Six Rules of Etiquette For The Open Office

More companies are taking the open office concept further with first-come, first-served work areas.

This trend was discussed in the Wall Street Journal Online article “Warming Up to the Officeless Office”. A “survey of 950 companies, the International Facility Management Association, a trade group for office-facility managers, found 60% had some unassigned workspaces in their offices,” the article said.
Open office
The article goes on to suggest six rules for office etiquette.  They are:

  1. No sneaking up
  2. No loitering
  3. Use your ‘indoor voice’
  4. Never eavesdrop
  5. Limit chit-chat
  6. Use headphones

Anne Kreamer in her article “Workers, Take Off Your Headphones” suggests caution working with headphones on.  She says it isolates you from the informal office life and informal conversations going on around you.  Use headphones during times requiring intense focus but don’t have them on all the time.

Ten Strategies To Change Behaviour

Most of us want to change a behaviour in ourselves or people in our sphere of influence.  We have all talked about change and often do not take enough action to make it real.  Morten T. Hansen’s article in the Harvard Business Review list 10 approaches that work according to his research.

1. Embrace the power of one. One company I worked with posted 8 values and 12 competencies they wanted employees to practice. The result: Nothing changed. When you have 20 priorities, you have none. Research on multi-tasking reveals that we’re not good at it. Focus on one behavior to change at a time. Sequence the change of more than one behavior.

2. Make it sticky.

3. Paint a vivid picture. When celebrity chef Jamie Oliver wanted to change the eating habits of kids at a U.S. school, he got their attention with a single, disgusting image: A truckload of pure animal fat (see photo).

Jamie Oliver, fat - HBR

When Oliver taught an obese kid to cook, he showed how cooking can be “cool” — walking with head up, shoulders back, and a swagger while preparing food. This gave the boy a positive image he could relate to. As Herminia Ibarra outlines in her book Working Identity, imagining new selves can be a powerful force for change. Use stories, metaphors, pictures, and physical objects to paint an ugly image of “where we are now” and a better vision of a glorious new state. This taps into people’s emotions, a forceful lever for (or against) change.

4. Activate peer pressure.

5. Mobilize the crowd.

6. Tweak the situation.

7. Subtract, not just add.

8. Dare to link to carrots and sticks (and follow through). 

9. Teach and coach well.

10. Hire and fire based on behaviors.

Read the full article “Ten Ways to Get People to Change -” by  Morten T. Hansen in the Harvard Business Review.

ChangeThis.com – A Website For Ideas

This site has the download of Seth Godin’s book “The Bootstrapper’s Bible” which I saw a story about on “Your Business” on MSNBC. This site, ChangeThis.com has some thought provoking e-books and some are free.  It is

Another free book is called “The Secret to Self-Discipline” by Rory Vaden.  See what he says about the difference between cows and buffalos.  The book is short, direct, and actionable.  Take a look and tell me what you think.

Cure THe (Self-Inflicted) Chaos First by Karen MartinIn Karen Martin’s book,”Cure the (Self-Inflicted) Chaos First“, she does a great job explaining the “fundamental behaviours that are vital for outstanding performance in any endeavour – clarity, focus, discipline, and engagement.”  This is a warm-up for her book “The Outstanding Organization.”  Really easy to read, it makes sense, and is actionable.

Here are the recent popular, what they call “manifestos”, on the site:

5   Rework

ChangeThis.com – We’re on a mission to spread important ideas and change minds.