Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive

Cartoon of the week


Anne says: Do you find that some weeks just… well, don’t seem to flow! When I saw this cartoon I thought: That’s me! That’s why my day was so disjointed!! Liz Fosslien, the artist, produces a range of these types of illustrations focusing on work – there are some really great ones, check them out!

Top 10 job skills of tomorrow

Anne says: The World Economic Forum (WEF) has published outcomes from the recent Jobs Reset Summit that reviewed the current situation and intended to address ways forward. One aspect the WEF has been publishing for many years is future skills in the Future of Job’s Report.

The assertion is that 50% of employees will need re-skilling by 2025. What stood out for me this year, in comparison to other years, were the addition of skills like self-management that includes active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility. These skills represent the effect the pandemic has had on the way we work and are expected to be necessary within the next six months. Many of the skills that will be required over the next five years acknowledge the technological disruption that is also occurring in a rapid fashion due to the lockdowns (Word of the Year), and hybrid future working models.

The top 10 skills are listed below with creative thinking and problem solving remaining in the top ten. But the new skills incorporating self-management, as mentioned above, will require concerted effort to understand the needs of people in their roles and how to design training that has relevance in diverse contexts. Organisational learning departments, who have scrambled to convert classroom content into online formats, will be challenged to design engaging and innovative ways to address these needs. Basic online awareness course will not develop capabilities. Checklists that tell you what you should and shouldn’t be doing have been found to increase levels of anxiety and stress. While are ways of working are disrupted and reliant on levels of trust, perhaps focusing on a culture of trust and support will be more valuable than an online course.


How the end of the office may also mean the end of your boss

Jakkii says: Is it important when posting a piece with a title like this one to make sure you say “but not you” to your actual boss? In case it is: ‘but not you, Anne!’ ; )

Kidding aside, this was an interesting opinion piece from Professor Kevin Murphy of the University of Limerick, which you can either read or listen to as it’s also available as a podcast (about 7min). In it, Professor Murphy discusses the return – or not – to the office and the arguments that it will be decided by managers, and his view that working from home has shown people can get work done, without a manager or supervisor.

When it comes to “gathering employees in a common place”, he cites three common reasons for it:

  • a persistent belief that face-to-face interactions, especially among team members, are important to the team’s success;
  • a belief that interactions in the office, including informal and unplanned ones, are a key to creativity and problem solving; and
  • that gathering people into a physical workspace is a critical tool for managers and supervisors to exert power.

Murphy then picks up on that final point and extrapolates it, saying:

Perhaps the most insidious reason your boss might want you to return to work is that if employees work remotely, the need for bosses becomes less and less clear.

Overall, the message in the article isn’t “let’s get rid of bosses,” but rather that we need to be more thoughtful and considered about the future of work and what role the office plays, how and where it interacts with remote working, the relationship between employee and supervisor, and, ultimately, the role of management in that future workplace.

They’re big and important questions for leaders and for organisations. There are myriad conflicting views about returning to the office (or not), but as I think this article shows, we can’t simply view it as a discussion about physical vs virtual vs hybrid workplaces. It needs to involve careful consideration and planning regarding the future of what work looks like and how it gets done in each organisation, and consequently what is needed from managers to support that work and how it gets done. It seems clear that if the future of work looks different, the future of management must adapt and evolve as well. Whether that will mean fewer managers, or “the end of your boss” as the headline suggests, remains to be seen.


15 tips for hosting a virtual offsite for your remote team

Jakkii says: There’s nothing revolutionary in here, so if you’re looking for really left-field ideas to do something different for a remote offsite, you’ll need to keep scouring the internet. I wanted to share this one though as I think it gives a good bit of structure in terms of things you need to be thinking about if you’re going to run events like a team offsite remotely. It’s really hard to stay focused and engaged online compared to offline, especially for long periods. Aside from trying to keep things interactive as much as you can, you also need speakers to be engaging on screen, and you need to be thoughtful about how you put people together in breakouts and how you help and guide them in connecting and working (or ‘networking’) in these smaller groups if you’re using them.

The 15 tips in the article are:

  1. Cut the agenda in half
  2. Use long and frequent breaks
  3. Simplify the main message
  4. Assign roles
  5. Set up a remote studio (if possible)
  6. Get the right tool stack
  7. Have a dry run with all team leads
  8. Create a fun opening
  9. Use polls to check if the team is following
  10. Have a moderator to facilitate the flow
  11. Use Zoom breakout rooms for small group discussions
  12. Collect the team’s questions strategically
  13. Run the Q&A session as a conversation
  14. Wrap up the key message before you let people go
  15. Make space for socialising and fun online activities

As always, you can check out the full article for the nitty gritty of each. I think one of the key things on the back end not to overlook is that ‘assign roles’ step, where people behind the scenes have very clear roles and each of you know who is responsible for tech, for moderation, for content, and for coordinating. Most of these overall tips are applicable for workshops as well, not just trying to do an offsite or other larger, typically longer when offline, event and bring it into the remote world.

If you’ve got any other tips we should share, let me know in the comments or on social!


‘Lockdown’ is 2020’s word of the year

Anne says: As we hurtle towards the end of the year, we start to reflect on the year that was (and what a year it was!) and view the year ahead. One of the traditions is the word of the year and this year is no surprise that something related to COVID-19 would feature. Collins Dictionary has proclaimed ‘lockdown’ the winner and the numbers are staggering:

Collins counted more than 250,000 uses of the word this year, versus only 4,000 in 2019, according to the dictionary.

Collins also stated that the word was a unifying experience – one that billions of people all over the world have lived through in varying degrees of lockdown.

You can read more about the shortlisted words on the Collins Dictionary blog, including internet words of the year like ‘Megixt’ (Prince Harry and Meaghan’s exit to the US) and ‘BLM’, Black Lives Matter.

PS. I’m going to make an early prediction that the word of the year for 2021 will be ‘vaccine’.


Around the house

Jakkii says: We hope everyone’s keeping safe and well, no matter the state of lockdown and restrictions where you live. This week’s list of things to read, watch, listen to and do from home is here to help keep you occupied!

Friday Funnies

US Election Friday Five

Bonus: From obscure to sold out: the story of Four Seasons Total Landscaping in just 4 days

Misinformation Friday Five

Bonus: Shocked by Trump’s loss, QAnon struggles to keep the faith

COVID-19 Friday Five

Work Friday Five

Tech Friday Five

Bonus: Google Photos just made the case for breaking up Big Tech

Social Media Friday Five

Bonus: How Trump uses Twitter to distract the media – new research

Sydney Business Insights – The Future This Week Podcast

This week: Kishi Pan helps us unpack the world’s largest shopping event, China’s singles’ day, 11.11.

Sandra Peter (Sydney Business Insights) and Kai Riemer (Digital Disruption Research Group) meet once a week to put their own spin on news that is impacting the future of business in The Future, This Week.

The story this week

04:34 – 11.11 China’s singles’ day is the world’s largest shopping event

Other stories we bring up

The United States on Wednesday formally left the Paris Agreement

China aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060

Singles’ Day is China’s largest online shopping festival

Alibaba and Singles Day in HBR

On Alibaba’s Singles Day, Chinese shoppers likely to buy more foreign brands as fewer travel overseas

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday sales

How COVID-19 might change “Singles Day”

Consumers from China’s smaller cities lift Alibaba to new Singles’ Day record

Alibaba’s Taobao Live hits US$7.5 billion in first 30 minutes of presales for Singles’ Day

Our previous discussion with Kishi Pan around Xiahongshu on The Future, This Week

Statistics from Singles Day in 2019

 100 brands exceeded US$15M in sales on Tmall in less than 2 hours


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like

Reframing Perspectives

2 years ago

Friday Faves – Reframed

Friday Faves is our blog series highlighting select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on…

Read more
a half-closed laptop sits on a desk with a mouse next to it and an empty chair

2 years ago

Friday Faves – What We’re Reading This Week

Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch…

Read more
woman in blue dress and blue heels sits at a desk with open laptop, talking on the phone. her desk is at a pink cubicle that has been placed in the middle of a supermarket aisle with groceries on the shelves around her

2 years ago

Friday Faves – What We’re Reading This Week

Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch…

Read more
image of an office with a laptop open on the desk. on the laptop screen is a videoconference in progress showing many faces in a gallery view

2 years ago

Friday Faves – What We’re Reading This Week

Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch…

Read more