The New Blog

Workplace Efficiency has moved to a new home with a new focus.

The Mid Life Opportunity – http://midlifeop.blogspot.com – offers ‘Stimulation, Advice, Guidance and Support’ to midlifers everywhere.

Many of the blog postings continue to be inspired by the natural world – why not sign up and receive the updates (usually twice a week) in your inbox?

The Mid Life Opportunity

The Business Face

Camouflage is one of nature’s basic techniques for ensuring the survival of species. Flatfish have the same colouring as the seabed where they dwell. Females of bird species which nest in vulnerable places tend to have less colourful plumage then their male counterparts, to conceal them from predators while they incubate their eggs. The pheasant is a good example of this. Stick insects resemble the foliage of the plants on which they live. There are hundreds, thousands of similar examples. Some animals and birds actually change colour depending on their surroundings. The Artic Fox is brown in summer and white in winter, to match the snow. The Ptarmigan, a type of grouse that inhabits the snowy arctic tundra, does the same. It is not only the famed Chameleon which changes colour to camouflage itself. To stand a chance of seeing a camouflaged creature, you have to look carefully, in the right places.

How is this reflected in the business world? Who uses camouflage techniques to conceal themselves? Many people at work put on their camouflaged ‘business face’. The face that nods agreement sometimes when they should really be shaking their head to disagree. The face that agrees with you when in the same room, but who spreads discontent, rumour and innuendo amongst friends and colleagues behind your back. The face that tells you what they think you want to hear.

This is especially true in times of change within the company. When processes are reviewed, waste of one form or another is almost always uncovered. This ‘waste’ will be all or part of some people’s daily roles within the company and they will become very uncomfortable if they think that their job is in jeopardy. When told of impending changes in their department they may smile and nod agreement with the proposals. Underneath, they may be very worried and can react in a number of ways:

  • They can decide that it is time they found a new job with a new company and so will start job hunting. The organisation may or may not wish to keep the employee and the follow up action will depend on this position. Ultimately, the employee’s actions will have a fairly ‘passive’ effect on the proposed changes.
  • The employee may seek clarification from their line manager –’how will the changes affect me?'; ‘if my job goes, will I find another position within the company?'; ‘How much redundancy pay can I expect to get if my job goes?’, etc. If there is a likely to be a positive outcome and the employee finds a new position, this too will have a ‘passive’ effect on the proposed changes.
  • Alternatively, the employee may be a ‘blocker’, someone who reacts negatively to any change. They may start off with a camouflaged face but quickly come out in to the open. They may still nod in agreement in public, but will spread negative (and usually exaggerated) rumours about the implications of the changes amongst the other members of staff. These people have very ‘active’ (and negative) effect on the proposed changes and they can change the overall opinion of the workforce unless they are managed correctly and speedily.

The important point is to recognise that many people wear a disguise when at work. Understand this and its implications. Key to this is Communication, the topic covered in the next instalment of ‘Natural Processes’.

====================================================================

Rob Horlock specialises in part time project management and in helping the commercial side of businesses to review processes and implement new IT Applications. If you would like to find out more, see www.ef-ef.co.uk or email: info@ef-ef.co.uk If you’re looking for a new job – advice here: www.mynextrole.co.uk


Mr and Mrs Average

Meet Mr and Mrs Average:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1203550/He-owns-22-pairs-socks-spends-31-000-bags-shoes-Meet-Mr-Mrs-Average.html

Looking for anew job?  Help here: www.mynextrole.co.uk

Lessons in Life

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.  It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written.
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1.       Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2.       When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3.       Life is too short to waste time hating anyone…
4.       Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick.  Your friends and parents will.  Stay in touch.
5.       Pay off your credit cards every month.
6.       You don’t have to win every argument.  Agree to disagree.
7.       Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8.       It’s OK to get angry with God.  He can take it.
9.       Save for retirement starting with your first pay cheque.
10.     When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11.     Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12.     It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13.     Don’t compare your life to others.  You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14.     If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15.     Everything can change in the blink of an eye.  But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16.     Take a deep breath.  It calms the mind.
17.     Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
18.     Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19.     It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.  But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20.     When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21.     Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.  Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
2 2.     Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23.     Be eccentric now.  Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24.     The most important sex organ is the brain.
25.     No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26.     Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27.     Always choose life.
28.     Forgive everyone everything.
29.     What other people think of you is none of your business.
30.     Time heals almost everything.  Give time.
31.     However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32.     Don’t take yourself so seriously.  No one else does.
33.     Believe in miracles.
34.     God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35.     Don’t audit life.  Show up and make the most of it now.
36.     Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
37.     Your children get only one childhood.
38.     All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39.     Get outside every day.  Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40.     If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41.     Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42.     The best is yet to come.
43.     No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44.     Yield.
45.     Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

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Rob Horlock specialises in helping the commercial side of businesses to review and map processes, manage projects and improve individual and team working efficiencies. This also includes improving the effectiveness of emarketing, particularly aimed at marketing managers who use digital agencies. If you would like to find out more, see http://www.ef-ef.co.uk or email: rob@ef-ef.co.uk

Looking for your next job? www.mynextrole.co.uk

If Britain was a village with 100 citizens …

A fascinating view of Britain, if it was a village containing 100 citizens:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1201493/Little-Britain-If-UK-village-100-people-telling-snapshot-sort-place-be.html;jsessionid=386D8B953B1159D49D2FF2598A267B8A

Looking for a new job? Lots of advice here: www.mynextrole.co.uk

Planning to win

Stonechat

Stonechat

July in The New Forest and walking in the open forest is what summer evenings were made for. The sun is shining and the forest looks very different than it did six weeks ago, let alone six months ago. It’s a sea of green with bracken growing up to six feet high intermingled with gorse bushes. As Lucy (the dog) and I walk along, a strong twittering and chirping attracts our attention. The source of the agitated chirruping soon becomes apparent. Standing on the highest branch of a nearby gorse bush, a male Stonechat guards his nest. His equally agitated mate sits in a tree nearby, noisily encouraging us to move away. We move on and leave the birds to their solitude.

In the winter, it’s possible to walk anywhere in the open forest, apart from the boggy areas. In the summer, the ponies and visitors follow pre-defined paths through the bracken. You can still walk anywhere but it’s much more difficult to force your way through the bracken. It can be dangerous too as you can’t see where you’re walking – you wouldn’t want to tread on an adder!

We follow the well worn paths through the forest in same way that we follow the well worn plans that help us to manage our projects. How often so we stop and think about other ways of approaching our work? Just because it was done this way last time and the time before doesn’t make it right. Did we involve the right people – the people at the sharp end? Did we check the results of last year’s project? Was an evaluation of last year’s project ever written?

Take time to think about your plans and see if there might be a better way or at least a different way to reach the end goal. There almost certainly will be. Don’t make the mistake that just about every politician makes with depressing regularity – don’t fight the battles in this war with the strategy from the last war. Time moves on and the environment changes – ask the Polish Cavalry!

So think about looking for a new path but watch out for any adders along the way.

====================================================================

Rob Horlock specialises in part time project management and in helping the commercial side of businesses to manage projects ands improve individual and team working efficiencies. If you would like to find out more, see www.ef-ef.co.uk or email: info@ef-ef.co.uk If you’re looking for a new job – advice here: www.mynextrole.co.uk

Change in the Workplace

Camouflage is one of nature’s basic techniques for ensuring the survival of species. Flatfish have the same colouring as the seabed where they dwell. Females of bird species which nest in vulnerable places tend to have less colourful plumage then their male counterparts, to conceal them from predators while they incubate their eggs. The pheasant is a good example of this. Stick insects resemble the foliage of the plants on which they live. There are hundreds, thousands of similar examples. Some animals and birds actually change colour depending on their surroundings. The Artic Fox is brown in summer and white in winter, to match the snow. The Ptarmigan, a type of grouse that inhabits the snowy arctic tundra, does the same. It is not only the famed Chameleon which changes colour to camouflage itself. To stand a chance of seeing a camouflaged creature, you have to look carefully, in the right places.

How is this reflected in the business world? Who uses camouflage techniques to conceal themselves? Many people at work put on their camouflaged ‘business face’. The face that nods agreement sometimes when they should really be shaking their head to disagree. The face that agrees with you when in the same room, but who spreads discontent, rumour and innuendo amongst friends and colleagues behind your back. The face that tells you what they think you want to hear.

This is especially true in times of change within the company. When processes are reviewed, waste of one form or another is almost always uncovered. This ‘waste’ will be all or part of some people’s daily roles within the company and they will become very uncomfortable if they think that their job is in jeopardy. When told of impending changes in their department they may smile and nod agreement with the proposals. Underneath, they may be very worried and can react in a number of ways:

  • They can decide that it is time they found a new job with a new company and so will start job hunting. The organisation may or may not wish to keep the employee and the follow up action will depend on this position. Ultimately, the employee’s actions will have a fairly ‘passive’ effect on the proposed changes.
  • The employee may seek clarification from their line manager –‘how will the changes affect me?’; ‘if my job goes, will I find another position within the company?’; ‘How much redundancy pay can I expect to get if my job goes?’, etc. If there is a likely to be a positive outcome and the employee finds a new position, this too will have a ‘passive’ effect on the proposed changes.
  • Alternatively, the employee may be a ‘blocker’, someone who reacts negatively to any change. They may start off with a camouflaged face but quickly come out in to the open. They may still nod in agreement in public, but will spread negative (and usually exaggerated) rumours about the implications of the changes amongst the other members of staff. These people have very ‘active’ (and negative) effect on the proposed changes and they can change the overall opinion of the workforce unless they are managed correctly and speedily.

The important point is to recognise that some people wear a disguise when at work. Understand this and its implications. Key to this is Communication, the topic covered in the next instalment of ‘Natural Processes’.

=========================================================================================================

Rob Horlock specialises in helping the commercial side of businesses to manage projects ands improve individual and team working efficiencies. If you would like to find out more, see http://www.ef-ef.co.uk or email: info@ef-ef.co.uk