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Does your work have a meaning?


‘Never let a good crisis go to waste.’ Churchill spoke these words during World War 2.  How true they seem right now. We find ourselves amid the COVID crisis, facing Lockdown 2.0 – the sequel.  What does it mean for your business?  Can you capitalise on this crisis to bring new impetus to your teams? 

A crisis is a great time to get to grips with why you do what you do.  And I mean, really get to grips with it.   Google found that meaning and personal impact were two crucial factors in the success of teams.   If you’re trying to increase commitment and productivity, this is a great place to look. And the current crisis can galvanise your teams with a renewed sense of purpose.

Creating A Category With The Godfather of Category, Christopher Lochhead

If you want a point of difference with your company, if you want to be more Apple than Blackberry, then don’t miss this week’s episode of The Melting Pot with the Godfather of Category Design, Christopher Lochhead. 

He self-describes as a dyslexic paperboy who got thrown out of school at 18 and with few other options he started a company. Now, Christopher is a #1 Apple Business Podcaster and #1 Amazon Marketing author. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups, is a venture capital limited partner and a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO (Vantive, Scient, Mercury Interactive), and entrepreneur.

“For me, entrepreneurship, like many entrepreneurs, is not necessarily a way up in the world, it’s a way out of a life of struggle.”

Today, Christopher hosts the award-winning dialogue podcast “Follow Your Different” and award-winning “Lochhead on Marketing” podcast and is co-author of two international bestsellers: Niche Down and Play Bigger.

Christopher is a firm believer that categories make brands, rather than brands make categories. In this incredibly insightful (and slightly longer than normal) episode, he talks about what might have happened if Steve Jobs had followed a traditional marketing playbook and why Google Plus was a failure. Plus, he discusses the importance of dialogue and what happened when Dan Alexander, the guy who covers President Trump’s business dealings, came on his podcast.

The Future of Work: Episode 1 with Jonas Altman

Jonas Altman is a coach, consultant, speaker, writer and a professor at the University of British Columbia. He is an expert on work culture and the changing nature of almost every aspect of work, from leadership to environment. The Covid-19 pandemic merely accelerated major changes that were destined to happen with advancing technology.  However, what does all this mean for the future? Jonas discusses his new book Shapers: Reinvent the Way You Work and the consulting he and his team do at SocialFabric around changes to the work culture.

Answers to your hardest remote-working challenges

Many guides to remote working are written by people who are new to it. We have recently seen several articles, for example, that recommend you “wear your work shoes in the house.” They might as well be recommending “Commute to a nearby town and back, so you don’t miss out on a bit of public transport.”

The Feynman Technique Can Help You Remember Everything You Read

Books give you access to the smartest brains on our planet. And learning from the greatest thinkers and doers is your fast track to health, wealth, and wisdom. Yet, reading per se doesn’t elevate your life. You can read 52 books a year without changing at all.

How the Best Leaders Answer “What Are We Here for?”

In a crisis, the possibility of failure feels close. This often drives leaders into command-and-control mode: more-rigid schedules, tighter budgets, exaggerated targets, hyperbolic promises. Military metaphors proliferate. But during a crisis of deep ambiguity and uncertainty, what’s more important than the rhetorical demonstration of certainty is the formulation of a strong, shared sense of meaning. Leaders can’t impose this from above. Their role is to become activists who convene people — employees, suppliers, customers, members of the communities that the company serves — to explore and define that meaning together.

The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni

In his classic book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni laid out a groundbreaking approach for tackling the perilous group behaviours that destroy teamwork. Here he turns his focus to the individual, revealing the three indispensable virtues of an ideal team player. In The Ideal Team Player, Lencioni tells the story of Jeff Shanley, a leader desperate to save his uncle’s company by restoring its cultural commitment to teamwork. Jeff must crack the code on the virtues that real team players possess, and then build a culture of hiring and development around those virtues. Beyond the fable, Lencioni presents a practical framework and actionable tools for identifying, hiring and developing ideal team players.  Whether you’re a leader trying to create a culture around teamwork, a staffing professional looking to hire real team players, or a team player wanting to improve yourself, this book will prove to be as useful as it is compelling.

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow

John D. Rockefeller, Sr. history’s first billionaire and the patriarch of America’s most famous dynasty is an icon whose true nature has eluded three generations of historians. Now Ron Chernow, the National Book Award-winning biographer of the Morgan and Warburg banking families, gives us a history of the mogul “etched with uncommon objectivity and literary grace…as detailed, balanced, and psychologically insightful a portrait of the tycoon as we may ever have” (Kirkus Reviews). Titan is the first full-length biography based on unrestricted access to Rockefeller’s exceptionally rich trove of papers. A landmark publication full of startling revelations, the book will indelibly alter our image of this most enigmatic capitalist.


Clarify remote working

As we head into lockdown and onboard new staff remotely once again, get your team to brainstorm an ‘It’s ok to….’ list.  This will clarify the small uncertainties inherent in remote working and avoid unnecessary stress.  Here’s some ideas.  It’s ok to: Go for a walk during the day/Start late if you had a bad night’s sleep/Finish early to pick your children up from school/Have your camera off during a Zoom meeting etc.

Upcoming Events

Prescription for Growth – Date to be announced

A special workshop presented by Justin Roff-Marsh (author of The Machine) and hosted by Dominic Monkhouse at Foundry Farm. Join 21 of your peers (owners and senior executives from mid-sized businesses) and design a simple (but detailed) plan to expedite the growth of your organisation. 

Acetech Summit, Whistler – 14-16 October 2020 (re-scheduled)

An exclusive annual gathering of high-growth tech CEOs. This powerful three-day summit will transform how you define success and deliver growth in 2020 and beyond.

Quote of the week

“Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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