Monday, 17 May 2010
Friday, 14 May 2010
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Thursday, 6 May 2010
I'm so looking forward to seeing Horseplay at the Maidment this Friday. It's been ages (about a year, in fact) since I've seen live theatre of any kind.
Just anticipating the production got me thinking about work (hmmm... just about anything gets me thinking about work...)When your work involves a lot of sitting in front of the computer and concentrating, it can be hard to get motivated.
At sy recently, we've been implementing a few things to keep us on task - and interestingly, these ideas are from the entertainment world.
First is the runsheet, an idea we got watching the special features for JJ Abrams Star Trek. It's such an intense, fast-paced movie, yet behind the scenes there was a relaxed confidence running through the set. That's great leadership - someone like JJ who is on top of the schedule, and can also relate to all his people on a human level.
So we've started working on a daily runsheet, which is similar to an agenda or todo list, but with an important difference - the name has action built into it. It's a RUNsheet, not a walk sheet or a sit down sheet. It's a RUN sheet. Yeah.
We've also been creating a psychological space to work in. As I mentioned on iJumpTV a while back, we're now working virtually - or in less sexy terminology, working from home. But we still have the office sign, so when it's working hours, that sign comes out and is where we can see it all day.
We also have a banner we use for our workshops and events ... it says "a sy event" .... the challenge is, to make every day an event, not just the days when you're out and about, but even the stay-at-home and do-the-actual-work days!
How do you make your days into productions?
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
Monday, 3 May 2010
If you ever want to learn about a subject, listen to a few experts have a conversation about it.
It surfaces the key issues, and helps you understand the different ways of looking at the subject. You may not understand every word that's being said, but you'll learn:
- The priorities - what issues are more important than others
- The terminology - key words, phrases and acronyms that get used
- The conflicts - key ways of looking at the subject that disagree with each other.
A great way to get into these subjects is through podcasts - but make sure you get conversations, rather than just lectures.
Here's an example of this "in the deep end" kind of learning:
Last year I wrote some copy for treasury management software company. They do hedge accounting software - that is, they help companies have the right kind of records around managing currency trading. It's a very niche, complicated area. And I needed to learn about it - fast!
The Deloitte podcast really helped, because it featured a panel of experts talking about the key issues around hedge accounting.
They helped me to understand by telling stories, asking questions of each other, and offering alternative viewpoints.
I didn't understand everything, but because I felt like I was part of the discussion, my brain did an amazing job trying to keep up. It was so much better than trying to go for a "101" systematic approach.
The problem with a systematic introduction, is that sometimes you're learning the basic principles, but you don't know why those principles are so important. So you don't pay as much attention as you would, if you knew what it was for.
So if you need to know something - fast - jump in the deep end. Start with some podcasts.
Saturday, 1 May 2010
It's a paradox. The people who are most successful seem to be the people with all the flaws.
Who do we love? The people who are really at home with themselves. We admire them because when they admit they're not perfect, we see ourselves in them.
So ... should you be open about your flaws before you make a big success?
In the 20th century, the answer was easy: no freaking way. Don't show an ounce of weakness. Be perfect, unassailable.
But the trouble with now is, word gets out. We're all human and we all make mistakes. Who is going to talk about your mistakes, yourself, or someone else?