board room

6 tips for an effective meeting based on the CIA manual

If you want more effective meetings, it might pay off to first look into the reason why so many meetings are ineffective. In other words: how can you paralyze an organization and make sure as little as possible gets done?

Some time ago I came across the Simple Tamper Field Manual of the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor of the CIA. This manual contains a variety of methods for sabotage. Initially, it was intended to be a source of inspiration to counter the Nazis in Europe.

This manual was released around 1940, but a lot of its content is still very relevant today. The final pages of the document contain several tips on how to oppose organizations while remaining unnoticed. By reversing these tips I came to 6 tips for effective meetings (and working more effectively in general).

Ineffective people live day after day with unused potential.

Stephen R. Covey
Work anywhere

Remote work: this is what the future holds.

Covid currently has a huge impact on the way we design our work. At the moment remote work is the norm and the big question is what work will look like post-Covid. Will we return to the old normal? Or is remote work here to stay as the default? The future will tell, but a hybrid way of working, in which we combine the best of online and physical collaboration seems to be the most likely scenario.

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

My personal interest lies in the way companies will shape hybrid work, where some participants are in the office while others are working from home. This search led me to an interesting model that I want to share with you.

Work from home

This is how you make the most of your digital workday

I’m sure you want to have an effective digital workday, right? If you have a desk job, you have gotten used to working from home by now. Are you tired of sitting behind your desk for hours in a row while juggling the household chores in between? It doesn’t have to be that way!

Often something has to happen before something happens.

Johan Cruijf

This article discusses the challenges related to working remotely. Also, it elaborates on the many possibilities to enhance your digital workday.

Whatever it takes

How to achieve your goals this year: mindset and tips

The new year has only just started, so I assume your good intentions for this year still stand. Of course, you are sure it will remain that way throughout the year and that you will reach your goals. Unfortunately, statistics are not on your side: about 80% of good intentions fail, January 12 is a notorious day of withdrawal and January is the worst month to start with good intentions. That’s not very encouraging at all.

Continuous efforts – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.

Winston Churchill

I believe that with the right approach and focus you will achieve your goals this year. That sounds promising but be warned, there’s no silver bullet. You will have to work hard and give it your all if you want to achieve the results you have in mind. If you are willing to do that, this article describes the necessary mindset as well as tips that will help you achieve your goals.

Set goals

Goal setting that gets you energized

What’s the point of goal setting? When you set goals, how do you know these are the right ones? How can you determine which goals are worth pursuing?

Ready, Fire, Aim

Mainfreight motto

The quote above is very appropriate when it comes to goal setting (and achieving these goals). The order of words you might expect is Ready, Aim, Fire. In this case, the last two words are in reversed order. This to me means that you shouldn’t wait until your plans are completely clear and worked out in detail. When you have an idea (Ready), create a plan for achieving it and execute your plan (Fire). Once you have started working on your goal, adjust along the way (Aim).

This applies to many parts of life, but especially to achieving your goals. In general, we spend too much time with our dreams and goals in mind. We too often feel like we are not ready yet. This article explains how you can make goal setting energizing for you. Furthermore, you will find 3 tips to define your goals and work out the details. After reading this article you are ready to start working on your goals!

The #1 way to go through the day more energized!

Why is there no ‘me-ology’ taught in school? In fact, why is there no formal education for it? How are you supposed to find out what floats your boat? A personal mission statement gives direction to your life. What is a personal mission statement? How do you draft one? Why should you put time and effort into creating one? This article explains everything you need to know about a personal mission statement so that you can go through life more energized!

If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else

Yogi Berra
Dream and Achieve

This is the number one lesson I take from all my training sessions: mastermind

That’s a huge promise; a ‘mastermind’ group as an answer to all of your questions. The key to success, a silver bullet. It sounds too good to be true, right?

You can achieve anything you want – if you help enough people get what they want

Zig Ziglar

I understand how this sounds. Nevertheless, I am convinced that the principle that I describe in this article is the key to success for (personal) growth. This doesn’t imply that you won’t need training after reading about the mastermind principle. It’s about getting even more out of those training sessions you do participate in. It will help you achieve the goals you set.


Struggling to cooperate? Try another level.

Does this sound familiar: you are in a meeting that keeps moving in circles. Every week the same items are on the agenda, but there is no progress towards your goals. Or it is obvious that something is going on, but you can’t pinpoint what it is, let alone resolve it. We can all think of such a situation we have been in. An intervention on another level can offer a solution.

A team is not a group of people who work together. A team is a group of people who trust each other

Simon Sinek

Are you always busy? The Eisenhower model offers a solution

You are busy all the time, putting in a lot of effort, crossing off tasks from your to-do list, but somehow feel unsatisfied. Does this sound familiar? Does the fun stuff in your schedule suffer at the expense of chores you do for others? Is the bulk of your day filled with ‘fire fighting’? If you recognize these challenges then you can use some help setting priorities. The Eisenhower model offers a solution!

What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important

Dwight D. Eisenhower

This article explains the Eisenhower model (also known as the Eisenhower matrix or Eisenhower quadrant). The model’s purpose is to help you prioritize your tasks. This helps you to focus on the tasks that will make a difference in the long run.

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