My Summary on “Drive — The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” from Daniel H. Pink — and how we can learn from that for a remote work setting.

TLDR: Remote leadership requires autonomy, mastery and purpose.

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Drive — The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

We no longer live in a stone-age setting where our instincts drive us to do our work, better said: to hunt for food and make sure to survive.

We also no longer live in an industrial factory setting where we algorithmically reproduce simple tasks.

Instead, most of our workforce power comes from heuristic problem solving for creating novel solutions.

And not just since COVID-19, more and more companies realise that they don’t require employees to be physical together at a shared workplace, and even start to see more and more motivational upsides once people are un-caged from their workplace boundaries. …

Due to COVID-19 you most likely will not host a big festive face-to-face Christmas party at your company. Now that everyone knows how to Zoom anyway, host a virtual one! Here're some ideas on how to host a great videocall X-Mas party for your team.

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Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

Teambuilding (not only for Christmas)

Use a google slide/miro board or another live whiteboard tool for those activities and make sure everyone sees the same slide/board.

Guess Who

Ask people to take a picture of something others wouldn’t expect to see around them and paste it in the slides. Then the others need to assign the pictures to the people.

Guess the Artist

Everyone paints a picture and uploads a photo of that to a google drive. One presents the pictures randomly, and the other ones need to guess the artist. …

And why companies should not just stay remote after COVID-19, but take the shift to fully distributed work as strategic advantage.

Since COVID-19, nearly every company has faced remote working of parts of their teams or everyone. Remote work is often poorly understood and people experiencing work-from-home either to be merely allowed to work remotely, as an exception or because there is no other choice than to stay at home, because of Corona restrictions.

Instead, remote work should be understood as a strategy shift and once-in-a-lifetime chance for companies, if done right.

But to “use” remote work, companies need to understand different levels and concept of remote- or even fully distributed work. Good news: over the last years some companies already have put a lot of thoughts into the strategic options of remote work. …

Part 2 of the series. Re-read part 1 here.

How can we bring Flow to our business life? What prevents Flow from happening on the job of our team members and how do we build Flow in organisations and everyday life?

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According to recent surveys conducted by the Gallup Organization, 15–20% of all employees seem never to experience flow. The same number claims to experience it every day. Those in-between feel flow anywhere from once every few months to at least once a week. …

Thoughts on “Good Business. Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning. — Mihaly Csikszentmihaly.

Part 1 of the Series. Jump to Part 2 here.

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Mihaly Csikszentmihaly — (a good friend & magnificent mentor himself introduced me to his thoughts and taught me the pronunciation: “Me-High Chick-Sent-Me-High”) — published “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience in 1990. Since then, his groundbreaking concept of Flow inspired millions of people, including highly influential leaders from politics, news and sports.

Cziksentmihalyi’s subject is happiness. In years of research and writing, he found that getting the optimal experience of “flow” is a condition to reach long holding and profound happiness. …

The coronavirus has changed how people use their smartphones. It has a long-lasting impact that needs us businesses to adapt to a disrupting market.

The downloads of mobile apps rose +25% in the first six months of 2020 in comparison to the last six months of 2019 (Source: App Annie H1 2020 Report).

An average mobile user spent 4.3h per day with their smartphones in April 2020. That makes 1.6 trillion hours worldwide that users spent on mobile in Jan-June 2020.

Mobile ad placements grew by 70% the same timeframe (Source: Adcolony)

What does that mean for the mobile split, the number of people accessing content with mobile vs. …

What I’m learning from Judson Brewers “The Craving Mind” for mindful leadership in a remote work setting.

“Accessible and enjoyable. The Craving Mind brilliantly combines the latest science with universal real-life experiences — from falling in love to spending too much time with our phones.” — Arianna Huffington


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Image Courtesy:

It is so easy to fall into ruts, bad habits, even depression, thirsting for what we feel we need to complete ourselves, what we might need to feel at home in our own skin, truly at peace in our life, even if just for a brief moment, or an hour or a day. …

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Apple introduces App Clips in iOS14. Image Source: Apple

“There’s an app for that.”

While this was good in the beginning, now it’s annoying that you need to download an app for nearly every single use case. And with roughly 2 million apps alone in the Apple App Store, it’s getting harder each day for users to find what they need and for app publisher, it’s a challenge to get users to download their app.

Apple designed App Clips to attack that issue: It’s a small part of a full app that will be available instantly on-demand when required, without the need for a download or search in the App Store. …

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Intro of the first all-virtual Apple WWDC keynote. Source: Apple.

End June 2020 Apple held it’s annually WWDC in Cupertino, California. For the first time, it has been kept 100% contactless and free for every developer to join.

And once again, Apple not just adapted to the given requirements due to COVID-19 distancing and holding the event as a virtual one — they redefined the scales for remote events. They, well: thought different.

A key element of success at stanwood is setting ourselves high goals each year. At the end of the year, we do a resume to see what we achieved and especially where we failed. We do this on a company level, team level, and also on a personal level.

For the longest time of my life, I set myself SMART goals.

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Dungdm93 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

A team goal at stanwood could be:

Increase the number of digital transformation projects.

By using the SMART method, we would break this generic goal down into the 5 elements:

  1. Specific: I will acquire 5 new projects from small and medium sized enterprises that need our help in digitally transforming their processes. …


Richard Bretzger

Remote Work, Leadership, Mindfulness and Technology. @ Stanwood Development & Consulting

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