Innovative cultures and the Brand Me working style



Is this a test for productivity?

Is this a test for productive working cultures?

 I worked from home today, which gave me some perspective about the way that I like to work as well as the ideals of the Brand Me theory that I have spoken about on this blog before. I awoke this morning feeling a little crook, and so (full disclosure here), took myself down to the doctors where I had a urine sample taken. I’ve felt quite sore in my kidneys these past few weeks, so thought it wise to get it tested.

After the test, I felt quite jubilant as I had the whole day in front of me, and was pumped to get on with some work which has been sitting in the in tray for far too long. At World Vision HQ, we are slowly but surely breeding an innovative culture, and the open office plan helps with that. However, I feel that sometimes it also gets in the way of achieveing some real work. Sometimes. I find it hard, often, to be mindfull in the office and to really get into the ‘flow’ of things, as Daniel Golman speaks about in his book, Working With Emotional Intelligence. He describes it as:

“Flow blossoms when our skills are fully engaged and then some – say, by a work project that stretches us in new and challenging ways. The challenge absorbs us so much we lose ourselves in our work, becoming so totally concentrated we may feel ‘out of time.’ In this state we seem to mandle everything effortlessly, nimbly adopting to shifting demands. Flow itself is a pleasure.’

I love this description, and think it apt for my situation today. Having arrived home, I logged on and responded to an email from work about a present opportunity that came up today. I thought I answered it well, and efficiently. I read widely through my RSS reader (I am loving the Outlook RSS that is included through feedburner. It’s a winner!), checked out some of those emails which have been sitting dormant for far too long, and generally maintained ‘The Squiggly Line’ business…mine.

I felt alive, and very mindfull and looking forward to having a crack at the Digital Content Strategy I have been working on at WVA for the past month. It’s a piece of work I have had trouble getting into at the office, as it has required a fair space for thought. I jumped in at about 5:30pm (yes, not in work hours!) and completed the thing in about 3 hours. I feel chuffed with the results and look forward to showing it off tomorrow (yes, my ego loves it!). Yeah, I worked (on work stuff, how ‘boring’) till 8:30 and yeah, I probably didn’t do my full ‘8 Hours work’ but I think the quality of work I produced and the way I produced it has lead to much better results. That work is something I feel proud of, which is not to say that I don’t feel proud of stuff I do at the office. But often, especially lately, I have felt that I have been putting out fires and being reactive rather than proactive when things just needed to be done.

I love working where I do, and being part of the conversations and discussions about our new strategy and innovation is the highlight of my week. I’m a big fan of the open office plan, where innovation and communication are allowed to flourish. But, I think we need to be more aware of our cultures and the environments that flourish from them and, especially as players in this new talent revolution, how we react being in one culture for too long.

5 thoughts on “Innovative cultures and the Brand Me working style

  1. I don’t think he does…but you never know 🙂

    The 4 Hour work week something I am yet to fully engage with or understand, but I like the concept.

  2. Hi Steve! I have been working from home for the past 10 months part time and I am now pursuing a desk back in the office! Can you believe it?!? So I think your last point is smack on the money “we need to be more aware of…how we react being in one culture for too long”. While working from home would seem ideal for convenience and for getting work done, I have been missing human contact! I have also been feeling some sort of self inflicted cabin fever – hahahha.Especially now that uni is finished, this work at home thing – by myself – needs to be balanced! I think that is the key, a balance. The ultimate for me would be a mix of working from home and at the office and that is what I intent to do 🙂

  3. Hi Helen!

    Yup, completely agree. I think that change is often the key thing we need to keep work interesting and challenging. If you’re feeling the effects of cabin fever getting out and heading back into the office creates new tensions and challenges, that make it all interesting again.

    Good luck!

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