The Great Resignation and The Relentless Rise of Work About Work

We really need to start treating people’s time as being more valuable than the organisation’s money. Mark McArthur-Christie In 2012 a civil servant in the German town of Menden wrote a farewell message to his colleagues on the day of his retirement stating that he had not done anything for 14 years. “Since 1998,” heContinue reading “The Great Resignation and The Relentless Rise of Work About Work”

The Hawthorne Effect: Why Employers Need To Be Cautious In Post-Pandemic Planning

In lockdown you can’t really experiment as people have constraints. There are too many variables at play. But now we have the opportunity to test out the best of multiple worlds; home, roam, office, wherever.

The Productivity Paradox and Zoom Fatigue: Why Technology Won’t Solve Our Problems

“Imagine in the physical workplace, for the entirety of an 8-hr workday, an assistant followed you around with a handheld mirror, and for every single task you did and every conversation you had, they made sure you could see your own face in that mirror” Jeremy N. Bailenson –Nonverbal Overload: A Theoretical Argument for theContinue reading “The Productivity Paradox and Zoom Fatigue: Why Technology Won’t Solve Our Problems”

Smaller, Flatter, Faster. Is The Two Pizza Team Finally Going Mainstream?

This weeks post looks at the two pizza team which was popularised by Jeff Bezos.

In the early days of Amazon he instituted a rule that every internal team should be small enough that it could be fed with two pizzas.
The goal was, like almost everything Amazon does, focused on two aims: efficiency and scalability.

Is it finally the time that our organisations will make the shift to smaller teams, not just because of financial savings, but because of their increased effectiveness and productivity?

Read the post by clicking the link. And if you like it I’d really appreciate a share on your social network of choice.

Have a great weekend!

Best wishes

Paul

Death By Zoom: Have We Failed The Mass Home Working Experiment?

One of the few positives of the pandemic lockdown was the opportunity to reset the way in which we spend our working day. This was the chance to prove that remote work actually works. As someone whose job it is to run workplace experiments I’d say six or seven weeks is a very good pointContinue reading “Death By Zoom: Have We Failed The Mass Home Working Experiment?”

The Way We Work Isn’t Working

The office, after management, is arguably the biggest inefficiency tax that organisations layer over themselves. They cost huge amounts to procure and maintain, they become an all too convenient base for meetings (another inefficiency tax), and they set a precedent for the expected hours that people are meant to work. Offices promote lengthy commuting whichContinue reading “The Way We Work Isn’t Working”

The Smartest People Will Never Work For You

Joy’s law is the principle that “no matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else”. Bill Joy, the computer engineer to whom it’s attributed argued that if you rely solely on your own employees, you’ll never solve all your customers’ needs. It’s a quote that’s never been more true. JoyContinue reading “The Smartest People Will Never Work For You”

The No.1 Problem With The Digital Workplace

“Collaboration is an essential skill of the digital economy. And yet how to collaborate productively is hardly ever taught either in universities or in the workplace.” – Gerry McGovern It’s only a couple of months since I posted Why We Don’t Collaborate, but a few things I’ve been reading and observing make it a subjectContinue reading “The No.1 Problem With The Digital Workplace”

How To Avoid Corporate Initiativitis

We’ve never felt so busy at work, and never been less engaged. 90% of people say they expect to find a substantial degree of joy at work, yet only 37% report that they do. Many of our organisations remain afflicted by: Initiative-itis: The condition of mistaking busyness for productivity Vanity Projects: Things that only gotContinue reading “How To Avoid Corporate Initiativitis”

The Fruitless Quest For Inbox Zero: Eight Tips To Protect Your Time

You can seek to impose order on your inbox all you like – but eventually you’ll need to confront the fact that the deluge of messages, and the urge you feel to get them all dealt with, aren’t really about technology. They’re manifestations of larger, more personal dilemmas – Oliver Burkeman At the back-end ofContinue reading “The Fruitless Quest For Inbox Zero: Eight Tips To Protect Your Time”

Why Small Teams Win

In the early days of Amazon, Jeff Bezos came up with a rule: every team should be small enough that it could be fed with two pizzas. The ‘Two Pizza Rule’ signalled that Bezos didn’t want more talking, more line reports and more communication. He wanted a decentralised, even disorganised company where creativity and independence prevailedContinue reading “Why Small Teams Win”

Ending The Myth Of Collaboration

The best organisational cultures are tolerant of the loner, the thinker. – John Wade “If I was you,” said a colleague recently “now would be a very good time to involve customers, to get more people involved”. No, I thought, right now that would be the worst thing we could do. Collaboration can kill creativity.Continue reading “Ending The Myth Of Collaboration”

Continuous Partial Attention: Designing A Less Distracted Future Of Work

Calm, focused, undistracted, the linear mind is being pushed aside by a new kind of mind that wants and needs to take in and dole out information in short, disjointed, often overlapping bursts—the faster, the better – Nicholas Carr , The Shallows You’d have thought we’d have given up on the physical office by now.Continue reading “Continuous Partial Attention: Designing A Less Distracted Future Of Work”

Why We Need To Learn To Love Project Managers

‘There isn’t a child alive who dreams of being a project manager’ –  so said Scott Berkun. He pointed out that project managers can unintentionally reinforce their work as (let’s be honest) dull – by trying to get everyone to pay attention to spreadsheets, specifications, PowerPoint presentations and status reports, failing to realise these are theContinue reading “Why We Need To Learn To Love Project Managers”

How The 9-5 Saps Our Creativity and Harms Our Productivity

From ten to eleven, have breakfast for seven; From eleven to noon, think you’ve come too soon; From twelve to one, think what’s to be done; From one to two, find nothing to do; From two to three, think it will be; A very great bore to stay till four. – A Day At TheContinue reading “How The 9-5 Saps Our Creativity and Harms Our Productivity”

Don’t Let Busyness Kill Your Creativity

Last week I was getting a drink when a colleague asked me “So, you busy as usual?” I took a second to avoid my kneejerk affirmative response and went for it: “No – we’ve decided to slow down. Give ourselves some time to really think about things”. They looked at me like I’d lost myContinue reading “Don’t Let Busyness Kill Your Creativity”

We Need To Promote Outcomes At Work Not Presenteeism

“Presenteeism is the biggest threat to UK workplace productivity. Workers coming in and doing nothing is more dangerous than absenteeism” – Professor Cary Cooper A full car park and people appearing busy at their desks is zero evidence that any meaningful work is taking place. UK productivity, our output divided by the hours spent producingContinue reading “We Need To Promote Outcomes At Work Not Presenteeism”

How To Find And Kill Zombie Projects

According to Clayton Christensen , of the 30,000 new consumer products that are launched each year – 95% fail. Compare this with the public, voluntary and non-profit sectors – where hardly anything fails. The social sector must either be fantastic at launching new initiatives, or there’s a lot of things going on that shouldn’t still be living.Continue reading “How To Find And Kill Zombie Projects”