Tag: Rave

images-3

Nobody writes letters anymore.  I get it; we live in a digital age.  E-mail is the norm.  It’s efficient.  It’s (largely) free.  The postal service is antiquated.  Stationary is a ripoff.  But let me present to you an argument for a handwritten note.

When you take the time to write a note by hand and have it delivered (or, better yet, deliver yourself), you:

  • Develop better handwriting skills which are highly useful for whiteboarding/sharing notes with colleagues
  • Instill a sense of trust and create a personal connection with others to whom you exchange notes
  • Build personal brand and establish a reputation as an upstanding person
  • Buck the trend of digitizing absolutely everything in your life
  • Differentiate yourself from “everyone else” who probably sent a quick email (or forgot to send anything at all)
  • Help people recall the “good ol days” (reminding them how far we’ve come, a warm-n-fuzzy for all)

Whether it’s a “thank you”, a “congrats”, or anything else, you are building your character and people will respect the hell out of you.

Til Next Time,

Michael

I read a fantastic article on Upworthy the other day on the benefits of bucking the 9-to-5 trend.  It makes a lot of sense to think about why companies should more readily offer people flexible work schedules.  Especially now more than ever in a digital age with tremendous opportunities to work virtually, I think it’s a shame that so much of Corporate America is handcuffed to a  9-to-5.

Personally, I see massive benefits in allowing employees to set their own time and place for work.  Just a few to spark some thought:

  • TRAFFIC: yes, being an Atlantan, this one is going to be first on my list.  I lose at least one hour a day to commuting (and, many times, 2+ hours) and I think about how bitter I get either when I arrive at the office or home for the night after an unusually long commute…  It’s really hard to get back on point after you sit in a car for 90 minutes.
  • WORK LIFE BALANCE: people need time to do things that make them happy.  For me, going to the gym is really important.  Fortunately, I work at a site where I can escape to the gym a couple days over lunch.  I can’t tell you what that does for my own energy and mood when I get back to the office.  It is a perfect way to split the day up and I don’t walk around all afternoon like a zombie.
  • PRODUCTIVITY: some people are simply more productive in comfortable environments.  Office life can be daunting.  Some are night owls; some early risers.  Why confine everyone to a schedule that may not fit their biological body preferences?
  • FINANCIAL PLANNING: adjusting work schedules allows people to take better control of their personal finances.  Whether it’s saved fuel costs from not sitting in traffic (see #1) or the ability to do more home cooking rather than dining out, there are great benefits financially to having more flexible work schedules.  Also – mothers and fathers that could potentially split days home to save on child care costs would be an incredible way to allow young couples to be happier, healthier, and wealthier (and, as the graphic shows, happy employees are key)

The only argument I see against it is two-fold: either 1) people are lazy and unproductive when they aren’t surrounded by others or in a controlled environment, and 2) collaboration takes a massive hit when you aren’t able to meet face to face with people.  First off, some of the least productive people I know are the ones that live at the office and put in hours much longer than 9-to-5 (ever had that person who sends you an email “needing” something by the end of the day at 4 PM?  Why did they wait so long?).  Second, while I do agree that face-to-face collaboration is hard to beat – there are ways to ensure there is still ample amount of in-person collaboration and meeting time.  It just has to be carefully constructed within a company’s workplace bylaws.  Telecommuting has gotten ridiculously simple and the ability to connect virtually is easier now more than ever.

I know I may have oversimplified a lot of the content above,  but it’s silly to me that more companies wouldn’t explore this.  If your company claims it has “the best people”, why would they not want to commit to making them happy?

Til Next Time,

Michael

Happy Sad Workers

images-4

I really like celebrating success.  I think if we don’t take the time to reflect on our accomplishments and tell our story, we are missing a huge opportunity to grow our own personal brands.  I know in some office environments, it is a little more black and white and tooting your own horn can often be taken the wrong way – but that’s no excuse not to get a pat on the back every once in a while.  As an old boss of mine once said, self-promotion is an art (side note: she also said you should find a coat tail and ride the sh*t out of it; equally-sage advice I will reflect on at some point down the road I’m sure – but that’s neither here nor there).

Simply put, by celebrating your successes you will:

  • Capitalize on a huge opportunity to build your own personal brand
  • Develop personality traits and tendencies that skew towards the happier side of things
  • Breed future success by allowing yourself to truly taste and enjoy what success feels like
  • Boost your team’s morale and desire/willingness to go the extra mile for the greater good
  • Raise the bar for future accomplishments
  • Position yourself for bigger and brighter (and, likely, more financially-rewarding) opportunities

So cheers to everyone starting to celebrate their success a bit more!

Til Next Time,

Michael

Unknown-1

As promised, a follow up to how I would handle the Comcast/TWC merger and integration of the two companies.

DISCLAIMER: this is 90% satire, 10% real.  Keep that in mind.

Imagine this…  In order to peacefully unify two disparate companies practicing in totally different geographies, what if we used gamification (buzzword alert) to resolve the unsettled differences?  It would be great.  Not only would it be fun, lighthearted, and keep everyone optimistic about the integration.  It would rapidly accelerate the implementation timeline.

Here are some sample games that could be employed to define path forward for integration points:

  • CEO’s could compete in a decathlon of events to determine who takes point of crafting the mission/vision statement for the unified company
  • The VP’s of finance could play a game of checkers to see which company’s accounting or book-keeping software was used
  • Marketing departments could compete in a 24-hour marketing challenge (independently judged) to see which team would run point on the new company’s campaigns
  • Teams of front-line call center agents could play in a 2-on-2 basketball tournament to identify which team’s call scripting was used
  • Housekeeping staffs could participate in a giant tug-of-war to see which role description and responsibilities were claimed
  • Administrative assistants could participate in a skills competition in order to have higher placement in the draft to select the executives they are paired with

While quite rushed and void of much original human thought, this method would at least ensure both sides had a “fair shot” at being represented in the future state company.  Plus it could be really fun and build a great team chemistry/camaraderie.  I think a lot of times the post-merger integration of disparate sides is done way too methodically in a way that is painfully exhausting and lulls the sides to sleep (And do you ever do good work when you’re asleep?  Me either).  There is so much time wasted on figuring out who’s right, who’s wrong, which way is the best, etc.  At a certain point, you have to just make a decision, move on, adapt and sustain, or continue to operate differently.  Not every situation has a winner and a loser.  Sometimes we’re all right; and that’s alright.

Til Next Time,

Michael

A good friend of mine came to me with a logical idea the other day…  Spawning off my “Case Against” Rant Series into a “Case For” Rave Series.  He thought I may be coming off a bit too negative or contrary (me?  never!) and this would give me a good chance to come back with more of my ideas on how to improve things that I think need improving.  As this is a blog dedicated to my meanderings and “thought leadership” I am continuing to aggregate over time – I said why not!

So I present to you: the case for being positive!

As much as this blog may make me sound like a Negative Nancy, I really do try to see the positive in all that I do.  Especially in the workplace.  A few quick tips on what I do to exude positivity and remain calm/optimistic even in the face of the toughest adversity:

  • Smile.  Yes – this sounds easy – but it’s so easy to tell the people who hate their jobs simply by their facial tones.  Even if you don’t love what you do, the power of positivity and kindness is contagious and sometimes just smiling will put everyone in a better mood and make the situation a little less poke-my-eyes-out unbearable
  • Spend some time every day reflecting.  The more you can step back from a situation and think about something other than work, the more your work body will respond in the times you really need it to
  • Let the little stuff go.  Some people have an innate ability to make the smallest things seem like monumental issues.  Ignore them.  Or, at a minimum, confirm for yourself that it is not that big of a deal and make sure your peers and superiors know that you aren’t blatantly ignoring something to cover yourself
  • Make an effort to map out your colleague’s personalities.  Spoiler alert: we’re all different!  This will help you react more positively and appropriately when your colleagues encounter tough situations or times when their buttons/triggers are pushed (because they may very well react in a certain way that is in no way a slight to you, but as long as you can understand reactionary tendencies, it will help you be more calming and accepting)
  • Every time you feel like your blood is boiling or that you want to scream, find some quiet space and take a deep breath.  Not only will it help restore your heart rate, but it will also help you think more clearly and establish better perspective of the situation
  • Before you hit ‘send’ on any e-mail that could be taken the wrong way or has any element of bad news, RE-READ IT!  In most cases, it would behoove you to tone down your language or make your statements in less incendiary language; people prefer to deal with level-headed individuals and will be more receptive to your points

Til Next Time,

Michael

Contact

Use this form to submit information!

Name
Email
Message

Yay! Message sent.
Error! Please validate your fields.