THURSDAY THOUGHTS! – Are you a binge thinker?

With thanks to Peggy this week for an interesting article about personal focus and our eternal attempts to try, and be, too much.  The article discussed the frenetic pace of our professional lives and the notion that we have an eternally full in box of worries which we can never clear.  We’ve touched on time management tips in the past, but we haven’t, until now, explored the degree to which we are driven by intuition or by external influences.  So this weeks question is:

“Are you a binge thinker?”

The article suggests that if you answer yes to three or more of the statements below, you could be well overdue a mind-detox.  How do you fair?

  • do you wake at 3am worrying about unfinished tasks and how you’ll never clear your to do list?
  • in a work meeting, does your mind drift to fretting about what so-and-so really meant by that e-mail?
  • do you obsess about previous arguments?
  • is your commute to work consumed by worrying about the day ahead?
  • do you deliberately drink caffeine to cope when you feel tired but then feel increasingly jittery?
  • do you look at Facebook, Twitter and your e-mail the moment you wake up and feel the need to respond at once?

The article suggests potential solutions around doing one thing at a time, diet and exercise but I’m sure many of us have had particularly stressful times in work in the past, and we have these (and other) ways of coping and producing our own mind detox.

My own coping strategy involves turning my blackberry off when I’m at home and having a “one in one out” approach to saying yes to more work, on the basis that I can do it if something else stops.  I’m not saying its been a complete success all of the time, but it is something I’ve used.  So, do you consider that you have suffered from binge thinking and if so, how have you coped?

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THURSDAY THOUGHTS! – What’s your allergy?

I’m back from holiday and it’s time to get right back to business.  Short interlude last week due to the lack of broadband service at Aresko HQ.  So here we go with some deeper thinking this week ……..

“Can you spot your allergies and what are you going to do about treating them?”

It is commonly recognised that five fundamentals matter in becoming a High Performance Organisation: quality of management, openness, readiness to take action, long-term focus and continuous improvement of employees. All that sounds great, but real life organisations often look a lot different to that don’t they?  Why?  Well, a big part of becoming a high performance organisation is about developing new behaviours, and that is neither easy, nor a very quick task.

The majority of organisations have managers and leaders who display two strong competencies and have 2 allergies.  Yes you heard me correctly, 2 competencies which they find challenging to themselves or when they see them in others.  So what are these 4 competencies:

  • Business and goal oriented competencies (wanting to win. Market culture);
  • Planning and procedure competencies (wanting security. Hierarchy culture);
  • Self organising and creative competencies (wanting to learn by trial and error and improvising. Adhocracy culture); and
  • People and motivation competencies (wanting to relate. Clan culture)

One or two of these will be present by nature in most senior managers. These are their comfort zones – everyone has one!

The other two are developmental – this is the hard work!  For many, they feel like an allergy, you may well want to overcome them but the process of doing so won’t feel natural.  You might even need a bit of medication (training and development) to unlock them a bit.

High performing individuals are those folk who can switch between the four, almost seamlessly, in any given situation and they are known as the “four of a kind” folk.  It therefore follows that highly performing organisations have developed all four of these cultures and competences in their staff.

Now you know a little bit about Mssrs Cameron and Quinn’s theory of diagnosing and changing organisational culture …

“Can you spot your allergies and what are you going to do about treating them?”

We’ve had a week off so no excuses for not contributing this week 🙂

THURSDAY THOUGHTS! – Milestones

I’m still away, but you can’t avoid a Thursday Thought! that easily 🙂

Yesterday, it was my 30th Wedding Anniversary.  I spent it on a tour of Santiago de Cuba with the man I married all those years ago when he was just a boy.  We have travelled an awful long way since 5th June 1982, but I would definitely recommend having a soul mate if you can possibly find one!

So this week’s question looks at personal qualities:

“What personal qualities do you look for in people for them to stand your test of time?”

I hope you join in on this one and I look forward to seeing if we are, really, searching for different things.

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