Category: Productivity

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 can 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 prevailed ...

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. ...

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. ...

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 the ...

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 The ...

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 my ...

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 producing ...

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. ...

Technology Won’t Kill Meetings – But We Can

Technology failed us. We thought the world of work was to be reimagined. The death of the office. The end of email. A utopia of work/life integration fueled by work-where-you-want technology. It hasn’t happened. Six years ago 2.8 million people made daily commutes of two hours or more. In 2016 that’s risen to 3.7 million. ...

How To Make Complex Things Simple

I’ve just had to apply for a new passport. It’s one of those things that you generally only do every ten years or so. It prompts you to ruminate on a few things. Ageing: That old passport photo you were embarrassed about now looks like the ideal version of you. You shudder at the thought of ...