've enjoyed and given and gained great value from conversations in person and online where there wasn't a smart phone distracting or disrupting us.

2) I have a couple of hours per day to be a better human, and to better experience nature and other humans.

I'm better and wiser for the experience particularly as I can invest in more deep work and by definition less shallow work.

3) Life is so much better without the negativity, self-interest and bias, and the bullshit (fake news, lies and propaganda) of all forms of the media.

4) As a consequence of unsubscribing from emails that are just fronts for trying to flog me stuff I don't want or need, my in-box is much easier to empty every day and my replies to other emails are better and more valuable to the recipients.

5) I'm much more relaxed. I feel a better human. I'm free of the false feeling of the need to be liked, instead I'm more loved by family, friends, colleagues and clients (and my dog!).

6) Living a life without the constant noise of the media in the background means that my life is more peaceful and in harmony and flow.

7) My social network more than ever now is being in person with family, friends, colleagues and clients. Online still has a place in my future particularly in increasing the value of my relationships with my network through technology like Zoom. 

The big difference is that I'll be much more deliberate in choosing when, where and what. I've lost interest in algorithms and their undue influence.

8) Just sitting and thinking and often just sitting are more of a practice now. Less distracted by technology and more distracted by life in a non shallow way.

9) I'm more valuable to the people who matter in my life.

3 recommended actions

1) Make it your personal practice to regularly take time out from all forms of media. 

2) Undertake a review of your personal and family philosophies concerning the ‘Internet of things’. Ask, What is truly adding value to our lives? Disentangle yourselves from everything that isn’t adding real value.

3) Of all the third places you feel you really belong to where are you giving and receiving the greatest value? What modifications/changes will you make?

Recommended deep work

1) Involve people at all levels in your organisation in an extensive review of your philosophies concerning the ‘Internet of things’.

2) Undertake a further detailed review of all your policies, procedures, practices, processes, projects and systems and update so that they truly mean it’s simple for people to bring the best version of themselves to their work.

It’s likely that in your review you will discover that many people are still not doing work that is meaningful for them and highly valuable for others.

There’s more about this in the designing and delivering meaningful and valuable work section of Sparkenation 12 in my Remarkable Workplaces book.

For now consider the following diagram that depicts the new world of work and ask a part of your review, How will we better our competitive advantage?

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Women and men being real not parodies

This opinion piece 'What Happens When Women Stop Leading Like Men' by Tina Brown got me thinking about a sign that I read and contemplate on every day:

This above all - to thine own self be true.

I often wonder what was going on in Shakespeare's heart and mind when he penned these immortal words.

Are Jacinda Ardern and Nancy Pelosi just being true to the best version of themselves?

CreditCreditMarty Melville/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Are Trump and May being true to the best version of themselves?

I have not closely studied Nancy Pelosi, Trump or May like I have Jacinda Ardern.

What I am in no doubt about is that the world needs more women like Jacinda Ardern. Not being her just being true to themselves as human beings and as women.

Women and men being real not parodies is a key to all of our future's and that of our grandchildren.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Is your smartphone use impairing your decision-making?

I found this article by Emma Young very insightful. This picture from the article is a typical scene we all witness daily eh?:

Personally I have had to work very hard to avoid smartphone addiction. You?

It could well be that your smartphone use is actually impairing your decision-making? Please read Emma's article carefully and take action.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Friday, 12 April 2019

Collaboration - an essential skill for thriving in the 21st century

Material for today’s podcast is mainly drawn from the Collaboration sparkenation of my Remarkable Workplaces book.

Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what’s normal.

Listen directly to the podcast version of this post here.

In a nutshell

Every problem/challenge in our world today (and in your life) is a human one. Every solution has relationships with other humans at heart.

We’re hardwired for collaboration.

My friend and colleague Keith Abraham says:
“Achievement is never an individual activity.”

And it’s literally about matters of the heart.

“Most of us think about ourselves as thinking creatures who feel but we are feeling creatures who think, and we live in a society that values what we think over what we feel.”
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a leader in the world of neuroscience.

There’s a link to a great TEDx talk by Jill at the companion resources web page to my Remarkable Workplaces book.

Collaboration is the other side of the coin to competing with yourself.

At the heart of collaborating of course is relationships. To improve/sustain highly valuable and mutually rewarding relationships we must change or modify how we contact, connect, establish/sustain common ground or shared-view and demonstrate commitment with other people.

3 Recommended Actions

1) Write down your greatest collaboration or relationship story and one where you failed. Who will you become and what will you do next to better live the lessons from these experiences?

2) Review the seven special steps to successful collaboration on pages 99, 100 of Changing What’s Normal with your team/performance partners and explore changes/modifications you could make to your relationships. The seven steps are also available for your convenience at the companion resources web page to my Remarkable Workplaces book.

3 a) Review your diary for the past month. Are more than 75% of your actions some form of communication or conversations with family, friends, colleagues and stakeholders? How could you better invest your time and energy to build and grow high value mutually rewarding relationships?

b) Choose a theme song for collaboration and play it regularly to get into the state right for you.

And while we’re referencing diaries; How much of your time is not scheduled. The very best Sparkenators I know have only a maximum of 50% of their diaries with appointments scheduled (including meetings).

Recommended Deep Work

1) If you have not yet watched the compete/collaborate video and started to make the compete with your yourself and improve relationships exercises part of your routine then now is a good time to start You'll find this at the companion resources web page.

2) For your business/organisation staying in touch with customers/clients and continually adding value to the ways you delight them is fundamental to remaining relevant and successful. Explore with your team how you could better utilise the contact-connection-common-ground-commitment as a service-sales-experience and value adding cycle.

3) What is a major collaboration you have thought about however not yet acted on? Who will you become and what will you do next to better turn your thoughts into reality?

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Is there a shared-view around the behaviours that demonstrate your values?

This is the third recent post on living values. The first was What do you mean when you say 'traditional values'?  and the second Turning values into virtues (sustainable not situational values).

The key to living values is turning words into behaviours.

In most workplaces values are words. In remarkable workplaces values are behaviors.

Most organisations have stated values. Very few are lived. Rarely is there a shared-view around the behaviours that demonstrate values. Of course if you are the exception rather than the rule you have competitive advantage.

Should you not yet have agreed behaviours in place for each of your values begin to do this work.

There must be alignment between personal and organisational values. Any disconnect means trouble. So begin here. Often conversations around behaviours that are acceptable in families is a good starting place.

I suggest 3 to 5 behaviours that cover key aspects of human relationships as plenty.

Below are examples of behaviours from one workplace:

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.