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Issue #17

Hi there,

January has quickly flown by, but the start of 2023 has already brought about new beginnings and exciting opportunities — as we grapple with the ever-changing macroeconomic environment, we’re committed to constant improvement and seeking innovative ways to continually deliver value to our clients. To push this to new heights in 2023, our mission is and continues to be to unlock strategic thinking in the world’s leading organizations.  

Already in 2023, we’ve been fortunate enough to secure some exciting new projects in both the public and private sectors. We’re also delighted to announce that we’ve now released the Work Like Mäd book. This was an important milestone for us and has been a long-term internal project that we’re delighted to finally deliver. If you haven’t already, you can learn more about the book here, or download a free chapter!

By the way, we’ve changed our newsletter platform as our old host (Revue) is shutting down. Our readers won’t see any changes to their subscriptions: you'll still continue to receive all future newsletters, while our collection of past editions is available here

Kieran Glover – Managing Director

Thoughts.

— On boredom and finding meaning in your work.

Even if you’re working your dream job, you might occasionally grow bored at work. 

This is completely normal (to an extent): after all, we cannot always be 100% deeply engaged in every situation. Our minds still need mental and emotional downtime — and boredom often acts as a rest mode for our brains. 

No matter what sort of work you do, there are always aspects that are repetitive or tedious. While this is often negatively associated with boredom, it can actually be optimal: it allows you to alternate between doing stimulating work when you feel energized and reserving more mundane tasks for when you need a break. 

It can be helpful to find ways to harness and leverage boredom instead of feeling defeated by it. Embrace it during downtime, but make sure there is still a balance between boredom and stimulation.

To fulfill the mental need to be occupied and productive, it’s important to work on projects that arouse your curiosity and give space for some experimentation and play. Also, finding purpose and meaning in what you do can help you feel better connected to your job and highlight the positive side of occasional boredom.

Finally, be aware of the misconception that meaningful work is limited to certain jobs. That’s hardly accurate — any job can be meaningful as long as you can recognize your contribution and the value you add to your organization. Finding purpose can greatly improve your work as it increases productivity and job satisfaction. 

“Even the best of us will feel jaded at a bad day or tedious task. But if we can tap into our curiosity, meaning, and agency, we can better weather those dull storms or find enjoyment in work.”

Read more:  Bored at work? Your brain is trying to warn you. 

Work Like Mäd: The Book.

After weeks and months of endless rounds of reviews, edits, revisions, and improvements… We have finally completed our eBook — Work Like Mäd. 

Based on 10+ years of experience, with countless trials, errors, and failures in-between, Work Like Mäd is packed with lessons and advice on how to set up and grow a sustainable business, assemble a talented team, find the right projects, and keep clients coming back to you. 

And here’s the best part: as our valued subscriber, you are eligible for a very special early bird discount on your purchase of Work Like Mäd. Simply enter the code MAKEITHAPPEN at checkout for an instant $5 off on your purchase.

Get it here.  

News.

  • Interview with the CEO of Realestate.com.kh. A couple of months ago, we had the fantastic opportunity to meet Tom O’Sullivan, CEO and Director of Cambodia’s leading real estate portal — Realestate.com.kh. We sat down to chat about everything from real estate and digital transformation in Cambodia, to leadership and working with humans. Read our full rundown of this informative interview for a deep dive into the world of real estate, plus tips on time (and team) management and great marketing strategies. 

Spotlight. 

To kick off 2023, we’re delighted to be working alongside Woori Bank to support their continued digital efforts in Cambodia. Alongside this, we’ve had the pleasure of once again working with CBRE, one of the world’s most recognizable real estate firms.  

Insights.

  • The Case for Unlocking Business Innovation — and Why Some Companies Struggle. Innovation is non-negotiable for companies that want to excel in the modern business landscape. Regardless of their size, any organization can benefit from implementing new approaches and tools in its operational model. However, innovation is often a challenge for larger companies. This is where corporations can learn how to bring creative ideas to life from startups, and find success.
  • How to Unlock Strategic Thinking in Your Company. Strategy is a crucial aspect of every business, yet it’s a challenge to precisely define what strategy is and how to establish an effective one. And while all companies can easily come up with a plan, not many can formulate and execute a robust strategy that is realistic and successful. Implementing practices like business blueprinting can help businesses unlock strategic thinking in their teams and craft a strategy that actually works. 
  • The Importance of Agile Business Processes. Great business processes can be decisive in how well an organization operates and how successful it is in the long run. This is why we highly recommend that our clients focus on planning, designing, documenting, and monitoring their business processes. It keeps things running smoothly (or growing at scale). For even better results, organizations can implement agile principles in managing their business processes, as this can improve flexibility and help teams deal with the unexpected. 
  • A Practical Approach to More Thoughtful MVPs (and MVTs). Many businesses and startups are familiar with the minimum viable product (MVP) — a vital step in the product development process. But MVPs are not only limited to products and platforms: they can be an excellent way to assess any business vision. Minimum viable testing (MVT) is a simpler way to experiment with introducing new products or ideas to the market as it requires less time, resources, and budget to execute. 

From the Web. 

A selection of reads for a productive and inspiring start to the year. 

Organizations have mastered the art of unnecessary interactions, leading to a decrease in productive, value-creating collaboration. So while communication is easier than ever, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make decisions and introduce novel ideas. To drive better business performance and innovation (and avoid wasting valuable time and resources), companies need to focus on empowering employees by holding meaningful meetings. After all, high-quality, focused interactions can improve productivity, speed, and innovation within any organization.

While we might not be consciously aware of it, many psychological factors (or sometimes simply a lack of knowledge) can negatively affect the way we make decisions. Munger's two-step process is a simple and effective approach to informed decision-making that reduces human misjudgment and bias.  

The relationship between workers and firms is changing rapidly, and organizations must rethink their approach to talent if they want to thrive in increasingly competitive markets. In particular, business leaders need to prioritize being more human and building a company that offers a sense of belonging and opportunity. 

Bain & Co explore and offer solutions for the key themes that are reshaping work: changing motivations for work, diverging beliefs about what makes a "good job", automation helping to rehumanize work, technological change redefining firms, and the increasing experience of overwhelm in young workers. 

With so many new opportunities in the coming year, it could be a great time to pursue novel projects and enhance your strategy. 

If you would like to discuss this with us, our team will be delighted to assist you with any questions or inquiries you may have. 

We hope you had a productive January and are prepared for the month (and year!) ahead. 

Until next time!

#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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