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hybrid office

How Are You Reducing Mirror Anxiety?

Recently Stanford researchers coined the phrase mirror anxiety, it is the concerns and anxiety that has surfaced in looking at ourselves on video conferencing all day. 

In the upcoming hybrid work world, do we need to be staring at a screen and part of multiple synchronous video-based conversations to make decisions, to gain consensus and to develop out ideas? 

Is this something you truly believe is right for your business? 

Or is there a better way of addressing this? 

Although this seems to be individual concerns, this is having negative company culture issues.

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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. 

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Friday Focus

Friday Focus – Friday 4th December

On today’s five things to focus on this Friday.

We look ahead to 2021, we share five helpful resources that will help you develop your company and empower your team around you with rich reading materials.

The fear of innovation and why it’s so important not to fear change and evolution, especially when it going to open up new markets for you.

How to develop working relationships and be authentic at work with colleagues and management

The five roles you should be looking at to employee or internally to reshuffle your pack

Why Google are wrong in no meetings = burnout prevention

Optimising your meetings will help your business develop and mature quicker than more hires

Have a great weekend and I trust these resources help you in the week ahead.

Categories
Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 26 – Productive Working Relationships

30/11/2020

Dear Leaders,

How are you shaping up for the end of the year?

In today’s leaders letter, I am going to cover working relationships. What could come under company culture or company performance.

The older you become, typically the higher you progress, the more likely you have to proactively work on your working relationships between colleagues and fellow members of management and leadership teams.

If you are not working on this, you are, unfortunately, likely losing.

Often you will have to develop “productive working relationships”. In life, there are going to be people you just don’t get on with and in the professional world you will encounter this (I know I did) and you will have to proactively work on ensuring you can work together for the best of the company and for the best of your colleagues.

I personally would struggle with two behaviours.

  1. Colleagues who would be ‘independently motivated’, those who would work behind the scenes to put their interests first or proactively work to have dedicated time with the HiPPO to force their agenda through. Providing you get Face-time and zoom-time and build a relationship, you will beat those who don’t work on this.
  2. I would also struggle with people who would be CC warriors, say one thing and then pounce on any opportunity to CC in leaders or leadership teams into emails. This is and will always be unprofessional behaviour.

We all face these behaviours and have to develop our own approach.
The most professional and the best way I found to tackle this is to speak directly to said person and make them aware that their behaviour can and likely will cause issues and typically you both decide how you move forward.

With some individuals, their motivations will not change but it is something you have tackled and typically allows you both to be on the same page and will be able not to let this behaviour creep into your interactions and with your teams.

Throughout my career, I have seen many co-founders drift apart, some co-founders proactively take each other apart, build a CC warrior culture, and lose the company around them based on their working relationships.

One, in particular, was so messy it went into administration from misalignment and distrust of each other. Part of the culture became deciding which founder you would side with and proactively back. For the younger and less experienced it was unfair and uncomfortable. For the older, it became more than work.
This behaviour filters through the business and this behaviour can become the norm if not managed correctly.

When the chips are down and performance is struggling, you need to come together and coordinate fighting external factors, not the internal factors.

Working on relationships is an essential part of the business world, it doesn’t have to be political or have an agenda other than wanting to improve your working environment and remove poor behaviours and subcultures within your business.

In the coming weeks leading up to Christmas focus on:
Planning in sessions where you get to know each other professionally and personally, understand the motivations of your colleagues and when you feel comfortable to have feedback sessions where you have open discussions around how behaviours and actions can influence the company and causes rifts.

As recommended previously, create agreed principles and share throughout the business. Reduce company anxiety levels by reducing friction points, 2021 will hinge for many businesses on company culture driving company performance and how you will fight for the same cause vs internally fighting over many.

Have a good and proactive week,

Danny

PS if you need help with company culture, happily get in touch below