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How to Lead From Everywhere – Free Webinar Next Week

 24th January 2017 by gihan

The workplace – and what employees want from it – has changed over the years. The standard workplace of the past was an office with everybody working the same hours, at the same time, in the same place, focussed on the same goals. Modern workplaces are different, with distributed teams working from different places, in different time zones, and with different motivation. Leaders who understand the needs of their distributed teams members will increase productivity, retain the best talent, and achieve their personal and professional goals.

Join Gihan Perera, futurist and author of “The Future of Leadership”, as he shares the key principles for nurturing talent in a distributed team.

In this live, interactive webinar, you will learn how to:

  • Build a team culture, even when team members don’t work in the same office
  • Increase productivity and collaboration in your distributed team
  • Align everybody’s personal and professional goals
  • Involve remote team members fully in day-to-day operations

When: Tuesday 31st January 2017, 11am BST (U.K.), 7pm Perth, 10pm Sydney/Melbourne

Register Now

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Channelling Chaos – Webinar Recording

 19th January 2017 by gihan

The old rules of goal setting, productivity and time management don’t work. Our goals become meaningless when the environment changes, it’s difficult to stay productive when we’re constantly interrupted, globally dispersed teams make in-person meetings impractical, and the 9-to-5 workday just doesn’t make sense anymore. Instead of trying to fight against this chaos, harness it to work for you.

You can watch the recording here:

After the webinar, I asked participants “What was the most useful thing you learned today?” Here are some of their answers:

“Reflecting on eliminating some of the info I am taking in was very helpful”

“Thinking differently about problems”

“Different approach to goal setting”

“Plan less, launch more!”

“Who to build up, who to let go; reminder of big, flexible goals; just participating is a valuable experience.”

“I need to take more action and ‘test’ things rather than perfect what I think people want and then take it to market. Also, I need to delegate and outsouce which means I need to trust and not control. Great systems and processes will enable that.”

“The flow concept and particularly the intersecting Venn diagram showing the brittle, vague and bland concepts”

“Ideas to think about when doing my annual planning”

“The 5 ways to get into flow to achieve goals and the sub-questions for distilling these are really useful and something I will not only use myself, but can share with my team.”

The Future Proof Webinar Series

The Future Proof webinar series will keep you in touch with our future - what's ahead, what it means for us, and how to stay ahead of the game.

In each webinar, I'll cover an important topic about the future - for example, the shift of power to Asia, the changing workplace, healthcare technology, the shift to customer-centric business, big data, and more. This is not just theory; I'll also give you practical examples and ideas for you to future-proof your organisation, teams, and career.

Register here

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Leadership Passion

 17th January 2017 by gihan

Leaders need followers, and followers are crying out for strong leaders. But the best people only follow you if you can give them work with meaning, energy, and purpose. And you can only do that if you yourself have meaning, energy, and purpose – in other words, you bring passion to your work. Leadership expert Charles Kovess explains what this means – not just in high-level language, but with practical, easy-to-implement ideas.

Listen To the Episode

The Fit for the Future Podcast brings you regular ideas, interviews and insights about how you, your teams and your organisation can become fit for the future.

More ways to engage with me:

Next Level Productivity – Five New Moves For Our Fast-Changing World

 12th January 2017 by gihan

When the Institute for the Future looked to identify the key skills for the future workplace, they knew those skills would not be technical, task-oriented skills – because those skills will become obsolete through automation and artificial intelligence. Instead, the most future-proof skills will be higher-order thinking skills.

One of their ten key skills is “cognitive load management”, which is a fancy name for time management (sort of!).

Cognitive load management is related to productivity, goal setting, stress management, work/life balance, and information overload. In our fast-changing world, it’s about managing large amounts of information, interruptions, and demands on our time and attention.

With so much information and so much change, how can we possibly expect to cope? Well, some people don’t! They get swamped, feel stressed, and struggle to just keep their head above water – let alone get ahead.

But others cope quite well – and not just survive, but thrive.

What makes the difference?

The key difference is that these people have mastered the skill of cognitive load management.

Our world has become more chaotic. In the past, you could manage the chaos by getting back control. But now you have to operate in the chaos, and channel it to your advantage.

This is not just a case of working faster, being more efficient, and blocking out all distractions. Those strategies used to work, but they don’t anymore. For most people, it’s no longer humanly possible to process all information, work fast enough, and tune out every distraction.

Instead of trying to do things faster, we need to do different things.

If you want to be better at cognitive load management, here are five things to change.

1. Energy, not Time

On a day-to-day basis, instead of trying to manage your time, think about how to manage your energy.

What are the things that give you energy? Do more of them.

What are the things that drain your energy? Find ways to reduce, eliminate, delegate or change them.

2. Filter, not Block

When we become overwhelmed with information overload, it’s tempting to call for a time-out and block everything. So you might have a technology-free day or work from home to try to catch up. The trouble with this is that information just piles up, so when you return there’s even more to process.

Instead of trying to block out this information, be more careful about what you let in. Do you really need to check Facebook regularly, read five news sources, subscribe to all those newsletters, or get cc’ed on every e-mail?

Filter carefully, choosing the things that move you towards your goal, and ruthlessly eliminating everything else.

3. Launch, not Plan

Planning is still important, but it’s much more important to test your plans in “the real world” as soon as possible. As boxer Mike Tyson said,

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

Instead of creating a detailed plan for a project, plan just enough to launch the project, and then launch it.

4. Test, not Bounce

There’s a push towards building greater resilience and “bounce-backability”. I’m not against that entirely, but it puts the focus on setbacks, problems and obstacles.

That’s the wrong mindset.

Think like a scientist: Start with a hypothesis (a guess, if you like), and then do an experiment to test it. If the results don’t match the hypothesis, change the hypothesis and try again. It wasn’t a failure; it was just an experiment.

Yes, you should be persistent, determined, and gritty. But that’s not the same as constantly having to bounce back from a string of failures and setbacks.

5. Trust, not Control

Finally, when working with other people, build trust rather than trying to control them.

In the past, with clear hierarchies and responsibilities, you could use processes, procedures, checklists and other systems to control people. But that doesn’t work anymore. If you try, you will create so much extra work that the real work won’t get done. And worse, in our fast-changing world, these systems become obsolete fast anyway.

The solution is not more control but more trust. Work on your key relationships so you can operate them from trust rather than control. Build good judgement in your team members, set clear standards and expectations when dealing with suppliers, and involve customers and clients more in your business.

When you do this, you won’t need all the processes, checklists and other systems. The trust will set you free!

How can you use this in your professional life?

As we start a new year, commit to making these five changes in your work life. That’s how you channel chaos to get the most important things done!

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Three Innovation Secrets That Change Everything

 6th January 2017 by gihan

What’s the difference between creativity and innovation? Well, there are many definitions, but one you’ll commonly see is that innovation is applied creativity. In other words, if creativity is about ideas, innovation is about putting ideas into action to achieve a goal.

But how do you know which innovations are worthwhile?

It’s easy to get caught in the trap of making lots of little changes, thinking you’re making things better. And you might be making genuine improvements, but are those improvements really making a difference to things that matter?

One of the best ways to focus your innovation is to attach it to solving problems.

More specifically, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What people problem are you solving?
  2. How do you know it’s a real problem?
  3. How will you know if you have solved it?

These are not my questions – they are the questions asked by Facebook designers whenever they think about adding new features to Facebook (and they should know a thing or two about innovation, right?). Julie Zhuo, vice president of product design at Facebook, talks about them in her presentation “How a Facebook Designer Thinks”, which you can watch here:

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Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World

 4th January 2017 by gihan

My dietitian friend and client Julie Meek helps busy executives and leaders maintain their health, fitness and energy. This is an important issue for these leaders, because they often have chaotic, unpredictable lifestyles, so it’s difficult for them to get into a routine of regular meals, regular exercise, or regular down time.

So Julie doesn’t give them routines. Instead, she gives them rules – like this: “No drinking alcohol alone on a business trip” (for example, in flight, in the airline lounge, from the hotel mini-bar).

The beauty of this rule is that it’s not open to interpretation and doesn’t rely on the person making a judgement call. It’s simple to understand, simple to apply (I said simple, not easy!), and simple to measure.

It’s exactly the kind of rule authors Donald Sull and Kathleen Eisenhardt describe in their book Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World.

Simple rules are shortcuts to simplify the way we process information.

At first glance, they might sound hopelessly inadequate in our complex world. But the right rules applied correctly can cut through the complex clutter.

For example, Julie’s rule for her clients won’t magically fix everything in their diet. And it’s easy to circumvent the rule so it isn’t effective (for example, by increasing your alcohol intake at other times). But that’s not the point. The rule isn’t intended to solve every problem; it’s intended to address one common problem.

The authors say simple rules work for three reasons:

  1. They allow for flexibility, particularly in non-routine situations.
  2. They can match or even outperform more sophisticated decision models, especially in uncertain environments.
  3. They are easy to remember, so it’s more likely people will use them – and, as a result, they promote collective behaviour.

In the book, the authors not only explain why simple rules are effective, but also break them down into different types, help you create your own simple rules, and advise on how to make them work in a team.

Throughout the book, they tell many stories and case studies from a wide range of fields, including: How Tina Fey produced the hit comedy 30 Rock, how judges decide whether to grant bail, how the United States Federal Reserve Board fixes interest rates, and more.

It’s an easy read, and full of practical strategies that will help any leader who needs help dealing regularly with challenging decisions in a complex world.

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Free E-Book: Expect More From 2017

 13th December 2016 by gihan

At the start of each year, I invite my clients to contribute a short article to an e-book full of tips and strategies for success in your personal and professional life.

This is what you will find in this year’s edition:

  1. An Alternative Point of View to Expecting More! – David Penglase
  2. Step Up and Stand For Something – Gihan Perera
  3. Powerful Year – Dr. Amy Silver
  4. Ensure That 2017 Is Your Best Year Yet – Ian Berry
  5. Learning How to Be An Effective Learner – Dr. Nicky Howe
  6. Flip the Switch To “TRUST” – Ann Rolfe
  7. Your Role Is to Guide, Not To Control – Bryan Whitefield
  8. The Best Leaders Do Less, Not More – Ross Clennett
  9. The Power of Story – Justus Lewis
  10. The Best Advice, Ever – Clive Murphy
  11. The Secret to Managing Sales Performance – Paul Archer
  12. 4 Steps to Motivate High Performance in Your People – Dr. Maree Harris
  13. Your New Way of Lifting Your EQ – Christopher Golis
  14. Modelling Civility In 2017 – Dr. Ann Villiers
  15. Resiliency: Bounce Back from Challenges – Rob Salisbury
  16. How to Transform Your Coaching In 2017 – Maree McPherson
  17. Finish What You Start – Shelley Dunstone
  18. Inspire Leaders to Change The Game – Brian Donovan
  19. Why Plans Matter In 2017 – Dr. Richard Huysmans
  20. Mindfulness and Cultural Intelligence (CQ) – Trisha Carter

Download Now

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Recommended Podcast: Fit for the Future

 8th December 2016 by gihan

This is my own podcast, aimed at leaders – within organisations and those who run their own businesses – to help them become future-proof and fit for the future.

The podcast is a mix of interviews, conversations with my friend Chris Pudney about the future of work, and sometimes my own ideas about the future of leadership.

Subscribe Now

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