I would love any member of the team to feel confident enough to contact me directly about a matter that they want to raise with me. It could be asking for clarity, a suggestion or feedback. We aren’t quite there yet. The idea of the trust battery is that every interaction is an opportunity to show people that you can be trusted which in turn charges the trust battery Yet despite regularly saying ” send me an email anytime in confidence, call me or book a private appointment” it was tumbleweed. With 173 people at the Trust it turns out that it will take more than me simply asking. So about a year ago I make a very simple Google form that any member of the organisation can use to ask a question. The form has one field for the question and a send button.
Every now and again at our weekly staff meeting I load up the form to show people that it doesn’t record anything other than the question.
I have just received the 52nd question.
I used to answer questions in the staff meeting but have recently moved to sharing answers on Basecamp. Now each question and answer can be seen by everyone as there is a good chance others have the same idea.
I hope one day people feel happy to contact me directly. Until then please ask a question.
I was recently packing for a few days holiday. I use a North Face Backpack. When I filled it but had more kit I had to prioritise and repack. In parallel I was worried about having lots on at work. A lightbulb moment occured as I realised that just like my bag I needed to prioritise and leave some stuff for another time. Just like that the anxiety disappeared and I remembered my good habits from Getting Things Done.
At home we get our milk delivered every Saturday by a local farm. To make it last we freeze two of the three 4ltr bottles. In theory that means we have the current bottle, one fresh bottle To ensure we have enough milk we have to estimate the best time to take the milk out of the freezer and allow 24hrs to defrost. Get it wrong and we have to try to speed defrost the milk with the kettle. Although this works sometimes, it usually makes a mess and tastes weak. The urgency of poor planning leads to a poor outcome.
Finding the balance took a bit of effort but pays off. The same applies to our use of resources in the workplace.
When you meet a friend for a leisurely catch-up it helps if you agree in advance if you’ll walk, jog or cycle. It isn’t easy to hold a conversation if one of you is walking and the other is trying to balance on a bicycle at 2mph. Inevitably the cyclist will end up begrudgingly pushing the bicycle. Fixing this is easy.
Choosing your mode of transport with purpose is like choosing your digital tools for communicating. Works better if we think in advance what we’ll use and what’s the point.
We’ll meet face to face for solving X type of communication
We’ll use email for Y type of communication
We’ll use trello for Z type of communication.
We’re all spending lots of time guessing what might be next. We also all talk lots about “returning to normal”. Yet often the normal way was followed without checking if it was fit for purpose – unless it was of course. So all this week I’ve been trying to use the phase “that was the old way” instead of “return to normal”.
Then today I stumbled over the term collective conservatism when reading Nudge, which refers to the tendency of groups to stick to established patterns even as new needs arise.
It is clear that for the short term at the very least is is impossible to slip back into the old way. Thus now is the time to see if we can shift our culture in a different direction for the long term benefit.
An example is adding to our digital by default ways to include digital communication and remote working. Not remote vs office but default to remote. We’ll see.
Email can be important. A way to push a relationship or project one step further. To give thanks or stay in the loop. One of the best things I ever did was to assign time each day to my diary to “process” my email. If email is a part of your daily working life then give email the time it deserves in your day.
I assign an hour in the morning and approx 30mins in the afternoon. The time is just enough to keep moving forward, respond in a timely manner and keep work in my inbox not my head.
Once you learn to give email the time it deserves the next phase is to send better email.
During a trip to Manchester I took a few minutes to walkthrough the shop with the manager. This was an aside to the main reason for the visit but I spotted something immediately. Most of the products either weren’t priced or their related pricing point of sale wasn’t close enough. Hiding in plain sight was a big hurdle for the potential customer. It’s human nature to not ask staff about the price. Show me the price so I have as little friction as possible when considering a product.
Retail is 1000 little details like this.
Friday 22nd March 2019 marks a fantastic milestone as our retail officially tipped over the 100% growth in revenue since taking over in 2015. A huge thanks to all our customers, teams and those who have helped us make every possible mistake and still keep on rolling.
According to Twitter, today marks 10 years on the platform for me @zakmensah
. I remember resisting for over a year having grown tired of signing up for platforms that never gained traction beyond the early adopters. I’ve never been that interested in being first to the party. I was at Jisc
at the time and traveling the UK for events and conferences was a big part of my role. I started to notice that the various unconference/meet-ups were being organised on twitter and I felt left out. I wanted to know which pub was the
pub folks were gathering at. As with all new platforms I didn’t get the point for awhile but once I started to discover groups in the pub I was set ha. Fast forward 10 years and I’m glad I jumped on twitter and its evolution has been interesting to watch. From nerds to the mainstream. In the same period of time many other social platforms have risen and fallen including Google Wave, myspace, snapchat and many others I’ve long forgotten.
I have met great people on twitter, some I have yet to meet in person and others I have hollered at when in their country. I have had wonderful work opportunities, learned a bunch and its often the first port of call when I’m stuck and need advice for work. I like the little tribes such as museumhour
and following the boxing or F1 for the wit and live emotion.
I like to share on twitter and also keep lots of things private. I can pick and choose as I please which is the whole point. For example I never post family photos and try to avoid tweeting much when at the pub for obvious reasons. Tweets wash over the timeline so I don’t pay too much attention to crafting messages or take myself too seriously. But I do want to live my life a bit on the web as a dry serious me online would be a dull shame.
Happy birthday to the 10 year @zakmensah version of me. Oh and the oldest tweet I can find is me saying hello to someone’s mum
Two-step authentication is one of the tools we should all use to help prevent our accounts being compromised. Shopify now has this feature but its implementation could do with a further feature. At present as the master admin I cannot enforce two-step authentication for staff who have admin rights. I have to rely that individual staff will choose to set this up and/or stand over their shoulder which isn’t going to win hearts and minds!
I would like to request that the master admin account has a way to invoke all admin accounts to be forced to have two-step switched on/set-up to ensure the security of our admin area.
Over to you shopify.