Tag Archives: simplicity

Keep It Simple

I doubt myself sometimes, and I know from experience that you do too. It’s OK, no one is listening – this is just between you and me. My own doubt is partly driven by the fact that I believe so many of the things we need to do to make work better are so utterly simple, that when I think them, let alone propose them, they, and therefore me, seem somehow ridiculous.

I believe we work better together. Some of the things that help us do this are:

  • Giving, building and having trust
  • Noticing ourselves
  • Noticing one another
  • Getting to know ourselves better
  • Getting to know each other better
  • Keeping things simple wherever possible
  • Accepting that small things can and do make big differences
  • Having open access to information, which means we can cocreate power with each other, not exercise power over one another
  • Recognising that creativity is not binary. You don’t just switch it on, you adjust the dials and tease it out. Don’t fear it, play with it, iterate.
  • Having meaningful conversations
  • Taking breaks
  • Finding out what brings joy to one another, and then – try to cocreate the conditions to make that happen
  • Agreeing that respect is not a zero sum game. I want to lift you at the same time as you lift me, or put another way, my success is not dependent on putting you down.
  • Being coactive – that is to say doing things with, for and by each other, not to each other
  • Smiling
  • Practicing – our work is our art

That’s enough for now. Oh, and one more thing. Don’t forget to doubt yourself from time to time:

Nervous

Footnote #1

Thanks Sharon, Julia, Meg, Gareth, John and Richard for a crescendo of compelling conversation yesterday. I’ve had this post in draft for months and you all helped contribute and free it up.

Footnote #2

For every pack of Stop Doing Dumb Things ordered in December I’m making a small donation to Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity. If you’ve been meaning to order some cards for yourself or as a gift to others, now might be a good time? Thanks for your support.

Where is the Soul?

A while back I received the email equivalent of a slap in the face with a wet fish, when the good people at McKinsey wrote to me, and doubtless many others, with this note:

Mobilizing your C-suite for big-data analytics.
Leadership-capacity constraints are undermining many companies’ efforts. New management structures, roles, and divisions of labor can all be part of the solution.

I was then encouraged to click ‘more’, yet I could take no more, my own ‘capacity constraint’ having been breached.

I moved on, at least I thought I did. Whilst working in the office recently I came across a card my late Father wrote to me a few years ago. Inside the card are these simple words:

Dear Doug, I am so very pleased that your change in direction job-wise is working out. As a job for life civil servant I wouldn’t have had the balls. You have my utmost regard and admiration. With my love – Dad xx.

What a sharply gentle, wonderful contrast to the hyper convoluted management mumbo jumbo that had so recently burned my eyes and soul. That folks is how you inspire, move and motivate people, not through buzzwords and other corporate flim flam, but through simple love and sincerity. The very next chance you get to interact with other humans, instead of pondering how you might collectively mobilize your C-suite, instead try finding clear, simple ways to appreciate and tell each other about the good stuff happening around you. Be the human in Human Resources.

When did it become OK to check your heart and soul in with security on arrival at work? I don’t think I got that memo.

This post was originally published on HRExaminer in November 2013.

Social HR Leadership and Cultural Clues

When I was in Louisiana recently I was fortunate to meet up with Nisha Raghavan, aka Your HR Buddy. Nisha kindly asked if I would be interviewed for her blog and I happily agreed. Her post, including the interview was published this week.

Despite the fact I look a lot like a convict who has just got out of bed (note to self, buy a hairbrush) – I wanted to share the video interview here, which Nisha describes as follows:

Doug talks about using social tools to create opportunities to collaborate and co-create things more innovatively at your workplace. He urges us to share our passion which is really an interesting way to connect with each other and inspire one another. He says ‘With the growing use of social tools we have a chance to re-humanize work and put people back at the heart of work, not the other way around. We can use transparency, systems thinking and even our vulnerability to create powerful places to work’.

In addition if you choose to listen, you’ll hear about my growing interest in art meets work, and my long held belief that we’re all of us capable of much more than we first believe. Experimentation is a vital ingredient in life. There’s also a reference to my New Year’s Evolution and a couple of other things too. The interview lasts sixteen minutes and fifty seven seconds so why not grab a coffee first, and I hope you will find something useful in here. Thanks again Nisha for the opportunity.