Why your next petrol car will likely be your last

Sat Oct 10 2017 Michael McQueen

Why your next petrol car will likely be your last

Amidst all the recent talk about driverless cars, it’s easy to have missed the fact that less dramatic but equally disruptive changes are afoot in the transportation and mobility sector.

Speaking at the LeasePlan Interactive conference last week, I had the chance to share the stage with the brightest minds in transportation and was fascinated by some of the trends they shared. In summary, I was left with little doubt that the cars of the future will be three things:

Getting Into the Zone When Working from Home

Mon Sep 9 2017 Michael McQueen

We all know the feeling of being in a rut when motivation eludes us and the gravity of inertia feels too great to shrug off. There’s a pile of work to do but you can’t seem to summon the energy or will to get off go.

With more of us in freelance roles or working from home for a day or two per week, being able to get into the zone or break the rut cycle is critical when you don’t have the inbuilt accountability and structure of an office environment.

Here are eight simple and effective ways to getting moving when you feel stuck, listless or overwhelmed:

Recent decades have seen scores of offices embrace an open-plan format - as many as 70% of all workplaces. The rationale for doing away with doors and walls was clear: by bringing down the barriers that divided us, greater collaboration, communication and cohesion would result. In addition, a more flexible and fluid office layout would suit an increasingly mobile and transient workplace. Or so we thought.

While open-plan offices have certainly benefitted companies in that they've significantly reduced floor-space requirements and therefore costs, the data is becoming increasingly clear: open-plan offices aren’t really working.

Consider the evidence:

3 reasons you procrastinate (and how to stop)

Sat Jan 1 2017 Michael McQueen

What are you putting off right now? Vacuuming the house, walking the dog, going to the gym? Maybe it's making those phone calls, tackling your inbox or submitting the job application you’ve been ‘working on’ for 3 weeks?

While procrastination comes naturally to most us, have you ever wondered why it can be so hard to shake off the shackles of inertia and get moving?

Here are three common reasons:

Enjoying Downtime without Experiencing a Downturn

Wed Dec 12 2016 Michael McQueen

Enjoying Downtime without Experiencing Downturn

As we draw to the end of another year, if you’re anything like me you’re looking forward to downing tools, closing up the laptop and switching off from all things work.

For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, the holiday season coincides with our summer break – that blissful and carefree time where beaches are full and office towers are empty.

For my Northern Hemisphere friends, the coming weeks may only be a short break but a break no less.

The New Zealand All Blacks are by all measures legendary. With a rich heritage dating back to 1903, this iconic Rugby team boasts a staggering 77% test match winning record and are statistically the best team to have ever played the game.

While they may be known worldwide for their customary Haka – a traditional Māori challenge dance – the All Blacks are something of an institution back home in NZ.

Imagine a world without carparks!

Wed Oct 10 2016 Michael McQueen

A little while back I had lunch with one of the most switched on business leaders I have met in recent times. The man in question has had a long and distinguished career and yet has managed to stay below the radar – he is far less famous than he ought to be.

In early 2015 I was approached by a number of Rotary International’s key leaders to form part of a strategic planning committee tasked with mapping out Rotary’s future. As an organization that is well over a century old, Rotary’s 1.2 million members have had a phenomenal impact on the globe (including the near-eradication of Polio). However, the organization has languished in recent years as it has struggled to clearly define what a 21st century service movement should look like.

As part of a recent gathering of this strategic planning committee, we reviewed a simple but brilliant TED talk by business strategist Knut Hannes.

What struck me most about Haanaes’s message was the simple way he described some of the common dynamics that can cause an organization to fail. In short, he said that every leader and organization committed to maintaining growth and vitality must strike a balance between two things: