How can I do as little as possible as quickly as possible?

Your boss calls you in for a meeting and gives you a new assignment. Your client signs off on your quotation and it’s time to deliver. Your employee asks you to help him with something he’s struggling with.

Most of us react to these situations by asking ourselves, “How can I do as little as possible as quickly as possible?”

It’s understandable given how stretched we feel at work. We already have a full plate, we can’t imagine how we’ll fit anymore on it. Doing as little as possible as quickly as possible may very well get the job done but […]

How can I do as little as possible as quickly as possible? 2017-07-25T09:54:51+00:00

We Don’t Think Enough

If you think about it, we rarely make time to think. We’re so pressed for time and always under pressure that our default is to react. As in Re-Act.

Most of our decisions are based on what we have done in the past, watched others do or worse, it’s based on what we’ve been told to do.

  • If we re-act based on past experiences, we risk ignoring current facts.
  • If we re-act based on what others do, we risk becoming like everyone else.
  • If we re-act based on what we’ve been told to do, we risk becoming puppets.

Thinking solves this […]

We Don’t Think Enough 2017-07-24T16:04:43+00:00

We like it clear, explicit and straightforward.

But life is never clear, explicit and straightforward. In today’s knowledge economy, we’re hired to solve problems that are vague, ambiguous and complicated.

For most of us, our education system has prepped us for clear, explicit and straightforward. A multiple choice question implies that the answer is in the question, the case studies we discuss have pre-determined answers and the assignments we work on have pre-defined outcomes.

It’s not surprising then that most of us struggle at the workplace.

What do you do when there’s no one to tell you how to solve a problem? 

You blame your boss because you expect a […]

We like it clear, explicit and straightforward. 2017-07-21T15:24:12+00:00

66%. Is that Good or Bad?

Well, it depends.

If the class genius is scoring 70%, 66% looks pretty good.

If the average class score is 80%, 66% looks pretty bad.

Here’s an interesting question:

If the average class score is 60% but the average school score is 80%, is 66% good or bad?

What if you’re the only one taking the test and there’s no one to compare with, is 66% good or bad?

Our judgement of good or bad is often relative to the benchmarks we choose.

If we choose a high benchmark, we strive to do better.

If we choose a low benchmark, we settle for mediocre.

 

A side note on […]

66%. Is that Good or Bad? 2017-07-20T05:49:55+00:00

Conscious Decisions

We’re constantly making a decision on whether to change or stay in the status quo. Change is risky and staying in the status quo is risky. So we make our decision based on the risk and payoff.

Change / Stay?
Change / Stay?
Change / Stay?

It’s an endless chain of decisions. Sometimes big (should I change jobs) sometimes small (should I have dinner out?)

The problem is not that we’re making bad decisions. The problem is we’re not making decisions consciously.

We’re on autopilot, making decisions based on intuition, impulse, assumptions and experience. That’s okay for most of life’s mundane decisions but not okay […]

Conscious Decisions 2017-07-19T08:51:35+00:00

What motivates us at work?

Motivation implies a desire to contribute, to take initiative and ownership. It’s the secret sauce organisations look for in their employees.

A TED Talk by behavioural economist Dan Ariely provides critical insight into employee motivation. His study of the issue has revealed employees are not just motivated by money or happiness at work; employees thrive when they’re making constant progress and when they feel a sense of purpose at work.

This isn’t really new insight. Most employee engagement surveys have been showing money isn’t always the No. 1 priority.

The key is to appreciate the complexity of motivation. There isn’t one factor […]

What motivates us at work? 2017-07-18T09:59:52+00:00

Things change

New technology gets introduced, alternative options surface, resources get moved around and people change their mind.

All this change affects the goals we set and the decisions we make. Because the speed of change is increasing, the life span of our goals and decisions are reducing.

The skill we chose to learn last year has become outdated, the project we designed last quarter is now irrelevant and the decision we made last week now has more options.

The speed of change has been so overwhelming that most of us choose not to respond to it. We stick to out dated goals and […]

Things change 2017-07-17T10:03:32+00:00

The 10 Minute Check-In

It’s the simple act of connecting with someone else. It’s essential in all areas of our life but for the sake of this post, let’s focus on checking-in at work.

To start with, a check-in is not task oriented. Asking for an update on a project at work or trouble shooting technical challenges your colleague is facing is not the sort of check-in we’re referring to here.

The check-in we’re talking about is a genuine open ended enquiry into another person’s well being.

A good check-in starts with a question like ‘What’s on your mind?’.
It offers the person who’s asking insight into […]

The 10 Minute Check-In 2017-07-14T13:28:34+00:00

A Tip for Job Seekers

Looking for a new job can be frustrating. Long application processes, pushy recruitment consultants and slow to respond hiring companies are only few of the challenges you’ll face.

A great way to make sure you’re not wasting your time is to be crystal clear about what you’re looking for in a new job.

The easiest way to do this is to identify your top 3 must haves in a new job. This typically includes preferences like:

  • Salary expectation
  • Job location
  • Nature of work
  • Industry
  • Progression opportunities
  • Leadership’s reputation
  • Flexi working hours

In an ideal world you’d get everything you’re looking for. However, […]

A Tip for Job Seekers 2017-07-13T08:43:30+00:00

Goal Management instead of Goal Setting

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Goals. We know it’s important. Yet, for most of us goal setting is once a year event. It’s an activity we indulge in at the start of a new year or during a personal development workshop.

If it’s so important to our success, why isn’t goal setting a priority?

Here’s the problem; our goals change. They change due to circumstances, new opportunities, changing preferences and a whole list of other reasons.

When we don’t account for change, our goal setting exercises fail.

To manage for change we need to switch from goal setting to goal […]

Goal Management instead of Goal Setting 2017-07-12T11:59:53+00:00