How to improve productivity with design thinking

Concept in brief – 3 ways (part 3/5)

Design thinking is all the rage.  From IBM to AirBnB, to reaching the cover of Harvard Business Review last year, companies are embracing a design-based way of thinking. Design thinking is here to stay and it can improve your productivity. This 5-part series will help you understand and apply design thinking personally and in your organisation.

So Design thinking is well rated and highly needed. But what is it? In this post I give three different explanations.

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How to improve productivity with design thinking

Getting personal (part 2/5)

Image credit: shutterstock.com | Dragon Images

Design thinking is all the rage. From IBM to AirBnB, to reaching the cover of Harvard Business Review last yearcompanies are embracing a design-based way of thinking. Design thinking is here to stay and it can improve your productivity. This 5-part series will help you understand and apply design thinking personally and in your organisation. In this post I share my story of how design thinking helped me become more productive. 

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How to improve productivity with design thinking

Introduction (part 1/5)

Image credit: shutterstock.com | Cienpies Design

Design thinking is all the rage.  From IBM to AirBnB, to reaching the cover of Harvard Business Review last year, companies are embracing a design-based way of thinking. Design thinking is here to stay and it can improve your productivity. This 5-part series will help you understand and apply design thinking personally and in your organisation.

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Trick your performance to the next level

Image credit: shutterstock.com | MaDedee

Last August, I found myself becoming slightly obsessed with my daily food intake. Being the geek that I am, I made the decision to start tracking not just what I was eating, but also other areas of my life to see where I could improve my all-round general health and well being. I decided to track my food intake using MyFitnessPal, my weight and blood pressure using Withings Wifi devices, and my exercise and other metrics using an Apple Watch (see my review here), as well as IFTTT. As a result, I came up with some interesting strategies to improve mental, emotional, physical and spiritual intelligence. What was surprising was that many of these metrics became vastly improved simply just by me measuring them, even before I had implemented any conscious changes.

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Who cares about productivity now?

Image credit: shutterstock.com | macgyverhh

 

Data analytics is the new secret-weapon for the workplace. Businesses want to create, market and track their products and services accurately and effectively.


Practically, anyone who makes, grows and sells anything can use big data analytics to make their manufacturing and production processes more efficient and their marketing more targeted and cost-effective.


So if companies can use big data to transform their performance, why shouldn’t you and I make better use of our personal data?
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3 ways to make the most of good news

I am writing this blog post with a smile on my face, because I just received the news that I have been accredited by the Association for Coaching at the highest level, Master Executive Coach. This required 1500 hours of logged coaching practice, recording my coaching for evaluation, and a 1.5 year process of preparing my portfolio (which ran to 100 pages).

Click image to view my Coach Directory listing

This marks the end of an even longer journey for me. In 2003 when I started my own coaching practice, I considered pursuing an accreditation, but never followed through. Clients weren’t demanding it, and I hadn’t yet realised the centrality of supervision and a reflective approach to great coaching. It took Oxford University’s Said Business School, where I am a member of the coaching community, to prompt me to apply for accreditation. I’m so glad they did, because – as I tell my supervisor Jean Dowson – the process of reflection and supervision has improved my coaching practice significantly.

I’m sure you are happy for me, but why am I telling you this?

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8 ways to stop being an email responder and resume being human

You don’t understand the pressure I’m under to respond to people right away. It never stops. I have to answer 150 e-mails every day. I feel like my job title should be something like ‘email responder’ rather than vice president for strategy. I just have to react and work my way through the list; I don’t have time to think. In fact, all the e-mails are an excuse not to think
– (The Empathic Enterprise, Mark Brown, p78)

Merchant Trask Press (June 2016)

I found this quotation hugely inspirational when I read it in Mark Brown’s book, reviewed here. I sometimes find myself in ’email responder’ mode and I have recently booked onto a training programme called “Time To Think”, that relates to the quotation. The book “Time To Think” by Nancy Kline, is an excellent book I have read in the last year, and has transformed the way I coach others.

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How To Stay Human In A Digital Age

A review of "The Empathic Enterprise: Winning By Staying Human In A Digital Age" by Mark A. Brown

Merchant Trask Press (June 2016)

It feels at times as if we are approaching a tipping point, as if our society is evolving into a mob of Internet-addicted lemmings ready to tumble into an abyss of virtual vulgar rudeness, clutter and digital Taylorism. It saddens and worries me, and that is why I am writing this book.

– (The Empathic Enterprise, p76).

Mark Brown kindly sent me a copy of his book, The Empathic Enterprise. I was inspired by the passion he shows for “daring to stay human in our increasingly digital age” (ibid.), and wanted to review it here. (In the rest of this post, page numbers in brackets refer to the version of the book listed above.)

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Where I failed

4 steps to high performance even when you fear failing

Image credit: shutterstock.com | jesadaphorn

 

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose

– Bill Gates

Some time ago I spent a week coaching business executives in an idyllic hotel in the mountains of Austria. It sounds restful, but to be fully present for their clients, coaches ideally need a clear head and a clear diary. However, I had a problem. At the same time, I was preparing to launch Coachify™ and my diary was out of control. My task list was endless and I had a series of urgent and important deadlines to meet.

In The Red Zone

My solution? To work harder. Each day I got up at 4.30am to work for 3 hours before the start of the coaching day. I was fielding emails and calls, and my mind was full of small tasks to complete and strategic challenges to solve. All this meant that I didn’t get enough exercise and I didn’t eat well either. My sleep app told me that I averaged 4.5 hours of sleep per night that week, off the back of an already exhausting schedule. I was in the red zone.
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Redefining productivity, the wearable way

Image credit: shutterstock.com | elwynn

In a world driven by results, maximising productivity is an important way to establish how to meet and exceed your goals. No more is it a question of just letting someone “get on with it”. Now is the time to embrace technological advances in measuring efficiency, and see your business grow as you redefine the way you measure efficiency across all areas. Coachify™ are specialists in providing wearable solutions to gauge productivity across all sectors.

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