I say we are coming out of the pandemic because all the signs point in that direction. At least where I live in the UK where all restrictions have been lifted and the talk is of learning to live with COVID-19. Whether it is based in fact and is a permanent state, that remains to be seen. I at least am ready to move on and will behave as if its over (I’m done and this is my call to arms). So this is what I’m leaving behind and taking forward.
Meetings = Productivity.
This has always been a problem but in the pandemic it’s been exacerbated. That people think they need to add more meetings to overcome lack of proximity is fundamentally flawed thinking.
If anything, less meetings should be added or considered. I’m waging war on irrelevant, unplanned, disorganised meetings that serve no purpose or suck the life out of already challenging days.
I mean by this how everything seems to have become homogenised, samey, devoid of any diversity. The days blur, the meetings are lifeless, the innovation stifled.
The problem is the effort people put in, or rather don’t. I’m guilty as hell – not getting properly dressed or sub par ablutions for the day.
More than just the physical preparations though, its about the mental preparations. Having good sleep, meditating, good exercise.
Doing this leads to better energy. Better energy leads to a better and more positive presence.
For two main reasons its due an update. The clue to the first is in the original title. Anything that lays claim to being modern needs a revisit at least every 5 years.
The second is the more important one in that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on individuals and organisations since then and this requires the model to be revisited.
The pandemic has put pressure on organisations like never before and so it becomes even more important to hone your craft and perfect the way you actualise your business for continued survival. I would argue that Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs continues to provide a sound basis for addressing the needs of an organisation (just as much as for an individual) and what to focus on for a healthy and successful business.
Some of the elements remain unchanged so I wont go into detail on those other than what you can read in the DanelDoodle – read the original post if you want to know more. Below is a little on what I think has changed in 5 or more years and since the pandemic hit us.
Everyone wants innovation, no one wants to innovate. It’s similar to change. Therein may lie the rub. They are such broad terms, they may have lost their significance. But the problem goes beyond lack of interest, there is a lack of purpose or organisation/management, the pace of change, all and more contribute to this situation. Call it innovation fatigue if you will, in fact a book has got that covered already: Innovation for the fatigued – How to Build a Culture of Deep Creativity. And yet, the imperative is as high as ever.
All the charts (click on any to view enlarged) come from an article in the The Information from various different sources: 12 Charts That Show How Tech Took Off During a Year of Shutdowns. The full article requires a subscription but I can share access to The Information with 5 friends or colleagues completely free for 30 days – contact me if interested. It’s well worth it as they do a thorough breakdown of each chart and they are an excellent news source besides.
Here is my super slimmed down, sense-making take on all this, in a nutshell (enough of the superlatives already):
Saying that tech has benefitted from the pandemic sounds like a statement from the department of the bleedin’ obvious. Of course it has and for many obvious reasons. One of them is that technology aids remote work especially technology that is purpose built for it, like collaboration software that supports asynchronous work. Other times, its just that companies that have digitised processes really well stand to benefit – like ride hailing (which didn’t necessarily benefit from the pandemic but have prospered nevertheless) and food delivery (which did).
I’m surprised gaming was not included because that is another huge beneficiary. Other than home working, its probably the biggest reason for the spike in bandwidth.
The jobs dive and start-up formation are more than likely directly correlated. Indirectly too, the move to life online and emptier offices. The general investment, valuations and listings frenzy is probably all down to opportunists or investors wanting to cash in – who knows what happens when the real effects of the pandemic are felt 😬
B2B selling was already changing before COVID-19. I’ve written before about how I think customer success practices with their emphasis on product usage is changing sales to be more data and impact driven and more receptive to the user, not just the purchasing unit. This change is not unique to enterprise software sales – think about how you purchase cars these days, I did and it involved very few sales people or even physically seeing the car. VC Andreessen Horowitz looks to startups for inspiration and new research from McKinsey provides data points.
The path with Microsoft that is, which is all I can talk about based on my experience (disclosure). I’m working with several customers to support adoption of Microsoft 365 technologies and a key part of this is what and how to measure the right impact of M365 on workplace productivity. At this time with COVID-19 and the move to remote work (which not everyone agrees to), this and inded the future of work is hugely in question and supporting and measuring it becomes imperative. I’m just sharing some of the work I am doing and approaches I’m taking – hopefully this is of use.
For good reason (escalated by the COVID-19 pandemic), enterprises realise they need to ensure employee’s mental wellbeing is taken care of. Also that employees are helped to better take care of themselves. It’s in the enterprise’s interest. Activities geared to supporting them are booming and IT and HR departments are driving them. Mindfulness practice is an important aspect but there is more.
A brief intro and some sense making on a recent article and book covering the topics in the title. And as the captions states, I continue to explore new ways of communicating or publishing – video mixed with content created on Canva. Experimentation coincidentally also a theme covered in the short video so n00b alert 🤓 The book is Humanocracy by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini. The article in FT – Future of work: how managers are harnessing employees’ hidden skills.
Some pics from a few days away in Cornwall on the South West Coast Path, one of the finest walks I have ever experienced (this was my third time I love it so much). Nothing like some gorgeous outdoors by the seaside to combat lockdown malaise, lift the spirits and make you feel alive. The Google Map plots the exact route, places to stay, eat and drink, etc.
There are key activities and those leading them at the heart of the changes happening at work as a result of the pandemic. Some are quick to adopt them and others not. Then there are those that will unfortunately not survive. Activities focus on events, remote work and learning.