Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Week

It's almost Easter! How do you celebrate it in your country? Do you get time off work? Do you cook a feast, paint egg shells, hide chocolate eggs? Or do you do something even more surprising?

In Poland, for example, people celebrate Easter Monday by pouring water onto one another... often in sub-zero temperatures. Girls who get drenched, folklore tells you, are the ones who'll get married within the year.

In Finland, children dress up as witches, carry broomsticks and build bonfires.

In Greece, people throw pots and pans out of the window.

In one French town, the inhabitants cook up a gigantic omelet using over 4,000 eggs.

Norwegians book publishers love the season so much, they release special “Easter Thrillers” around Easter time.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Technology and Working Styles

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. ~ Arthur C. Clarke

Remember when Flash Drives were the latest cool gadget? Thanks to Cloud Computing, they may soon become obsolete, as more and more data becomes available online via the Internet. (A flash drive is the stick you insert into the side of your computer, or, to quote the movie Date Night, it’s a computer sticky thing.)

Technology progresses at an impressive rate, with the amount of new information doubling every two years. Blink, and you’re left behind. Take a year off work to have a baby and when you come back they are using different software. Become a stay-at-home mum and, before you know it, your child’s school project involves technology you’ve only ever heard of.

Just as an example, a project my 8-year old did at school had the option to present the research in Power Point form or as a phone app. And while some colleges ban mobile phones, others (Albany Senior High) embrace them as a fun learning tool. Well done, those schools, for keeping up with leading-edge technology, but I can’t help wondering: what’s next? Roll-up computers? Internet implants?

We can’t predict the future. What we can do, is keep up with the present. Hoe well you do it depends on your working style. Are you good at playing catch-up with technology? Find out.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Success, holidays and working styles

We don't need researches to tell us that taking a holiday will improve our work performance. We don't need researches to tell us how it takes a week to shift gears and stop thinking about work, and therefore it's imperative to make your holidays at least 10 days long in order to reap the benefits. We do need researches to tell us whether we're the type of person who can successfully enjoy a holiday, and why.

Enter Working Styles and the Working Style Analysis tool (WSA). The WSA report will tell you almost 50 things you may not have realised about yourself. Among others, it'll predict whether you're the type of person who truly enjoys a holiday.

Although it may be difficult to understand, some people get stressed at a prospect of going away on holiday. Typically, those are the people who have a non-preference in the Variety element of the WSA pyramid. Those with a preference for responsibility might also worry about the work and domestic tasks they're leaving behind. Those with a preference for structure may fear unstructured days ahead.

Are you someone who can truly relax when away on holiday? Find out.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Striving For Excellence

Excellence is not perfection. It's the result of putting quality into everything you do. It's the gradual result of always trying to do better. It's being the best you can be.

Some of the tools that can help you along the way:
  • Enthusiasm for your job;
  • A can-do attitude;
  • A sense of responsibility and pride in your work;
  • Taking initiative and owning problems;
  • Going the extra mile;
  • Understanding your working style.
Do you know the optimal conditions under which you concentrate best? Is the office light too bright? Would you operate better in a smaller team? Find out.