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What did you do this week?

A seemingly innocuous phrase but one that is of some importance.  Yes of course we have all been busy.  Homelife, work, socialising.  We pack more and more into each day using ever thinner, intricately choreographed slices of time.  But that’s not really the point.  What did you achieve this week or perhaps better yet, what have you (uniquely) advanced / created that would have been impossible in your absence?  Tougher isn’t it?

We’re not talking about making someone’s day here but something cold heartedly commercial or technological.  Good old value added.  Not such a trivial thing but oh so rare.  Step outside your bubble as a fly on the wall and watch.  For all our gains in productivity, the vast majority of workplace activity still adds very little true value.  At best a supporting act, much of what we consider essential today is ultimately trivial and the near-term target for elimination.

Even the most highly automated production facilities will look radically different in 10 years time. Competitive advantage is a powerful agent for change so rather than fight, become an agent for it.  Constantly assess established norms and avoid repeating unproductive behaviour.  Clearly identify goals, work smart and go home early.  Tougher than it sounds particularly within highly engrained cultures but there’s a simple solution.  Keep things fun.  Encourage intellectual curiosity and focus by all means – but most importantly keep things fun.

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