My briefing notes cover different facets of digital and organizational transformation: leadership, change, the gig mindset inside, learning, individual development and work cultures.
If you just signed up, thank you! Here is a selection of recent notes…
2021 Issue 2: Are you slowing down? I hope so.
One of the effects I have observed from the pandemic and full-time remote work is slowness. All around me I see signs of people slowing down. I too find my own work slowing down.
However, the slowness has been beneficial for my own thinking….Whatever your case, I hope the following three sources will encourage you to think about how you might appreciate your slowness, deliberate or imposed, and deepen what it brings.
- In Praise of Slowness
- Thinking Fast and Slow
- Working Slowly and Productivity
2021 Issue 1: Going rogue is the new normal
I wrote an article – Is going rogue the new normal? – four years ago. It focused on a new way of thinking about yourself and your work. And it’s even more relevant today than back in 2016 when I wrote it.
You can go rogue right where you are today. By becoming digitally skilled, well informed and connected in meaningful ways to others, you will develop a rogue mindset – confident of your ability to survive and thrive inside an organization as well as outside.
2020 Issue 5: The Cultural Fit Dilemma
The word culture means everything and nothing. Is it a buzz word, a red flag, a motivator or a blindfold? Culture is used by senior management to inspire people. HR specialists use the concept to help guide hiring decisions. Advisors and consultants say they can help you shape your culture. (They can’t, by the way.)
It all comes down to defining what we mean by cultural fit. Some believe a common, shared culture kills diversity. That it discourages free-thinkers, that it makes it risky to go against the status quo. These are misconceptions. It all depends on what the culture is!
2020 Issue 4: What now?
This Briefing Note is about asking questions, questioning what we take for granted. I’m sharing three pieces I wrote this month about (1) who burns out and why, (2) reversed leadership and (3) the dubious nature of thought leaders.
I have also included three articles I found relevant for the workplace and society: (1) the loss of corporate profit-sharing, (2) the rise of deep platforms and what they do, and (3) a new essential job opportunity arising in the pandemic crisis.
2020 Issue 3: Why a Bold New Breed of Employee Is So Valuable
At last! My book is in the competent hands of a skilled copy writer and we are nearing the end of a two-year adventure. I should say we are nearing the beginning of a new adventure that starts in May 2021, the official publication date.
The bold new breed of employee are those who work with a gig mindset. These salaried people inside organizations work with the spirit of freelancers: they are autonomous, question the status quo, take initiatives, cross organizational borders, detect and work with issues others do not see, improvise when necessary and influence people around them.
2020 Issue 2: Being Resilient
This Briefing Note is about being resilient. Not about resilience. A resilient person or organization can get through a crisis. But making it through once is not enough. It is highly likely there will be more and greater disruption in the short- and long-term. We are already living this. Being resilient is a state of readiness, a way of acting, a way of thinking. It is proactive, not reactive.
2020 Issue 1: Civil Disobedience Facing Strategic Blindness
Civil disobedience facing strategic blindness is the topic of the first chapter in my book about the gig mindset inside organizations. The title was inspired by two interviews I had during my research.
The first is from an analyst-journalist, based in India, who told me how he interprets the resistance of senior management to change and the second from a test engineer in a global industrial company headquartered in Europe who talked about civil disobedience as a way of triggering change….
2019 Issue 3: The lost art of reading, the lost art of writing
People are reading less, for pleasure and for business. Whether business or personal, we have become accustomed to reading in short chunks, especially on news sites, grabbing headlines and at the most the first paragraph, which often repeats what was in the headline.
This Briefing Note looks at Alan Rusbridger’s new book – Breaking News. It also discusses an future-oriented article from Phil Fersht of Horses from Source: Why the full-time job will never be so precious, as the gig economy crumbles and judgement work is digitized. Click on the title or image to read the Briefing Note.
2019 Issue 2: Navigating the Gig Mindset Paradox
Right now I’m working on the section “Navigating the Gig Mindset Paradox”. The gig mindset and the traditional mindset, apparently opposite characteristics, are actually interdependent and complement each other. They are polarities. It is not a question of “either or”, but rather a question of “both, when”. The trick is to get the right balance at the right time….
I am adopting Barry Johnson’s polarity management model to help people find the right balance between gig and traditional mindsets in their organizations. The model takes emotion and conflict off the table, and leads people to a greater understanding and ability to define actions that work for their circumstances.
2019 Issue 1: Individuals inside organizations. Will 2019 be a turning point?
How do we as individuals take control, steer our lives and interact with others in the workplace? What identity do we build for ourselves? For many people, the gig mindset is becoming an identity. Numerous people told me that after taking the gig mindset survey, they finally realized why they felt friction, frustration and discomfort in their organizations.
2018 Issue 4: The Gig Mindset, Different Colors for Different People
The more I talk to people about the gig mindset, the more I learn how people are shaping their futures in very different ways in our era of turbulence and challenges. Roles and practices are being challenged. Leadership is questioned. People are are developing strategies and finding ways to take ownership and “color” their own work experience.
2018 – Issue 3: Navigating Politics
I’m doing a webinar “Don’t Let Politics Block Your Digital Initiatives” with MIT Sloan Management Review on Thursday July 12. (11:00 a.m. EDT, 5:00 pm CEST, and 8:00 a.m. PDT.) I’ll be talking about internal politics, how they can hinder digital initiatives and what to do about it. I wrote about neutralizing internal politics some time ago, and the webinar will go into more detail. I’ll talk about 3 how’s:
- Deepening involvement
- Broadening decision-making
- Fluidifying silos
2018 – Issue 2: Which way do you lean–gig mindset or traditional mindset?
I’m researching what I call the “gig mindset”. I do not mean external gig workers, freelancers or contingent workers. I mean salaried people who work inside organizations, but behave in ways similar to external freelancers.
To this purpose, I have identified 8 attitudes and behaviors where I compare the gig mindset with the traditional mindset. These are not absolutes. Most people have some of each. But, based on my experience and interviews so far, people tend to lean more to one side or the other….
2018 – Issue 1: Low Engagement. Why?
Was Thoreau right when he wrote “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”?
It would seem so today, when it comes to the workplace. According to Gallup’s 2017 State of the Global Workplace report, employee engagement is very low: Only 15% of employees on a global scale are “highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work.” The study concluded that engagement was much higher when people felt that their input mattered and that they had the autonomy to develop and implement new ideas. …What are effective levers to combat this phenomenon? Take a look at these 3 articles and share your thoughts with me…..
2017 – Issue 6: Juggling priorities?
Do you ever feel it’s impossible to set priorities and be able to carry them out? You’re not alone. Over 50% of organizations in my annual surveys say that “competing priorities” is a “serious obstacle holding us back”. They’ve been saying this for several years now. Work life seems to be getting more and more hectic.
In this issue I propose a 5-perspective approach to collecting evidence to make it easier to define priorities. It’s not for the weak-hearted, as it requires time and energy to carry out. But the added benefit makes it worth it. You’ll end up bringing a lot of people on board for your digital initiatives.
My focus has always been people-oriented, and I’m using this final 2017 issue to share my recent work on the People Barometer I have designed. It deals with organizational maturity in terms of behaviors and practices, and can be a useful aid when thinking about priorities from the people angle.
2017 – Issue 5: Top down can work if….
Top-down can be negative, and usually is.
But it can also be powerful when you have equally strong bottom-up and horizontal flows of information and influence.
In this issue, I look at two examples. The first example is how “working out loud”, which usually starts at grassroots and spreads, was a powerful management tool at NASA, initiated from the top, but based on bottom-up and horizontal flows. This happened over 50 years ago. It was an extraordinary case of leadership, based on pens, paper and a photocopy machine – food for thought for us in the digital age.
The second example is rolling out a strategic transformation program. These programs – starting at the top – can succeed if certain decision-making principles are practiced right from the very beginning: How you make your decisions is more important that what the decisions are.