What if the Workplace had Instant Replay?

Image Source: mlive.com

Football has it. Basketball has it. Baseball has it. Even hockey has it. Yes, Instant Replay is a way to make sure the umpires and referees ‘get it right.’

So I’m wondering, what might Instant Replay look like if we had it during an average workday at the office?

  • With the chronically tardy employee:
    • You’re late, again.
    • No I’m not; Steve cornered me in the hallway to talk about his issue.”
    • Again?
    • Yes, again.
    • Well let’s look at the replay and get it right.
  • With the scope-changing boss:
    • Here’s the information you asked for, Boss.
    • That’s not what I wanted.
    • Yes, it’s precisely what you asked for.
    • You must not have been paying attention.
    • Well let’s look at the replay and get it right.
  • With that passive-aggressive co-worker:
    • Why’d you leave me hanging like that in yesterday’s meeting?
    • I never said I agreed to support your plan, I just said I’m glad you pre-briefed me on it last week.
    • Actually, your words were “I’m GOOD with what you’re proposing.”
    • ACTUALLY, I said, “It’s good to know what you’re proposing.”
    • Well let’s look at the replay and get it right.

Sure, Instant Replay brings some Big Brother concerns to the forefront, but let’s put them aside for a moment to consider what this type of ‘verifiable transparency’ could do for things like employee engagement, camaraderie, respect and regard. Consider how it’d improve organizational teamwork, communications, productivity and goal-attainment.

Indeed, eliminating, or even just significantly reducing, the ambiguity in our interactions with others – and their interactions with us – would make it so much easier to do increasingly better work.

So, the next time you’re faced with a potential misunderstanding or obfuscation – intended or otherwise – stop for a moment and discuss what the interaction would look like if it were reviewed via Instant Replay. Work to ‘get it right’ IN the moment so they’ll be no disagreement afterwards.


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Save $500 at the Change Management Conference » June 21, 22, 2012 in NYC

Image Source: http://pmtips.netI’m scheduled to live blog and tweet, again, for TheConferenceBoard in June at their Change Management Conference in New York City.

So, “if you are a change practitioner, or executive responsible for change and direction setting” – and want to save $500 off the registration fee – this conference is for you!

Disciplined, Analytical and Practical Approaches to Managing High Stakes Change

Gain practical advice,  innovative strategies, and expand your network with others who likely share some of the very same change management challenges that you do, such as:

  • Designing innovative change approaches that deliver business impact
  • Translating change management practices into business recommendations that resonate
  • Building organizational competence to effectively manage large scale change
  • Shifting from task to people centric approaches to change

Benefits of Attending

  • Learn how to develop a true “change mindset” in your organization
  • Learn how leaders and teams can better initiate conversations that invite candid, honest input and align talent to business needs
  • Learn how to help associates more readily embrace change
  • Zero in on the change challenges that matter most to you and your company

The Agenda

  • http://goo.gl/K4PWj (pdf file)

The Deal

  • Register at http://goo.gl/B1JWs and use code “BZ1” and get $500 off the registration fee.

The 2012 Change Management Conference: Disciplined, Analytical and Practical Approaches to Managing High Stakes Change

  • InterContinental New York Barclay
  • Conference (993012-2)
  • June 21–22, 2012
  • For more information contact TheConferenceBoard Customer Service:

If this conference is anything like the other ConferenceBoard events I’ve attended and blogged/tweeted at, it’s gonna be great! Hope to see you there, yes?!


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Better than Just Enough

Image Source: http://eastcountysports.com

One of the key lessons in little league and girl’s softball is that after you hit the ball, you don’t just run TO first base; you run THROUGH it. That’s because if you only run TO the base, you’re likely to slow down as you arrive, giving the infielders more time to thrown you out. But if you run THROUGH first base, you’re reaching first in full stride, eliminating unneeded delay.

Shifting to work, many of us are guilty of merely running TO (rather than THROUGH) our goals and objectives.  So what WOULD running “through” our work goals and objectives look like? Consider:

  • Sales goals – not just reaching your sales quotas, but doing so in a way that has you feeling refreshed and invigorated
  • Reports – not just turning them in on time, but including in them some truly insightful analysis
  • Collaboration – not just working with others, but enjoying your time with them
  • Providing constructive feedback – not just articulating performance gaps, but doing so in a way that reengages and motivates.
  • Interviewing – not just getting to know applicants, but getting to understand them

Another way to think about this is Embracing the “ER.” There’s great power and impact in adding the letters “e” and “r” to your efforts. Consider:

  • What would make the complex simplER?
  • What would make the difficult easiER?
  • What would make your idea smartER?
  • What would make your impact greatER?
  • What would make this project go smoothER?

So what would it look like if you “polished the chrome” just a bit more? If you “squared your corners” just a little more fully? If you “upped your game” so that you didn’t just run TO first base, you ran THROUGH first base?

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How to REALLY Multitask

Image Source: http://gregbennick.com

“Multitasking, that prized feat of modern-day office warriors, turns out to be a myth. Scientists now know that the brain is incapable of paying attention to two things at the same time. What looks like multitasking is really switching back and forth between multiple tasks, which reduces productivity and increases mistakes by up to 50 percent.” – Susan Cain

I couldn’t agree more – except that I don’t. Because I’ve found that the TYPE OF WORK being “multitasked” matters greatly and the more simple/less complex two tasks are, the more suited they are for multitasking, the more productive it is TO multitask. 


  • I have plantar fasciitis, an  inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of my left foot. As a result, I need to do a series of three leg/foot stretches twice a day. They only take about 3 minutes to do, but guess what? It takes about 3 minutes to brush my teeth with my Oral B electric toothbrush, too. And since both are pretty simple tasks, I’ve combined them. I stretch and brush SIMULTANEOUSLY, which increases the likelihood OF me doing my stretches AND requires no extra time to do so. Multitasking = INCREASED productivity and healing. (And a bright, shiny, smile, as well!)
  • I walk the dog. It takes time – increasing time as she gets older and slower – but guess what? I now take a set of hand weights along with me. So now I walk the dog and exercise SIMULTANEOUSLY, which increases the likelihood OF me becoming more fit AND requires no extra time to do so. Multitasking = INCREASED productivity and fitness. (And a happy dog, as well!)
  • I eat breakfast. I used to NOT eat breakfast. I also used to ‘choke down’ breakfast as fast as I could. But now I eat slowly – and guess what? Not only is that better for me, but it gives me time to do multitask. So I SIMULTANEOUSLY have breakfast and read the morning paper, which increases the likelihood of me knowing what’s going on in the world AND requires no extra time to do so. Multitasking = INCREASED nutrients, vitamins and minerals and knowledge and awareness. (And the energy I need to get each new day off to a great start!)

Other possibilities for productive multitasking include:

  • Listening to audio books while driving
  • Calling friends while cleaning up the office or around the house
  • Enjoying an revitalizing afternoon coffee while catching up on emails
  • Using time at the airport to read a book or magazine article
  • Taking several, refreshing, deep breaths while on your way to your next meeting

Admittedly, none of these tasks are particularly complex or require much time. But that’s my point: SOME MULTITASKING = GOOD. Your assignment is just figuring out which tasks are simple enough – and compatible enough – to BE effectively “multitasked.”

Doing so is surprisingly satisfying!

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