Going With The Flow

Photo by Jad Limcaco on Unsplash
Photo by Jad Limcaco on Unsplash

Flow is such an interesting concept.  From its apparent ability to help us concentrate to the fact that it is becoming increasingly rare, the idea of flow helping us be better at what we love is something that really motivates me.  I can pinpoint events in the past, the recent past, where I have been in that state of flow (“in the zone”) where everything seems easier and more straightforward.  I recently looked at the solution to a problem that I was having where I managed to get into that perfect mental state and, to be honest, I had no idea how I was able to come up with the right answer.

But in our work lives getting into that state, getting the proper environment to facilitate flow, that’s something that your manager has to help you cultivate.  At least, that’s what this article says – The Manager’s Guide to Cultivating Flow at Work – and I believe them. Continue reading “Going With The Flow”

The Power of Digital in Government

Earlier this year I talked about Digital Transformation and  I’ve  talked about the book Delivering on Digital which highlights the things that governments around the world have done to come to grips with the digital revolution.  And now McKinsey has come up with an article – Harnessing the power of digital in US government agencies – that talks specifically about the U.S. Government.

But the article, while focusing on the U.S., isn’t exclusive to the U.S. as the ideas they promote are applicable to almost any government that is wondering what they need to do to survive.  It’s not difficult, it just requires someone with vision.  Continue reading “The Power of Digital in Government”

An Agile Military

When we think of the military we probably don’t think of them as being agile. Their agility, however, may surprise you.  The goliath known as “The Army” may not appear to move quickly, but the smaller pieces of the whole need to move quickly in an ever-changing environment.  If you’re being dropped into a situation where things are constantly changing and what wasn’t a threat a second ago is now a threat, a really big threat, then you need to act quickly.  You need to take in the available information and make a decision based on the facts on hand.  The business world has nothing on the agility of the smaller pieces.

So what lessons can be learned? Continue reading “An Agile Military”

Not As Good As Bacon

Photo by Jon Butterworth on Unsplash
Photo by Jon Butterworth on Unsplash

I was talking to someone the other day and he brought up how well we treat some of our food, compared to some of our staff.  (Thanks Robert)  I thought about it and tried to figure out if that was true.  Let’s not limit ourselves to just Alberta, though, let’s talk about world-wide standards and see how we compare.  Let’s see how we treat our staff in comparison to how pig farmers in Africa should be treating their pigs.  (Harsh, but let’s give it a shot.)

Continue reading “Not As Good As Bacon”

Culture – Netflix Style

Netflix is one of those companies that started up relatively recently and re-invented itself to survive.  It realized that DVDs were not going to be the dominant delivery mechanism for entertainment delivery and added streaming services to its lineup.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Continue reading “Culture – Netflix Style”

A Learning Culture

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Ray Dalio is kind of a legend in financial circles.  He started Bridgewater Associates, a hedge fund company, in 1975 in his apartment.  By 2012 it had become the largest hedge fund in the world with over $160 billion in assets under management. To do that you have to be good at what you do, but not just you.  A single person can’t do this by themselves, they need to have partners, associates, staff, that have the same sort of philosophy and ideology as the founder.  And guess what the founder thinks? Continue reading “A Learning Culture”

Corporate Defensive Processes

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stevepb (Pixabay)

I was watching a little video on CNN that talked about the rising cost of medical care in the United States. One of the phrases that captured my attention was “defensive medicine“.  Essentially defensive medicine is the idea that if you run another test, get another opinion, you will be insulated from lawsuits or at least minimize the damage of a lawsuit. The doctor knows the test is useless but does it anyway for purely defensive reasons.

Unfortunately, that is the way that many companies, particularly governments, behave in their day to day activities. Continue reading “Corporate Defensive Processes”

Remembrance Day

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Ben_Kerckx (Pixabay)

In Flanders Field
by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Confidence Come From Failures

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rawpixel (Pixabay)

I was reading an article the other day that really resonated with me.  “Where Confidence Comes From” talks about how the author became confident in rock climbing through the repetition … of failing.  He became confident in his abilities by following this pattern:

  1. Climb one rung.
  2. Fall.
  3. Get back up.
  4. Repeat, adding a rung, until I reached the top.

He fell, deliberately, to get used to the sensations of falling and to experience what it felt like to fall. Continue reading “Confidence Come From Failures”

How Far Will You Go?

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Gellinger (Pixabay.com)

If I were a psychology student I would have heard of the Milgram Experiment.  Now that I have, I’m disappointed in humanity and scared of what it might reveal about myself.  Essentially the experiment was set out to prove whether or not “free will” exists when someone in authority tells you to do something.  In the case of the experiment, the “teacher” gave higher and higher electric shocks to the “learner” if they got a question wrong.  Unbeknownst to them the “learner” was an actor and there were no electric shocks.

Unbeknownst to psychologists at the time, people defied expectations. Continue reading “How Far Will You Go?”