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hybrid office Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 129 – Space-As-A-Service With Caleb Parker

Dear Leaders, this week I speak to the Space-As-A-Service (aka SPaaS) Pioneer Caleb Parker.

Caleb is one of those people who is on a mission to improve working environments and actually connect communities together within his co-working spaces.

Caleb and I connected last year and he is someone you want to collaborate with instantly.

I asked Caleb five questions to help you understand his driving force and why you can make positive changes too within your workspace and importantly in your working environments.

Q1. What is the space as a service movement you are leading on? 

Simply put it’s access versus ownership.

Space-as-a-service is space that is procured on demand. So instead of buying or renting space long-term, then going through the headache and costs to customize it, you pay for the exact experience you want it only when you want to use it. 

Like every other aspect of our lives, the sharing economy is changing the way people think about space. We share our cabs and holiday destinations. We stream our movies and music on-demand. 

Today convenience and accessibility are more important than ownership.

Because although we want things here and now, we’re less concerned with having them forever.

This change is making itself felt in the world of real estate too, where people are looking for convenience and flexibility. Instant access, with minimal commitment. Having a place to live or work, meet and share, only matters as long as you need it.

This enables people to choose the experience, or community where they feel they belong, and taken care of.

Q2. What are your essential tips to make the most out of workspace and offices?

Most of us don’t need an office to get our work done. We learned that through 2 years of lockdowns. 

But the value of face-to-face was felt by us all when we finally were able to come back together. 

Since we don’t need to be together every day anymore, what I believe people should look for when choosing a place for face-to-face is vibe.

  • How do we feel when we walk through the doors?
  • Is it cool?
  • What’s the service like?
  • Am I taken care of?
  • What’s the community like?
  • Can I be inspired here?

Ask how this place is going to help me better than my home office or local cafe. 

Q3. What is the trend you are predicting for 2023 that everyone should embrace or adopt? 

Authenticity

Q4. What is the one piece of bad advice you hear regularly that business leaders should instantly stop?

Say no. I believe we should say yes more. Because that leads to opportunities and learning.

Q5. Community is a hot topic and something you have promoted for years, what’s the key to a great community?

I believe a great community inspires us and offers opportunities to inspire. 


Go & Connect With Caleb: On LinkedIn // On Twitter: @caleb_parker // Listen To His Podcast & find out more about Bold and his SaaS service at WorkBold.co.uk

If you’d like to understand how to become a thought leader and drive change within your industry Caleb is a brilliant example of how to reshape your business as a modern-day media company.

Here is one of the most thought-provoking pods from Caleb and Bold

https://pca.st/u27sq6og

I trust you will have a few valuable takeaways and apply them to your workplace to improve work for your company.

Have a great week and I’ll land in your inbox again next week.

Thanks,

Danny Denhard

Categories
Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 113 – The Future Of Work (Re-Engineered For Success)

The Future Of Business 

Dear leader, as a long-time reader you are aware I often speak on the future of the industry, I was recently invited to discuss the future of business and how mid to large businesses may operate. 

Here are a few predictions that I made recently that you might find compelling and make you ponder how you could shape the future. 

Culture Department

We will have a dedicated department focused on culture, it won’t sit in the leadership team and it won’t sit as a team within HR.

Rethought Workplace(s)

Workplace home vs workplace office will rage for years, however, the smartest businesses will embrace the home workplace and reshape business for hybrid first, enabling great working environments (including seating, technology and wellness) rather than everyone having a different workspace and workplace 

Async First

Studying how many successful businesses have made remote work, the focus around asynchronous work and having the right tools not force-fitting the tools you already have. Async work will be adopted by many companies and will encourage more written and audio-based discussions and updates versus real-time work over video meetings and around large meeting room tables with follow-up meetings.

Rethinking Use Of Freelancer Teams

Something that hinders companies is the reluctance to embrace a freelance team that comes in and helps out on projects and acts as an additional expert resource when people go on holiday, paternity/maternity and long-term sickness. Many will have to embrace more freelance talent to help keep momentum and drive business results

IC – Expert – Management Track

Something that is obvious in large businesses is the lack of understanding of how to embrace the new ways of work and removing the two-tier system that does not embrace an expert and specialist versus just being an individual contributor and being a manager. Accepting and rewarding experts is going to reduce tensions and pushing experts into managers roles without training and reducing their impact

Be inspired by HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah (and current CTO) who does not have a team reporting to him as he knows his strength is not management.

Internal Comms Specialists

Workplaces are hard to navigate, they are hard to gain cut through and now with so many channels getting the important messages across and read is becoming a real challenge. Expect specialists to help with tools, tactics and techniques to land messaging, these will be distribution specialists. 

Squad Over Team

A popular reshuffle over the last decade, we saw departments and teams being created and tribes forming around cross-functional goals and tackling specific problems. In the near future, this approach will be reinvested, and the traditional ways of working will be rethought to hit deadlines and importantly answer customer problems and pain points over large department pain points and empire building by team and department leads. 

The importance of the squad or tribe leader is going to escalate and many of these tribe leaders will be paid and rewarded financially and many middle managers will have to adapt quickly. 

Your Move!

What do you think? Do you agree? Which of these do you feel you would have to invest in?

Have a great week and consider how these areas are going to evolve in the short to mid-term to reshape your company-wide strategy for 2023 and beyond.

Danny Denhard

Essential Resources To Help You This Week

Categories
Business Performance

Fanclubs, Community, Tribes, Herds

I recently presented a presentation for the technology platform Funraisin at their digital giving summit.

The presentation was called:

Fanclubs, Community, Tribes, Herds, The Next Generation Of People Powered Businesses.

The presentation helps to guide businesses and charities to understand:

  • The next phase of business
  • The formation of people around core ideas and believes
  • Why fanclubs, community, tribes and herds are going to be shaping how we interact and support businesses
    &
  • How to then proactively shape how we connect to other people and businesses.

The Full Presentation

If you attended the event and would like to rewatch the video click here.

Categories
Company Culture hybrid office

The Future Of Work Keynote Presentation

I recently was a keynote speaker for the online Future Of Work Conference.

The future of work presentation was created to help businesses consider the future of work and the future of their business.

This presentation should act as a guide and inspiration on how to rethink your current approach and lead your company and lean into the future.

As a huge advocate for hybrid work and the hybrid office (aka an arena), many businesses are requesting their staff to return to the office at least 3 days a week (including Apple & Google), with this in mind, the presentation enables any version of hybrid to work.

The key message of the future of business

Business is going to be culture first.

The Full Future Of Work Presentation

Categories
Business Performance Trust

The 5 TikToks You Need To Answer

Over the last two years, the influence of TikTok on everyday life has increased, over the last twelve months we have seen a shift in social media to more focus on entertainment.

Over the past six months we have seen the number of work-related TikTok’s increase and many of them are actually what our teams and colleagues are thinking. Unfortunately, many are not in a place to be able to raise internally and is impacting your company culture.

Yes, they may appear parody, however, these five TikTok videos are all insights businesses need to prepare for, address poor team behaviour and develop plans for over the next couple of months.

Mental Health Concerns Ignored By HR

@loewhaley

*HR sends an email about the EAP* #wfh #corporate #joblife #workfromhome #millennial #office #mentalhealth #foryou

♬ original sound – Laura

Bad Lunch Zoom Etiquette

@corporatenatalie

Show off that lunch😉Use code NATALIELUNCH to get a free @elpolloloco lunch box (first 500 ppl only- link in bio) #NoSadLunches #elpolloloco #ad #fyp

♬ original sound – CorporateNatalie

No Thanks To Returning To The Office

@nikkimansch

Thanks but I’m good! #backtowork #wfh #office #introvert #remotework #workfromhome #2021 #kuwtk

♬ Kris Will Not Be Treated Like This from KUWTK – E! Entertainment

The Frustration Of Virtual Meetings

@tova_leigh

End of every zoom call, am I right?! #funny #fyp #2021 #lockdown

♬ original sound – Laura

Never On Mute

@notyouraveragemich

YOU CAN DO THIS, BRAD. I know you can. #wfh #corporate #zoom #meeting #9to5 #millennial #relatable

♬ original sound – Nathanael Parker

As per the five text messages you need to answer, these are all areas of the workday and future workday you need to prepare and address.

Are You Ready For The Future?
Are you and your business prepared for The Hybrid Office movement and creating your next office as the arena?

An important and actionable read: Here are the five questions you will need to answer.


Join Focus On The Future Of Work

If you would like a free conference that will prepare you for the future of work?
Join me for the future of work conference please join me in June.

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

Categories
Business Performance Company Culture

The New Hybrid Office – The Arena

At the start of the year, I spoke at a number of virtual events, at The Future Of Work & Workforce presentation I introduced the concept of the next office, the arena. Although the office had performance based work and many performed for their audience at work, we are seeing the shift to the hybrid workplace.

The hybrid future is going to be a forcing function to revamp the office, changing the HQ from a traditional office, to the office 3.0 – the arena.

The Office Was:

The agreed place to perform a series of work tasks. 
To improve the performance and revenues of the company.
A place to develop and advance your career. 

The Arena Is:

The place to bring people together with a shared connection or love for something. 

A place: 

  • To connect 
  • To collaborate 
  • To guide 
  • To perform  
  • To entertain 
  • To put on a show  
  • Enable (safe) collaboration  

These are essential elements of contrast but also of similarity, many of these elements were seen in the office, they were not clear elements of the office much thought of or understand.
These elements are going to essential parts of embracing the hybrid future and enabling success for all staff whether they are working in the office, a designated satellite office or working remotely or working from home.

Why The Shift From Office To Arena 

  • We will need to be able to collaborate in small groups in bigger spaces 
  • Mandatory based trust 
  • We have seen remote & WFH work & be productive 
  • There will be a demand to offer flexibility 
  • We will need to be able to create presentations that are interactive, enables in-person and remote presentations with the same experience & interaction 
  • Enable shows like in an arena meaning tribal surroundings of safety alongside ensuring you have the best equipment for streaming high-quality audio and high-quality video – for live broadcasts and on-demand replays. This is close to live concerts streamed or sporting events broadcasted 

In the rest of the actionable presentation, I discuss the importance of the office, the importance of the hybrid workplace and how you build for the future by amending the office into an office as an arena for people and business successes.

I include tools to use, ways to think and concepts to consider when approaching the office as an arena and building for future successes.

The Actions To Take:

  • Adapt your office into an arena, build-out safer larger spaces in existing or new offices, invest in technology; video, audio, connectivity and purpose-built software not just forcing the current software to do the job 
  • Invest in better IT software and hardware, invest in to better microphones, better webcams or connecting smartphones to work laptops 
  • Value others time – be deliberate in reducing grabbing or stealing others time 
  • Adopt principles, write internal memos, share & explain interactively i.e screen records etc 
  • If you are large enough consider building satellite offices to enable onsite, not offsites 
  • Build out hybrid offices and look at membership to offices so it is flexible and safe, that offers choices to your teams 
  • Invest in tools developed for hybrid offices, virtual HQ’s, project and campaign based tools that enable video recordings, screen recordings via tools like Loom 
  • It is essential to bring teams together by building stronger bonds and connections 
  • Help departments connect internally through better relationship building and being more deliberate with asynchronous communications – deliberate > over-communicating
  • Help cross-functional teams understand objectives & create the right kick-off meetings and engaging updates

If you would help redesigning your office or converting your office into an arena and develop your environment, happily get in touch.

Want A Copy Of The Office As An Arena Presentation?

For a copy of the Office 3.0 Office As An Arena PDF please click the button below to request a copy.

Welcome to building the future, The Hybrid Future.

Danny Denhard

Categories
Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 37 – Read, Listen, Watch Recommendations

Read, Listen, Watch Recommendations

Dear leaders,

I trust you are well today and halfway through planning Q2 and creating the action plan for your department or team to be successful. 

I have spoken on a number of virtual panels and presented a number of presentations (including the future of work), one of the common themes of these online events has been offering the best reading materials and supporting content to the audience. 

For one event, I was asked to provide three recommendations of what to listen to, read and watch.

I wanted to share some of the recommendations for you to digest and consider reading and then you can share with your teams. I have added why you might be interested 

Read

  • The Dip by Seth Godin
    Why? The best short book on knowing when to stay with something or know when the dip is going to be painful
    Link  
  • 1000 True Fans
    Why? A must-read for anyone in business, particularly in modern times when everything is about an engaged audience and a way to reconsider how you create content and engage the 1000
    Link
    A newer spin on 1000 but totally inspired. 100 true fans. Link
  • Black Box Thinking (link) & Rebel ideas (link) by Matthew Syed.
    Why? These books will change your ways of thinking and shape how important your colleagues and having a diverse set of thinking and people around you truly are. These are dense books, there are talks on YouTube that will give you a tease into these. Listening to the books on Audible is a great option with these books.

Watch

  • Danish TV Advert. All that we share
    Why? Brilliant advert in English to help you understand how are all different but all connect on levels.
    YouTube Link
  • How Musically (now TikTok) was built.
    Why? How Musically (now TikTok) was fundamentally differently by thinking deeply about culture
    YouTube Link
  • How Facebook got to the first billion users
    Why? An unapologetic explainer of how Facebook got to their first billion users by being 100% driven by their goals of connecting people and understanding the first x friends or x actions improved experiences
    YouTube Link

Listen

  • Finding success in the music industry
    Why? Breakdowns the music industry so simply and helps you to understand how challenging industries have formulas & channel based thinking.
    YouTube Link
  • Business Movers Walt Disney Podcast
    Why? Captivating listen about Walt Disney, the complexity of being a genius who truly believed in stories and brand. As relevant today as then and will be relevant for decades to come.
    Podcast Link 
  • Spark and Fire Podcast – Soul Pixar edition
    Why? The best supporting podcast to a movie (Soul) I have heard, the lead writer talks about the process and insane level of details that go into Pixar movies
    Podcast Link

Thanks and have a great week,

Danny Denhard

Categories
Anonymous Career Advice

Dear Focus, Anonymous Career Advice

Over the past twelve months, there has been a number of professionals who have struggled with the newer ways of working.

Being disconnected from colleagues, reduced interactions and being disconnected physically away from your team has seen a number of new challenges and led to a number of your colleagues questioning their role at your company and questioning if it is a good time for a career change.

The forced remote world of work we have experienced has challenged the least experienced to the most experienced.
From seeing colleagues leave, furloughs, redundancies and having to pick up more work with less support around us.

Even in recent CEO mentorship sessions and CMO coaching sessions, experienced leaders have asked for career advice which if anonymised it would be applicable to many others in similar positions.

It is imperative we set everyone up for the future of work and workforce and often you just do not have the support network you require for the problems you encounter.

So today, I am announcing Dear Focus, an anonymous career advice column, send in your questions and we will write up as a blog post to offer career advice and provide support. Please remember this is anonymous unless you decide to include your email and will send the article when live.

If you would like advice please complete the form below.

Leaders Letters (AKA Focus Newsletter) That May Help In The Meantime:

Categories
Business Performance Company Culture

Free Internal Get To Know Each Other Profile Template

Something that is crystal clear is; remote work has disconnected even the closest of teams, departments and even work friends.

This is creating performance issues in many businesses.

Company culture has never been as important as today’s forced working from home environment.

As per our deep dive into the future of work we have seen the workplace completely change from clearer dynamics to messy dynamics where colleagues fail to connect.

The Future Of Work TLDR

Workshopping Is A Solution

The way many are attempting to tackle this issue is in workshops or one big workshop. In the workshop environment, you are juggling a good facilitator alongside personality types.

Introverts will be introverts, extroverts will be extroverts and many ambiverts will have to lean into their extroversion to compete.
You are then relying on individuals to get out of their comfort zone and then challenge louder voices.

Big collective sessions are currently being managed over a video conferencing tool like Zoom, with an open document, with a virtual shared space or open canvas like Miro and a series of notes.

This approach can work, however, often this doesn’t allow for questions or follow up sessions with more personalised and connecting questions between colleagues.

At Focus, we believe connections happen with natural interactions, with infrequent connections, with questions and answers and natural connections being formed by uncovering connections or quirks.

A Fresh Focused Approach

When you join a business you are often provided with a new starter form or a template to complete, it’s shared around and then nothing happens until the next new starter or a conversation happens.

Why wait for this to fizzle out or to be ignored? Especially when many businesses will struggle to hire and are struggling to connect colleagues together.

Below is a series of questions to share around to everyone to complete, all answers are shared on the knowledge centre or your internal wiki and encourage teams to explore each other’s answers and discover new and old colleagues by the questions they answer.

You can encourage connections over email, over instant messenger or over video calls. You will be surprised how connections are made from uncommon questions or different answers.

The Question Template

  • Name  
  • Role 
  • What does your work day to day look like
  • Like about your discipline 
  • Dislike about your disciple 
  • What did you want to do when you were growing up 
  • Best working memory 
  • One book you would recommend
  • Two songs that gets you every time
  • A film that has stuck in your memory
  • Favourite cuisine 
  • Favourite drink 
  • Favourite snack 
  • One brand you admire 

If you would like a Google Doc’s version please click here

The important part of this exercise is to phase the rollout, in the big organisations there will be a flood of internal get to know me’s, this means many in the middle to the end will be lost.

Roll out week by week, have a morning where you share a batch of profiles or department profiles and encourage conversation directly with colleagues you don’t know, whatever peaks your interests.

Some organisations have randomised coffee catch up’s where you can meet your colleague or follow on the conversation. Suggest a time slot each week which is for connecting. This will allow connections to form and to become more habitual than feel like it’s something you have to squeeze in.

Make These Profiles Accessible In Many Digital Places

It is important you enable these profiles on instant messaging profiles, into your email directory and ensuring the profiles are on the internal wikis and knowledge centres.

The secret – always have one home, one canonical home that is the home for all information.

Proactive Leadership Required

Leaders will be looking at other ways to improve this working from home phase, we have recommended in our weekly leadership newsletter two different ways to be proactive including The Mad Glad Sad Retro and developing internal Interview Training & Practise.

Although there are a number of virtual HQ’s now available and being developed, with long IT and software sign off process, this internal framework will enable better connections and refresh a way to bump into each other and or have hallway conversations and enable this in a flexible framework.

In the future, these answers and new connections will enable your leadership team to proactively host ask us anything sessions where the team can come closer together and communication improves.

Remember to suggest refreshes and all new staff that join to complete and share. The smarter the sharing, the better the engagement, the better connections will be formed.


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