FUTURE OF WORK

With workplace flexibility on the rise, what options do we have for working differently?

Hunter-Gatherer Mosaic from Rawpixel

Well it’s official (it’s not) workplace flexibility is increasing (sort of) in the post-pandemic world. We have known for a long time that working solidly from 9–5 on mundane tasks is useless for productivity, that endless hours on Zoom calls isn’t sustainable, and that work without breaks does not equal more work completed or better quality outputs.

So if we pretend for a moment that there are enough companies out there who are willing to flex how the work gets done, as long as it gets done, what are the alternatives?

Below are 4 archetypes of different working patterns varying…


SELF MASTERY

Motivational quotes and self-help seem like good bedfellows but sadly many of them are quite misleading.

I’m sick of seeing them everywhere, quoted, misquoted and generally giving bad advice wrapped inside a sugar coating. So I have taken the worst and explained why I hate them so much. *deep breath*

Treat others as you wish to be treated

This is also known as the golden rule. I often get it cited to me by people who appear to not follow it at all:

“I just treat people how I want to be treated, whereas so-and-so hasn’t responded to my text so I’m cutting them out of my life forever”

Is that how you would like people to treat you?

Anyway, the wider point is…


FUTURE OF WORK

In a new remote world — where we don’t have campuses, slides, dog-friendly offices or early-drinks-Fridays — what is company culture?

What will our culture be without the office foosball league? Photo by Bao Truong on Unsplash

I remember facilitating a session with some senior leaders on culture. When asked for an example of the company culture more than one cited “free snacks". It worried me at the time but it was certainly in line with how everyone else saw the company.

In an attempt to set themselves apart companies have installed slides, given away free snacks, brought in exotic plants, and had Friday night drinks.

Sounds 'fun' but what happens below the surface when the easy-to-buy physical representations of the culture you want aren’t there anymore?

  • How do you recreate the culture?
  • Do you recreate the…


SELF-MASTERY

Image via www.vpnsrus.com

There was once a Zen teacher who stood upright in front of his students. He looked over their heads and seemingly off into the distance in the village hall where they met to practice zazen.

He stood, motionless and silent for what seemed like an age until his lips parted slowly and he began to speak in low tones.

“I have all the love and compassion. I have all the knowledge of the human race. I can see and know all human history. I am unmade.”

His voice was low, almost weak and although his eyes had not connected with…


SELF-MASTERY

Why self-reliance and resilience can go too far

Image Credit: Andre Hunter on Unsplash

The world seems to be a lot more full of people willing to be thoroughly nasty. Online anonymity or at least a perceived sense of distance is bringing out jealously and trolling behaviors you really have to ignore if you’re going to protect your mental health.

I have a love-hate relationship with Twitter for this reason. On other platforms it seems like you really have to 'put yourself out there' or have a high profile to attract the trolls — I have neither. But on Twitter it’s different. …


LEADERSHIP & SELF-MASTERY

At the highest level of development coaching and mentoring incorporates a lot of mindfulness and spirituality

I have been coaching for close to 15 years now. I think I’m OK. But I noticed I’m never good enough — that’s not just my inner critic — coaching is a lifelong practice. It made me start to wonder if there are other similarities between coaching and spiritual practice and what could be done from this perspective to enhance a coach’s practice and grow themselves at the same time.

Spiritual Practice — What is it anyway?

So this one is a big question and I’m not going to try and do any kind of definitive definition but I will outline one that feels like it’s in…


PARENTING

https://pixabay.com/photos/baby-girl-sleep-child-toddler-1151351/

My sister would be so proud. A vague attempt to misquote Shakespeare (she is a literary expert and blogger). Anyway, this isn’t about how to get your kids into Shakespeare so you can show them off at the theatre because they laugh in all the right places but is instead about that precious commodity — sleep.

I say precious because I think what people forget to tell you is how much of parenting is actually about sleep. A day out at an attraction can be 'make or break' based on the amount of sleep the night before. It can lead…


WISER LEADERSHIP

A poetic summary of true leadership

I have been studying leadership for a while now. The general flow of the field seems to be:

  1. Break new ground
  2. Overinflate new ground
  3. Snapback to reality
  4. Summarise

But because this happens so frequently it can be really tough to assess where we have got to. I was excited to be shown the following poem whilst attending training at the Henka Institute. It is one of the most complete ‘step 4’s I have read in a long time and yet, because it is a poem, still quite thought-provoking.

Enjoy.

“For A Leader” by John O’Donohue

May you have the grace and wisdom
To act kindly, learning
To distinguish…


SELF-MASTERY

Physically it’s more challenging than it sounds — when you first start, your fast-twitch muscles are likely to rebel by shaking and trembling.

Master Lam Standing in ‘Holding the Tiger’ Position
Master Lam Standing in ‘Holding the Tiger’ Position
Master Lam taken by Thomas Apfel

Qigong, known as Zhan zhuang (ZZ), is a martial art that changed my life. I want to ensure that people who are curious about it are able to indulge that curiosity easily.

I was about 19 when I decided to revisit martial arts. I had been engaged in martial arts on and off before that (and I include Jet Li movie marathons as engagement) since I was 6.

I restarted with Taiji, taught in a South London suburb by an extraordinary teacher. I progressed to working with the creator of that style of Taiji — and holder of a lineage…


SELF-MASTERY

The secret weapon of Zen Buddhism in helping people reach enlightenment.

Search for my Orginal Face by Jim O’Neil

The Zen Koan (or Chan gong-an in Chinese) is a much-misunderstood component of the Zen branch of Buddhism. Firstly, it is important to know that one of the characteristics of Zen Buddhism as opposed the other forms of Buddhism is the belief that enlightenment can be achieved in this lifetime (not at the point of death). This is why the koan exists, it is one of many tools that the enlightened teacher can use to help a student reach enlightenment or test that he is already there.

In the West, ‘spiritual’ gurus are often represented as answering questions with contradictions…

Trevor E Hudson

I write about leadership, wisdom and the new world of work.

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