Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 09, 2022

Weekly Pulse is a content curation and highlights from readings, books, videos, podcasts, insights, ramblings and other interesting things I discovered and digested during the week.

So, let's go with some discoveries from the week!

#1 - How Brands Can Enter the Metaverse
#2 - Unleashing the Power of Communication in Agile Transformations
#3 - Ten Habits to Boost Your Happiness
#4 - Virtual Collaboration Won’t Be the Death of Creativity
#5 - Our Work-from-Anywhere Future
#6 - The Project Economy
#7 - Book Notes: Becoming Agile in an Imperfect World - Ahmed Sidky and Greg Smith

How Brands Can Enter the Metaverse

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Janet Balis
Year: 2022
Summary: How should brands take their first steps into the metaverse? For that matter, what even is the metaverse? While the idea might feel like a novelty right now, there’s arguably huge potential for brands — if they can figure out where to start. New technology always requires a curious approach, but brands should follow the right guideline.

3 Highlights:

"... With post-Covid hybrid or remote working environments, many of these more creative virtual business experiences are likely to become even more relevant to how companies connect to their people and to their customers..."

"... Brands should always be in a test-and-learn mode, and the digital landscape in particular requires intellectual curiosity..."

"... See whether the metaverse gives you opportunities as a company to not only try new things, but also to accelerate your purpose or long-term goals like sustainability, which is well suited to many applications of the metaverse..."

Unleashing the Power of Communication in Agile Transformations

Source: McKinsey
Author: Christopher Handscomb, David Honigmann and Mrinalini Reddy
Year: 2021

Summary: More organizations are seeking to become “agile” — a term that began in software development but now encompasses many efforts to work faster and more effectively in teams built around customers rather than silos. But the communications around agile transformations are different from in other transformations.

3 Highlights:

"... Keeping a checklist of to-do items doesn’t just make me productive, it makes me happier. When my checklist for the day is complete, I don’t feel pressured to continue working..."

"...  Taking time to dissect your thoughts on paper helps you feel better. Becoming happier means reducing the time you spend in slumps. Writing cuts off slumps by giving you more control over your thinking..."

"... Cut out activities that aren’t valuable or entertaining, but don’t scrap every source of high entertainment. Separate the activities you really enjoy from those that are only mediocre..."
Access here >>

Ten Habits to Boost Your Happiness

Source: Scott Young Blog
Author: Scott Young
Year: 2017

Summary: Good habits can make you more effective. Great habits will make you happier. Scott recently has been trying to collect habits that make he appreciates life more. Finding the habits that make you more productive isn’t that hard, but placing the right rituals that impact your happiness is more difficult.

3 Highlights:

"... The overall story is about preparation the night before because of the expectation of morning immobility, then the release of power and the start of the day, then the fact that this goes on every morning..."

"... Cut out the noise for a period of time. This may seem contradictory to “filling your day with activity” but it’s not. The absence of activity usually results in noise: television, web surfing and other distractions. Silence requires you will yourself to forgo the noise and simply think. Not easy to do in a busy world, but it can keep you sane..."

"... Cut out activities that aren’t valuable or entertaining, but don’t scrap every source of high entertainment. Separate the activities you really enjoy from those that are only mediocre. That way you can fully enjoy them without feeling guilty about an imposing to-do list..."

Virtual Collaboration Won’t Be the Death of Creativity

Source: MIT Sloan Management Review
Author: Leigh Thompson
Year: 2020

Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic put professionals in a box — a virtual one. Overnight, managers and their teams shifted from in-person brainstorming and ideation sessions to those taking place electronically via Zoom, WebEx, and other tools. If virtual collaboration doesn’t kill creativity — and can actually boost it — how can teams maximize that upside?

3 Highlights:

"... Individuals are more creative than groups. When I ask business leaders in executive workshops who are more creative, groups or individuals, almost no one chooses individuals. In fact, most studies have found that “per capita” creativity declines precipitously as group size increases..."

"... It’s true that virtual collaborators are often fully visible to one another and can’t “hide” behind text-only forms of communication like email. However, the disinhibition effect still exerts influence, since many of the politeness rituals of in-person communication, such as vocalizing agreement and engaging in small talk, are no longer present..."

"... None of this is to suggest that virtual communication is a cure-all for addressing creative-collaboration issues, or that managers and their teams should aim to work in their own “lighthouses” whenever possible, shunning face-to-face contact. However, virtual collaboration does provide benefits that many of us didn’t realize or pursue in pre-COVID-19 times. Our creative output may be all the better for it..."

Our Work-from-Anywhere Future

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Prithwiraj (Raj) Choudhury
Year: 2020

Summary: We learned that a great many of us don’t in fact need to be colocated with colleagues on-site to do our jobs. Individuals, teams, the entire workforce, can perform well while being entirely distributed—and they have. So now we face new questions: Are all-remote or majority-remote organizations the future of knowledge work? Is work from anywhere here to stay?

3 Highlights:

"... Another solution to the socialization problem is to host “temporary colocation events,” inviting all workers to spend a few days with colleagues in person..."

"... The office—with its meeting rooms and break areas and opportunities for both formal and informal interaction—has been a way of life for so long that it’s hard to imagine getting rid of it..."

"... In interviews with female employees at BRAC, I learned that women whose careers were previously limited by cultural taboos against traveling to remote places or delegating housework had been helped by working from anywhere...."

The Project Economy

Source: William Meller - New article

Summary: The Project Economy is the new economy emerging in which people have the skills and capabilities they need to turn ideas and strategies into reality to the world. Leaders need to recognize that their role in the project economy involves more than just the direct sponsorship of individual initiatives. 

3 Highlights:

"... According to the Project Management Institute and Harvard Business Review, by 2027, some 88 million people around the world are likely to be working in project management, and the value of project-oriented economic activity will have reached $20 trillion. But research shows that only 35% of the projects undertaken worldwide are successful—which means we’re wasting an extravagant amount of time, money, and opportunity..."

"... To take advantage of the new project economy, companies need a new approach to project management: They must adopt a project-driven organizational structure, ensure that executives have the capabilities to effectively sponsor projects, and train managers in modern project management..."

"... The Project Economy is one in which people have all the skills and capabilities they need to turn ideas into reality – no matter what kind of project they’re working on. It is where organizations deliver value to stakeholders through successful completion of projects, delivery of products, and alignment to value streams. And all of these initiatives deliver financial and societal value..."

Book Notes: Becoming Agile in an Imperfect World - Ahmed Sidky and Greg Smith

Source: William Meller - Book Notes

Many books discuss Agile from a theoretical or academic perspective, but Becoming Agile takes a different approach and focuses on explaining Agile from a case-study perspective. 

Becoming Agile shows you practical techniques and strategies to move from your existing process to an Agile process without starting from scratch. The author discusses employee motivation and establishing incentives that reward support of Agile techniques.

Agile principles are discussed, explained, and then demonstrated in the context of a case study that flows throughout the book and bring agile from a real world perspective.


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