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Recharge days to the rescue
ALSO: good work // community wrap-up // diversity training pitfalls
I’m about to take a week’s holiday for the first time for the year so this newsletter is a little bit of an eclectic collection of things I’ve seen this week rather than a single thought. Back with something more weighty in a couple of weeks.
I was chatting to an old colleague last week and they told me of the approach their organisation has to dealing with this strange moment we are in. Once each quarter they have been gifted a ‘burnout day’ for one day the following week. They’ve been told to disconnect and to step away from their devices. I guess they should be called Recharge Days rather than Burnout Days but I love them, small hacks that some firms are creating to try to handle an unpredictable and slowly unfolding crisis.
Can remote work be good work?
The video of today’s RSA talk is up live. Myself and Alexa Clay cover a lot of ground: the uneven distribution of ‘good work’, how to build empower & inspire autonomy in the workplace, how remote firms are trying to forge a sense of community, how casual learning has been lost.
(I painted my bedroom wall and put my microphone on a stand a couple of weeks ago to make things look a bit better as I’ve now accepted we’re hunkered down at home for keeps).
Fixing your workplace culture - building community at your work
I’ve just completed a series of podcasts on how some firms are hiring community managers to build the culture at their work. If you’re interested in workplace culture I’m sure you’ll find the discussion in these episodes to be fascinating.
Ep4: Jillian Richardson - Jillian is a pre-eminent community organiser. She gives us the top 5 ‘must haves’ for community and why she is worried about workplaces misappropriating some parts of community.
One of my favourite moments of the episodes was this quote by Peter Block: "Community requires a concept of the leader as one who creates experiences for others". This, to me, gives a really interesting take for modern leaders.
Diversity training doesn’t work - interesting take on this article from HBR
Anyone interested in creativity will have loved Ed Catmull’s book Creativity Inc taking us inside Pixar and its intriguing Brain Trust. In this interview the creators of new film, Soul, explore some of how the Trust works (it’s intriguing to hear how creativity is totally iterative for them, going through dozens of different versions to see what lands with audiences)
I previously mentioned the fabulous BBC Radio 4 series on touch and the whole series is now available
How to tell good bedtime stories - I wonder if there’s not some lessons we can all learn about how to be better on Zoom by heeding this advice
I’m heading off for a week and I’m not going to lie reading about the situation in Nigeria and politics has made me pretty depressed with the world. So I thought I’d share some things that have made me incredibly happy or optimistic:
Pop dissected: Selena Gomez doing the whole Pop Exploder thing with Lose You to Love Me is almost religious. It’s like reading the Torah with a song - delightful
Follow it up with the Disclosure boys talking through their new record and giving strong voices a platform. Their Twitch channel is also life affirming if you like music geekery
I’ve really enjoyed Rutger Bregman’s Humankind this week. He's very persuasive in his belief that people are, in general, pretty decent. A lot of the psychological tests we’ve heard legends of in the past don’t come out of it well. I audiobooked it and loved it
When the Prime Minister (please don’t refer to politicians by their first name) talks about switching all UK household power to wind in ten years please understand the government’s own numbers already say wind is the cheapest power available to us, we still give £10B in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, and wind is winning because it is incredibly cheap. Let’s be more ambitious.
Maybe not right now, but we love your stuff:
Make Work Better is created by Bruce Daisley, workplace culture enthusiast. You can find more about Bruce’s book, podcast and writing at the Eat Sleep Work Repeat website. I’m on off to Florida to take photos of Biden-Harris lawn billboards for a week. Back after the US election. With love and optimism.