Browsed by
Author: Matthew Furlong

Improv at Work

Improv at Work

I really can’t stand team-building exercises. I always feel like it’s forced fun. And I’ve been through so many team activities from pasta making to ax throwing to go-kart racing; I feel like I have done it all. Are our teams any closer because of them? I have no idea. So when I heard we were going to do a virtual team meeting with another team-building exercise, I was thinking, “Here we go again.” And when I was told I…

Read More Read More

Learning from Layne

Learning from Layne

I gave a talk about creating a work community last year that started with thirty seconds of me playing “Rooster” by Alice in Chains. If you don’t know Alice in Chains – first, you should. And second, they were a band that was popular during the 90s and were contemporaries of the likes of Pearl Jam and Nirvana. Based out of Seattle, as well, they played (and continue to play) in some of the largest venues. Third and last point…

Read More Read More

The River Parable

The River Parable

Two years ago, I wrote about the Starfish Parable. Since then, I’ve read several articles critiquing the message shared from that story. In those critiques, you’ll often find another parable that carries a stronger message about systemic change. The River Parable Once upon a time, there was a small village on the edge of a river. The people there were good, and life in the village was good. One day a villager noticed a baby floating down the river. The…

Read More Read More

The Language we use

The Language we use

‘Sort of’ is such a harmless thing to say. Sort of. It’s just a filler. Sort of. It doesn’t really mean anything. But after certain things, ‘Sort of’ means everything. Like after, ‘I love you’ or ‘You are going to live.’ — Demetri Martin The language you use can help you or harm you at work. The words you choose, the phrases you adopted along your journey, the types of things you choose to speak about – all matter. Do…

Read More Read More

Change Fatigue

Change Fatigue

Change Fatigue is very real. As organizations push forward efforts to Digital Transform their work – countless applications, processes, and reorgs are being tossed at employees. In fact, the change doesn’t stop – there is no ‘done’ for Digital Transformation. The future of work, as it were, has got to be better than this. In the interim, along with all of this change comes Change Fatigue. The idea that at some point, employees have had enough. The reaction to any…

Read More Read More

Greatness

Greatness

I once believed that for me to be great at my job, others had to be bad. Like it was a competition among my colleagues. I see it in others, too. I see it in a new staff member. He oozes this idea of greatness. But it’s a trick. Him being great has nothing to do with me. Or anybody else. And me being great has nothing to do with him. Or anybody else. We can both be great. Others…

Read More Read More

Facing Change

Facing Change

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” — James Baldwin When we had a reduction in force at Charles Schwab, we all knew why. We all knew why because the leaders opened a dialog about the needed change. The talked to all of us, they listened to all of us, and they helped us all face the inevitable. Well, not everyone was able to face the change – Larry struggled….

Read More Read More

Handling Stress in the Covid-19 era

Handling Stress in the Covid-19 era

If you alive right now, you are likely feeling a crazy amount of stress. Whether unemployed or fully employed, there is increasing pressure associated with the unknown. As you factor in that very few businesses are thriving (with some obvious exceptions) — it is clear that the pressure to survive is immense for virtually every organization. If you are unemployed, the amount of competing applicants is staggeringly high. And if you are employed, the amount of stress your company is…

Read More Read More

Meeting Overkill

Meeting Overkill

“What we need is — we need more meetings,” Said no one. Ever. Meetings are often seen as a “necessary evil.” A productive meeting can create and reinforce connections, inertia, and actionable next steps. However, most meetings seem to be more “evil” than “necessary.” In a post-COVID world, meetings are increasing, but the quality and necessity need a massive reset. Do we have a problem? Note: The above graphic is harsh. For many, this is their first time working from…

Read More Read More

Not a Futurist

Not a Futurist

I’m in no way shape or form a futurist. I will also admit that I’m not entirely sure what that means. Can I predict the future? Can I read minds? No, I can not — but I can and will be able to share my predictions for the remainder of 2020. What do I think digital work is going to be and feel like after a cure for COVID is found; after the unemployment rates decrease; after the racial work…

Read More Read More