Artificial intelligence

How To Thrive in Your Job: 3 Essential Steps to Stay Ahead of AI

Generative AI is happening whether you like it or not.

So why ignore it?

Here’s 3 ways to get ahead of this in your work 👇

Career Development

The 4 Biggest Career Development Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

After 15 years of working with enterprise organisations, scale-ups and startups on skills development and career strategies. I’ve seen my share of carer mistakes.

Here’s why people’s careers often stall or hit a complete dead end, and what to do about it.

Artificial intelligence

Why AI Isn’t Stealing Your Job (Yet)

Stop worrying about AI taking your job.

The truth is no one knows what the future holds. I know that’s easy to say and harder to think with the endless news pieces which bloat our social feeds. We’re all navigating this together. Like we always do.

The following is my thesis and dubious speculations on the next few years (FYI, I’m not an AI expert. I work in L&D. These are my opinions on the impact on skills and careers at large)👇

Career Development L&D Tools

How To Avoid These Goal-Setting Mistakes

It’s that time of year again.

You know, the one where we reflect, dissect and make new goals.

Perhaps, you set the same goals because you didn’t achieve them last year.

Don’t be that person!

Problem is…many screw up goal setting.

The common problem

We set things that are too big and super difficult to achieve.

This leads to fatigue and failure, which leaves us feeling ☹️, which is not the intention of goal setting.

Want to run x2 ultramarathons this year but haven’t been to the gym in 10 years? That’s a bad goal.

In fact, it’s more of a dream depending on your deadline to do this.

As always, context is king in goal setting too.

We’re all looking to become better humans. So, let me suggest an alternative…

Instead of huge goals, set mini-sprints.

BIG goals produce fear. They make our minds dwell on the anxiety of the enormity of the task.

The winning strategy

We can think big but we need a better plan.

Here’s an idea:

  • Define your BIG goal
  • Break it down into quarterly objectives
  • Then break that down into 3 week sprints to get you closer to those.

Ask yourself, what small things can you do in 3-week chunks to improve your life?

Small things lead to big things.

You may not feel this, but compounding small changes over time leads to HUGE results.

Imagine how a few small changes every 3 weeks will add up over 52 weeks of the year.

Surely that feels more manageable, no? Don’t beat yourself up trying to 10x in 1 week.

Build a better system.

Why not use sprints to go far in the next 365 days?

I know some of you are James Clear fans. This image will help cement what we’ve explored.

Before you go… 👋

If you like my writing and think “Hey, I’d like to hear more of what this guy has to say” then you’re in luck.

You can join me every Tuesday morning for more tools, templates and insights for the modern L&D pro in my weekly newsletter.

L&D Tools Skills

This Is What Makes A World-Class Manager

I believe that looking after and leading other humans is one of the most challenging roles we can take on (outside of raising children of course).

That’s why we could all use a little help in putting our best foot forward.

Below, I’ve compiled data from a high-performing organisation to inform and inspire our own discovery on this topic.

There is no straightforward approach to building world-class managers.

No one has all the answers, sadly.

But, we have lots of data and experiences from those who’ve walked the walk from which we can learn.

What we can learn from high-performing organisations

Back in 2008, Google launched Project Oxygen aimed at discovering what makes a great manager at Google. 

Although this research focuses on the walls of Google, there’s much we can all learn about the role of management at one of the world’s largest and most profitable organisations.

This project kicked off in 2008 and continued until the end of 2018, accumulating a decade worth of research.

In their original findings from 2008, Google identified 8 behaviours on which they educated their managers, and of course, many other organisations copied to do the same in pursuit of similar success.

An update was released in 2018 which scaled to 10 behaviours to reflect the world at that point, including👇

Google’s data showed a strong statistical relationship between these behaviours and the effectiveness of managers across all corners of the organisation over the decade.

We could agree that these ten probably cover most, if not all, of the behaviours we look for in people managers.

The funny thing is that before Google conducted this research, they funded another internal research project to prove don’t managers don’t matter in a modern organisation!

Instead, they discovered that they do and they better find out what makes them great.

The turning point came in how the team defined manager quality.

They did this based on two quantitive measures: manager performance ratings and manager feedback from Google’s annual employee survey.

To their surprise, this data revealed that managers did matter.

Not only did they matter. They discovered that teams with managers were happier and more productive. Who would have thought, eh?

How can you do the same in your organisation?

No doubt, Google’s findings inspire us all, but how do we find out what makes managers great in our organisations?

Well, lucky for us, Google has made this method open source for all to use.

The team recommends that to determine what makes managers great, we should consider these three questions:

1/ Do managers matter in your organisation? 
Explore external research and internal input like surveys or interviews to determine if people managers matter to your team members’ performance and happiness.

2/ If managers matter, whom do you need to convince and how? 
Google used internal data to convince engineers and leaders that managers matter.

How will you convince your organisation?

3/ What makes a great manager at your organisation? 
Google found ten behaviours of successful managers – you might find you have two, three, or twelve.

Internal data, like employee survey results and interviews, can help uncover the elements of good management at your organisation.

You can also explore external research through, you guessed it, a simple Google search to get started.

What might you discover?

If, like me, reading research like this gets you excited to do the same in your workspace.

Although I like the behaviours that Google have listed, we could certainly add a few pieces to make this even better.

One thing that stands out for me is Emotional intelligence.

Though not specifically called out in the ten behaviours, we can see a few areas where it would overlap.

Nonetheless, the lessons learnt during the pandemic have brought this behaviour to the forethought of how we lead (and so it should).

Teaching people how to be more emotionally aware and lead with empathy can only be positive moves, right?

Hopefully, this edition has given you some food for thought, data to utilise and some idea on how to take action in your practice.

Before you go… 👋

If you like my writing and think “Hey, I’d like to hear more of what this guy has to say” then you’re in luck.

You can join me every Tuesday morning for more tools, templates and insights for the modern L&D pro in my weekly newsletter.

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