What makes us feel good about our work?

My efforts to encourage behavioral change at work are still undergoing.
This time I showed the team the following video that talks about how motivation is not about paying high salaries but rather making employees feel valued and giving them the sense that their work is meaningful.

I think it made people somewhat outraged because a lot of our efforts goes into garbage.

Instead of starting a bitching session I tried to stimulate thinking about the following questions:

1. How can we try to optimize our efforts (ex: not spend too much time on things that most likely won’t be used)?

2. How can we influence our leadership to focus more on better job design and be more tuned to our needs overall?

3. What are the lessons we can learn for our own future managerial styles?

I don’t know if I really inspired them to think further but they adamently asked me to show the video to our bosses and senior management and influence HR to put more effort on people development (good luck!).

I am trying to influence change from the bottom but it seems that people have this really strong need for guidance from above. This is not surprising , for the high power distance country that Brazil is.

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The ups and downs of life

One of the few expressions I remember from my arabic classes يوم عسل ويوم بصل (Yaum Asal Yaum Basal), translated literally into “a day of honey and a day of onion”. What it really means is that some days are sweet and some days are kind of stinky (in my free interpretation).

As an expat Brazil, these kinds of mood swings (of self and others) are as frequent as the change of temperature and one has to be careful to balance the positive and negative.
One thing I learned from a friend was putting a nightly alert every day at 8pm, asking myself: “what has made me happy today?”. This type of silly little thing made me reflect and appreciate the small things that make our lives beautiful.

Even though now I normally just take a mental note, today, after one of those annoying days at work, when I first thought that I was being crazy and then realized that it was actually not me, but them, I really needed this reflection.

So the good things that happened today were:
1. Helped 2 colleagues to make their individual projects better
2. Got a free lunch and managed to align a room of 8 women to agree on a proposal
3. Had an awesome conversation with a gringo colleague about what should be the right way to drive cultural change in a discriminatory environment (being gender or race)
4. Had a great friend over and we talked about life, books we love, business ideas and potential collaboration
5. Got an uber interesting book to read: “Change by Design”
6. Discovered a delicious tea made locally (never happened before)

Feeling better already..

What is Pegada?

Pegada is a portuguese word for meat market, aka what happens during carnival or other mass events. I was coerced to go to one of those types of things tonight. I arrived to huge open air concert space with everyone dressed with the same event themed t-shirt. Most women altered theirs to resemble a cutesy little thing above their uber-short shirts and many of the men walked around shirtless.
The common activities were face-sucking or drunkingly jumping and bumping into people around. Beer didn’t help me get more amused.

On the other hand, the place had a cool architectural design and the band’s name was cool: Chewing Gum with Banana.

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Learning about the power of technology

About 7 years late with my catch up with the wonders of technology, I finally succumbed to social pressure (empathetic looks, chuckles or just plain condescending comments) and got myself an iPhone.
Of course, a week later I managed to execute it via a reckless free fall. Ouch.
Thankfully, Apple was nice enough to exchange it for a new baby but I must admit the experience was quite traumatic altogether.

Now that I’ve figured out how to use it, I am not sure how between, twitter, Instagram, podcasts about everything in the world, TED’s inspiring videos, Rdio’s infinite collection of music, Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, iTunes U amazing courses, my Kindle books, and others, I will ever have time to interact in person with the outside world ever again??

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Stop for a moment and get inspired

I sent this video to a few people this week and everyone unanimously said they were inspired!
So time for you to get inspired too!

So.. what are the next steps?