Some 20 or so years ago, the internet revolutionalised the workplace, and fundamentally changed the way we worked. Now as we enter 2016, it feels like we’re standing on the precipice of another workplace transformation, which we’ve been hurtling towards for the past few years.
Category Archives: Leadership
We recently looked at the sleep habits of highly successful people. And now, we can study the breakfast and early morning habits of the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.
Now that the countdown to Christmas is in full swing, it’s always nice to reflect on the highs of 2015, and in our case, the blog posts that really got our readers thinking and sharing. So just before we kick back with a glass of mulled wine and call it a wrap for 2015, we thought you might like our Christmas Top 10 of the posts that grabbed the most eyeballs this year…
Four years ago, the first edition of The Smart Working Handbook was published, designed to offer best practice advice in transforming organisations through smart working techniques. Its success was unprecedented, with more than 100,000 copies being downloaded and shared. Its advice has been adopted by numerous organisations including the UK Cabinet Office, as the official guide to Smart Working for the UK’s 440,000 civil servants.
We all love to watch a presenter who appears cool, calm and confident. In fact, if a presenter doesn’t seem confident, it is uncomfortable to watch and we will have no confidence in the message they are sharing. But how is it that they are confident in the first place? Here are seven secrets that you can use to become a confident presenter:
It only takes six months for an employee to decide whether or not to stay with an organisation in the long run. So, it’s important to make the experience both memorable and positive. A planned out process, rather than a scrappy induction, can ensure that this is done right. Provide a great impression and your employees will be more inclined to stay.
Within his book, The Virgin Way, Richard Branson shares a letter written by his mother, Eve Branson. He says he was a child full of curiosity, determination and a thirst for exploration, and in his mother’s words, “utterly determined to do his own thing”. Most parents would want to protect their child from the hurt that’s associated with failure, but Richard Branson’s parents gave him the scope to explore his crazy business ideas. Many ended in disaster, but he learnt by his mistakes. His parents were there to help him pick up the pieces, and encourage him to soldier on. It turned out these were just “the growing pains of a budding entrepreneur”.
In today’s hyper-connected world, the kind of leaders who climbed the corporate ladder with a ‘command and control’ style of management can have a hard time adjusting to today’s new workplace realities. Business people are working more collaboratively today than ever before – not just with their colleagues, but with suppliers, customers and other external agencies, too. And because global teams are more dispersed, there’s a reliance on tools and social networks that can put connectivity on steroids.
It’s amazing how much human beings truly fear change.
Imagine a life with no change – no adrenalin rushes, no new experiences, no broadened horizons. Change is what improves us, it drives our personal improvement. So, why is a fear of change right up there with death, public speaking and going to the dentist?
LinkedIn is so much more than a business networking tool. While it’s great for forging new business connections, and strengthening existing ones, its content can often be a source of motivation and learning. Submitted by business leaders around the world, it’s not uncommon for articles to be authored by revered business figures such as Bill Gates and Richard Branson, as well as highly successful published writers and speakers.
Though we have our hurdles ahead of us, I just want to send a friendly reminder that it does not matter how slowly one goes as long as you do not stop. This is an exciting stage for us, it’s where we learn the rules of the game and the next step is for us to play better than anyone else. These aren’t problems, they’re challenges! And anyway, we should expect problems and eat them for breakfast. I think it was Albert Einstein who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” But I don’t want to be one of those bosses who throws empty phrases at you so I’ll just say, in my own words: if you can dream it, you can do it, the secret of getting ahead is getting started, and keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.
Is anyone following me?
The whole point of being a leader is to guide people towards a goal. If you are forging ahead towards your glorious vision but everyone else that you are going to depend on for this vision is milling around in confusion, you are likely to fail. In this case, you are not a leader; you are just a lunatic visionary wandering off on your own into the wilderness.
I’m a fabulous leader: I work hard, stay late, meet deadlines and am great at motivating my team.
Well, I think I am anyway. I suppose there’s a slight chance I could be wrong. The trouble is, it’s very difficult to view oneself objectively. Nobody can see him/herself as others do, and asking your colleagues for their honest opinions of you can be rather awkward to say the least.
Ah, the annual performance review. Whether you’re responsible for writing them or receiving them (or even both), it seems that not everyone is a fan of the process.
It’s a tricky situation. As an employer, you hope that your best employees will stay forever. But, realistically, if you’re not promoting them, then it might not be long before they decide to go. Of course, many people are contented in their work, without any prospect of promotion. But, for others, a lack of advancement will certainly have them on the move.
We live in the age of information where people hardly have time to hear themselves think clearly, let alone absorb the plethora of instant communication they are bombarded with.
That presents a significant challenge in itself for most speakers when they are called upon at work to impress their colleagues with that all important presentation. Intelligent, busy people who are working extremely hard to meet deadlines and deliver unreasonable targets often find themselves just striving for survival in the cut and thrust or corporate complexity.
By 2025, it’s predicted that Gen Y will make up 75% of the workforce.
This reality is enough to fill many managers with fear and trepidation. Perhaps this is no surprise, with all the hype that surrounds Gen Y in the workforce: from self-centered and entitled to optimists with a genuine desire to help others, this generation has been branded with a staggering number of stereotypes.
If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, you’ll know that at Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry, an enchanted ‘sorting hat’ is used to decide which house each pupil should be in. If only us muggles had such an easy way of judging personality! But with the absence of a sorting hat in the business world, companies have for years relied on psychometric testing. It’s big business, and in the US alone more than 2,500 personality tests exist on the market.
Futurologists are forever trying to anticipate how today’s technologies will shape tomorrow’s working practices. Granted, we’re not at the point where our jobs have been taken over by robots with artificial intelligence, allowing us to enjoy a life of leisure, but communications platforms do allow us to interact and connect in ways we never thought possible. However, for many, the communications revolution hasn’t yet materialised into utopia.