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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 Work The Future State Podcast

The Future State Of Work đŸ‘©â€đŸ’»The future of work has been a hot topic for the past three years, the pandemic has really shifted how many businesses operate and highlighted how slow some companies have been to change their old ways of working. The future state of work is going to be led by a few but followed by many, even the big companies are struggling to keep staff engaged let alone happy. This week Nick and I discuss: The future state of work Why micromanagers are going to have to change Why so many managers have been shown upWhy HR isn’t the right team to lead The impact of a new hire – the culture community managerWhy hybrid is going to be a tougher choice for employees and businesses The challenge for old school managers to change with the times The investment required for businesses Some future thinking hot takes that you will want to hear including company currencies, the importance of mental & physical health being equal & Why part-timers & side hustles might be the choice for many Supporting Podcast Links Company Culture LinksAre you creating the right company cultureWhat is company cultureThe Hybrid office e-bookDesigning the hybrid office guide✚ Why you should listen to feedback – Funny TikTokNew tools to improve hybrid around.co – campfire video tool with integrated notes that send after the meeting and is floating head based so can work and conference call at the same time Butter.us – a way to ideate, brainstorm or present in a better way gatheround.com – better way to bring people together based on Q&A  Basecamp IssuesOriginal Story (link)Follow Up with 1/3 of senior workforce taking buyout (link)Open letter from ex member of the Basecamp teamSummarised on this week in startups (YouTube link)A Reminder: What Is The Podcast? The Future State – Modern business & future trends explored by Nick Walter & Danny Denhard. 
  1. The Future State Of Work
  2. The Future State Of Conferences
  3. The Future State Of Football – The European Super League

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


*What is XR

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Friday Focus

Friday Focus – 2nd April

This week, here are five podcasts from the brilliant leader and researcher Brene Brown.

Here are the five best Brene Brown podcast – Dare to lead. Grab your phone, put in your headphones and take a walk and enjoy these powerful podcasts.

Brene with former President Barack Obama

Armoured Leadership & The Power Of The Right Questions

Adam Grant & Brene Talk The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know

Dr. Sarah Lewis & The Uncontrolling Power of “Failure”

The Heart of Hard Conversations

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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

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Friday Focus

Focus Friday – 19th February

The High Performance Podcast is one of my must listen to podcasts every week.

The vodcast and podcast interviews successful business and sports people around high performance and what makes high performance to them.

I personally have taken a lot from the sporting episodes as there are so many similarities between sports and business world, particularly with the continued corporate pressures on performance and how it now influences players, coaching and sponsorship within sports.

Here are the best High Performance Podcasts you will want to listen to:

Business

Sir Clive Woodward
Why Listen? Rugby and business and the demand of making individual great

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

For the Sir Clive Woodward high performance podcast listen here

Baroness Michelle Mone
Why listen? For unfiltered personal experiences, on the ups and downs of business and influence of personal appearance

Sports

Eddie Jones
Why Listen? Eddie Jones talks about his successes, failures and knowing what you need to do to as a great coach, motivate individuals and provide a trust based environment.

Rio Ferdinand
Why Listen? On the demands on being the best and sustaining high performance

Steven Gerrard
Why Listen? Talks openly about his slip, the impact it has had, Steven’s approach to being a young coach and the importance of bringing those more experienced around you

Sir Chris Hoy
Why Listen? On having the right mindset in sports, business and creating the right set of guiding values

Dame Kelly Holmes
Why Listen? The impact of being the best of the best and talks openly about self-harm

Happily let me know which podcast is your favourite by

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Friday Focus

Friday Focus – Friday 11th December

This weeks Five for Friday, is five important reads, listens and watches from company performance, leadership and company culture.

  1. 2021 actionable predictions: 21 predictions for 2021
  2. Rethink the title vs job description dynamic: leaders vs manager vs manager vs coach vs operator
  3. Remote First: Is there such a thing about productivity working virtually? The Table Group Podcast
  4. Business Scale: How to scale your go-to-market – Google Slides
  5. Leadership: Daniel Ek the Spotify CEO joins Tim Ferriss

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to sign up to the leaders letters, coming out every Monday morning.

This Monday’s The Management Cult of CCF (confusion, chaos, fear).

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Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 10 – Smarter Not Harder

Smarter Not Harder‍

10/08/2020

Dear Leaders,
I trust you had a good weekend and look forward to making incremental improvements this week.

Working smarter not harder is something you have likely heard. Working smarter has always been something I have been an advocate of, however until a few years ago I wasn’t sure what it truly meant.A personal story: I would go into the office earlier than almost everyone, I would have back to back meetings and book time in for deep work.

I would then work many evenings and wonder why I would be shattered and feel like I didn’t deliver my best. What I realised over time was; I was working hard but not as smartly as I could have been. I started to review the schedules I had, the times I was working and the slots where I was productive or not.

I would review my calendar weekly and then categorise the time into themes and work out which meetings could be reduced, could be removed, or could be delegated.

There were meetings that were unproductive and I sort out to address these. Yes, this can sound like extra work but the upfront effort to save your time and sanity is worth its weight in gold. I would make more time for when I knew I was more productive, I would schedule times in with the teams that suited them better and would save some energy as I worked for an American business, mid to late afternoons meant you were due in important management meetings and were supposed to be designed for decision making – these meetings have a higher cognitive load and can be taxing.  

The hybrid office is going to suit many people, there were times where I would work from home in the mornings and dial into “lite’ meetings and then come in for team based meetings or deeper more immersive meetings that worked better in person.

I would book in mentor sessions and catch up coffees where I knew I could recharge and reenergise before lunch. I know personally I get an energy boost from mentoring and could rely on them to act as a refresher.Working harder than everyone is often something you will hear an athlete say in interviews, or I would out work everyone, yes it can work, however, most athletes will tell you coming towards retirement they came close to burn out. Sir Chris Hoy’s explains high performance and the shift in his career really well on this Podcast.

In more recent years, when athletes met sports psychologists, the psychologist would highlight they were running their body and their mind into the ground.

They needed to be smarter with their efforts. The business world is ruthless, time is precious but keeping your sanity in check and knowing how you work and when you work best is incredibly important. This is just one of the many reasons why I built out Focus.

There are going to be times especially when working remotely that feel impossible, or you need to be across every project, however, taking a step back or planning a 30 minute slot to plan, review and optimise is going to save you hours per week.

This is part of the growth mindset that I highly recommend you become a follower of. Matthew Syed has many books that explains the growth mindset. His book is part of my most recommended business book post I wrote recently.  In lockdown, on average, a recent study has found our workdays are 48.5 minutes longer than they were previously. This isn’t harder or smarter, it’s just longer!

This week focus on: Stepping up as a leader, lead by example, help those around you to use their time more wisely, enable colleagues or your team to work smarter. Something you can work through is surveying the company around their meeting habits and seeing if they plan and how they review their week.

Thanks and have a great week.
Danny

PS. Here is a quick Matthew Syed Video explaining Growth vs Fixed Mindset

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Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 7 – Givers And Takers

Givers and Takers

20/07/2020

Good morning leaders,

I hope you feel refreshed from the weekend and you are looking forward to a good week.

This week’s leader’s letter is about Givers and Takers.

Adam Grant the organisational psychologist is well known for his books, podcast and his TED videos.

Adam has created excellent phrases and uses very clear messaging (sprinkled with some humour) from findings and his studies to improve businesses and teach the next generation of leaders.

I highly recommend you watch his TED Talk Are you a giver or a taker?

The Givers and Takers talk and his findings really stand out and will stand the test of time.

As we have all been challenged recently humans show the best and absolute worst of ourselves. However some people have something baked into them that just cannot be shaken off. In problem raisers, problem solvers and problematics I break down in a slightly different direction.

The TLDR of the Adam Grant findings:

Takers
Takers are ‘what can you do for me’ people. You are likely surrounded by them. Takers progress in the short term and seem to be rewarded. Takers like the name suggest take and rarely think about those around them. Although they raise in organisations quickly, they drop just as quickly.

Givers
Givers on the other hand, are for the long game, Givers think about others, they want to improve those around them, they teach, they share, they bring others together for the right reasons.

To quote Adam
.
“Givers make organisations better”

In this time of change, consider how you want to progress, how you wish for your people to understand you, your leadership and the culture you are trying to create or recreate with the ever changing landscape.

Right now is a great time to address existing issues and issues potentially bubbling up under the surface.

Find the Takers and consider how that one bad apple can really impact your team.

If you are a Giver who was burned, consider how you can embrace your giver side again. Attempt to remove or dilute that bad experience.

Remember when you picture a taker from the present or your past, they generally lose.

If you are a taker, I would recommend you look around you and see how quickly you have impacted the team and consider how you move yourself into giving more and taking a lot less.

Go and give!

Thanks and have a great week.

‍Danny Denhard