To Ponder: Client - Centred Environments
I’m often asked how I found the time and space to write Valuable Change.
So here’s the secret: I wrote it (by hand) while sitting in restaurants and cafes across Canberra over the course of a year.
And here’s why it worked.
1) The time was blocked out. The time was to be used for 2 things only: writing and eating.
2) I was out of the office and surrounded by human interaction. This enabled me to break out of the ‘corporate’ linguistic shackles, and let my mind flow in the casual, conversational style of the book.
In other words - I wanted to write the book as if you and I were having a coffee together. So I sat there, having a coffee, and wrote as if I was talking to you.
Interestingly, Robert Cialdini - the author of Influence, found exactly the same thing. He had two spaces for writing: his college office and his home office. In his college office he was surrounded by peer papers and a window that overlooked the campus. At home, he was surrounded by novels and a window that overlooked a café. Similar to myself - Robert found that he subconsciously wrote for the environment he was in. The chapters he wrote at the college were far more academic and dry than the chapters he wrote while at home.
The key takeaway here is that our environment has an impact on the work we produce.
Interestingly, I’ve noticed a common theme across many of my recent client discussions. There’s a drive to embed a greater client-focus across their organisations.
So if that’s you, here’s your ponder for the week:
How can you modify your organisational working environment to better surround your teams with your clients?
To Action: Intentionally Choose Your Environment
This week I was able to move back into the Valuable Change Co. office for a couple days a week. What I was amazed at was how much additional business momentum I was able to build in just those 2 days.
I did in 2 days what would’ve taken me all week at home.
That’s the power of a dedicated space - the VC Co. office is set up entirely for building and running the business. In contrast, my home office is multifunctional. The same space I do podcast interviews in, is the same that I write these newsletters, which is the same that I play virtual tabletop games with my friends at the end of long weeks.
Flexibility of working times and space is the huge catch-cry of the last couple of years. Stories of being able to have breakfast with the kids just before jumping onto the morning stand-up, or quickly running a load of washing between meetings all show the potential benefit of this flexibility.
This is great. But here’s what better.
Evaluate the environments you are able to work from. Public, office, commercial, private.
Then actively select and change your environment to suit your work for that day or hour.
Do you need to be Creative? Go somewhere colourful, and perhaps a little noisy.
Client-centred? Be around people.
Logical? Find a quiet, ordered space.
Strategic? Go somewhere with a long-view, or up high.
In other words - be intentionally flexible.
Reactive flexibility is just being busy.
To Reflect: Environmental Traps
We all do it. Whether consciously, or not - we leave environmental traps for ourselves. Little excuses to break our flow and feign productivity or urgency.
Maybe it’s the hundred unopened emails, or a phone set to loud. Perhaps it’s an open instant messaging program or maybe it’s even a physical paper inbox at the end of the desk.
These little habits sneak in unintentionally. We’re all busy people.
So this week - reflect on the distractions that have snuck into your day. (Then ideally isolate them).
Watch This If You’re Running (Or You’re Part Of) A PMO: My Chat on The Everyday PM Podcast With Ann Campea
This week saw the release of my chat with Ann on her Everyday PM Podcast. It is 50 awesome minutes on Creating High Value PMOs (at all levels.)
How PMOs fit into the Value Revolution that’s taking over the world.
The top mistakes that PMOs are making. (And how to break out of them!)
The secret behind every great PMO.
How organisations can avoid PMO stagnation.
(Bonus - there's also a video, so if you want to see all my dramatic hand gestures and cheesy grins, then that's the place to see it.)
It’s so easy to scan these emails, take a few points and then just hit delete.
I know that, because I do the same with others.
But I will ask, if there’s any ideas that jump out at you this week - hit that little heart button.
I’m continually working on growing the readership of The Change Leader Weekly - so please do share it on to someone you consider a Change Leader.
Have a fabulous weekend. See you next week.