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Issue #13

Hi there,

As we’re approaching the end of 2022, a big goal of Mäd this year was to launch a product.

After exploring various options with the team, we settled on creating an ebook that compiles 10+ years of experiences, achievements, and mistakes into easy-to-reference frameworks and models to help professional service firm founders build successful and thoughtful organizations.

The Work Like Mäd ebook seemed like a fitting start to our venture into the digital products space. The process of writing it helped me reflect and solidify why and how we work, giving us clarity as we begin to slowly grow this new side of our business.

For those reading, you know we’re still adding some finishing touches to our ebook, but if you missed our previous email, we’ve recently sent out a free, downloadable chapter of Work Like Mäd as a taster before you decide to purchase the whole book — you can access it here.

Thoughts.

What’s more important: work or life?

Well, it depends.

Most of us will spend the majority of our lives at work, and so it will help you immensely to find work that is not only enjoyable but also meaningful and productive.  

Typically, there are two main reasons why people work. They either

  1. Work to live, or
  2. Live to work.

Neither choice is good or bad – it’s more about the priorities of each individual. Some people place more meaning in their personal lives outside of work, using work as a means to financially support their lifestyles and activities. Others might immerse themselves in work and even integrate it with other parts of their lives – yet the work might be purposeful enough to make this worthwhile.  

Without meaningful work, though, we might experience a lack of meaning. And if work takes over everything else in our life – even if it’s meaningful and enjoyable – we risk getting burnt out and losing interest.

The important thing is to find an equilibrium between how you work and how you live that’s aligned with your personal values and goals.

Work Like Mäd: Free Chapter.

You might already know from our past newsletters that we’ve been actively preparing to publish our first ebook, Work Like Mäd. If you haven’t received our previous email, we’d like to invite you again to read a complementary chapter of Work Like Mäd to get a preview of what’s to come!

Download it here.  

News.

  • Team Updates. “When we talk about the great workers of the world, we really mean the great players of the world,” wrote Mark Twain. Inspired by the interrelation between play and work, the Mäd design team participated in an activity on the importance of play led by our Head of Design, Angelique. We’ve found that playing in the workplace is vital because it allows for exploration and experimentation without the fear of failure. This often results in better ideas and a higher level of creative thinking – which is particularly important for design (and other types of work!).
  • Thoughtful Thursdays. Speaking and presenting our ideas is fundamental to our success in the workplace (and in life!). We’ve introduced a weekly team activity at Mäd – Thoughtful Thursdays – to give us a chance to work on our presentation and listening skills in a fun, interactive, and intriguing way. Each week, one team member presents a topic unrelated to work with the goal of sharing something they’re personally interested in and sparking a lively discussion.

Spotlight.

  • Blue. Blue has made some impressive additions to its project management platform: users can look forward to its Q4 updates for Project Wiki, Gantt charts, and to-do dependencies (for those in project management — expect these features to majorly enhance your work experience). An extra shout-out to the Blue team: their mailing list has recently reached almost 20 thousand subscribers (we’re not jealous)!
  • Blue Webinar (October 4th). Stay tuned for the Blue team’s upcoming webinar series focusing on business, leadership, and managing projects and startups — starting on October 4th. To get your free ticket, register here.
  • Interview with Eran Bucai (DCT Summit). The Dot Com Truths (DCT) Summit, hosted by entrepreneur and tech YouTuber Eran Bucai, is about helping you start, grow and automate your online business using technology and software tools. As part of the summit, I chatted with Eran about Blue and its vision, and how to use it for better efficiency and productivity in running projects and managing a team.

Interview for DCT Summit: Eran Bucai and Manny Faja (CEO & Founder of Blue).

Insights.

  • Management by Wandering Around. Management styles have evolved and diversified in recent years as more industries embrace flexible work options, adjusting to changing demographics and industry trends. One approach that has gained popularity is Management by Wandering Around (MBWA) — a unique, hands-on management style that strengthens the bonds between managers and their teams.
  • On Differentiation and Legal Technology. Legal firms are often traditional in the ways they think and operate. Until recently, the law sector relied mostly on conventional methods outside of technology. But with digitization encompassing most industries, legal firms are increasingly looking to digital solutions to help lawyers solve complex problems.
  • Human-Centered Design. At Mäd, we design and build products and services for businesses while looking beyond design to the technology, people, and processes that companies need to succeed. Our approach is guided by Human-Centered Design (HCD) principles – a framework that places the needs of the user first by cultivating deep empathy for your audience.
  • Organizational Change. The business landscape of the contemporary world is constantly fluctuating, and organizations must learn how to dynamically adapt and stay relevant. To navigate this, it’s essential that firms embrace necessary shifts and leverage them effectively through organizational change.

From the Web.

“There is something special about working on a project of your own.”

As kids, we often experience the excitement of working on projects of our own thinking. But usually, this is incredibly difficult to integrate into the work we do as adults. Graham compares having your own project to work on vs. simply working, with skating vs. walking. Both methods will get you somewhere, but the means of getting there is far more fun if you skate, right?

In the same way, finding a passion project and being able to turn it into your work means that you’re working on something that takes over your time – just because you choose to. This is what transforms work/life balance (split) to work-life balance (unified).

When working with clients, we often need to audit and evaluate their existing structures and platforms. So before we can begin to adjust anything or remove redundant elements, we try to interpret and define how and why certain things were designed or coded in a particular way. After all, “the first step before modifying an aspect of a system is to understand it.”

Here we apply second-order thinking, which means considering not only the consequences of our choices and actions but also the consequences of these consequences. This also relates to the actions of others – just because we question why someone does something, doesn’t mean that it was done for no reason (even if we disagree with it).

Read.

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable - Alaska Digital  Library - OverDrive
'The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable' - The New York Times

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

(Read the first chapter here.)

A Black Swan is a rare, unexpected, and highly impactful event. According to Nassim Taleb, everything in the world, “from the success of ideas and religions, to the dynamics of historical events, to elements of our own personal lives”, can be explained by a small number of Black Swans. But for some reason, humans tend to restrict their thinking to irrelevant occurrences while continuously being caught unaware by these incredibly large and consequential events. In his book, Taleb expands on the concept of Black Swans, how (and why) they occur, and what are some ways to navigate and anticipate a complex Black Swan world.

We hope you’ve had a great first month of fall. As usual, we’re here to support you with any concerns and inquiries.  

Cheers,

Manny

#workwithmad

If you would like to #workwithmad then send us an email at hi@mad.co and let's Make It Happen.™

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