We hear a lot about agility, innovation and disruption but what do they mean in real terms on the ground? I have a belief that collaboration, sharing and receptiveness are key to individuals who are working towards making their organisation progressive.
One element of this is knowledge sharing which might take the form of formal scheduled sessions where ideas are exchanged, explored and actions agreed. On the other hand, it might be more along the lines of what turned around our Olympic cycling performance.
Sir Dave Brailsford, a former professional cycler who holds an MBA, applied a theory of marginal gains—the team broke down everything they could think of that goes into competing on a bike, and then improved each element by 1%, anticipating it would achieve a significant aggregated increase in performance….and it worked!
This can be applied in the office too and if enough tiny improvements are made, surely your bottom line will also reflect the benefits?
My thoughts are that if everyone thinks about just 5 ways to improve everyday working and shares it with 5 people on condition that they too pass on 5 tips to 5 colleagues the workforce will become more productive and feel better about their achievements. How about extending the ‘5 to 5’ approach and making an effort to do it on a Friday – fifth day of the week?
Take some time this week to think about your tips and communicate the idea by sharing this article with colleagues.
Here are my 5 for to get you started:
1. If you don’t use shortcut keys but rely on using a mouse to navigate it is worth exploring this. For example, shortcuts on a PC such as Ctrl+P for printing, Ctrl+Alt+E for the Euro symbol, etc
2. When checking documents doing the review round, use Word’s Compare document feature in the Review tab just to be sure no one has sneaked in changes and not tracked them visually
3. Keep your PC/laptop ‘Desktop’ free from clutter and large files to speed up the start-up process
4. Format Painter in MS Office is a great way to replicate font type, size and colour from one part of a document to another. Highlight the chosen item, go to format painter on the Home toolbar at the top and then highlight the item to be changed.
5. When using PowerPoint and creating graphical slides, switching on the Gridlines in the View tab can help with alignment and save time moving items around manually.
In themselves these are not earth shattering but to some people one or more of these over the course of a year could make that ‘Theory of Marginal Gains’ difference.
Let me know how you get on with these and with the spirit of sharing your top tips. We all have something to learn…me included!
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