Let’s nail the Future of Work

Covid-19 fatigue is really settling in everywhere. Not least in the workplace where people are starting to really feel the effects of being remote working-from-home.

To many it is just not as fun and/or efficient as it was in the beginning, and the sense of belonging to a team or the employer as such is starting to erode.

It is a crucial point, I believe.

When we talk about the Future-of-Work and working from home, we almost always talk about the practical stuff; how do we facilitate virtual meetings, which platforms do we choose and how do we stay efficient, so we can tick off our to do-lists.

All very tangible stuff.

But we also need to address the intangible stuff. And treat it as a priority. Because not only are these ‘touchy feely’ elements critical to focus and performance, they are also super hard to manage through technology.

For that very reason I would like to see someone giving that part a go and come up with a new Employee Experience Platform.

But not like the new Microsoft Viva (which actually does look rather cool, if your company is big enough for it), which is focused a lot around classic productivity.

No, it should be more nímble. More soft. And address all the little intangibles that makes a team a team, a culture a culture. And most importantly; ensure that people feel a sense of belonging and stay engaged to do their best work.

It is a huge opportunity for those who can pull it off, and I honestly don’t think there are any really great offerings out there. So I would be super excited to see someone picking up the mantle and perhaps even help them along doing it.

So, hit me!

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

Success-in-progress

I have a fondness for paradoxes. I find them interesting, intriguing and sometimes even amusing.

One of the paradoxes is the one about working agile and lean while at the same time lamenting the lack of progress.

Why is it that we often judge something that is work-in-progress as a failure because it’s not the finished article yet? It is a great disconnect.

What we could be discussing instead is success-in-progress; assume that we’re on our way to something great and that every step that moves us one step closer towards that goal is a success worth celebrating.

It would be so much more productive.

The trouble with work-in-progress is the same as the difference between people who see things black or white and those of us who enjoy the nuances; it is super hard to agree whether something is good or bad – for one everything will (most likely) look like a disaster where to the other one it’s a step towards something better but nevertheless a step.

The good thing about discussing success-in-progress rather than work-in-progress is that the extra positive connotation to it brings more energy into the endeavour; it enable those who are working to finally get there – to the Promised Land – to feed on the excitement of their surroundings rather than murmours and complaints.

Because after all: What brings us closer to where we all want to be? Positive spurring on or complaints or just plain indifference?

Is it even a question?

Hattip: Paul Graham

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

Burning the Midnight Oil

“I work all the time.”

It is one of the things, you most often hear from entrepreneurs trying to succeed with whatever their venture may be.

And while in no way surprising, to me it has always been kind of puzzling.

I am a guy who likes to picture things in my mind. And I have always tried to picture to myself what an ‘always on, always working’ type looks like. What does (s)he do all those hours?

Is it the ongoing focused grind staring into the laptop screen? Is it meetings? Is it sales pitches? Fundraising? What?

Probably all of the above. Of course. But what I have found so far is that the real denominator is the state of your brain.

When you’re trying to make something happen, it tends to always be on. Even when it should be off or at least resting. Never mind office hours, meetings and the sorts. It’s also on in the evening when you’re having dinner with your family (or alone, depending on your life situation), when you try to go to sleep at night, when you twist and turn in bed, in the shower in the morning and so on.

When your brain is working on trying to move whatever it is you’re doing forward, you’re working. Essentially meaning that you’re always on, always in one shape or form working.

That’s what I have made of it so far.

Is it necessarily super healthy? Most probably not. But where is the off-switch?

My point exactly.

NB. This morning I was at my desk at 05.30…

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

Who’s your debriefer?

The documentary “The Mole” by Danish documentarist Mads Brügger about North Koreas dodging of UN sanctions is not only brilliant and important in its own newsworthy self. It also has an important lesson for entepreneurs.

In the documentary the importance of the debrief is touted; when you have been undercover and alone for years, you need to have someone you can talk to about your experience in order to get back to normal and – to some extend – keep your sanity.

I think the same goes for entrepreneurs;

Entrepreneurship can be an extremely lonely game. There are a lot of times, where the challenges are mounting, they need to get solved in a good way – and the only one on deck to make sure it happens is you.

It brings not only long, long hours. It brings sleepness nights. It brings detachment from your loved ones, because you’re thinking about the fix you need to come up with rather than be present in what you’re doing.

It is lonely. L-o-n-e-l-y.

A lot of time you may feel like you have little to win but everything to lose, and the pressure just build and build.

Unless you have an outlet for it. Someone to talk to.

Someone in charge of your debrief.

Someone on point to keep you track, sane and balanced in your life. So you can keep up doing what you’re doing (and most likely love doing anyway) without crashing against the wall.

So make sure you have a great debriefer in your life. It is that important.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

A necessary read

While working to create a MedTech startup either from scratch or later trying to get the product to market, John Carreyrou’s book “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup” about the Theranos scandal should be absolutely required reading.

The story about Theranos is well documentet by now: Only the lies were bigger than the claims of what they could do, and it remains a fact that it is one of the biggest tech scandals of recent years.

Then why should founders and people working within MedTech read it?

Because it is a horror-story about what can potentially happen when a beautiful idea – and the idea was beautiful, as non-feasible as it was – gets overtaken by hype, greed and personal ambition. It inspires to make sure you always stay the right course based on fact and NEVER deviate from it.

Because it is a horror-story about what happens when you lose sight of what it is you’re trying to do; help people with a condition or at risk of attracting one (or whatever it is, you’re trying to do with your MedTech startup) and instead focus on yourself and own selfish, short-term needs. Indirectly it is a recipe for how to risk turning into a real a**hole.

Because it is a deeply relevant story about how MedTech – or HealthTech for that matter (although maybe not quite as much) – is different from most other types of startups in that there are rules, regulations, certifications, you need to abide by, comply to and get, because – yes – it is a dead serious business. If that’s too cumbersome for you, get out. And do something else.

And because it sends a sombre signal that even though you can fool some people some of the time, you can’t fool all people all the time – and never ever should even try to do so in this space, even if your surrounded with people who have too low of an ethical/moral bar to be in this space in the first place. Boot them out instead and get your moral compass back in order.

MedTech is not a ‘get rich quick’-scheme. Lives may literally be at stake. Yes, the potential can be huge for successful startups in this space, but that should always be the result of actual value delivered by putting people better off. Not by applying smoke and mirrors and perform actions on the wrong side of the law – moral as well as legal.

Speaking of legal: Elizabeth Holmes is at the time of writing this awaiting trial with her former boyfriend and COO of Theranos, Ramesh “Sunny”Balwani, on several counts of wire fraud.

Just sayin’ and highly recommending the book.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)