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WARNING: This is rather long, don’t start it as a procrastination exercise but consider parking it for when you have the mental space to think of your own team’s Psychological Safety.

Because everything else in our product is so carefully calibrated to measure one component or the other, when we started researching the “Stay Connected” pack we designed as part of our COVID aid response, one of the things we asked our research groups to tell us, was how useful a certain question was. They were indeed to mark it 1–5 between “extremely useful” to “not at all”. We then spent time splitting them into categories just as we did with our other usual questions, we mapped the behaviours, the types and the premises and we spent a design sprint discussing if results should feed into existent components or if they should feature separately. We’ve only asked a few people before we had a revelation and realised that rigorous research will be all but impossible to set-up a priori before the questions were part of our product and that we should question if it should exist at all. …


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(Reposted from the LinkedIn “The Future Is Agile” Newsletter)

On paper, Agile teams are best suited for what we all have to face now. If not already remote or distributed, then most prepared to become so without too much faff and fuss. Added to that, existing Agile ceremonies are oftentimes already online and every part of the work is digital. Better news still, no one is thinking it’s a fringe joke some teams insist on anymore or if they do, it isn’t evident as the nay-sayers have thankfully been removed from sight.

Except for two insidious facts. One practical and perhaps solvable — feedback and one theoretical and much harder to sort out — morale. These two have the potential of transforming teams that were truly Agile at heart and turn them into Agile-by-numbers. To roll back years of work on a new way of thinking and transform it into a mechanical way of working. Turn it from the spirit of building amazing things into mere process and what a tragedy that would be! …


Last week, I attended Adobe’s CXM Space event. While I’ve attended many events, I was really excited for this one as it was the first to firmly focus on the consumer through the prism of customer experience (CX) — something that’s undoubtedly needed.

Irrespective of what industry we work in, we can’t help but hear about the importance of customer-centricity and data. But it’s a lot harder to put this discourse into action — especially for larger organisations, which can be overloaded with so much data that they can become disconnected from the actual customer. …


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Loads of foolishness happens in many industries these days when it comes to discussing the future of work. Everyone can tell in their heart of hearts that the wind of change is blowing strong as carrying on like it’s 1996 is simply not sustainable when it comes to creating what is expected as outcomes by consumers if not stakeholders.

That doesn’t mean everyone is ready or willing to embrace the change. For evident reasons I write and speak about a lot, accepting change is necessary and executing is rarely joyous and straightforward and it puts people on the defensive so deep it’s paralysing. This is of course not something that can be fixed overnight and the process of acceptance and then true alignment will take as long as it takes for those on the back foot to be convinced they can lower their heel and step on safe, solid ground. …


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A stupendous amount of people still go through their work-life as if it’s 1999. As if their jobs still demand they do the same things. As if those things are even remotely still valuable. As if the future of work is not coming and is not intensely human. It may even be the majority of white-collar workers in a flux of business as usual when business as anything but the usual.

Irrespective of what industry you’re in or what level you’re at. Irrespective of your job title or the size of your organization, from start-ups to corporations, we all need to take stock and establish if we shouldn’t need a wake-up call. …


On FIRE And Obnoxious Cliches About Loving What You Do

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“If money were no object…”

Someone I used to work with, was telling me in a conversation in Iceland the other day, -Iceland of all places — ironic, I know- about this new trend out of Silicon Valley for people to start aggressively saving so they can retire early and do what they really enjoy.

FIRE “Financial Independence, Retire Early”. By 40 to be exact. I listened and couldn’t relate. Perhaps because I’ve just crossed the dreaded quoted age limit but mostly because it didn’t make sense. It made it sound like a financial version of “Delay, don’t deny” — the fasting method where you eat nothing for a certain while (be it hours or even days) so you can binge the other ones. …


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Counter-intuitive as it sadly may seem to most of us, when it comes to work, everything is simple and can be easy and fun. It can. We’re here to steer this any way our Dr.Seuss-like-boots allow us to carry our dreams.

But we won’t, we have to complicate it because we somehow have come to believe that simple is cheap and unprofessional and fun is prohibited and there’s a certain way to do things and the truth is that there isn’t.

There shouldn’t be. It should all be up for questioning, examining, probing. The way we do anything.

I say this in some workshops (and I’d like to say it in a conference too but I can’t stomach the potential shock if I’m…


I write a lot about betterment on my professional channels. More than meets the eye, in fact. On LinkedIn, I have two weekly newsletters — a Monday one called “Chasing Psychological Safety” about the topic of Psychological Safety in general and the journey that our software company is on to create and improve it in particular, and a Wednesday one called “The Future Is Agile” is which all about the future of work and technology with an “Agile-anthropologist” hat on.

On the surface, they seem to be dry, pure science and business topics but to me, they are simply facets of a betterment journey. One at a team level and one at an organisational and mindset level, but none possible or long-lasting with work being done at the individual level and that is why on here, I often go on and on about topics such as gratitude, positivity, flexibility and generally, all that should go into the practice of always striving to be a better version of ourselves. …


On Positivity And Living Long And Prospering

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10 years ago I was going through IVF when I first heard the term “PMA” (Positive Mental Attitude). It was uttered a million times on every forum I was on and turned into GIFs and memes and banners of all kind. I thought it was ever so ridiculous. PMA wasn’t going to see me with child, science was.

Needless to say, I didn’t rate it any higher as “good vibes sprinkle dust” or the “lines fairy” — both practically technical terms and sine qua non conditions of having a successful IVF process judging by their prevalence in the community. Here was a set of largely educated, successful women and men spending the biggest chunk of money and emotional investment of their lives on science to help them create a human and the success of their endeavors had something to do with a glittery acronym about having a sunny outlook. …


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To think they say life stops surprising you at 40. Well in my last day of being 40 (hmmm this is perchance an early birthday present from Silicone Valley just for me…) I found out an amazing fact about myself: I can fall madly in love with a report. So in love, I’d marry it.

This is surprising to me as I’m not an academic and I have the same perception of reports as many: a gray, chart-heavy dreary writing filled with numbers and self-serving text which only appeals to those who care and those are incidentally the ones who rarely learn something from it. …

About

Duena Blomstrom

Author, Keynote Speaker, #LinkedInTopVoice, Creator of Emotional BankingTM, Forbes Writer, Co-Founder & CEO PeopleNotTech

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