Day 1

A few weeks ago I had an amazing opportunity to visit Amazon offices in India. This was an eye opener with so much to see and learn about how this building is designed for providing Amazon employees maximum comfort as they spend many hours in these facilities developing new innovative ideas.

In the four buildings that I have visited it was very clear what are the expectations and the emphasis on creative and ideation from their employees. The message is very clear, we deliver results and with phrases such as: “Work hard, play hard” or “Free your imagination” you get the drift. In return, the facilities provided to all team members includes plenty of nice breakout spots to choose from, top of the art scum areas, large cafeteria and games room.

At the reception area, there is a large sign of “Day 1” and when I asked what does it mean they explained how in Amazon they want their employees to come to work and feel like it is their first day in the company. The idea is to preserve the motivation and avoid any bias influence on creativity and innovation.

This approach made me think about how companies communicate with their employees. Should it be a bold and outgoing statement or more of a subtle approach…I presume it is come down to the company philosophy and strategy. That’s what makes the differentiation between business. Plenty to learn from this driving company.

Lessons about work ethics

In the last few years, our family friend was working on developing his new business venture. Most of his time and efforts were vasted in the product development.

When the day of receiving the first batch of the newly designed packaging finally arrived he discovered that there was a defect. This was extremely disappointing but he decided to fix it as soon as possible. To be able to send it back to the manufacturer, the packaging was to be removed. He started to open the boxes and prepare the product to be repackaged. This was a major task and he recruited anyone that was willing to assist.

He offered his kids and my kids a $50 per box (each box contained 1000 units). At first, my kids were so happy with the opportunity to earn money and they requested him to drop off 2 boxes. Initially they thought, that this will be a easy way to earn pocket money without too much effort. Very quickly they discovered that this wasn’t a easy task and it took a lot of time and energy to complete so they just gave up and complained that it is too hard and they don’t want to keep on doing this.

This was a great opportunity to teach them a few lessons about work ethics as I wasn’t willing to let them give up so easily. These are some of the things they have learnt from this experience:

1. Commitment – as they gave their word to our friend that they will complete two boxes they have committed to this work. In life there is no such thing as half way or half committed, it’s either you are in it or you’re not.
2. Value for money – there is no such thing as easy money. To be able to earn money you need to actually work. To break a myth, there is no such thing as easy money.
3. Teamwork – initially when they started they worked in isolation as they thought it will be beneficial to them. Very quickly they discovered that when they work as a team they were able to achieve more and progress with the unpacking.
4. Find a technique – there are so many ways to skin a cat…it is important to find the most effective and lean way to complete your tasks. The kids divided the tasks between them a created a small production line with a clear understanding of who is doing what.
5. Quality Assurance – midway through the first box, we have noticed that they have misplaced one of the packing in the wrong place. We (team kids and I) decided to conduct a QA process to ensure we haven’t missed anything in the process. This meant that we went through everything we have done to ensure it is all done in the correct manner.
7. Have fun- in everything we do we need to ensure we have fun along the way. While having fun delivering tasks, we become more productive and able to achieve more. For us it was music that made it a lot more enjoyable.

Everyday we learn something new, the question is what we have done with this.

Thank you Moshik Grushka @ https://scoringright.com

Embracing technology

Last night my daughter looked at me like I’m a dinosaur, “you really don’t know what Deliveroo is? You don’t use snapchat?” I thought she was speaking foreign language but you know what, I realised that I was the one that wasn’t up with the technology and got a wake up call from my 12 year old daughter.

For so many people the thought of using new technology can be dreadful. I have to admit sometimes I do feel the same but I do like to learn new skills and explore new technologies. Every new skill is additional to your tool set and your growth.

Recently, as a tribute to my daughter, I started to explore new ways to support our very busy lives and I discovered a new world of easy to use apps that can improve our lifestyle.

The next few days, I was encouraged by my daughter’s words to try some of those apps and report back and that is exactly what I did. In one night I used 3 new different applications:

1. Uber Eats to order our yummy dinner.
2. Shebah to pick up my kids after school.
3. Snapchat for a funny photos with my daughter

Through my discovery phase, I noticed that it was evidence that the major differences between kids that are fluent using technology and us adults is very simple, kids today have no fear of trying new technology and for them it seems a natural thing to continuously explore.

What I have also learnt from this experience is that it is ok to feel uncomfortable at the beginning as you step outside your comfort zone but we are moving rapidly towards embracing new technologies in all aspects of life and I encourage you to start exploring. Are you on board?

Innovation comes from everywhere

Today I was inspired by my son’s simple and innovative solution for completing his daily tasks. Usually on Monday’s both of my kids arrives home prior to my husband and I. The kids know that before they can play electronic games they are required to complete their daily tasks that includes setting up the table for dinner, empty the dishwasher and completing their homework.

My son is nine years old and like any other typical boy at his age, he loves to play electronic games. As part of his daily homework he is required to read out loud to an adult a few paragraphs in Hebrew and get it signed by either my husband or I. As he knew that we will be late, he decided to video record himself reading his homework and when my husband arrived home he requested him to watch the video and sign the form as an evidence that he watched him reading the article.

This simple innovative solution demonstrates how kids can encourage us to think differently and come up with new ideas that might seems obvious.

Innovation can come from everywhere and we should be encouraged to continually develop and generate new innovative ideas and solutions to enhance future growth opportunities without being afraid of making a mistake or simply fail because from failures we learn and grow.