Does brainstorning encourage laziness

A provocation from HBR... but I agree with this all depends on how you design your group session

@HarvardBiz Not a waste of time if you use a brainstorming framework & formal methodology! Generalizations like this are dangerous.

— Alexandra Fiorillo(@alexfiorillo) March 27, 2015

Principles in action - Cut the crap!

I am rather impressed as I'm working away in an open office environment, when I hear colleagues cite our company principles. And I should add they are cited sincerely, are being used to think about behaviour -- not being used  ironically.

I was reminded though of perhaps the most candid and abrupt corporate principle ever -- Cut the Crap.

In 2002 the BBC CEO made a speech and a soccer style card:

I would also ask that people in every team in the BBC – be it at Watchdog, Radio Leicester or outside broadcasts – discuss how we make this place better, how we make it exciting, how do we ensure that the cynics and moaners in the organisation – and they're there in all big organisations – are marginalized. In short how do we cut the crap and make it happen?

To help me I've had a yellow card printed which says on it "cut the crap and make it happen" which I plan to bring out at every meeting when someone is trying to stop a good idea rather than make it happen. We'll send one to anyone who wants one.

The BBC is a pretty extraordinary and innovative media organisation. I guess it worked. 

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Go read the 5 Myths of Great Workplaces

Is there a downside to everyone being happy at work? Is conflict good or bad? Does hiring for cultural fit produce group think? A great summary over at HBR of what to consider if your goal is to foster a critically engaged team.

"... task conflicts produce better decisions and stronger financial outcomes. ... Healthy debate encourages group members to think more deeply, scrutinize alternatives, and avoid premature consensus. While many of us view conflict as unpleasant, the experience of open deliberation can actually energizes employees by providing them with better strategies for doing their job."

Read the rest and the top 5 tips at

Coffivity - ambient sounds to block out noisy open office distractions

I am incredibly fortunate to work in an amazingly well planned and thought out open office and hot desk environment. But even with full focus zones it can be difficult at times to concentrate because of distracting background conversations. If this happens to you and you are like me and unable to work along to music (I find lyrics way too distracting), you might be interested in trying It plays ambient sounds ... think library, or cafe (thankfully not whale sounds) to help you block out other noise and focus. I use this app all the time, its a lifesaver.

The rule of three

Advice shared from the buzzing tech valley:

"Google did a great talk about the method they use to keep focused. It’s called “Objectives, Key Results”. Essentially you can have three objectives a quarter; they need to be broad but measurable. Don’t say how you will get there, that’s for the person actioning it to worry about. By limiting ourselves to three objectives I feel freed."