Posts by Don Packett

Remote working with your significant other

March 18th, 2020 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Remote working with your significant other”

In the wake of pretty much mass hysteria about COVID-19, including infection, death, travel bans, social distancing and everything else that comes with it, there’s also been a strong focus on businesses trying to figure out what to do with staff (and whether they can work remotely or not). For those who can have staff off-site and work remotely, the conversation I’ve seen happening online focuses on remuneration, best practice on paying for staff data to remain online, video-conferencing tools, etc., all focused on the business imperatives, but I’ve not seen much about the people themselves. The conversation is more “How will my business keep going?” and very little “How will my staff cope working from home?”

Here’s where it becomes tricky. The problem is that while every organisation strives to build their own office culture and way-of-work, remote workers are now taking that energy home (habits are hard to break), which may conflict with their significant other’s office culture and way-of-work. My personal experience is this:

My wife has been working from home since before we met. Working with or consulting to organisations in other countries across various timezones has enabled her to build a solid remote-working routine and energy that I’ve never quite been able to grasp. It’s frighteningly efficient and applaudable. She can get work done in perfect time, manage our household (contractors, shopping, etc.) all while getting it done in the quite, serene comfort of our own home. There’s structure, process and a work/life balance that most people would envy. She really has it all figured out.

Enter Don into the mix. For the past 18 years I’ve working in an office with loud punk rock blasting through the speakers, people shouting across the office, ping-pong balls bouncing on tables (ping pong and workstations), sporadic bursts of “Happy Birthday to you!” from the crew when people walk through the doors (almost every time it was not, in fact, their birthday), and jumping on tables and singing at the top of our voices to whatever track was playing at that point in time (granted, I’m probably the most guilty of this one). I’ve now entered into her domain. Her calm, her planned days, her structure. A few days into me working from home, I’ve found out that I:

  • type extremely loudly on my keyboard
  • make throat-noises when I’m concentrating
  • need to chat to her at random times about random things, breaking her stride

and a few more things that I can’t recall, or am yet to hear about.

Anyone who knows us well will agree that Lauren and I are a solid unit and can weather a lot of storms as a strong force, but getting into a new work rhythm at home together, bizarrely, has been a challenge. So here’s a few things we’ve put into place that I believe has and will continue to help us, and I’m hoping may help you too.

  1. We work in different spaces in the house. Sharing a desk/table with someone who doesn’t work the same way you have before, is a potential argument waiting to happen.
  2. We plan our days the previous evenings or mornings and know exactly what the other is doing, in order to plan around each other, particularly when it comes to potential noise during video calls.
  3. We agree on mealtimes, to save time, energy and dishes. This also has us ‘meeting up’ in the middle of the day to discuss the morning’s events, if anything particularly interesting happened.
  4. As best as we can, we keep gaps between videocalls (at least 30mins). Generally, if I was riding from meeting to meeting, I’d have this time to address an email or two, to think about the meeting I’d just had, or to think about and mentally prep for the meeting I was going to. Jam-packing calls in a row loses that.
  5. To avoid cabin fever, we go for strolls. Either in our garden or around the estate. It’s not a marathon, just a decent amount of time around the block for fresh air and perspective.

Another big reason we try to stay clear of each other during the day is to ensure that at the end of the day, much like it was when I was working from an office away from home, that we still have something to chat about at dinner time. Looking forward to catching up on the day not only helps me build some excitement about certain things, but also gives us both the opportunity to review the day with some perspective. Oftentimes, these end-of-day reviews and conversation end up with ideas/tasks to improve them, which has always been a spectacular gift.

My question to you:

If you’re working from home with your significant other, or roommates, what are you doing to ensure your sanity and best way-of-work?

Here’s why PowerPoint’s ‘Presenter Coach’​ – a competitor to what we do – is amazing for our presentation business

August 31st, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Here’s why PowerPoint’s ‘Presenter Coach’​ – a competitor to what we do – is amazing for our presentation business”

 

“Public-speaking is nerve-wracking, which is why having a coach is so important.” – Microsoft365

Missing Link is a Presentation Specialist firm on a journey to save the world one bored audience at a time, by helping our customers create memorable, remarkable presentations that will activate their audiences. We make presentations. It’s quite simple. And particularly niche.

So whenever Microsoft or some other startup launches a new addition or competitive product that makes it easier for people to create their own presentations, we generally get bombarded by emails and messages from people we know, asking how it’ll affect our business, and are we concerned that we’re being made redundant.

Every time I answer a clear “No.”

Not because I’m blind to progress or foolishly cocky, but because of this simple reason: Awareness. Let me explain.

PowerPoint was release in 1987 to, essentially, replace the archaic overhead projector and become a replacement in a digital format. In that time, PowerPoint has been a tool used by 99.9% of the world in a very, very bad way. Bad because of design, bad because of narrative, and bad because being bound to a perceived way of creating a presentation (their templates) has hamstrung speakers who don’t know better. It’s okay, we understand. The beast that is Microsoft built a platform that says “Insert header here”, so you insert your header there. You trusted them. It’s an easy mistake to make.

10 years after its launch – when my partner, Rich, started Missing Link – he went out to break every SOP that Microsoft and PowerPoint were driving, to ensure that the tool itself could be better. He saw potential in what it could become. For the past 22 years we’ve been waxing lyrical about the power and potential of good narrative and powerful use of the PowerPoint tool, but our reach has landed on an audience just far enough to make an impact around us, but it’s a very big world out there.

So when Microsoft365 announced the soon-to-be-released Presenter Coach, we got quite excited. (Click the pic to watch the video)

 

Overview: Presenter Coach uses on-screen recommendations and audio reminders, giving you:

Intelligent tips to improve your presentation skills

Real-time feedback on pacing

Use of inclusive language

Warnings if you’re using ‘fillers’ like ‘umms’ or ‘ahhs’

Feedback if you’re reading your slides

 

Microsoft is now coming to the party to help us share this important message, by allowing people to use the tool in a better way, and to realise that having a coach to help you present better is a far cry better than just standing up on stage, or in front of a potential customer, hoping for the best. They’re showcasing the value of speakers preparing, correctly, before going out to present. For speakers to go out and want to be better.

So why is this great for Missing Link? Well, because the more people understand how important it is to be a great speaker in order to activate your audience, the more I believe we’ll get inbound leads asking how we could help them. Online coaches and real-life coaches bring different things, of course, but I’m just extremely excited about more people realising how important this is. Will certain people stop at Presenter Coach and build powerful presentations on their own? Absolutely. Will that be the majority of people? Not even close.

So why am I telling you this?

Stop seeing newcomers or new products into your market as threats, and see them as opportunities. Change your mindset, change your narrative, and embrace the new entity. Shaping yourself up for a new adventure will only make you stronger going forward.

Thanks again for realising the power of presenting beyond PowerPoint decks, Microsoft. Glad you’re here.

Bucket lists, birding and sticking to the Victory Condition

April 8th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Bucket lists, birding and sticking to the Victory Condition”

Most people I know have a bucket list (whether mental or physical). A list of things they just have to experience or do before they die. Inspired by Rich’s video (you really shouldsubscribe to his channel), I created my own Bucket List PowerPoint deck.

The result: Having it visual and accessible actually helps me get things ticked off the list. Once I’d had them all listed together, I also realised that most of them are pretty easy to do: They just require time and money. For example, “Meet Mona Lisa” and “Eat a crepe under the Eiffel Tower” were both ticked off while on a visit to Paris in December. Buy flight ticket. Book Airbnb. Easy.

However, going through the list again this weekend, I realised I not only had ‘the easy ones’, I had a list within a list. List inception. You see, one of my bucket list items is “Tick 1000 birds in the world”. As a birdwatcher (birder / twitcher / birdnerd) I have another list I’m completing too. Since I started this hobby in 2013, every time I see a new bird species (they’re called ‘lifers’) I get to tick it off the list, and it’s been one helluva exciting, emotional, tactic-shifting journey.

When I started birding it was easy enough. We placed some food out in the garden and watched them flock in. The usual suspects visited, and kept visiting, but the lifers decreased, and eventually ended. So we visited other places around the country to add to our Southern African list. Different birds prefer different areas, habitats and food, and seldom wander out of their areas, so by going to new places, the lifers increased. As the list grew, though, it’s started to get trickier to add more.

You see, ticking birds off the list is, essentially, a diminishing return. Of the roughly 950 recorded bird species in Southern Africa alone, we’ve ticked 482 lifers to date. This not only requires travel, it now also requires heaps and heaps (did I say heaps yet) of patience. Why? Well, the birds we’ve added to the list to date are mostly the easily-accessible ones: The raptors who soar the skies, the fence-sitters who grace our roadside telephone poles, and the species who are happy to be out in the open – in grasslands or wetlands – for the world to see. To add more lifers to the list, we now need to go out and find the more difficult-to-see species: The shy. The secretive. The species who don’t like coming out in the open. The ones who skulk around in the middle of bushes or reeds, keeping to themselves, keeping very quiet, and not very keen on being seen.

I’ve made a few birding friends in the past few years, and I recall early on someone mentioning for me to sit and continue to scan the area for a while when in search of birds. Back then, my ‘while’ was 5/10 minutes, and if we didn’t see something moving around, or didn’t see something new, we moved on to the next location. Well, how things have changed. This year alone, we have spent hours and hours in bird hides (we recently did a 06:00-09:00 stint in one hide waiting for one particular bird, who never showed up). So my plan to achieve my bucket list item has changed from a ‘let’s see a few birds in this area’strategy to one of ‘if we get to see only one on this trip, we’re winning’. This weekend, after spending a number of crazy visits around the country, over 5 years, to try see one particular bird, we were graced with a spectacular viewing of one of the most secretive birds in the region: The African Finfoot.

I won’t lie. It was a spiritual moment.

So why am I telling you this?

Finding these kinds of birds now requires a different approach. Different tactics. My Victory Condition remains the same: “Tick 1000 birds in the world”. But how I get there has changed. It had to change, and that’s okay. If I hadn’t instilled saintly-patience into my birding journey, I’d add very few new species, which would be not working well towards achieving the Victory Condition laid out before me.

My question to you:

Are you trying the same-old tactics, but not getting results? Think it’s maybe time to change something?

 

Originally posted on LinkedIn, 25 March 2019

6 Ways To Lead In The Multi-leader Economy

November 21st, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “6 Ways To Lead In The Multi-leader Economy”

Why business leaders today compete for mindshare among their employees, and how they can lead.

Originally published in Entrepreneur Magazine – November 2018

I recently attended an event where a CEO delivered the company’s annual results and outlined its future strategy. He closed the talk with some inspirational content to get the team excited about the year ahead.

While I listened to this business leader speak, I also had my eye on the audience. While the content was relevant and inspiring, the narrative and delivery was off. This was evident in the audience, who seemed disengaged – most had their faces in their phones. These employees, who should be inspired by their leader, were simply biding their time, waiting for the next speaker.

Was it because they’re generally rude, disengaged people? Not at all. In fact, they were a phenomenally switched-on crowd when we presented to them. So why weren’t they listening intently to the proverbial captain of the ship?

I believe it’s because leaders today are competing for the attention of those they lead. People are exposed to hundreds of potential leaders in their daily lives, and that number grows daily as the internet brings a whole host of outside influence into reach.

While many of these influencers are not tasked with leading, per se, great leaders seldom have to force a following. They naturally build one through an innate ability. They achieve this by delivering inspiring and engaging content on a regular basis via platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, podcasts or TED.com.

And it’s not just inspirational visionaries like Jobs or Branson who people listen to today. Anyone with a strong message can self-publish to spark debate, inspire or influence.

Accordingly, whenever a leader steps up to deliver something relevant to their team, they need to be aware that in the past 24 hours their audience has probably watched people like Simon Sinek, Mel Robbins or Will Smith deliver a message that could spark a different way of thinking.

If you’re a business leader and have not considered the possibility that your team is also being influenced and, often, led by a host of other leaders, then you’re in for a tough time. The reality is that leaders now face fierce competition, and as the head of an organisation you need to take charge and own that space.

Here’s how you can take the lead in leadership:

1. Maintain face-to-face engagements

This is still the best way to work, especially when talking about important matters. I have a standing one-hour meeting with my team every three weeks. I open this session with a 10-15 minute talk on a specific topic I feel is important. The remaining time is used for open discussion. These sessions have been incredibly powerful, because it’s an opportunity for everyone to have their say, share their views and contribute to growing the business and the team, together.

2. Write narrative that catalyses conversation

This pertains to the content of your engagements. This needs to be something that’s not only on your agenda, but also on your employees’ agenda. People need both answers and guidance, but when leaders and teams can work on both aspects together, magic happens.

3. Deliver with conviction

Leaders often throw out a concern, hoping that it gets resolved. You can’t do that. Leaders need to stand up and deliver with passion to galvanise their teams. Sure, be part of the conversation, and ensure that your team knows how important it this, but understand that it’s more than just a conversation.

4. Get them to challenge you

The proverbial ‘open door policy’ requires employees to walk up to the door. Our regular team session offers me the opportunity to ask everyone, collectively, about their thoughts on a subject. I’m basically standing at the open door and asking them to come in, and not just randomly, but to discuss something pertinent.

5. Make the changes required

After listening to your team, take action. Due to the influence of social media, society today is plagued by “ask-holes” – people who ask for advice or ideas, but never action them. Leaders need to listen and take action. Not that you should do everything you team asks, of course, but listening is the first step to understanding, and action needs to follow.

6. Rinse, repeat

Effective leadership is not an annual speaking engagement. It requires constant work to keep teams focused on the business. The biggest failure in most businesses is a lack of communication, which is something leaders need to constantly work on.

Anchovies, anchoring and the power of experience

September 18th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Anchovies, anchoring and the power of experience”

Earlier this year, we were having dinner with friends at a restaurant, and I’d ordered an anchovy pizza. My mate, Nic, immediately responded to my order with a firm “Anchovies? No dude. Gross.” which, in fairness, is not the worst reaction I’ve received in simialr scenarios. And while anchovies on a pizza may not be everyone’s favourite to eat (or have sitting across from them at the dinner table) my order was decided on not only the fact that I enjoy the taste, but of what anchovy pizzas mean to me.

In 2016, my wife and I visited Venice for the very first time. We’d checked in at our hotel late in the day, it was the middle of winter, freezing, but we wanted to explore as much as possible as soon as possible. We’d brought a bottle of De Grendel red wine with us, opened it in the room, poured two travel-glasses and may our way outside into the Venetian cold. 10 minutes into the walk, we walked past a hole-in-the-wall pizza place with slices for sale. The guy said he was closing up soon and only had the pizzas left on display, one of them topped with anchovies and olives.

Now, Lauren and I share everything, and food orders are generally a team conversation to make sure that we can both enjoy each other’s meals. This time was no exception. I went for a classic slice with pepperoni, and Lauren asked if I’d mind the slice with anchovies. I’d never tried pizza with anchovies before, and I love to try new things (I don’t have “open your eyes” tattoo’d on my body for nothing) so we bought both slices – and a beer to replenish our depleted glasses of wine – and continued on our way. Before tucking into our dinner we came to a small piazza with a single light in the middle, where we sat down on a cold bench to take it all in, share the beer and ‘cheers’ to the bucket-list-item we’d just achieved.

We exchanged slices, I took a bite of the anchovy-filled pizza, and my mouth went into a sea-flavoured orgasm.

It. Was. Amazing.

We spent a bit more time in the piazza, finished our food and beers and continued on our way, exploring the rest of the city, the start of an epic trip abroad.

I often think about how I remember every little detail about that night, and realise that it’s because every time I order an anchovy pizza and take my first bite, the memory comes flooding back. In detail. The city, the cold, me holding gloved hands with my wife, the food, the walking, the magic. The full experience. One bite transports me back. Every slice has an anchor in my brain that for the rest of my life will remind me of pure bliss.

I know this: Experiences are for life. A simple thing like biting into an anchovy pizza was, at the time, an on-the-move dinner. It was nothing that I would’ve thought would make such a mark on my brain. But it did.

So why should you care about my anchovy pizza?

Every day, we’re faced with giving people experiences. Experiences that will guide the way they think, the way they operate, and how they feel. The trick is, though, you don’t know which experiences are the ones that will last! So what should you do? Give everyone you interact with an experience that they’ll never forget.

At Missing Link we pride ourselves on making this a priority. Giving amazing experiences matters to us. And it’s not just verbalised, we’ve officially made it one of Our Things. We commit to ourselves, each other and to our customers that we will Be Impossible To Forget.

How? By delivering amazing experiences in any way possible.

And that’s your challenge. Consider the next engagement you’re about to have. Whether with a family member, a friend, an employee, a supplier or a customer, and make an intentional effort to Be Impossible To Forget.

And remember, sometimes it’s the small things that make the biggest impact.

 

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Originally posted on LinkedIn.

You’re amazing. Tell yourself, and tell everybody else

July 26th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “You’re amazing. Tell yourself, and tell everybody else”

I woke up this morning feeling very average. I get those days. But I decided to turn it around. How? By having amazing people around me.

3 things I did:

  1. I spoke to my wife. My everything. She gets me. And not in the “pat you on the head and make you feel better” kind of way, but in the pragmatic, honest “this is who you are” kinda way. In that, and the conversation that ensued, my headspace changed to one of power and, most importantly, of valuing myself and the contribution I bring to the world.
  2. I was guided by EO (part 1). A large part of EO is about understanding your group, your peers, the people who you connect with on the lonely entrepreneurial journey. How do you understand these folks in a short space of time? Well, you tell each other. In 30-60 minutes, you present yourself, your life in totality up to today, to everybody else. It’s remarkable. It’s not the surface level stuff only, it’s the emotional journey that underlies it all that made you what you are today. By sharing your story, you remind yourself of what you did to get to this point in your life. Sometimes we forget…
  3. I was guided by EO (part 2). An exercise we did in our Accelerator group last month (led by Ryan Sauer) had each person “sell themselves in 5 minutes”. The catch: No sort ofs, no maybes, no I think I. Absolute, unequivocal, unadulterated positivitely “I am…”. This is who I am, and I’m amazing. Probably one of the most difficult exercises I’ve ever had to do. To stand in front of a group of people and, with focused seriousness, tell them why you’re an incredible human being, is one of the most uncomfortable conversations to have. We do that for our businesses, we do that for our friends, but we never do it for ourselves. Why? Because for the most part I believe it’s because it’s seen as being vain, arrogant and all those things we don’t want to be.

Well today I gave myself a pass. And I’m giving you one too.

I’d like to challenge you all to share in the comments just 3 things that you believe make you an amazing individual. 3 things that if someone just knew that about you (and they knew that you knew that about yourself) that they’d want to get to know you a little better, or realise that they too have those qualities, they just don’t tell themselves enough. And be positive. Sell it.

So, the 3 things I’m amazing at are:

  1. I’m amazing at what I do. I can stand on a stage and deliver a message with conviction, and have people buy in.
  2. When people speak, I truly listen. My lifelong curiosity for knowledge and understanding people, and how they tick, is a foundation for this.
  3. I can play Mary Had A Little Lamb on any chord-based instrument. Even one of those old grey Telkom landlines.

So that’s me. Now it’s your turn. And if you know some people who need a reminder of how amazing they are, challenge them too. My day just got a whole lot better. Yours will too.

Don’t forget: You’re amazing. Tell yourself, and tell everybody else.

Keeping your eye on the (right) prize

April 10th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Keeping your eye on the (right) prize”

Lessons from missing a flight.

I fly a lot. I enjoy not only the seeing-new-things side of it, but also watching this beast of an industry, with so many moving parts, achieve what it does every single day. Regional, international, double-deckers, 4-seaters, I’ve experienced all kinds of aircraft and all shapes of airports. And, until recently, I had a 100% attendance rate in getting to my aircraft and in my seat on time. Have I been called over terminal intercoms by name? Of course. But never, until a few weeks ago, have I actually missed a flight.

Now, most people I know have missed flights because of traffic, or delayed meetings, or problems with check-in. These are all completely understandable, which is why I generally like to leave home earlier than necessary in order to combat any unforeseen circumstances. This occasion was no exception.

My flight was scheduled for 06:00 leaving Lanseria, boarding at 05:30. I arrived at 05:00, pre-checked in, walked through security and headed straight to the SLOW XS lounge. I grabbed a coffee, some granola, I had plenty of time. I sat at the window and watched the people around my plane getting it ready. I even took a photo of the plane and posted it on Instagram. I watched the pilots enter. I watched the crew enter. I watched the engineers doing what they do. All while working on my laptop and admiring the view. 05:30 came around and I saw no passengers walking toward the plane. Strange, I thought, but maybe the crew were having a problem and there was a slight delay. These things happen. I continued to work, and continued to watch my plane. 10 minutes passed, no passengers. Another 10 minutes passed, no passengers. At this point I figured I needed to go to the gate, downstairs, to find out what the problem was in order to potentially plan my day differently. I walked downstairs and saw a line of passengers ready to board my plane at Gate 5. Except it wasn’t my plane. My plane was at Gate 4, and as I turned my head towards the correct gate, I watched as the door was securely closed, and my plane, my actual plane, was pushing back – without me.

The boarding information was on my ticket. It was also on the screens in the lounge. It was also – almost certainly – shared via intercom that boarding for my flight had started. Hell, they may even have called my name. Information on what I needed to do was everywhere around me, but none of it mattered because I only had one thing on my mind: Keeping an eye on my plane, which turned out to be the wrong plane entirely.

Why should this story matter to you?

We often get so stuck on one thing, and aggressively focus all our energy and attention on that one thing, that we forget everything else around us. Now, is focus a bad thing? Of course not, but what is a bad thing is not realising when your focus is indeed on the wrong thing.

So what should you do?

Think about your 3 big focus areas right now – whether personal or for your business – take a step back and consider if these truly are the right things to have your eye on (or, as in my case, is it headed in the wrong direction entirely).

 

Originally published on LinkedIn.

Why you need to surf at sunrise

March 20th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Why you need to surf at sunrise”

I’ve just popped up to the 32nd floor – the roof – of the Maharani Hotel in Durban to take the sunrise pic above. The view is spectacular from up there. What I’d noticed more, though, than the sun rising to start a brand new day, were the multitude of surfers in the water. I posted this pic to my Instagram feed, jokingly hashtagging “#dontthesepeoplework?” But I know they do, and this, for me, is their balance.

Last night Rich and myself were chatting to Chris, one of the guys in our team, about hard work. We all agreed on one principle: We give 100% when we’re working, but we realise that we need to give 100% to time off too. Each person’s balance, though, is different.

Missing Link started with a bang this year, with the whole team putting in crazy hours on a number of projects we were running. Today is the last event of a Mugg ‘n Bean roadshow we’re a part of, and Chris is taking some well-deserved time off, in Durban. Why? Because he’s worked his tail off from the beginning of the year, and now he’s going to reap that reward.

I speak to a lot of people about the subject of work/life balance and always get varying results. My personal view is simple: I work my ass off when I need to, but I take solid time off when I need to as well. However, much to contrary belief, this is not only reserved for December holidays. It’s small little breaks during the year, exploring a new part of our country over a weekend, for example, that are my balance. So I’m at a 95% work-focus when working (adding reading and exercising to the mix), and a 95% holiday-focus when I’m off (because with some perspective by being out of the office, I often find solutions for problems currently on my plate, or come up with new ideas, which is a win). Others I’ve spoken to prefer to have a different approach: Not working too hard during the day, but not waking up early to surf or planning little weekends away either, because they feel they’re pretty chilled in general.

I personally believe the surfers have it right. They wake up early to get a few good sunrise rides in, then get showered and changed and start their work day as usual. They’re refreshed, invigorated, and ready for action.

How’s your balance? Do you hit work and play aggressively? Or do you have more of a 50/50 all day every day mindset?

 

Originally published on LinkedIn.

Forget Uberising. LEGOrise your business.

January 31st, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Forget Uberising. LEGOrise your business.”

Last week I found an old box of LEGO in a box in my garage. It still contained all the necessary ingredients (the box with a picture of the end result, the instructions and, of course, all the pieces). As a self-proclaimed completionist, I felt the urge and duty to build this once again. Which I did. After an hour I had the perfect rendition of a LEGO Batmobile. It was beautiful. I excitedly showed my wife, presenting it with an accompanying backstory and next Bat-adventure it would take. She was enthralled (not really, but go with me here). For that day I walked around feeling well-accomplished, and the Batmobile sat displayed in the lounge for all (both of us) to marvel at. It was a beautiful thing. Which got me thinking…

As much as I love the concept and personal usage of Uber, if I hear one more keynote speaker, CEO or any other business leader talk about “Uberising” their business, I may throw something at them. Uber has done an amazing job at linking the do-er with the need-er, facilitating transactions between them with great efficiency. So too have Airbnb and so many others. But this leaves Uber and their cronies as the heroes of the story.

My question is: Why shouldn’t the user, you, be the hero? So while “Uberising” is certainly one business model, my feeling is that organisations need to consider who the real heroes need to be: You and I. LEGO has certainly done this. Here’s a basic recap of my Batmobile story:

  1. I obtained a set of tools and instructions
  2. By viewing the end result in its glory (on the front of the box), I felt the need to replicate it myself
  3. I followed the instructions using the tools that were provided
  4. Hey presto! Look at what I made!

To be fair, I didn’t actually make it. I didn’t even have to think or work too hard to do it. I merely assembled it, but the overwhelming sense of accomplishment was something that no-one could take away from me. I did this. I made this. LEGO’s goal is for me to buy it, make it, and buy some more so that I can make some more. Fulfilling my sense of accomplishment over and over again. It worked.

For years I’ve been speaking to audiences about the ever-growing DIY mentality. How not only do we want to create our own things, but the opportunity to do this is far greater than ever before, because we have the wonderful world of the internet to access, in order to learn.

LEGO facilitates that DIY mentality amazingly well. What’s more, you don’t have to remove yourself from what they’ve given you. You have a picture, instructions and the pieces. They have your full attention from start to finish.

To put this into a business context: You have your end result of the picture (or the Victory Condition as we like to call it), the instructions (strategy) and the pieces (tools).

These are the core building blocks we’re using to develop LeadrSpeak. LeadrSpeak is an online platform that helps turn managers into leaders, giving them the tools necessary to deliver messages to their teams which are relevant, timeous and memorable. Not only has our POC produced phenomenal feedback, but, more importantly, it produced better speakers. Better leaders. High fives to us.

Why should you care about this?

Well, are you giving your staff or clients LEGO-esque tools, which gives them that sense of accomplishment, while still achieving your strategic goals?

A global new year (vol. 2)

January 6th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “A global new year (vol. 2)”

Following last year’s little experiment to see where in the world people I knew spent their New Year’s eve, I asked them all again. Why? Because I’m curious about where people spend their time off (you’d be amazed at how many ideas for weekends away have been added to the bank).

Again, I sent a WhatsApp location pin, and they sent theirs straight back.

The stats from the 104-strong group who participated:

  • 44,2% of people were at home (or nearby) – similar to last year
  • 43,3% of people traveled locally – a little less than last year
  • 46,5% of the SA’ns who traveled locally went to the East coast – 23% down from last year
  • 11,6% of the SA’ns were at the Vaal River
  • 12,5% of people traveled internationally – more than last year
  • 87,5% of people enjoyed a summer New Year’s – similar to last year
  • People still go to some weird-ass places
  • People still share info too easily. I love it.

Basic review: More people traveled abroad, and South Africans have decided to spend less time on the East coast and more time inland.

Thanks again for everyone who contributed, looking forward to see what happens next year.

Copyright Don Packett 1980-2020