This is an edited transcript.
12 january 2022 Elijah’s Expressions.
Today’s topic – Hybrids are better. Or are they?
I’m talking of course about working from home, running remote teams and so on and so forth. Right off the bat let me state this, that many others have already observed. Work from home cannot be for everyone. If you are a port worker you cannot work from home you have to be there to handle the stuff. Robotics and AI will take you so far and no further. So what is working from home, or is it just to change the way in which you work? Is that even possible? Is that even desirable? So let’s get it straight – work from home is only for those who are able to do so at this stage. Do you want to mandate it? I doubt so. Vaccinations are another thing. My take of vaccinations – do not mandate, don’t mandate masks, don’t mandate social distancing to the extent that most people do. Mandate instead instead civic virtue, people-mindedness, being responsible for what they do. It’s like driving. The police go after illegal parking, they go after speeding and stuff like that. You should go after tailgating. That is the number one cause of accidents on roads, in Singapore anyway. Trust me I’ve driven a lot.
A couple of things. Number one, it doesn’t matter whether you work from home or whether you’re coaching or leading a remote team or whatever your mix is if in the first place you are not running a worthwhile business, a worthwhile endeavor and if people question why they should be there, if they don’t like the management and so forth it doesn’t matter working from home or not working from home. It’s not going to change the price of fish. What is your organization’s raison d’etre? Do you have a worthy goal, a worthy mission? Do you treat your people well? If you don’t, doesn’t matter. I read somewhere yesterday or this morning – CEOs are tiptoeing over how to attract your staff back to the office. In other words spend more time at the office because nowadays people are saying the reverse of what went on one and a half two years ago and the reverse is this – I love my team, you know, but they don’t seem to get as much done. Well if they come back to the office do you think they’re gonna get more done? No! All right you know this. So chasing down this rabbit trail about who should work from home, how much time should be at home, whether you should spend more time at the office – doesn’t matter. Look at your culture, look at the way you lead, because if your workforce is committed, if they come to you as though they are a family, like how Chinggis Khan organized his army – squads of ten men called an arban, all right, they chose their own leaders, usually the eldest, the most experienced, the orders they had were to love each other like brothers, in other words lay down your lives for one another. You don’t hear this nowadays. In corporate culture, in insurance culture even, I see too much of this, i don’t know what to call it but to me it looks abominable – “Me first”. You don’t have to teach people “Me first”, “Me first” is ingrained in the human condition. It’s something we have to work on to get rid of or to reduce. No need to teach people “..learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all”, that is nonsense. We know very well how to love ourselves. It is inbuilt in the human condition all right what we do need to practice even if we don’t want to learn it we need to practice it is to look out for one another, meaning you don’t spend 80 percent of your work time on meetings. I’ve said before and many people have said the same thing. Meetings are for two purposes only, especially in this age of IT. They are for generative discussions. In other words you’re working on something. You’re trying to figure something out, you’re trying to make a process, you’re trying to figure out how to make the chip better or whatever it is a generative meeting. The second purpose for a meeting is to make decisions and to record that the decisions are made with everyone present and after that you upload all this onto your company intranet wherever it is you want to upload it. If you attend a meeting and you don’t know what the meeting is for, stop. Don’t attend, excuse yourself. You will not be missed. I’ve been in large organization and so forth most of the meetings are not worth attending. You keep yourself updated on the system. So, are you running a positive, future-focused, producing value kind of business or organization? If you’re doing that, work from home doesn’t matter. Now how do you achieve that? Number one, structure your work processes, your workflow .Take this work from home hybrid mixture out of the equation. Focus on getting people to be in line with your company’s policies, your objectives, your goals. Now, there is this fallacy – I call it a fallacy, about personal vision, personal values, and the company or the organizational values not being in line. Perish the thought! Throw it out! That is nonsense. Most of the time, if you are a good organization that seeks to increase value your personal values and the organizational values will be in line. What’s not in line is my is my personal goals my personal selfishness, to not pull together with the rest of it. It is not about the CEO’s pay being very much higher than that of the frontline staff, although I myself believe that the gap should not be too wide but there will be some distance, you get what I mean? All right, the starting pay of the the front liners may be low, but they should be encouraged to upgrade and move up and so there should be a throughput of flow, a natural flow as you go along. What happens then is because most businesses and organizations are built as a pyramid you find that as people go up there’s no more room for them. Two things. Number one you expand your business. Number two. These people leave, start their own business, by the way, with your blessing, or they join another organization, even if it is a so-called competitor. Bless them, send them out, let them gain more experience. When your business grows big enough to accommodate them, ten to one they will come back to you. So stop stressing yourself about shadows like what’s the percentage of work from home.
Other shadows. Percentage of women who should be in your executive team – throw it out. I’ve said before, you’ve heard it, you know it, you might have said it before, if the best man for the job is a woman give her the job! Go and read up Thomas Sowell’s “Discrimination and Disparities”. I look in the literature, I see people giving talks about how we need to close the wage gap between men and women okay, go look it up, I won’t mention the name, but at the same time look at Thomas Sowell’s “Discrimination and Disparities”. Get some common sense. Get some perspective. Unless you’re a really dumb and stupid employer who can afford to waste money, if I’m able to hire women who do the same job and get 75 percent of the pay of men I will make my entire workforce women. I will save on the salary. Why wouldn’t I hire women? But things are not as they seem. In another video I’m going to talk about this thing I call it ANOVA single factor, which I happened to see when I was playing around with Microsoft Excel many years ago, and under “Data” I saw this thing “ANOVA single factor” and of course there are other ANOVAs. For those of you who don’t know, like me, ANOVA, A-N-O-V-A Analysis of Variance, which is another way of expressing standard deviation. I never passed or rather I scraped through whatever statistics that I had in school. Much to my regret because today I need to go back and take a course on statistics because I’d better start understanding what it does. You know what people said, right, “There are lies, there are damn lies and there are statistics”. Well, partially true. Statistics are neutral. It’s how you use them to portray information in order to influence people.
You see, there are so many things you can do even if you’re not at the office and people say “Oh, you know, there’s no human touch”. Nonsense. Meet each other for lunch somewhere in twos and threes. In a tumen, Chinggis’ tumen, ten thousand men. When they were on the march and they stopped for the evening there was a central camp, yes, but most of the soldiers actually dispersed out in the countryside. Before the sun set they cooked their hot meal for the day and they went to sleep in twos and threes scattered everywhere. You couldn’t find them. Ten thousand men, okay, enemy spies enemy scouts, could not see them and yet when it’s time to move they were disciplined enough, they were confident enough, they were competent enough, they were skillful enough to get up assemble again and move. Are your people like that? And if they are not like that what have you been doing to develop them?
Now if you are in HR, alright, or should I say, I detest theword HR anyway, I prefer to call it human capital development. No matter how small, no matter how large your company and you want to have some value-added creative kinds of discussions, small group tutorial style kinds of things that actually go to the heart of your issues, of your problems, yes I said problems, not everything is an issue, then come and join me on my site. Membership page link is in the description to this video. Stop running around treading on eggshells. You’re the boss or you’re the one in charge of people development, human capital development, come look for me and let’s see what we can work out together. I only charge you a dollar a day, charged by the month. You can stay as long as you like, you can leave whenever you like. I don’t chase people, I want people who are coming in ready to build something, ready to do something, ready to, not need to change things, but how to make things better in your organization, pandemic or no pandemic. How to deal with external factors when they come in. Legislation that doesn’t favor you, what do you do about that?
Come in and discuss these things. Signing off now, thank you for watching. Have a good day, don’t wait too long. Come and join me.
Related video on Elijah’s Expressions: Work from Jail 2020-09-04