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Remote office spillly

A Remote Office? Nevermind.

By Business Business Management Coaching Culture Entrepreneur No Comments

Remote office spilllyOver the past few months I have viewed and read countless opinion-based articles on the future of the office and how the last industrial revolution lead to what we now know as the brick ‘n mortar office. The problem is not with the point of view and insights but the repetitive nature and onslaught of the “experts” in the space. Like most offices, it’s all rather dull. The silver lining to Covid for some, including myself, has been the time to think and learn new skills outside of our comfort zones. I have rediscovered music and burned countless hours watching Rick Beato’s “Everything music” on YouTube [check him out!]

I have perhaps forgotten how much I love some good old rock ‘n roll and time at home has given me this luxury back. So now, for your entertainment and education please find a piece on the future of office that doesn’t suck, subtitled “If offices were rock bands!”

Drum roll please…

All one needs to produce a great rock song is a red guitar, three chords and the truth. Unfortunately producing a great remote working environment for a *service-based business is a tad more complicated and requires 5 stages of refinement.

  1. On stage one: Status Quo.

A band whose name literally means the current state of affairs was a formulaic rock band previously called The Scorpions before they renamed themselves in 1969. This band had no rock star mystique and what you see is what you get. We have all heard some of their songs, but I bet you couldn’t name them or even tell me if I played you one if it was a Status Quo song or not. They released 33 Albums [33!] and the only song that comes to mind is ‘Rockin’ all over the world [1977]. Like Status Quo, there are offices all over the world and even though they are prolific, they are what some might say, stale.

The Status Quo Office:

The Status Quo of offices are as we know them; non-deliberate, with no real move towards a decentralized system. Their knowledge workers can work away from the office for a day or 2 without leaving a major impact but the organization can’t function with team members being “absent” from their place of work for extended period of time. If you are happy to have staff off on sick leave or leave for a few days at a time, but need them back to work and are focused on bums in seats, then you are Francis Rossi, the lead singer from Status Quo: dull, stuck and now, irrelevant.

Status Quo was large format stadium rock. You could hide in the stadium just like your team “hides” by just being present in the crowd. Counted for, but not counted on.

From an employee’s perspective there is so much out of their control that it’s often constraining. One can’t control the room temperature, the shared toilets, no pets or pets, fresh air and windows, the smells, the talking of people over you, the kitchens, the shared fridges and the inconsideration of others.

 

  1. On stage 2: Linkin Park

What do you get when you take heavy metal music and combine it with other music genres such as hip hop, alternative rock, EDM, funk, industrial, and grunge and then throw in some singing, rapping, screaming and growling? Nü metal. And nobody did Nü metal better than Chester Bennington and the guys in Linkin Park. This is obviously my opinion, but I’m absolutely right! At first, their songs were 20% samples 80% instruments, and later was more like 60% samples and 40% instruments.

Linkin Park took elements from the big bands that came before them; Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, U2 and Korn and mashed them together to define a new sound that was timeous to the milieu. It was new, but it was just old thinking crushed together to make a new sound that filled stadiums. God, I miss Chester.

 

The LP office:

The Linkin Park of offices is simply recreating the office but online, trying to keep the past but doing it remotely. In the Linkin Park office you are now adopting some new technologies but still think time-based delivery and a factory model of online and inline office production work. In this group you are actually less productive as an organization than when you had an actual office. The processes, procedures and policies are just copied and pasted across the interwebs with no thought about the changed landscape and new efficiencies and frictions. You are still tracking where staff ARE.

Culture will be dramatically impacted here if an overhaul in the way you think doesn’t happen and you don’t love George, Ringo, John and Paul.

 

  1. On stage 3: The Beatles

Ok, ok, they may not be hard rock, but they were definitely “year one” of rock ‘n roll and pathed a way to so many great bands that followed and imitated them. They wrote their own songs and played their own instruments. Were they great musicians? Probably not the best but here’s where innovation trumps skill and their styles changed with the times and dominated every genre.

Yesterday” is the most recorded song of all time recorded more than 1,600 times by acts as diverse as Frank Sinatra and Boyz II Men. It easy to copy and works with the audience.

The Beatles reached a dizzying, gargantuan level of popularity and success that we had not seen before and have not seen since. They released the first “concept” album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” in 1967 and is almost certainly the most influential recording in popular music of the second half of the 20th Century.

When they stopped touring in 1966, they thought of the brilliant idea of sending videos on tour instead of themselves in order to promote their singles. Their promo videos, specifically “Paperback Writer” and “Rain”, are considered to be among the first “music videos.”

The Beatles office:

Necessity breeds invention and offices at The Beatles level take full advantage of the medium. This is where we start seeing synchronous meetings and smarter tech usage. The factory model of the previous industrial revolution is being disassembled and rebuilt. It is also typically where the business starts investing in better equipment and is starting to look at outcomes rather than inputs. Your organization is 100% laptop based and cloud hosted and is investing in the written word and increased written word quality.

The remote thinking has been replaced with a decentralized rational. Your people will be able to move houses, tweak furniture, buy equipment, upgrade their internet, and otherwise adapt to being more productive in a distributed environment than they ever could be in an office. Products and services are being perfected all around the world that will make it even better. It’s exciting to see how this decentralized model will improve the majority of people’s quality of life, and unlock incredible creativity and innovation at work.

The Beatles level will most importantly require a very different management style with more personal check ins and culture dipsticks in order to keep a closer eye on staff welfare as you can’t see the physical cues of staff in the office. The staff that have been dust on your shelf [read; lazy and unproductive] protected by the dark, now have early morning sunshine sprinkled all over them and it’s clearer now more than ever, who should stay and who should go. [See what I did there?]

 

On stage 4: Led Zeppelin

 

Led Zep were the definitive story tellers with the most harmonized percussion, voice and guitars. They were 1st and may never be repeated. This is why 50 years later, kids still talk about The Zep with Stairway to Heaven being one of the most recognizable songs ever. What is crucial to recognize here is that Led Zeppelin had a jazz-like asynchronicity something you can feel in a “Whole lotta love.”

Zeppelin was the right band at the right time and understood production and harnessed the studio’s potential to make a super-grandiose sort of hard rock with mystical overtones. John Bonham recognised as one the greatest drummers, kept the group together. They were the start of a music genre copied and envied by generations.

The Zep office:

Things go asynchronous, with people all not online at the same time. KPIs are judging WHAT they produce and not HOW or WHEN they produce. The global workforce start using a clean “baton hand off” between time zones and skills, delivering work in a third of the time, a Status Quo office can, in the designated traditional 9-hour day. You start intentionally hiring from the global talent pool with teams only in 2-3 time zones on a 24-hour production cycle.

In the Led Zep environment, there are less meetings and more time to be thoughtful with a higher level of critical thinking. There is a massive move towards a meritocracy supported by sophisticated online security and processes. People behave like trusted stakeholders and not employees. There is nowhere to hide now, and the stars shine brightly on centre stage. At this level, most companies have outsourced hardware already and trust the software to protect them and their privacy.

On the main stage: Nirvana

 

Firstly, and some may say most importantly, Kurt, Chris and Dave saved the world from hair metal. Nirvana helped get a whole new genre of music out into the mainstream and certainly changed an entire generation by tapping into a new Zeitgeist. There are few flawless albums in the history of hard rock that hit me the way Nevermind did. After Nevermind nothing was the same. On Nevermind, everything just seems right, this album is perfect end-to-end, from the first sounds of Smells Like Teen Spirit to the soothingly simple but haunting final chords of Something in the Way. It was a new way, a brand-new thinking and once you saw this you could not unsee it. The death of Kurt Cobain crystalized a moment in time that can always be reflected back on a change in the path of music for many. Kind of like Covid-19 has done for so many now.

The Teen Spirit office:

The word “Nirvana” divorced from the band, speaks directly to the almost unachievable. It is an idyllic state or place in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self. [Thank Wiki.] Something the current Zeitgeist is longing after, something that is not achievable in Status Quo office cubicles.

In the Nirvana workspace your business is doing better work than any office-based business could imagine

In Nirvana you can design your environment around health and wellness and exercising when it suits you. The old school HR department no longer indexes on time spend at the desk but will now focus entirely on output and quality. There are no questions about how or where you do the work and employers have no idea where their staff are hour to hour.

Dear team, there is nowhere to hide. In Status Quo there was ‘something in the way’ we worked that gave office staff a place to hide by being present [in the meeting, first to the office and last to go home,] dressing well and having a louder voice etc. It certainly appeared that these employees were delivering work and adding value, when they actually weren’t.

In Nirvana, just like Kurt, you can be socially awkward with no impact while now being recognised as the most productive, most creative and best thinking contributor who actually delivers valuable output.

The workforce and workspace is 100% distributed with organisational knowledge being hosted centrally on an internal “Wiki” with answers to FAQs and best of breed solutions to prior questions resolved in the org. Think internal Google alerts. A full work day is no longer 9-5 and people get paid for their own efficiencies and working smarter, meaning fast people work less and get paid as much as the slower people but can do more, output more and earn more.

I hope that people’s biases are removed in the new decentralized spaces where the work is being measured and not the people. Nirvana is a place where an organization’s communication is read with a positive intent first, so tone is never miscommunicated. Language and text will become human and kind, and audio is preferred over email, in fact, there is no space for email in Nirvana.

In Daniel Pink’s book “Drive,” he refers to three layers of an employee’s motivation and believes that if companies can give these three elements to their employees then the organization will thrive with happy, productive staff and clients:

  • Mastery – Are you able to get better at your job and can you accomplish your work?
  • Autonomy –Do you have the freedom and agency to control your environment to do work as effectively as possible?
  • Purpose –  Are you working for something bigger than your job, bigger than yourself or pay check – something that motivates you intrinsically?

None of these rely on an office.

“A common misconception about company culture is that if you have a good one, you have to hold on to it. I believe this to be wrong. If you want to have a great culture, the trick is to evolve it forward with your environment. Take the best things with you from version to version. Until recently, work happened in the office. We’ve always had some people remote, but they used the internet as a bridge to the office. This will reverse now. The future of the office is to act as an on-ramp to the same digital workplace that you can access from your #WFH setup.” – A tweet from Tobi Lutke, founder and CEO of Shopify.

The office; where most meetings are a waste of time, where the rumour mill and politics thrive, where proximity breeds contempt and where the old culture is protected. Yes, some firms and people will return to physically co-working with relative strangers, and some employers velcroed to the past will force people to go to brick n mortar offices, but the illusion that the office was about work has been shattered forever, and companies that hold on to that legacy thinking will be replaced by businesses who embrace the durable nature of distributed organizations.

@Spillly

Like all great musicians who were inspired by those before them, I have blatantly borrowed [and mixed] some thinking from Matt Mullenweg, Stephan Wolfram, Sam Harris, Tobias Lütke, Tracey Brower, Prof. Scott Galloway, Daniel Pink, Jo Meunier, Wikipedia and Rick Beato to produce this piece. *It’s also a sidebar but this all really only applies to organisations that sell knowledge and are not reliant on assets outside of laptops to deliver products.

I’m thrilled about the Covid Lockdown extension | A sales strategy for fearless leaders with cash.

By Business Business Management Coaching Entrepreneur Motivation Strategy No Comments

For the audio of this blog click here

 

 

10 April 2020

Dear you,

Covid overload. Death tolls. Minimalism. Flattened curves. Acts of kindness. Memes. Screen fatigue. Emotional health. Conspiracy theories. Short-termism. Existential crisis. Lead generation webinars disguised as support networks. Oh, woe is me. Dick-stain Trump. I’m over this pandemic. Over the panic. Over waiting for the financial pain to come, but then so is your opposition and perhaps substantially more so. If you have money in the bank today, you may have a life raft. Now all you need is a way to paddle into prosperity.

Now, here is the part that you may not like. It may even turn you off a little. Get someone to hold back your hair while you throw up. Look away if you are scared. Be afraid of what I’m about to say:

Kill your opposition. Ensure they are drowning in the freezing shark infested waters of despair. Don’t pretend you give a shit, you don’t.

The lockdown extension is a blessing. Your glib, living the Instagram best life bastard-of-an-opponent that’s been sipping Champagne on the top deck of the Titanic and is always at the pitch table too, is most likely leveraged to the hilt, geared to kingdom come and not making payments on those gas guzzling German cars he/she couldn’t afford to buy cash. They have no life raft. Let them drown.

Your competition has bled all their cash and not acted quickly enough. They never booked a dingy. They have recently ruined their relationships with their own clients fighting over payments and pauses. Post lockdown, they desperately need to protect margin to keep the shareholders, the stakeholders, the sharks and the banks at bay. Why not learn and adopt a sales strategy from some of the most aggressively growing business in the world today? And it’s an uncomplicated one. Ready?

 

Don’t make a profit.

 

That’s it. Simple. For the next 6 months learn to live on the knife-edge of cash flow and zero profit and if today you have the stomach for this and some cash in the bank, sell at below cost and see how quickly the competition capsizes. Nobody can compete with zero margins when they are encumbered to others.

Pitch on everything at break-even. Land grab. Offer the competitions’ clients a life raft now. They too, are looking for deals as they have suffered and need support and cheap services. Brag ashamedly about your company’s stability, durability and reliability and ensure the market knows you will survive future traumas together. Unscathed.

The rich businesses will get richer and the majority middle class may be wiped out. Ephemeral thinking is for the middle class. Being eager to claw back profits now will flatten your oppositions curve. Why offer them a lifeboat to cling to when you can chum the waters?

@Spillly

 

Thanks to my editor at large @TheJoLurie

 

THE THREE C’S OF COVID | Lockdown Lessons.

By Business Coaching Coaching Entrepreneur Motivation Strategy No Comments

 

[ For the audio version of this blog post, click here]

 

Last week, I growled a few times and then spoke about my learnings from Day 1 of lockdown. It was rather uplifting in nature and inspirational in tone. Don’t get used to that. Today I’m writing to you with a far more aggressive stance. No lube. No pulled punches. No sanitiser on the trolley. Hold tight.

                                                 6 April 2020

Dear You,

Your initial shock of remote working, the lockdown and an immanent economic depression should have settled down by now, leaving you with the raw reality of your cash reserves, the hard conversations with your team and clients, and the harder conversation you haven’t had with yourself, yet.

You now face the 3 C’s of Covid, all resulting in change. Yes, the 3 C’s – I’m making this shit up as we go.*

The first C is CHOICE

You have the power to make choices now. Being proactive, even if the path is unknown, gives you huge agency and allows you to thrive as a leader. As with all choices in life, it’s advisable to have your facts checked and not just rely on gut. Unfortunately, in the time of pandemics, your choice is often as good as my guess. Choice is a state of mind. Let me butcher a Casey Neistat quote here: You can be a hater and doubter sipping champagne on the top deck of the Titanic or you can be the fucking iceberg! Choose choice.

I-C-E-B-E-R-G ahead!

 

The 2nd C is CIRCUMSTANCE

The current circumstances have left you with fewer choices than you may want right now. You are in the dangerous middle ground where you can either make a move, choose a direction and be that I-C-E-B-E-R-G or wait out the circumstances and let fate or whatever deity you believe in, make that choice for you. This is not advisable. However, you may find yourself in too deep where Circumstance has already come and gone left you in the firm grasp of our third C, Crisis.

CRISIS

Nothing makes you change faster than crisis. Crisis is not the 4-lettered C word you know, but it certainly feels like that. If you have passed the phase of “why am I here and how did this happen?” and have no real choice to make, you my friend, are in Crisis mode. You have to make a choice, but don’t have any real options on the choice. Sound familiar?

Now, you may swear that you become the best version of yourself under pressure and live in crisis-mode. Were you the kid that always wrote his assignment the day before it was due? Are you always fighting people crisis, client chaos, and cash flow stress? Great but this is different. This is South African Revenue Services coming after you personally; this is a CCMA case, this is not paying suppliers, avoiding calls and getting summoned. This is not Mrs White, your high school English teacher telling you to sit in detention because you never handed in your homework.

The good news is that crises always happen and they always end. It’s how you look at the end that matters now and picking ‘Choice’ may not leave you with cash in the bank, but it will leave you with credibility. It will leave you with loyal staff who see you as a strong leader. It will leave you being a trustworthy partner in whatever you land up doing next.

IQ was the shit in 1980.

EQ was the shit in 2010.

CQ is the shit in 2020.

CQ is your change quotient – Your ability to adapt to your new ever-changing environment.

The Titanic had no CQ.

Be the I-C-E-B-E-R-G!

@Spillly

 

*Special thanks to Mari Lee of Devcom who shared the initial change theory with me

Podcast Spillly brent spilkin

The Bearded Fen Podcast – Spillly & BBBRAP

By Business Coaching Coaching Entrepreneur Motor Bikes Radio Social Media No Comments

The Bearded Fen podcast is a lifestyle podcast that engages with people within the Motorcycle, Tattoo and Craft/Artisan community. In these two podcast you will hear stories that you wouldn’t normally hear in an interview about the future of email, where instant messaging fits in when it comes to communication, social media, and the bigs boys like Facebook, Google and Amazon, as well as online shopping in SA and chat about whether Google is listening to us. We also chatted about business coaching, my business bikes and breakfast events and then Andrew helps me choose a new bike.

Check out episode 1 here:

https://fireside.fm/s/PgvD3Vmx+cTLcRQ3B 

The bonus content below.

https://fireside.fm/s/PgvD3Vmx+E539rNfW

ps. Ep.1 is all bike related, while Ep.2 is way more general in scope! E N J O Y.

Spillly Podcast

Contact Andrew [The Bearded Fen!] https://www.instagram.com/beardedfenpodcast and info@beardedfen.co.za

brent spilkin spillly podcast

How I Built This: Brent Spilkin, your business is successful when it serves the owner (You) #podcast

By Business Coaching Coaching Entrepreneur Mentoring Motivation No Comments

Listen to this interview to find out why I believe: “Your business is successful when it serves the owner in the way the owner wants – whether it’s to build a bigger team, leave a legacy, gain more exposure in the media, make more profit, or even to play more golf.”

Thanks to Charles at Flying Kite for the opportunity to be on his new podcast.

“When I can eliminate limiting self-beliefs in a person and put a structure in place for them to measure growth, make money, and have fun – I get great satisfaction from it!”

If you just wanna engage or want more info on this podcast, contact me brent@spillly.com

Being retrenched? Your CV is not enough.

By Business Coaching Entrepreneur Freelance Motivation Recruitment No Comments

The CV
is dead.

Long live
the CV.

The way in which your parents “brought in the bacon” for 30 years, for the same company, no longer exists.

The workforce of today and tomorrow will find income without a long format Curriculum Vitae with their online presence, a direct sales approach and their searchability being the backbone of success with a strong balance of IQ, EQ and change quotient.

Stop using the front door to get in the building.

Our half-day customised master class will cover how the world and South Africa are moving towards a remote gig economy and where the Internet and online platforms will provide global work opportunity that we have never experienced before.

Brent Spilkin literally wrote the book on freelancers with his book “What the Freelance – the mini MBA for Freelancers.”  The research and findings of this text book has lead to a new approach to working for clients rather than working for an employer.

This master class will leave you with practical tools and insights into getting out the mindset of CVs, recruiters and “let’s hope I get that interview,” and into a new way of proactively seeking the kind of work and freedom you always wanted but never knew possible.

HERE IS A THOUGHT SHIFT: Less of unemployed and more self employed

These are some of the key lessons you will learn and apply:

  • Where to work?
  • How to get work I want?
  • Tools, tricky and tips.
  • Platform thinking.
  • Risk analysis.
  • Growing your network and using Social media effectively while owning your narrative and Media channels.

 

Who are you next?

  • Leader?
  • Entrepreneur?
  • Contributor?
  • Designer?
  • Strategist?
  • Consultant?
  • Provocateur?

Find out more Today If You…

  • Are being forced out of your job and don’t know what is next.
  • Are fearful of going at it alone or if that is even really an option.
  • Are eager to learn proven job-search strategies that work in today’s economy.
  • Are bored with your past choices and are exploring career opportunities.
  • Are ready to start the next phase of your life and career.
  • Have started your own side gig and need to push this a lot harder.
  • Feel that the millennials are doing stuff that scares you [and are taking the jobs you want!]

Come define your future. Make this a positive choice not a crisis.

For more info contact us or send us a WhatsApp message.

 

Get. Shit. Done.

By Business Business Coaching Coaching Entrepreneur Mentoring Motivation No Comments

The single biggest contributor to success in a business is your attitude towards everything and everyone and your ability to Get Shit Done.

As a business owner you are responsible for multiple tasks and responsibilities and GSD applies to every aspect of your business. Getting Shit Done entails asking questions when you are unsure and learning from the process and your mistakes. Getting Shit Done is believing in urgency, excellence and delivery. GSD is often referred to as “Hustle” but it’s more than that in your business. It’s the grit, the mental toughness, your emotional capacity and your passion to be recognised for greatness, recognised for always delivering what you said you would, on time, on budget and without fuss.

 

Constant improvement and putting in the extra effort with suppliers, staff and clients alike will pay off in more than just dividends; you will attract and retain better quality, higher paying clients and MATTER to the people your business touches.

 

Set your goals, push the boundaries, and achieve success and always over-deliver. Copy Paste. Copy Paste. Copy Paste.

 

Getting Shit Done means you do the work you dread, submit the taxes your hate, have the hard conversations with your stakeholders, the harder conversations with your clients and the most difficult conversations with yourself.

 

Your talent will only take you so far, but the ability to learn the skills required to grow an organisation of one, that will get the important tasks done professionally, deal with clients maturely and communicate effectively is what will set your business apart from your talented peers.

 

Having a high GSD factor will allow you to work on the big picture and vision in small bite-sized achievable chunks, looking at the long road ahead and never feeling that it’s too far to go. Building your GSD factor is work. It needs to be developed and exercised like any other muscle in your body. If you keep pushing yourself to do the hard things, the hard things become easier and you build tolerance to them and this will allow you to grow through the mental barriers you had subconsciously set yourself. Achieve more.

 

Getting Shit Done means you question everything. Question your processes. Question your clients. Question your prices. Question yourself. Will power ebbs and flows and your motivation levels will never be at 110% every damn day so stick to a schedule. Be regimented in everything you do and avoid distractions that are shoved in your path every minute. Get off Social media. Stop reading rubbish and only consume for improvement. Get off social media. Learn from the best that have done it and have the most valuable lessons to learn. Get off social media. Set small habits and expand on them over time. If you want to cheat then make it part of the habit and routine. Cheat only when your calendar says you can.

 

Consistency is the fuel of getting shit done. Pick a pace and tone that works for you and your clients and be consistent in everything you do from the way you answer your phone to the automation and frequency of raising your invoices.

 

Starting a business is easy. Growing a business is painful. Growing a great business is extremely tough and takes resilience. Getting Shit Done is Godly. Your clients, suppliers and consumers will not remember the work you delivered in the months and years to come. They will remember the way you delivered the work, your level of professionalism, the way you presented yourself and how you communicated with them at all touch points in their business.

 

Getting Shit Done is what will make your business a success. Getting Shit Done is what will make you a success. Get. Shit. Done.

WeWork host the August edition of Business, Bikes and Breakfast

By Business, Business Coaching, Coaching, Entrepreneur, Motivation, Motor Bikes One Comment

The Jo’burg team at WeWork helped successfully pull off the coaching element of last week’s Business Bikes and Breakfast event!

The prior months group voted on “Social media strategy” as the August theme and after doing a fun ice breaker event on top of Northcliff Hill we pulled into the Link building [scaring the security guards] where coffee and coaching was served!

All pics by Brandon