Friday, 26 February 2016

Flexible working's tipping point - implications for knowledge work and knowledge workers

A report just out from the Work Foundation suggests that 'flexible' working will soon become the norm. This will have far-reaching implications for knowledge workers; possibly detrimental to organisational and individual
performance unless organisations adopt different working practices and allow personal preferences. Whilst new collaborative technologies abound (there will be another along in a few minutes), these human factors are critical in their successful adoption.

"The technology exists to enable successful mobile working, but for many individuals and organisations it is not yet being used to its full potential. We will imminently reach a tipping point in the trend towards mobile working. Concerns regarding health and wellbeing can be managed through careful implementation, leadership and agreed policies - it seems that we can be “always –on” but also in control of how this impacts on us".

The Work Foundation also suggests that 'the annual performance review will become about as relevant as the 5 year plan'. In other words, our management practices must move to reflect the way we now work - flexibly.

Widespread flexible working brings many new challenges (and perhaps opportunities) for knowledge, collaboration and expertise sharing. "Don’t assume that new ways of working will just happen. It might be worth testing and trialling rather than just blanket adoption. It will be vital to enable collaboration for teams and while this can be facilitated through technology, it is important to set specific meet-ups and “virtual coffees” which retain the “social dividends” that accrue from working in teams".

The report has many other suggestions, taken from case-studies of early-adopting organisations.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Why we often don't share our ideas... Obvious to me. Amazing to others

A great little video that explains why we often don't share our ideas with others...
By the way, I picked up this link via the weekly auto-curated KIN magazine 'The KIN Weekly'.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Got email? Get smarter.

Like it or not, it seems we're wedded to email.
So, how can we get smarter at using it as a tool rather than a drain on attention and time?

I used to maintain 'to-do' lists, firstly in my notebook (there is something satisfying about scoring through a completed task) and then using a task management app.  Gmail is pretty good at helping me pull-together numerous work and personal email accounts and automating prioritisation and classification.

There is one tool that I for workflow for task management and emails in one go. I don't mean task lists and email inboxes in one place, but really integrating the actions.  On the face of it the Gmail plug-in Boomerang simply allows you to schedule a reminder for an email. However, it's way smarter than that. I can add 'what ifs' such as a reminder if no response in a certain time, or schedule to send later at a specified time. I can do this from my inbox or directly within a message. I can also see all my scheduled and past 'Boomerangs' in one place in a Gmail folder or web dashboard.
Hmm, maybe I sound a bit evangelical, here but it is one of those game-changing tools that just works damn well. There is a free version to try out on a few messages a month, but within a week I'd gladly paid for the full functionality version.

Boomerang send me an annual personalised analysis of my email behaviour and impact. They recently published a set of tips on getting better responses to your email, based on their analysis of millions of emails.

The new tool Gmailify allows users to link their account to Gmail without having a Gmail account. Given that the ubiquitous corporate/ enterprise platform seems to be Office365 or Outlook, I'd be interested to hear if Microsoft's native products have this kind of functionality and if you are using it.

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