Open office? Cubicle? Why not both? Herman Miller’s Metaform furniture makes the question of workspace layout obsolete. Now you can morph your desk from a conference room to a cubicle, any time you want.
Now that I am standing ~100% images like these make me realize how sitting-oriented office furniture is. Not a single standing desk set up in these photos, although the lower left one might be usable that way, if you rolled the chairs out of the way.
Elizabeth Kolbert, How the Paleolithic Diet Got Trendy
Future of Work: Cracking the Code to Create High Performing Teams http://t.co/gPHa1Ywa0I I’m speaking at a webinar next week with Bob Zukis— Stowe Boyd (@stoweboyd) July 21, 2014
David Carr, Riding the Juggernaut That Left Print Behind
Organizational metaphors can be helpful to think about what’s going on in work culture. Gareth Morgan’s Images of Organizationis a great compendium of metaphors: organization as a machine, organism, brain, culture, political systems, etc. I also find Joanne Martin’s analysis of contending perspectives in management thinking a compelling technique (see Metaphors matter: Talking about how we talk about organizations).
Dan Pontefract has an interesting metaphor to share:
Maybe if we were to act like a peloton in our organizations, we might see higher levels of employee engagement.
What’s a peloton?
In cycling speak, it’s what a pack of cyclists are called when they ride together. Check out the photo to the right for an example.
A peloton is a massive group of riders who ultimately work together — as a team — to move from one distance to another. Take away competitive cycling competitions for a moment (eg. Giro d’Italia or Tour de France) and think about amateur cyclists going out for weekend rides or events like the GranFondo between Vancouver and Whistler.
These women and men ride together as a team but what happens along the journey?
- Sharing The Lead
- Cyclists take turns at the front of the pack (ie. the peloton) to both set the pace and to protect others behind them from the wind. (A process known as drafting)
- Those in front exert extra effort so others in the back can save some of their energy for their turn at the front at another interval in the ride
- Proactive Communication
- Often in a peloton, cyclists are proactively communicating with each other
- If there is debris on the road, hand signals from whomever is in front alerts cyclists in the back to be careful
- “On your right” or “stopping” are simple examples that cyclists shout out in the peloton to inform others of their intentions
- “My turn to share the front” or “anyone need food or water” are other proactive examples of communication happening inside the peloton
- Encouragement and Recognition
- Whenever there are difficult impediments like tough gradients, sideways wind, pellets of rain, or even the successful maneuvering around unforeseen wildlife, cyclists from within the peloton are quick to recognize the effort or encourage the effort to continue
- It really is a culture of encouragement inside the peloton
I like the peloton metaphor for the way that riders take turns as leader, and then fall back after making that contribution. This aligns with the notion of leanership very well.
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love
Terrible book, but a great quote.
Forebruary is a wall calendar that you do not need to replace every year. The movable frame above the surface contains the month needed.
- Ilya Birman
Christian Sandvig, Corrupt Personalization
Maria Bezaitis, cited in Baking behavioral nudges into the products we own by PSFK Labs
When you meet a man in the doorway of a Mexican restaurant who later kisses you while explaining that this kiss doesn’t ‘mean anything’ because, much as he likes you, he is not interested in having a relationship with you or anyone right now, just laugh and kiss him back. Your daughter will have his sense of humor. Your son will have his eyes.
The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.
One Christmas at the very beginning of your twenties when your mother gives you a warm coat that she saved for months to buy, don’t look at her skeptically after she tells you she thought the coat was perfect for you. Don’t hold it up and say it’s longer than you like your coats to be and too puffy and possibly even too warm. Your mother will be dead by spring. That coat will be the last gift she gave you. You will regret the small thing you didn’t say for the rest of your life. Say thank you.
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
The useless days will add up to something. […] These things are your becoming.