side effectsNow more than ever we are used to be reachable all the time, have information available at our fingertips, instantly update family, friends, colleagues and relations via social media, work together in groups at school, in sportteams and at work. Mobility and Collaboration can’t be taken out of our daily lives anymore. Business and private is getting more interwoven at lightning speed which has many advantages, but let’s not forget the disadvantages.

We are so used to all computing power, data, sound and noise surrounding us that we are loosing one of our human key strengths: listen to our instincts, our human personal intuition. Intuition very rarely shouts and you have to carefully listen to this whisper. All the sophisticated technology is really cool, I won’t argue, but we often forget to take some time to stand still, listen to the whisper, rethink who we are, what we want and how we will do it. Are we still on the same page with ourselves, or are we just doing what everyone is expecting from us?

Tools, tools and…tools
We do see the laptop, mobile phone and tablet as the most important communication tools, but on the other hand network reliability is still a biggest challenge and not surprisingly background noise and distraction are close runner-ups.

Despite the electronic communication tools like Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Periscope, Skype for Business, Jabber , Spark, OpenScape etc. most of the people still prefer a live conversation either by phone or in person. You might remember: In the pre-mobile world this was the common way to discuss things. Building personal relations with fellow students, friends, colleagues is becoming more difficult and dating apps are growing fast, but are we now more happy?

Creating a New Way of Working, a Mobility and Collaboration strategy is not just implementing technology, provide new hardware and to push the Apps to the users and let them play/work with it at any time and any place. Common sense is needed, listen to your own inner voice and use the tools in a smart way. There is no single tool which fits everyone and everything, so just be aware of your audience and you goals. As employer you have to be conscious that User Adoption is more and more critical to grow your business and not to loose your employees in the rat-race.

Should I hold a meeting
For sure you will recognise it. You are invited for many meetings because it is easy to electronically invite people. Often the reason of this always increasing volume of meetings is the uncertainty of colleagues. Having you present in the meeting does protect them from taking responsibility for a potential incorrect decision. But who has said that an incorrect decision is wrong? If you have the time to think about one decision for a month and it is wrong you have a failure rate of 100%, but if you make 5 decisions a day, and 20 are wrong in a month, your failure rate is just 20%, but the learning curve for the last person is very steep and gives room for continous improvement.

The workflow below might help you to decide if you really need a meeting or that you can use one of the other tools from your toolbox.

Should I hold a meeting

Once you have decided you need a meeting, take some time to rethink who to invite and what their added value will be. More is not always better!

What makes a team effective
When we were kids at ground school we had to pick team members for Dodgeball during sport classes. Just rethink who you did pick first? The sporty person, the popular person, the nerd? Did you think about building an effective team or just a team of winners? We have grown up with the logic that who is on the team matters more than how the team interacts. But Google has done a study which shows we are wrong, very wrong!

The way how team members interact, structure their work, and view their contributions is more important The following five key dynamics do set successful teams apart from other teams.

  • Psychological safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?
  • Dependability: Can we count on each other to do high quality work on time?
  • Structure & clarity: Are goals, roles, and execution plans on our team clear?
  • Meaning of work: Are we working on something that is personally important for each of us?
  • Impact of work: Do we fundamentally believe that the work we’re doing matters?

If you just read the above five points they do sound obvious, but now take some time to think about the teams you are participating in. Do you recognise these points or are you missing some? It is not too late, just discuss it, see if you can recreate your team to become highly effective and successful, but keep an eye on the personal aspect on how you communicate!

Next step
A lot of information provided in this article is no rocket science or extremely difficult, but often we are so submerged in own problems and do forget our view is just very narrow banded. It takes time to reflect, rethink and restart your way of working. Don’t push it to next year, next time, next project, start to listen to that small whisper in your ear and start now, create your own destiny.