More superquick thoughts.

Is the main negative externality of big data approaches a loss of sense of self determination for others?

If you were put in charge of your organisation today what would you change? Why do you think your CEO isn’t changing that?

Would Jesus have used visual aids if he were about today? Would he have delivered Parables by Powerpoint?

When was the last time you felt really proud? How can you create an opportunity to feel like that again in the next few days?

We like diversity and we like fit and we like consistency and we like innovation. Will we ever be happy?

Which industry is most in need of regulatory intervention and why?

If you could choose another career what would be the motivation for doing so?

What type of job would you need to do to never want to retire? Is that the definition of a dream job?

Is it the wisdom of crowds or the mentality of the mob that ends up with the Daily Mail existing?

Why don’t people say ‘hello’ to Big Issue vendors. It might be embarrassing for you to be confronted by relative poverty – but being the type of person who ignores people should be pretty embarrassing too?

What’s the best company in the world? If your immediate response is ‘how do you define best?’ then do you ever wonder how you make it through the day? Are words that hard?

They say there is no such thing as a stupid question. Do you really believe that?

What would be the best thing you could do for someone in the next 10 minutes? Why wouldn’t you really change someone’s day for the better?

How close to falling off a bed can you be without falling off the bed?


Pt 2. Superquick thoughts and brain farts

If another department wanted to rebrand we’d roll out eyes, yet people seem to think renaming HR would make us more credible. That’s just odd isn’t it? Are we that bad we need to pretend we didn’t happen?

I was always taught to let ladies pass through a door first. When did I decide it was OK to suspend that for tube journeys?

If a company makes a good profit can it ever be called dysfunctional. Are all organisations just very functional at being what they are?

If we had to scrap one HR led activity what would it be? Why do we allow ourselves to be associated with it if it’s that bad?

Nobody needed to teach you how to use Facebook. I don’t think that means we overtrain people, I think it means organisations don’t invest in making their workings intuitive – doesn’t it?

What books that you haven’t read yet would change the way you approach business or the world? Who are the people most likely to recommend them to you?

When is it OK to settle? ‘Strive for excellence but don’t burn out’ is a tricky ask isn’t it?

Who is the person you wished you’d had a chance to work for? What stopped you making that happen?

Blank sheets of paper are fun for some and intimidating for others. How do we design for that?

Would an organisation full of Steve Jobs clones come even close to working?

What is the most underpraised job role in your organisation?

If your leadership team read the FT and the rest of the business read tabloids – how will that impact dynamics over time?

Isn’t it cool that sometimes we build things that we only used to be able to dream of…


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Superquick thoughts

How big a difference does a tough commute make to productivity? How big a difference does it make to happiness?

I’ve had some great managers and some great leaders. Why should I think one categorisation is any better than the other?

Why do people keep looking for the next big thing before we have made headway on the last big thing?

If the best work in an organisation – and the best conversations – happen informally – is the job of process just to enable informal stuff to happen more effectively?

The Why Axis suggests that competition in society is largely driven by nurture. If this is the case could we learn to uncompete? What difference would it make to living standards?

What responsibility do employers have for educating employees beyond being capable in their role?

What can we learn from thinking the worst about situations? Negative assumptions?

How big an influence on my thinking does stuff on my Twitter feed that I don’t read make?

How scary is doing things differently?

How many organisations would you not find a way to be happy at? Needs must?

Is telling people to chase their dreams irresponsible?

If you agree performance reviews should be scrapped and don’t have an alternative solution for reward allocation is that a really big problem?

How many people retire happy with their career? And their lives? Which is the right measure for a successful economy?

Why do people seem smarter outside of work than in it?

How much of an average working day is playacting?

Work hard, play hard. Does that really work for people or is it just a way of justifying a pattern of behaviour people have fallen into?

Why do I get so upset about people buying iPhones? What is the equivalent for other people (hint: publishing on LinkedIn seems a parallel for some)

What makes a life worthwhile? How much of what you do each day is moving your life towards that marker?

If I’m creating my own prompts to manage my behaviour (e.g. nudges) am I giving up self control or exercising it?

Should I be encouraging my 4 year old to play outside or to learn how to use touchscreens? If both, what should be the bias of time?

Should we encourage people to share more stories about the future to inspire them? Should that be part of goal setting? Would that make it less painful?

If sitting at a desk all day is killing people shouldn’t that be the number one priority for most orgs to address?

How good is Jaws?


#StreetWisdom, territory and micro-ethnography in Soho Square

Really good to see momentum growing AND #btwc making a difference to people

[work]spatially challenged

Lanterns above a Chinatown street

Self-organisation in Soho Square Self-organisation and seating in Soho Square

I pretty much wrote this post on my way home from a fascinating afternoon in the glorious, baking heat of London. This Thursday was the first ‘official’ #BtWC activity to challenge and consider what the future of work could aspirationally be, hosted by @dds180, @ChrisKane55, @KateGL, @davidmicklem and @SimonHeath1. I was there with Bob Seddon (the newly appointed chair of the @BIFM_UK Workplace SIG), @ChrisMoriarty3 (surely the best surname in the country?!) and about 50 other intrigued participants, keen to learn what #StreetWisdom was all about.

If you haven’t heard of #BtWC yet then start here, catch up, and get involved. What would a better working life look like, and what are we going to do about it? What would make work great? What makes a great place to work? What role does space and place have in…

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The random collision of people and places

Exceptionally well put, exceptionally good intent, exceptionally good take on the world in person too….


How HR and Facilities have traditionally worked together

In a blinding moment of utter selflessness, I’ve committed the rest of my professional life to building bridges. Not the big iron ones between land masses that requires me to face my fear of vertigo but the ones riding on the back of a slow-burning realisation in society that the next defining shift for work is the promotion of collaboration as a key differentiator. Command and control, dontcha know, is so last century !

But if I take myself out of the habitual visualizing of a future movement of well-chiselled, high cheekboned, collaborative HR working men and women aggregating insight like there is no tomorrow, the starting point today is certainly not for the faint hearted.

You see, jumping off points for changing anything are well, just bloody difficult. Despite LinkedIn influencers telling us how we should act before it arrives, the…

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should you become a manager, part II

I was having this conversation with someone midweek, this is perfectly summed up by Broc.

fool (with a plan)

Part 1 was a teensy bit tongue in cheek. I get concerned that we often only see the Hollywood aspect of leadership – power, money, cars, Donald Trump – and miss the daily, grinding realities of it. Being a leader is difficult and comes with a lot of downsides. Leadership also comes with several upsides that don’t get much press. They aren’t flashy and aren’t for everyone, but they are important.

1. As a leader, the culture of your team is up to you. It gets established and reinforced daily just by how you show up, how you interact, and how you make sure work gets done. You can make it a great place to be where people want to do their best.

2. You are crucial to your employees’ growth and development. Sure, they have to actually do the learning, but the tone you set determines how much…

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Both sides now – Joni Mitchell and the workplace

“Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell (ish)

Rows and flows of desks and chairs
And data patterns in the air
And politics most everywhere
I’ve looked at work that way

For some it only blocks the sun
Disdain and beige for everyone
So many things I would have done
But work got in my way

I’ve looked at work
From both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s work’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know work at all

Happy faces, Christmas meals
Lifting up how people feel
As someone’s dreaming turns out real
I’ve looked at work that way

Maybe it’s just another show
You leave ’em laughing when you go
And if you care, don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away

I’ve looked at work
From both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
It’s work’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know work at all

Teams and dreams and feeling proud
To say “this matters” right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at work that way

But now old friends
They’re acting strange
They shake their heads
And say work has changed
Well something’s lost
But something’s gained
In working every day

I’ve looked at work from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It’s work’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know work at all

For Bina Briggs.

I know the Joni Mitchell version is almost peerless, but I have a huge affection for this version..