Category: Productivity

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. Joy ...

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 subject ...

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 got ...

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 of ...

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 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 ...