Showing posts from October, 2016
Came across this list of items to make meetings more productive. I think I've tried just about all of these at one point or another. The only one I really dislike is the standing recommendation - it just comes across as gimmicky to me. I once had a boss who consistently called people to meetings without telling them what the subject of the meeting was going to be or why he was summoning them to a meeting - that really irked me, so I especially try to avoid doing that to others.

Do you have any other tips for productive meetings?

10 Productivity Hacks to Transform Every Business Meeting [Infographic] According to's 'Wasting Time at Work' survey, 47% of people say meetings are the biggest time-waster in their day. With that outlook, it's not surprising prospects are often hesitant to commit to sales calls and meetings. Reps should pleasantly surprise their buyers by running short, efficient, and productive meetings.

Wasting Time With Inbox Zero?

Came across an article today with the title Trying to empty your inbox is a waste of time. Being a practitioner of Inbox Zero, this of course caused by hackles to raise at the suggestion that a tool I use is a waste of time (though there are plenty of others out there criticizing Inbox Zero). This is not to say Inbox Zero will work or should be used by everyone, but I do not think I have been wasting my time. With that said and after reading the article, I do think the author makes a couple good points that are still consistent with the philosophy of Inbox Zero.

The Unstuck - a new productivity concept?

I never knew this concept had a name and after a Google search, I'm still not sure it does. However, "the Unstuck" seems like a good term to use. Do you ever make a big, temporary change to your routines just for the purpose of shaking things up a bit?

What is Doing The Unstuck? An overview of doing the unstuck.
I'm not a big fan of Evernote (moved on to OneNote a couple years ago), but if you do use Evernote or would just like to see a model for a workflow using a cloud-based system, this article might be worth a read. Probably only applicable for smaller groups that don't have enterprise solutions deployed.

Board Collaboration with Evernote I serve on a board that was recently faced with the challenge of finding a new executive director. This is a volunteer not-for-profit board so the board members are busy with jobs, families and other projects. The time we devote to this board needs to be efficient.

Moving to a paperless office

I always get the sense that there is quite a bit of interest in the "paperless office" even if it seems to be a low priority for so many organizations. I attribute at least part of that to the complexity of implementation. If you are interested in undertaking such a project, this article may help you a bit in articulating some of the benefits.

3 reasons to move towards a paperless office

Cyber Security for the new employee

This past week Dashlane released a list of cyber security items to go over with new employees. This was meant to help structure the onboarding process. Unfortunately, most of the organizations I have been involved with had weak onboarding processes - I even had to resort to creating my own checklists to make sure everything was covered. So I always enjoy lists like this one from Dashlane.

The list covers five items, but each item has more than one sub-item, so the list is actually quite a bit longer and more comprehensive than you might think. As someone who spends a lot of time working with tech, most of this was second-nature to me. However, having supported users I would say there are plenty of people who are not familiar with these concepts, so it would likely help organizations to adopt some of these items into their onboarding process.

What New Employees Should Know About Cyber Security from Week One If you're a CEO or IT administrator, you'll need to spruce up on cyber …

8 Ways Introverts Excel As Leaders

Recently I came across an article from Wrike that tried to list 6 ways introverts make great leaders. Unfortunately, after reading through the article I concluded that they had only listed 2 ways introverts could be effective leaders and 4 ways introverts deal with the ways of the business world. I did some additional brief research and managed to cobble together a list of 8 qualities of introverts that make them excellent choices for leadership positions. Here is the list I put together:

Simplicity and Productivity

I came across this article the other day about three steps to getting things done. The point of the article was the importance of simplifying our processes and tools in order to achieve better productivity. I certainly agree with that recommendation. Even though I seem to be constantly moving from one tool to another (at least compared to most people), I am always hesitant to do so as those moves always introduce a new level complexity into my productivity efforts - at least until I am back up to speed with the new tool. Back to the article, out of all the possible recommendations for improving productivity, the author chose three as the key to a simple productivity framework.

A new (to me) acronym - VUCA

I ran across this article a few days ago about a new acronym - VUCA. This stands for:

V - volatility
U - uncertainty
C - complexity
A - ambiguity

According to the article, we should expect to see more focus on VUCA as a set of considerations when dealing with business challenges or setting strategic goals.

I'm sure many of you are familiar with the term - SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) - a tool used to assess where an organization is in relation to the environment (however that may be defined). The VUCA framework reminds me of SWOT, but at a slightly lower level when we are considering specific goals or strategies.

One of the things I like that came from the article is the set of tools we can start to deploy or use once we identify where an issue may fall in the VUCA framework.These include things like communication plans or listening skills or collaboration to review possible responses.

Using VUCA to Process Organizational Change - hr bartender During thi…

Some goal setting strategies

This is a good list of some goal setting strategies. I think these could be used at both the personal goal-setting level as well as when we are working with organizations on setting goals. I particularly liked the suggestion about writing goals down as well as recognizing if you need to modify (or even abandon) goals.

10 Great Tips for Effective Goal Setting - #HR Bartender (Editor's Note: Today's post is brought to you by our friends at SilkRoad, a global leader in cloud-based talent management solutions. They have introduced the "SilkRoad Talent Talk Podcast," which identifies and discusses current trends in HR technology and the most pressing issues facing organizations.

Passion, Purpose and Productivity

This article suggests that we need both passion and purpose in order to be our most productive. It is suggested that purpose and passion are two different things with passion being what excites you and purpose being a reason for being. I have to agree that one of our goals should be to "live out our purpose while following our passion." Also noted in the article is having passion and purpose does not guarantee productivity - they just help establish the right environment.

Which Is Better: Employees Who Have Purpose or Are Engaged A few years ago, I wrote a post titled " Happy Employees are not Engaged Employees." It remains a very popular post. I received a note about it the other day. I would say employees with a sense of purpose are most productive. Is this the same as engagement (therefore the employee is motivated)?

A little bit of delegation

Some nice tips on delegation and how it fits in with managing the performance of employees.
Performance management can strengthen and grow delegation skills by Sharlyn Lauby | Posted October 3 rd, 2016 | Performance Management One of the skills that every manager must master is delegation. It's the art of assigning and entrusting another person with a task or responsibility. The reason I call it an art is because it's not as simple as saying "Do this."

Life is not chess

Not often that I come across an article on motivation (both our own as well as those we work with) that sounds like a very brief political treatise on differing governing systems. I did note that a key to avoiding this chessboard way of thinking is making sure we drop our assumptions and really listen to people to learn what their motivations and interests are.

The Chessboard Fallacy"In the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own."

Google for Work gets a corporate makeover of sorts

Not sure how many people may have noticed this, but Google rebranded their office suite last week and added in a few new features. In this article and some of the comments, I find it interesting to see the take on G Suite vs MS Office. I've used/use both. For most everything I do at home, I use the Google apps. I do maintain a copy of MS Office on my computer for emergency purposes, but I've only had to use it a couple times in the past 6 months. That said, if I were doing some of the more advanced formatting stuff for financial reporting purposes, I'd probably be using MS Office a lot more as that is the area where Google falls behind in my opinion. On the flip side, the collaboration capabilities of the Google apps are much better.