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Focus News Podcast

Introducing The Fixing The Broken World Of Work Podcast

Brand New Podcast From Focus:
Fixing The Broken World Of Work Podcast

I set myself an annual target, it’s a mission really, I challenge myself to speak to as many leaders as possible. 

It has been something I have done for the last five years and it was something I undertook for personal development. 

But when I created Focus, I wanted to open up the conversation, the plan was to invite leaders to write for leaders letters, to interview leaders on company culture, on the future of work, on leadership and on important topics such as well-being and mental health. 

I wanted to help develop leaders and help to grow people who manage to managers to actual leaders and build a better generation of leaders through high-quality content packed with useful tips and takeaways while offering frameworks, coaching courses, management coaching and executive mentorship programmes.

My long term plan was to interview in person (yes, in real life) and ask for Q&A from the audience and build a network of leaders who would support the next generation. 

Unfortunately due to covid, this has not been possible to build, so for the first step towards offering a way to fix the broken world of work, I took my conversations and recorded a podcast series “Fixing The Broken World Of Work”. 

I am extremely proud of the first season, it is packed full of brilliant stories, tips and actionable advice for execs, managers who want to transition to leaders and those wanting to make positive change at work.

It is deliberately binge-able and be able to be downloaded all at once, with no waiting from week to week!  

I want leaders on whatever stage of their journey to be inspired to listen, make numerous notes and share the podcast season with their teams and their managers around them. 

It’s a podcast series that is deliberately different. 

Categories
Focus News Leadership

20 Lessons In 20 Minutes From 20 Years Experience

I was invited to speak at an online event, it was broad brush on what I would like to talk on.

As it was planned for a 20 minutes talk with a lot of Q&A, I created a 20:20:20 deck, 20 lessons in 20 minutes (around 20 slides) from my two decades of work.

The majority of lessons are those that I leverage through Focus but there are a few more specific Marketing and Growth lessons that go against the grain of “the standard” advice.

Here is the 20:20:20 deck, which you can download at the bottom of the post and I have broken down the advice below for slightly more context.

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Focus News hybrid office

The Future State Of Work Podcast

This week Nick and I discussed the future state of work, obviously, this is very topical with the return to the office and the chatter around how Basecamp has changed their policy and saw backlash, how Google are not giving clear communication to their employees and how the likes of Twitter, IBM and Slack are suggesting you can work from wherever you like vs having to be in one HQ or a satellite office.

With so much of this discussion being relevant to Focus, I wanted to share this specific episode for you to read and share with your executive team.

On the podcast we discuss:

  • The hybrid office and why it is the future
  • The relationship with Company culture and why hybrid is going to be a gift and a challenge for so many HR teams and poor managers
  • How company performance is going to thrive or drop depending on how good your management skills are
  • Why company strategy, is essential to making work work, and hybrid being a driver for positive change in strategy

The future can be hard to predict, however, Nick and I have broken down what and how as much as possible for businesses of all sizes.

This podcast helps you understand how you can overcome some challenges, how to be smarter with hybrid, what your options might be and how to learn from big companies like Salesforces approach to feedback loops and maybe on the other side, Coinbase and their move to close their HQ.

If podcasts are not your thing, happily read the full transcript below.

Useful Focus Resources:

If you would like to subscribe to the podcast

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Focus News

Announcing The Future State Of Podcast

The Future State of podcast is a series of conversations between Nick Walter, the CEO of an extended reality* company Vortic and I.  

Nick and I have known each other for over ten years and often have numerous phone calls and long message threads about the state of an industry and how we think and how we would tackle that industry moving forward.

Nick and I have worked in bootstrapped businesses, successful startups and large organisations we have a good perspective on what’s happening and where the industry is and potentially should go.

The Podcast Explained

Nick and I deep dive into important and up-and-coming business areas, we discuss the current state of that particular business area, we debate what the important areas are, the opportunity in the market and then we provide our hot takes and the future state of that industry.

The podcast is weekly and typically goes live on Thursday’s.

Research & Insights Driven

We take a number of hours each week to research and talk to business minds within the space to be able to tackle rich and immersive topics.

The Future State podcast was built to provide more than just what is happening in the news or what you can read with a quick Google search, we break down each episode with our full notes not just show notes and we share our notes and insights via email so you never have to take too many notes and never miss an episode.

Why Listen?

Nick and I don’t hold back on opinions and potential actions so it’s not just another bland business podcast without personality or qualified opinion.

The First Three Episodes Cover:

  1. The future state of brand endorsements and brand partnerships.
    Why Anthony Joshua and Revolut might just be another Instagram deal
  2. The future state of football.
    Why the business side of the European Super League is so important and overlooked
  3. The future state of conferences
    Why large conferences might have died and why going niche might just be the answer for the organisers, the attendees and the speakers.

Sign Up & Get Insights & The Podcast Delivered To You

Or visit thefuturestate.co.uk and read (and listen) to the full industry breakdown.

Listen To The First Three Episodes:

The Future State Of Social Media Pitch Edition – Commentary Based Social Media Site ✅ The Future State Of Podcast

Danny pitches (Nick) his latest idea of improving social media to improve social media with a dedicated commentary and reaction based social media site.  A teaser of the full idea – read the full breakdown on newsletter and site.   The What A social network based on communication and commentary, with an ability to reply with video, loom style videos, screenshots, mock ups, commentary (like in notion and Google docs) and scores of relevancy. Think slack or discord with threading and interactive timelines. Reddit on steroids Allows you to embed or bookmark links and play natively could – what twitter should have offered The Why The current options have existing users who are used to using the platform as it is, almost all networks are very basic  Many people want to discuss with people with similar or importantly differing views  We are getting bored of influence based social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or being filtered by algorithms It's time we found a different way to express ourselves The How New mobile and desktop experience Private vs public — Private for invite only and communities (Trust) — Public for bigger reach and conversation (Reach & Fame) Built on an idea you are sharing, a piece of knowledge or an insight nugget you want to share —The Business Side— TAM – 💰💰💰💰 (Large) Difficulty – 👎👎👎👎👎 (Very Hard) How to make money – Subscriptions & contextual advertising &/or charge brands to interact Competition – 9️⃣/🔟 – social networks, YouTube, Medium & blogs
  1. The Future State Of Social Media Pitch Edition – Commentary Based Social Media Site ✅
  2. The Future State of NFT's Podcast with Danny Denhard, Nick Walter & Alex Moss 🖼
  3. THE Brand New Email Client To Fix Work – The Future State Of Podcast Pitch Edition 📧
  4. The Future State Of Mobile Phones Podcast 📱
  5. The Future State Of Food – Food AI Bot Pitch Episode 🤖

Subscribe on your Podcast app of choice: Apple // Spotify // Amazon Music // Listen Notes // Mixcloud // Deezer // Simplecast // or via RSS.


*What is XR

Categories
Focus News

Manager Coaching Courses

As Focus mission is to fix the broken world of work, we have spoken to a large number of “leaders” and managers about what is broken in their workplace and how we can collaborate on fixing fundamentals to complex problems that they are facing as a business or as a leadership team.

Our dedicated weekly Focus newsletter, leaders letters, helps people with a senior title evolve and become leaders or improve their leadership skills.

The Elephant In The Room

Let’s address the elephant in the room, managers and above rarely receive or seek out management coaching or training.

This is a big problem…

  • for managers
  • for teams
  • and importantly for their businesses.

Why is this a big problem? Your personal development will slow, your career will likely stagnate and your business performance will only hit a certain level.

Managers of all levels and experience require constant improvement, yes you can learn on the job, however, typically you do not improve any of your core skills or arguably, more importantly, your core weaknesses.

How can you improve any baseline numbers or hit targets or KPI’s when you are failing to improve yourself?

Professional Business Requires Coaching

Sports and business have many parallels, the difference is in almost all professional sports you have dedicated coaches, you receive coaching daily for your professional career and the majority of the team you are coached on improving your weaknesses and improving your core skills and then applying this in a team and squad environment.

Even the worlds best and greatest athletes are coached seek help and receive coaching every day!
This should be no different for business professionals.

This very rarely happens in the work setting, the only time this happens is when executives are recommended a coach or a startup is maturing and the investment team seeks out a coach for a founder or the founding team.

Career Stagnation Is Your Problem

Almost every career stagnates at one place or another, this can be more many reasons, the most common; you stop wanting to progress and seek out help, seek out improving your weaknesses or seek out a mentor or a professional coach.

Step up and develop your career!

Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First

Put on your own oxygen mask is a famous business quote that translates to look after yourself first, this could not be truer notably when it comes to actually helping your team or business improve, if you are not improving yourself, how are you improving others?

Invest In You

One of the big takeaways in talking to leaders is they end up not using their training budget or “wasting it conferences”.

Stop wasting your annual training budget on conferences you learn small and disposable pieces of information or fail to attend because you are too busy.

Get Focus: Professional Management Coaching

Focus offers a tailored package that has been built for managers across all levels, whether you are a:

  • A newly promoted manager
  • A Head of Team or Head of Department
  • A Director who is lacking confidence or delivery is slipping away
  • A VP who is too busy juggling meeting requests and sitting in back to back meetings to develop themselves or their team
  • A C-suite member who has become detached from their discipline or lost their influence over their team.

We work together with you, we then:

  • Build a tailored package to your specific situation
  • Build a growth plan together
  • Build your skills, session by session
  • Build out your confidence and communications skills
  • Build out a set of templates for you to use and roll out internally

The Packages

The Focus 1-2-1 Coaching Packages can be brought in blocks or per session.

Each coaching session is 60 minutes and virtual. Each session is one to one, with homework to improve your skills and actions to tackle and roll out after every session.

No Timewasting! To ensure we are compatible and you want to be coached, we arrange a quick 15-minute session to run your situation and see if we would be a good fit.

The packages can be paid for directly from your business or if you are looking to pay for this yourself this can be set up. This enables you to invest in yourself or your company to invest in your long term success.

Get in touch below to start your coaching with Focus.

Coach Quote Eric Schmidt
Categories
Focus News

Are You Creating The Right Company Culture?

Let me ask you a couple of questions…

Have you held a recent Zoom or Teams call where there was an atmosphere?

Did it feel like tension was controlling the call? 

Did a seemingly trivial question create a ripple throughout your business?

If the answer to those questions is yes: you’re not alone. In today’s chaotic workplace, the feeling of a business – the company’s interactions and behaviours – have never been as important. 

If the answer is no: believe me, think again.
I’m willing to bet you have experienced these situations.

Maybe you’re just not seeing it or know what is happening within your business. You could be too disconnected from the business – running through obstacles versus tackling them. 

These are the feeling of a business.

And these feelings, or senses, are just a layer of what Company Culture is. Often high performing businesses have a healthy and guiding company culture where everyone can add value.

Company Culture is co-created, not dictated by the leadership. 

But Company Culture is more than the feeling.

It includes the vibe, the connections between colleagues, the frictions, the unexplainable that makes the teams click.

It includes unwritten expectations, cross-functional collaboration, the reduction of egos, and work pride.

Company Culture has several important components.

It encompasses…

  • The environment you set
  • The workplace (including remote working spaces)
  • The connections between the teams
  • The chemistry your colleagues have
  • The acceptable and unacceptable behaviours

The workplace is now more than ‘the place we all use to perform our work tasks’.

There is an updated version that must include working from home and remotely.

We need to know work can happen anywhere, that we are still the same company with the same objectives, and we can grow personally and professionally. 


The way we work is shifting.

The world is shifting, and so too is the workplace.

In this move towards a successful hybrid workplace, the right Company Culture becomes an unfair advantage for those who have embraced Emotional Intelligence (EQ) as much as IQ.

So take it! It will help you hire the best employees, retain your best performers and develop an award-winning business.

Here is a list of actions you can take to make your workplace and Company Culture work for the next three to five years: 

  • Co-create guiding principles that everyone signs up to; these will act as pillars and guide your decision making 
  • Create a company compass to help guide every decision, especially when you’re unavailable 
  • Enable personal development plans and have direct and actionable steps to take to let your team know how to be successful 
  • Build psychological safety by connecting colleagues 
  • Develop your employees’ EQ as much as IQ – the more compassion you build, the better 
  • Have an updated knowledge centre to keep everyone up to date on the what and the why 
  • Build a hybrid workplace where you book in and book out of the office – knowing where and when people will be working helps reduce stress and improve trust 
  • If there are issues, create ‘power half hours’ to clear the air and remove stumbling blocks. Healthy debate leads to more open and honest conversation, reduces problems and reconnects people  
  • Leverage asynchronous communications – be more deliberate in written communications vs having too many face-to-face or online meetings 
  • Build separate spaces for collaboration, for heads down (concentration), and to eat together 

This article was supplied to The Business Clubhouse magazine supporting Hitting The Wall Podcast I appeared on.

Listen To The Supporting Podcast:

A conversation with Danny Denhard of Focus Hitting the Wall

In this week’s episode I chat to Danny Denhard from Focus who’s on a mission to change the world of work. We discuss all things culture and leadership, digging into how businesses thrive when they put culture in the workplace first. You’ll learn about the power of creating personal eco-systems, and why enabling conflict in the workplace is a good thing. We talk about business being a badge of honour, prioritising culture before the workplace collapses, and why gossip is so important. Danny also takes through his personal manifesto for change, why being back-to-back is damaging productivity and whether the new habits we’ve created in the last 12 months are beneficial to people and businesses A fascinating discussion Weekly digest Of the best articles from the week you likely haven’t read – https://mustreads.substack.com Weekly inspiration every Monday on improving leadership – https://blog.focus.business/leaders Focus aka fixing the broken world of work Website https://www.focus.business/ Manifesto – https://www.focus.business/manifesto Connect on social media with me https://dannydenhard.com/linkedin https://dannydenhard.com/twitter

Categories
Focus News

Hitting The Wall Podcast

Ash Taylor invited me onto his podcast Hitting The Wall (The Business Clubhouse) and it was a great conversation.

We talk about many important topics, including:

  • Being deliberate to win business
  • Company culture
  • How to build the right Hybrid office for the future
  • How to improve your business by being deliberate
  • Building your own ecosystem of smart and diverse people
  • The power of explaining something complex in writing and love of books

You can listen in your browser here or below:

Listen To The Podcast

A conversation with Danny Denhard of Focus Hitting the Wall

In this week’s episode I chat to Danny Denhard from Focus who’s on a mission to change the world of work. We discuss all things culture and leadership, digging into how businesses thrive when they put culture in the workplace first. You’ll learn about the power of creating personal eco-systems, and why enabling conflict in the workplace is a good thing. We talk about business being a badge of honour, prioritising culture before the workplace collapses, and why gossip is so important. Danny also takes through his personal manifesto for change, why being back-to-back is damaging productivity and whether the new habits we’ve created in the last 12 months are beneficial to people and businesses A fascinating discussion Weekly digest Of the best articles from the week you likely haven’t read – https://mustreads.substack.com Weekly inspiration every Monday on improving leadership – https://blog.focus.business/leaders Focus aka fixing the broken world of work Website https://www.focus.business/ Manifesto – https://www.focus.business/manifesto Connect on social media with me https://dannydenhard.com/linkedin https://dannydenhard.com/twitter

Resources Discussed In Podcast

Sign up to the Focus weekly, leaders letter newsletter

Categories
Focus News

Announcing Keynote Presentation At The Future Of Work Online Conference

Great news, I will be a keynote speaker at The Future Of Work conference.

I will be covering the future of work and the future of the workplace (hint hint – the Hybrid workplace).

When: June 10th 2021 – 11.00 – 15.00

Where: Fully remote

Find out more here or register here to hear me and Bruce speak..

Important Reading With The Future Of The Workplace