Hear from Rachael – What I am reading and watching
Author: Rachael Stott – Director
A favourite short read
Packed with pragmatic insights, this article simply and powerfully challenges readers “What is work?” then highlights the typically narrow definition and resulting the tunnel vision common to many organisations who exclusively focus on work as performance. Gallwey provides a clear and compelling framework in which performance, learning and experience are offered as the critical and interdependent elements of work. “.... If individuals aren’t learning, their performance will decline over time; if their predominant experience of work is boredom or stress, both learning and performance will suffer.”
How balanced is your organisation in its definition of work?
A favourite longer read
“I’m Afraid Debbie From Marketing Has Left For The Day. How to use behavioural design to create real change in the real world.” Morten Munster
(Truth be told, this was a listen as it was readily available on Audible and a few weeks away via post.)
The insights in this book felt immediately applicable and led to more than one ‘aha’ moment. Munster’s focus on the real world is compelling and his home truths, highly relatable. His insights are experience based, with great examples from business, government, sport and other public groups. While I am a sceptic of many sports analogies in work, one of Munster’s is a gem. Instead of the abstract “be more aggressive” yelled from the side-line by a frustrated football coach, he offers the example of a team taught the clear and actionable “when the opposition gain the ball, the three closest players follow the ball for 5 seconds”. He moves quickly onto the equally as vague and open to interpretation corporate instructions such as “be more customer centric…”.
Munster points out that corporate strategy and communication plans are usually made in the comfort of a distraction free conference room on a corporate offsite, where system two thinking can be fully engaged. When system two concepts land in the real world, there is a massive mismatch that leads to the commonly observed inertia where nothing changes (with ‘the stuck’ middle-management layer often blamed…).
In the real world, most employees are “keeping plates spinning while putting out fires - other metaphors are available - which means we have minimal time to think and plan, and instead react and make snap decisions based on gut instinct or experience. We haven’t the time nor mental energy left for system two thinking.” Those empowered (another construct Munster believes is poorly defined and implemented), to deliver on the strategy or implement the artfully crafted values and key messages have limited capacity to do the translation required to turn these into real world action. “Around 90% of our decisions are made with system one thinking, largely due to the incessant and pressing nature of our daily lives.”
Where could your organisation offer a “the closest three players follow the ball for 5 seconds” instruction in place of a vague “be more aggressive”?
A favourite watch
This one was actually from August’s Film Festival in Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara
"Merkel" - the biographical film about Angela Merkel, delves into the life of one of Europe’s most influential and impressive leaders.
While her pragmatic leadership style is front and centre, her wisdom warmth, and humour were subtly, yet consistently evident. Blessed are her eye-roles in the face of Putin & Tump! Prepare to cringe when you hear some of the paternalistic interviewers she had to face throughout her amazing career.
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