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Creating more redundancy

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Recently I blogged about redundancy. At the end of the post I mentioned I would share how I try to create redundancy in my life. I think a key way I create redundancy is a good work-life balance. I’m deeply convinced working more that 40-50 hours per week is unhealthy and inefficient. Having time to be with my family in the evening and weekends helps me be creative and efficient during work hours.
Some other ways I do it are: Go out to jog or mountain bikeRead a good bookBlock time in my agenda to think deeply and without interruptionsWork from home (less distractions and traveling)Don’t plan anything, just see what happensGo on vacation – of courseVisit a conference ;-) Do you have others ways to create space in your life? Let’s learn from each other.

The great thing about conferences

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I really enjoy going to conference every now and then. I’m at the great SocialNow [link] conference now. I go to conferences to meet people and to learn more about a certain topic. This is key for a conference. I’m not going if the people and the program aren’t interesting. But in my experience the result of a conference is the greatest thing about conference visits – at least mine. I find conference visits always trigger news ideas. Not always because of the speakers at the conference. More often it’s just because of the different environment I’m in. I’ve always found this a weird effect of conferences. The weekends or a nice long walks also have this effect but to a lesser extent. Can you relate to this? Would love to hear what conferences do to you.

More redundancy

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Recently I was (re)reading the article "The Knowledge-Creating Company" by Ikujiro Nonaka. It's an old HBR article from 1991, but still a very interesting read. (Later Nonaka expanded the article to a whole book with the same title as the article.) Two sentences from the article have been going around in my head since I read the article. Let me share them with you:
The fundamental principle of organizational design at the Japanese companies I have studied is redundancy - the conscious overlapping of company information, business activities, and managerial responsibilities. And:
Redundancy is important because it encourages frequent dialogue and communication. Nonaka stresses the importance of redundancy in organizations. On the one hand this is obvious. Life is full of redandancy. On the other hand what struck me most is how so much in life and especially work is about getting rid of redunancy. We talk about defining processes, automating work, cutting out inefficiencie…

Getting things done; are you?

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How do you get things done? Do you have a method you follow? I’ve written about this before. A lot of times actually. The trigger to write about it again is my continuous surprise how little people have a method to work productively. Actually everybody has a method, at least implicitly, and sometimes it’s pretty OK. But often I see people struggle. Usually this is because they don’t have a productivity approach and/or there are all kinds of loose ends in their method.

I follow the ‘Getting things done’ productivity approach by David Allen. I follow it fairly strictly and revisit the books quite regularly to see if I can do better. I read ‘Getting things done’ for the first time when I was about two years into work life. I was struggling. I had a method, but it wasn’t working. I wasn’t in control and often forgot to do tasks. ‘Getting things done’ was a revelation to me. After reading it I thought: This is it, everybody should read this. This should be a mandatory course at university…

Focus on the underlying principles

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We love shiny new things. The latest hype, oh, let's talk about it! But is it really new or does it just have a new name?
Just think about how we talked about 'groupware software' back in the day. Nobody calls it that way anymore. We talk about 'collaboration software/tools' now. The same goes for 'web 2.0'. Nobody says that anymore. We call is 'social media' now, although I'm sure we'll have a new term for it soon. A last example (as I could list many more examples): everybody is talking about 'digital transformation' now. Before that all the talk in town would be about 'social business' and before that it was called 'enterprise 2.0'.
Definitions are important. It's all about being clear about what we mean. What I don't understand though is the way many present something as completely new while it clearly isn't. The term is different, but the underlying theme is the same. That's why I try to focus on…

SocialNow 2017 is coming up. Hope to see you there! #socialnow

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In little over a month the next edition of the SocialNow conference will be held. Organizer and good friend Ana Neves has been working hard on putting another great program together. And I'm honored to be the host of the conference again! So I hope to see you there.

SocialNow is a special conference. I wrote about previous editions (and I still need to blog about the last one...). SocialNow is special for different reasons:

For one it's a well-organized and thought-through conference. The conference organizer works in this field, knows what businesses are looking for and what conference visitors need to get value-for-money.The conference has a unique format. There is not one conference in which you get great keynote talk and discussions combined with real demo's of tools based on actual user stories in a business context.The conference is not only for people/companies looking for a new internal social tool. I find that the demo's also help you define and refine your se…

Shipping

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Last week I blogged about 'Reaching out'. I tried to explain why I think it's so important, especially in organizations. This led to another thought. It's something that I came to see during my previous life as a consultant, but actually already knew while working in a large company. It's about 'shipping'.

To me shipping is about delivery results. The weird thing is that I find most people think about results as being a huge results. So many don't deliver results at all. They think and talk endlessly about what the result will be. But never really produce results or versions of the result. And this thinking and talking usually happens in small groups. To others it seems that nothing is happening.

As a consultant I was hired to deliver results. I remember the great clients I've worked for that were absolutely thrilled results would be delivered, every 1 to 2 weeks. Progress! Some of them were capable of doing so by themselves but didn't have tim…