July 30, 2013

Name that Sovereign

Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival for 21 nights. He won the bet!

So we have a new royal prince, which is actually rather lovely, that and the cricket, Andy Murray, the anniversary games and the weather have made Britain feel like a rather pleasant place to live.

So even though I’m not a Daily Mail or Express reader I was glad to see little George arrive into the world safe and well. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into naming the little prince; there have been a lot of well-respected Georges:

• George W Bush (Prince Phillip’s favourite President)
• George Lucas (Princess Beatrice’s favourite hat inspiration)
• George Foreman’s Lean Mean Grilling Machine (Prince Andrew’s cooking utensil of choice)

I have to say though there’s a little bit of me that feels quite sorry for George. Very few of us have to carry the burden of having our whole life mapped out for us (with the exception of Kate Middleton who according to some critics in the media her mum had decided from the moment she was born that no matter what her daughter was going to marry Prince William…).

George on the other hand is probably already on the waiting list for Ludgrove, then perhaps Cambridge University (which technically he owns), then the military and of course one day baring some great news scandal, he’ll be King.

I can’t imagine how hard that must be for Charles, William or little George. Don’t get me wrong the fabulous wealth will no doubt help ease the pain, but most of us have a choice in what we end up doing.

I know many of us fall into a job, whether it is the first job we were offered when we left school, or university or simply because it pays the rent we find ourselves staying in an industry because it’s what we know. Of course in the current climate many school leavers may only know unemployment benefit, those of us in work should feel lucky.

However what if you’re not happy in your job? Should you look for pastures new, retrain or just carry on?

Life is short (even though it’s getting marginally longer). I wonder how many of us are prepared to take the first step to find our dream job? There’s always a reason not to do it, but what would happen if you did?

Or like little George do we can carry on where we are because that is our destiny?

P.S. I wonder if Kate going to be a stay at home mum? I suspect like any young father William will be keen for her to get back to work asap as any young parent will attest surviving on just one parent’s wage can be a real struggle!

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

 

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July 20, 2013

Collaboration – Building Bridges

Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival for 21 nights. He won the bet!

So how do we overcome the 4 barriers to collaboration that I mentioned in the last blog (what do you mean you haven’t read it)? Simple we network.

Now I know the minute I say the word ‘networking’ a little bit of you dies inside.

We’ve all been at those networking events where you notice a person desperately typing messages into their smartphone rather than talking to other networkers, even though they clearly have no reception or are in fact actually updating their Facebook page.

Most of us when we think of networking think that we either need to know thousands of people or we revert to asking our friends in our department or the same familiar faces for help.

If you are one of these people who has thousands of people in their contacts, regularly keep in contact via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email, lunches, dinners, etc, etc, then brilliant.  But for most of us we have a job to do and keeping in contact with that many people is exhausting.

But it doesn’t have to be so hard.  I bet you know someone in your company who’s been around a few years, they’ve worked in different places in the company and they know a broad range of topics. Let’s call these people your ‘bridges.’

Can you and your leadership team identify the bridges in your company?  Can you get that group together to create a resource that the whole company knows about?  Can you get them to speak at events or start introducing these individuals to other departments?

Theses bridges are key to creating networks that foster collaboration. Even if they do not know how to solve your problem, they might know someone who can.

Bridges can facilitate networking opportunities that can help overcome the four barriers to collaboration (see last week’s blog).   But you can’t just rely on your bridges.  I’m sorry to say, you and your people need to be encouraged to start to talk to people outside your department or group.

Hensen in his book Collaboration believes that great networking is not about the number of people you know but rather how diverse your network is. The number of different types of people, units, expertise, technologies, and viewpoints is what counts.

For a company to successfully collaborate it must make sure that everyone in the company is encouraged to talk to different people within and outside the company.. It doesn’t have to happen every day, week or even month but you have to get different groups of people together on a number of occasions – both informally and formally. If you let everyone work in a Silo they will never communicate outside that silo.  Whereas, if you get them together, mix them up, make them to talk, get them to share with the group then you are fostering a collaborative environment.  This is not easy, people may resist, they may not see the benefits – still stuck in their silos – but if you lead by example, you will build bridges. 

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

 

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July 15, 2013

Stop. Collaborate and Listen

Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival for 21 nights. He won the bet!

“All right stop. Collaborate & listen”

Professor Vanilla Ice – taken from his seminal work Ice, Ice Baby

1) Collaboration – The action of working with someone to produce something.

2) Collaboration – A traitorous cooperation with an enemy.

Oxford Dictionary Online

We all know what good collaboration is and should be, but if were honest for a moment I think the second definition is closer to the truth!

In his book ‘Collaboration’ Morten Hensen sums it up very succinctly. Good collaboration amplifies strength, but poor collaboration is worse than no collaboration at all.

He highlights 4 barriers to collaboration:

1) The not-invented-here barrier (people are unwilling to reach out to others)

2) The hoarding barrier (people are unwilling to provide help)

3) The search barrier (people are not able to find what they are looking for)

4) The transfer barrier (people are not able to work with people they don’t know well)

The first two barriers are problems of the will – People don’t want to, or are afraid to collaborate.

The latter two barriers are skill problems; people lack the skills and ability issues to collaborate well.

When Collaboration works it can have incredible results Hensen highlights Apple and BP as examples, but when it goes badly the results can be near disastrous.

My question to you, is do you recognise any of those barriers in yourself or others in your company?

So how do we tear down those barriers? You’ll find out in part 2…


Click here
to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

 

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July 11, 2013

Barclays Feedback

Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival for 21 nights. He won the bet!

Some new feedback:

Marc’s ‘Keys for Success’ were delivered in a hilarious and insightful way – exactly what was required for our audience. They left the auditorium laughing, inspired and geared up to make changes within the business and face their fears! It certainly set the perfect mood for the delegates at the event.”

Hannah Howland Event Manager, Barclays UK Retail & Business Bank

Marc, thanks so much for being with us. Always inspiring to see a personal journey that was accomplished in the face of heavy odds, well interspersed with the theory of how to make it happen. Go, Edit your Editor!”

Suresh Viswanathan Chief Operating Officer, Barclays UK Retail & Business Bank


Click here
to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

 

Follow Marc_Hogan on Twitter