Monday, 20 May 2019

When all the world is like a jazz band

In the car on the way to Ballarat on 29th April 2019 I listened to The Conversation Hour hosted by Jon Faine on ABC radio Melbourne.

Jon's special guest on this day was jazz musician extraordinaire James Morrison.

I almost had to stop the car when I heard James say "if all the world was a jazz band everything would be cool."

I've heard James play live on a couple of occasions. It is an incredible experience.

He went onto to say in this conversation with Jon and other guest about how listening and improvisation are essential in order to play well with other musicians.

What a brilliant insight into living and work well together.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

Friday, 17 May 2019

Designing and delivering meaningful and valuable work

Material for today’s podcast is mainly drawn from the Connections 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

We all have needs, expectations and desires (NED’s). We rely heavily on other people to satisfy our NED’s.

In the modern world the quality of the experience/s through which we satisfy our NED’s is paramount.


To thrive in this new world of work it is essential to design your work so that it is meaningful for you and valued by others and then in the words of Steven Farber “do what you love in the service of people who love what you do.”

3 recommended actions

1) Observe your behaviour over the next week. When are you most doing work that is meaningful for you? 

2) How will you do more of this kind of work?

3) Ask the people you work with for feedforward concerning how you deliver what you do to them and modify your actions accordingly.

Recommended deep work

1) Establish a work group to read and discuss Steve Farber’s great book ‘The Radical Leap.’ 

2) With this group enact the Personal Change Journey and coaching and mentoring models that I first explored in ‘The Appreciative Leader’ handbook and pictured below. Get your copy of The Appreciate Leader handbook from the PDF file you download here


Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Being on the right side of history

I'm hopeful that despite last minute lies, misrepresentation and fake news from their allies in the Press that the current government in Australia is voted out big time this Saturday.

I'm hopeful too that the new PM will emulate Jacinda Ardern, in his own best way, and get us back to being on the right side of history.

Watch her 1 minute and 20 seconds video here.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Monday, 13 May 2019

An alternative to the so-called fourth industrial revolution

The so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution is an idea that I don't believe in.

It's supporters suggest that The First Revolution was when we shifted to mechanised production, The Second when we shifted to mass production, The Third when digital automates at speed, and The Fourth when technologies mean the lines are blurred between physical and digital. Nothing wrong with these descriptors within themselves.

The reason I don't like the terminology is that first through fourth has meant dehumanisation. We are still recovering from the first in this sense!

In my ebook pictured I offer a different perspective by looking at history through ages namely agricultural, industrial, information and purpose.

This ebook is highly practical.

You'll find it a valuable resource for putting humans first and making sure that technology use is such that it enhances the human experience.

You can download the ebook along with all my resources with my compliments, all from the one PDF which you download here.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Friday, 10 May 2019

Making meaningful progress visible

Material for today’s podcast is mainly drawn from the Connections 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

For most of my 48 years working life I’ve observed that in the very best workplaces progress towards shared objectives has been visible via scorecards and/or scoreboards of some kind.

When ‘The Balanced Scorecard’ concept began to be adopted from 1996 not only did the pictures get better, so did what was being pictured.

In the last 8 years there’s been a further raising of the bar as the wisest people apply ‘The Progress Principle’ which was rated by Harvard Business Review as the breakthrough idea of 2010.

You can learn more about ‘The Balanced Scorecard’ and ‘The Progress Principle’ via the companion resources web page to my Remarkable Workplaces book. 

The key for me about ‘The Progress Principle’ is the insight "making progress in meaningful work visible.”

I’ve never thought much of the idea that what gets measured gets done. I’m much more aligned with the following:

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”

William Bruce Cameron in 'Informal Sociology' published 1963.

3 recommended actions

1) Have a candid, convivial and compassionate conversation with your team about your keeping score philosophy.

Ask these questions:

How much is our focus on tangibles or outcomes/results?

How can we get better at focusing on intangibles or processes or routines/rituals, i.e the things that lead to our outcomes/results.

2) Explore "making progress in meaningful work visible” with your team.

How could you embrace it and make it integral to daily work in your workplace?

3) Use visual formats and processes that the people involved relate to

Beyond traffic lights, graphs, thermometers and the like, what visual formats will you use to “making progress in meaningful work visible,” and that people really relate to?

Recommended Deep work

1) Over time create harmony between Key Human Indicators and Key Performance Indicators.

I first learned the phrase Key Human Indicators from futurist Gerd Leonhard.

I also love Gerd’s idea of androrithms "those qualities that makes us human" having more meaning than algorithms.

In my work with clients the behaviours that demonstrate the living of values are key human indicators. Here’s an example from Jamie Wilson, Sales manager for Victoria, Australia for Haymes Paint:

“In all interactions and transactions with fellow employees and business partners we perform with passion, pride in our work, professionalism, and the highest levels of honesty.”

Key Human Indicators are also the essential skills required to thrive in the new world of work.

Below is a partial list of these skills. What would you add to the list?

empathizing, collaborating, creating, leading and building relationships. Source.
Influence, Self-leadership, Communication, Agility, Resilience, Proactivity, Teachability, Curiosity, Vulnerability, Humour. Source.

2) The skills referenced above are all critical to value delivery. What other lead value delivery indicators need to be maximised in your workplace?

The format in which people receive what they want is one such lead indicator.

Elements of your customer’s experience when doing business with you are indicators.

I love the insight that it's jobs being made redundant not people. Learn more about this.

Make a list of the jobs that you believe will never be redundant? What you've listed are a key to value delivery.

Being of value is the great quest we're all on. As Einstein put it:

"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value"
Albert Einstein

3) Create and execute a plan over the next year to improve your communication, conversations and presentations in general and the other Sparkenator roles. Include your being better, wiser and more valuable as a Sparkenator in "making progress in meaningful work visible.”

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

New employees need much more than onboarding

I love this article by Scott Belsky. It's headline 'It’s not enough to hire great people; you need to graft them onto your team.' I agree.

Recruiting/hiring - onboarding - valuing - retaining - succession/departing friends are the five stages of the best employer/employee relationships.

When either an employer or an employee make a mistake in recruiting/hiring it's often not something we recover well from, and yet onboarding is often the weak link in the chain.


Scott puts forward 4 ingredients in his article:
empathy, integration, psychological safety, and communication.

I think all are essential. You?

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

Monday, 6 May 2019

Self-reflection is a key to consistently being the best version of ourselves

Self-awareness is the number one skill of self-governance or self-leadership. Self-reflection is a key way to sustain high levels of self-awareness.

For me personally I still prefer pen and paper as my way to self-reflect, and so I was inspired by this article by my colleague Alicia Curtis.


On reading Alicia's insights who are you inspired to become and what will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian