Work-life-balance…when will we finally make it…seriously?

Four generations at work…and who pushes the so-called work-life-balance into our lives? It’s not the mature generations, not the ones with a majority on this planet, not the ones working since ages. It’s the youngest, the ones which just enter the marketplace…

That’s sort of weird, right? Why is everyone talking about work-life-balance right now and not during the past decades? Didn’t jobs in general become physically easier, less dangerous, more fun, and better paid? So, why now? Is it the growing amount of burnouts, or the (related) fear of losing your job if you (or your child) get sick, forcing you to stay away from your workplace? And how does all of that relate to YouTubers, bloggers, and the global crowd of mind- and content-sharing individuals?

First of all, we need to make clear that for some the so-called work-life-balance still is just a buzzword. If work-life-balance would be taken seriously, then why would we still need to ask for a day of vacation? Shouldn’t there be – at least – a contingent of days which we can just take without asking for it and potentially getting a “no”? And why should the amount of vacation days be limited? If work would be integrated into life, then there is not even a real need to take “days off”. Think about it: vacation today means, that you are leaving work (the workplace) behind you, ignoring it, happily. As long as that is the case, there cannot be a “work-life-balance”. We are not leaving our life behind when we go to work either, do we!?!

I’m a generation Xer – not even a millennial  – although I really do experience in my own working habits and style since the last few years that I did and do change…and I also feel that change is happening anyways, and it’s ok to adjust…

Just look at Sweden: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/sweden-introduces-six-hour-work-day-a6674646.html

Sweden’s companies are broadly reducing the working time by 25%. And guess what: the profitability – and “balance”, happiness, the well-being – increases. In fact, companies doubled their profits…though less time is spent by each individual at work (6 instead of 8 hours a day)…

And now let’s take a look at some reports on HR and the workforce of tomorrow…like, in 3-5 years from now: no matter if you look at studies from Eversheds, Winmark, KPMG, Manpower Group, IT-daily, or others’ research findings: http://www.hrgrapevine.com/content/article/2016-03-01-this-is-what-hr-will-look-like-in-2020
Our working habits, times, locations, preferences, etc. are changing heavily. Just look at BYOD initiatives which finally arrived in pretty much every company: if you do not allow a 25 year old to use his own mobile…and btw: support working from home or wherever else outside the office, you will not be able to hire (or keep) them…

Just a small excerpt from one of many HR 2020 reports (linked above): “…casual hours, flexible work arrangements and part retirement will all become normalized.
…results showing a more flexible, diverse and skilled workforce than ever before.”

Looking at other sources like Süddeutsche Zeitung, Spiegel or blogs from FAZ to Xing…it becomes clear that self-marketing will become more important than ever too…

Since the (new) crowd-based, event-driven, part-time, project-wise “gig economy” is growing significantly, it’s of massive importance to learn how to market yourself. In future, we will be working on more specialized tasks, regularly pitching against other individuals, from home (or from a café, a co-working place, or who knows from where), for just one hours or a few days, project per project…when we think we need to…

YouTubers , bloggers and other social media ninjas are doing that day in, day out already. Why? Because they like it. They present themselves. Share everything. And what they do in leisure time, they will and be able to do in business, and maybe even just expect from their job. They grow up with all of that Facebook, crowd-funding, Snapchat, bots, IoT and more fancy social internet tools and gadgets…there is (probably) no way they would change the way they are, the way they life……we all are building and changing the world together…and we do that faster than ever before…thanks to the internet, the digital transformation…and guess who changes most…the ones which post, tweet, like, …

Well, so what is that doing to our work-life-balance?

What are your thoughts on this?

Please share!

Cheers,
Sebastian Grodzietzki

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Post-Holiday-Syndrome…or: I hate my job! – A survival guide…

Dear All,

I’m actually not quite sure why people are complaining about their jobs, their colleagues, or their boss over and over again, instead of changes something………my credo is: love it, change it, or leave it…

Anyways, for those of you who return from vacation and hate to get back into the office, the so-called “Post-Holiday-Syndrome” can get compensated by these measures, following to Süddeutsche Zeitung:

  • Office Gossip: yip, you’re part of a soap…we all are…and there is always someone with greater problems than yours… 😉
  • Good coffee: enjoy the taste and the caffeine boost
  • Don’t think too much about day 1, just pop-up in the office and take what comes up
  • Continue (at least a few) of the rituals you had during vacation, i.e. finish the book you started, or wear your sun glasses
  • Put your first day after vacation to a Wednesday or Thursday (or Friday 😉 …get your mails done and enjoy the weekend-break… (btw: I see so many people now doing 4-day weeks, think about it!)
  • Control your bio-rhythm -> go to bed early…and leave your bed/house totally refreshed
  • Put your favorite tasks to day 1: meet the loveliest customers, do a brainstorming to plan the next quarter, etc.
  • Bring a nice souvenir, and put it on your desk – remember, dream, …and dive into work slowly…and not too deep ;D
  • Plan your next vacation…and do not forget talk about it, and the one which just ended… 😉

Cheers,
Sebastian Grodzietzki

Arriving in a Digitized World Order?

Hey All,

There was a recent IDC study (Advanced Workplace Strategies in Germany 2016) talking about the quality of workplaces, the generation Y – our millennials – and home offices. The outcome is sort of surprising for Germany: more than each 2nd company wants to create cloud-based workplaces. Why is that surprising? Well only 31% of German companies have a strategy for the “Digital Transformation”, following to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. So, either there is now a shift happening in German industry’s mindset or…… no, there must be a shift…hopefully!

So what’s on the IT agendas in 2017/2018:

  • IT Security (no wonder, right?!)
  • Modernization of workplaces
  • Lowering IT cost
  • Improved support of business (LOB) processes
  • Faster reaction to LOB requests

This all really plays into the same direction when you look behind it:
IT Security needs to be in place if I want to move to (more) contractors or home offices (or “everywhere-offices” which is the most important requirement to make millennials stay), and this goes hand in hand with modernizing workplaces (making them available remotely via public/private clouds). This then will significantly lower IT cost, and will drive instant, everywhere/day-round LOB support. Also, we see a strong trend of in-application support by context-sensitive (self-paced; so-called employee led) learning…well, if all users get guidance inside an application, whenever or wherever they work…then this will definitely boost performance and at the same time bring down operational IT costs……..I just wonder if all generations are ready for such a new business-world order yet…

Thoughts?

Cheers,
Sebastian Grodzietzki

THE FIRST 100 DAYS WITH A NEW COMPANY

Hi,

Today I would like to suggest the ideal 100 day plan within a new executive Position. Have fun reading:

Day 1 – 30 / week 1 – 4
Touch base, read & learn
Get to know the product, value prop, (leadership) team, internal processes, go-to-market, company vision and exit plan. Check the product market fit, product development & distribution, customer sales & success processes.
What is the status quo: what works, what doesn’t? How is the product (portfolio) performing per region, vertical, segment, sales rep, etc.? What reporting/measurement of performance is in place?

Day 30 – 60 / week 4 – 8
Listen & inspire
Talk to the veterans who are in the company since years and have a bunch of experience, and join the sales reps out in the field – so you get best insights on good and bad, as they are at the pulse of the business – at your customers – and can tell what needs to be kept and changed.
Meet with key customers to learn firsthand which demand they have, why they picked your solution, what competitors they evaluated or used earlier.

Form your vision (with rough steps; too early for specific details) and make sure the team understands it to march into the same direction, and they get to know your leadership style and you.
Introduce monthly status meetings with business-impacting KPIs, reported by the team heads – and also make clear how you want to be measured yourself. Uncover issues in growth, profitability and innovation areas.

Day 60 – 90 / week 8 – 12
Plan & act
Challenge the plan of each team. Can we get better? Reduce customer acquisition costs (CAC)? Increase margin and usage/users? Accelerate growth and innovation? Etc.
How can we exceed on all targets? Execute internal workshops, and derive action plans with more business impact.

Drive individual handshakes across all teams.

Day 90 – 100 / week 13
Check & improve
Review progress and adjust/enable where required…

Looking forward to your comments.

Cheers,

Sebastian Grodzietzki

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION – BIGGEST ISSUE TO CIO SUCCESS: TALENT

All,

The “Digital Transformation” is here, right!?

Well, yeah…more or less: Talent has now been identified globally as the single biggest problem for CIOs to achieve their objectives. And guess where the biggest talent gaps are -> of course around information -> and not surpringsly -> this impacts big data, analytics, and information management — followed by business knowledge/acumen. And you know what?: many of these gaps are the same ones CIOs cited already four years ago!

Please check out this great 2016 Gartner report on “Building die Digital Platform”: http://www.gartner.com/imagesrv/cio/pdf/cio_agenda_insights_2016.pdf

Share your thoughts…

Cheers,
Sebastian Grodzietzki