I love reading books that inspire me and my most recent is rework. This book is aimed at businesses, however I wanted to write about how some of the controversial ideas could be adapted for your leadership development
The book has essentially 7 chapters (I am only going to look at a few in this post)
- Ignore the real world
- Planning is guessing
- Start making something
- Embrace constraints
- Make tiny decisions
- Underdo your competition
- Build an audience
Ignore the real world
Many of us unfortunately work in enviroments where the atmosphere is less than positive and new ideas are greeted with ‘that wont work in the real world’, however, if you look at the truly innovative ideas and products of the last 20 years they probably met with the same response.
Routine will severley damage you as a creative, thought leader. If you make the same noises at work as everyone else then be prepared to be seen as part of the group not a leader and individual
Planning is guessing
Now the book controversially advises against long term business plan and as a executive coach you may be surprised that I kind of agree when it comes to development. I have met people that have 5 year plans and that works out for them but it isn’t for everyone.
To test the theory ask yourself, am I where I wanted to be after the last 5 years? Has the business stuck to its long term plan?
Have a Vision of where you want to be eventually, however concentrate on what needs to be done now take action to meet to immediate needs, stay flexible so that you are open to unexpected opportunities.
We all change as people as we get older we should acknowledge this and change our plan as appropriate.
Start making something
Leaders hate problems and love solutions… so if your call to arms to change something in the workplace falls on deaf ears it is because you aren’t presenting solutions.
Start making the solution, this could be a short presentation, run a pilot using your ideas, putting an unofficial mentoring programme in place etc.
Then when you have the facts and can show success then people will be more open to your ideas. I am always amazed when there is a success then people start talking about how they were involved, when they weren’t that interested in the first place.
Learning& development budgets are currently been slashed in spite of recent research showing that companies that spend on development have better productivity, but rather than dwell on this it is time to be more creative.
Development that costs nothing but a little time
- Coaching, mentoring and shadowing – eitheir ask for it or put yourself forward to help other people
- Challenge people to get involved in projects outwith their job role
- Introduce ‘stretch’ concept into 1:1’s, talk about the added value you bring or challenge people to bring added value to their role
- Access to the internet – you be amazed how much free stuff is on here e.g. follow a leadership blog! ;)
- Give groups of employees time to work on anything apart from their existing role to come up with ideas that will increase efficiency, productivity,reduce costs,increase employee engagement etc (it worked at google)
Make Tiny Decisions
Sometimes wholesale change in your life can be overwhelming and it allows our inner critic to step in an scupper our motivation. Also if things go wrong on what you see as a massive goal it can become a source of embarassment, the critics in our reality have won.
So, make small changes in your life and stick to them and once it has become the norm add another before long you will have made a massive change.
Another tip is not to talk to much about the changes as it may lessen the energy of the idea, just keep doing it and you will start to hear people commenting on your positive change.
You can find more on rework here (I am in no way related to the authors or publishers, I just liked the book)
Please let me know what you think for or against this book
If your are thinking about buying a new book, here is a link to someone who read 200 and his thoughts.