Posts Tagged ‘Fuzion Communications’

Are the government entering dangerous territory with home working proposals?

January 26, 2022

My first reaction when I read the headline was have they totally and utterly lost their marbles?

“Employers to have at least 13 grounds to refuse remote working requests”

Before I say any more can I state clearly that I am all for home working and have every intention of continuing to do this for both myself and the fantastic team that we have at Fuzion Communications……BUT it is very early days and way way way too early to start introducing anything as we are all still reeling from 22 months of uncertainty and confusion.

The government should not be weighing in on this conversation now, creating rules and guidelines at this very unusual time where everything is still in a flux and at a time when many businesses could be thinking about restoring some long overdue social contact, reigniting comradery and cohesion without battling with an extra psychological obstacle caused by this intervention.

Yes we have all had to work from home in anything from our comfortable homes with oodles of space and spare rooms we were never using to our bedsits where our bedrooms and kitchens are now offices, and we have got used to it and of course it is very convenient (for some) as well as being time and cost effective.

However, we still don’t know the long term affect of this on us both personally (we are social creatures) and professionally as it is way too early in this change experiment. Covid has done huge incremental damage to everyone and we need to start healing and being human again and professionally meeting each other is a necessary part of that.

Am we missing a simple point – If I offer you a job to do work in this proper place of work because that is how I want this work to be conducted (for whatever reason) and you accept then these not the conditions of employment?

If the “working from the office” scenario no longer suits the employee in this fluid marketplace where there is huge demand for talent then they will move on and take a role where an employer is happy with that flexibility. If an employer loses great talent and cannot attract new talent then they are the big loser and the open market will quickly correct itself with those offering the appropriate flexibility winning out.

We don’t need government intervention on this – do we?

Imposing a new rule book about entitlement to home working (what they are constructing is exactly this cloaked in other language) on employers will be hugely problematic and is a very unfair imposition and this will only lead to unnecessary stresses and tensions in workplaces throughout the country as we all grappling with these conversations already.

Team spirit, a learning environment, collaborating with colleagues, personal development, positive atmosphere, having fun, confidentiality and even in some cases pure supervision are just some reasons why an employer might want to insist on office working, but then again maybe we don’t need to give one and shouldn’t have to?

This is the job, this is where the work is to be done, would you like to accept it? Isn’t that how it works and isn’t that the contract we both signed up to?

If that doesn’t suit, employees will vote with their feet and find a different employer.

In a good positive working environment there will be flexibility about this and other issues – this makes total sense BUT we are still figuring out and as I said already, trying to land on guidelines and rules now when we are still in flux is premature at best.

In a hybrid culture you will 100% lose out as an employer with this approach but surely you are entitled to determine the conditions of work without having to worry about workplace circumstances that are totally out of your control?

The idea that you may have to appear in the labour court to justify to a judge why you are insisting that a certain employee works from the office is just crazy and 1,000 steps too far.

Government ….home working is great and will sort itself out all in good time.

Please…leave us breathe

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

It’s all over…but it will be stressful!

January 23, 2022

So that’s it?

This weekend we read the headlines in the newspapers after the speech on Friday night by An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin more or less declaring that “the Covid pandemic is over” and that pretty much all restrictions will be lifted except for the mask wearing indoors and on public transport.

Even though case numbers are still high in the country the ultra conservative and very cautious NPHET (that caution probably saved many lives) have recommended this course of action so they must believe that the current version of what is infecting people is relatively harmless and we are all quite protected against it through either the vaccination programme or actually contracting the virus – we have herd immunity!

While this is a huge relief you would wonder how easy will it be for society to walk back all of our learned cautious behaviour from nearly two years of strangeness and how much of what life was like before will return?

I had a pint in a local as I waited for my takeaway last night (didn’t home eating escalate to enormous proportions in the last two years?) and it was interesting watching the different people and the behaviours – the general atmosphere was upbeat but there was definitely a divide between the cautious and the not so cautious. One of the bar staff was wearing no mask and another was wearing one and the same applied to customers as they came into the pub.

I asked the barman what the new rules were about mask wearing and he was quite sure that this was up to each individual to decide – that’s not my understanding of what I heard but there you go! This decompressing and roll back time will cause it’s own confusion and stress.

How will we respond to these changed circumstances?

Where will all the mask/anti mask and the vax/anti vax anger move to?

Will a cohort of society continue to wear masks even when this is done?

Will we forever stand back from those we meet with caution or will we go back to shaking hands and dare I say it…. can we hug again?!!

What happens when I’m asked to come back to working from the office because I have no intention of commuting two hours a day ever again!

How much damage has all of the “un”socialising and home working really done to us as individuals and to our collective psyche?

It will be stressful, there will be unforeseen and unexpected problems and at times it will feel upsetting as we do now have to unlearn and return to being normal people again making our way in the world.

To make the most of this very positive time we do need is to appreciate that this is another change and with change comes stress and as much as we can, let’s be tolerant of each other as we all have different lived experiences and changes will be processed at different speeds.

While I write this I am thinking back to the regrettable shouting match that I had with a woman on a bus at the beginning of the pandemic who was insulted that my friends were uncomfortable when she sat right behind them and then accused me of not wearing my mask properly!

I have no idea who she was but we both let ourselves down badly and yes it was really upsetting.

Let’s be tolerant and empathetic as this is a good time for all of and let’s work hard to make sure it is great.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Time to lose the “kind regards” and say something meaningful

January 18, 2022

I was listening to a fascinating conversation on a podcast with the founder of Toms Shoes, Blake Mycoskie who was sharing his career story including the incredible story of where the idea of Toms Shoes came from, the powerful notion of giving away a free pair of shoes to those who badly needed shoes for every pair they sold and how this idea caught on and quickly led to a legendary success.

At the close of the chat he was asked to give some advice to the listener and he shared a phrase that he lives by “Carpe Diem”, or seize the day.

His basic philosophy is that life is precious, we have no idea how long it will last so make the most of each and every day.

A little habit he uses to remind people of this advice is to sign off all of his emails with the phrase “Carpe Diem” instead of other meaningless salutations such as yours sincerely, kind regards or even my more casual one “cheers” – I do hate formality!

The cynic might think what is that fella all about but this is really clever as it is using a frequent method of everyday communication to replace something meaningless with something meaningful and possibly trigger a positive thought or emotion for the reader.

I was chatting with the fantastic Paul Born of the Tamarack Institute in Canada on my Win Happy podcast and he does something similar but uses equally powerful words “Much joy” – why not spread joy and remind people of joy each and every single day?

Taking all of this onboard I’ve started to sign off all of my emails with the words “Win Happy” which is my core philosophy – I want people to succeed, whatever success looks like for them but to go about this in a way that makes them and those round them happy. If we all lived by that approach I think life would be better and more positive, in particular our working lives.

And taking this one step further maybe even (when appropriate of course) sign off your social media posts with a hashtag with your “words” – if that’s what you believe let people know.

My challenge for you is to think about replacing your meaningless closing salutation and replacing it with something meaningful.

It might get a few strange reactions to begin with but at least it will give people something to remember you by, something to think about and maybe, just maybe, create a shift in their day.

Win Happy !!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

I had a great 2022 because…

January 1, 2022

I’ve been doing this post for quite a while now about planning for the year ahead and using a clever visualisation trick to help me along the way as subscribers of my blog will attest to.

I’m writing this post on the 1st January 2022 sitting in my office (the space that pre-Covid was known as a small bedroom!) and Bert (one of my four legged buddies) is after joining me and lying on the little bed that I have in here for him. He’s probably wondering are we back to that relentless routine that we were on last year and most of the one before that?

As an aside ….a hungover Dee has just made an appearance and has reminded me about the fantastic New Year’s Eve we had last night with our great friends Tommy and Joan and Ellen my daughter and her fiancé Mark. As usual we played music all night long, we ate some great food, drank wine (and other alcoholic temptations), called family members, sent messages to friends and….we were introduced to the most wonderful, feel good, fun fun fun Italian Christmas song called Dominick the Donkey from the sixties!!

I am extremely grateful for the life we have.

Ellen works as a Special Needs Assistant at St.Paul’s Special Needs School in Cork and she tells me the kids love this song – it’s not hard to see why!!

This must be listened to standing up and you must sing along and clap your hands!

While last year was a good one for me despite the unusual circumstances, I was really glad of the end of year break when it came and as sure as eggs are eggs it has flown by and I find myself at the beginning of another year and thinking about firing up the engines again.

Of course I want to change it up a little (or a lot) and of course I want it to be a good one but at the core of all of that is me, that little old (er) me that needs to stare at a mirror and realise that I am the same one that inhabits this body and essentially I probably won’t change a whole pile. Having said all of that, let’s reflect and learn from the past and lets take that and march forward and try to take some control and create that better future.

The other thing I am mindful of as I approach this exercise is that in order for it to work properly I need to really understand me, my limitations and my habits and in that context I must create a little structure or framework (another shite word, but you know what I mean) to increase the chances of success.

So..

I had a great year because..

For the last few years I have been doing this simple little exercise at the start of the year to help me get focused around things that are important both personally and professionally.

I have found it to be really useful and it has made a big difference, and as I look back at last year (even despite Covid) I can see the things that I have achieved as a result of this focus. In Fuzion we also ask all of the team to do this – it is really important to us that everyone in the team achieves their own personal and career goals.

Making plans and actually achieving them is always challenging and at the start of the year we find ourselves at the beginning of that loop all over again making promises that often will never materialise!

Benjamin Zander - The Art of Possibility

A few years ago I was inspired by a book about goal setting in a different way called “The Art of Possibility” by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander (a really interesting motivational book by the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and his wife who is an executive coach).

Benjamin Zander, the conductor has the task every year of bringing out the very best from a large group of very talented musicians for his orchestra.

His approach is rooted in the power of visualisation – the simple idea behind this is that if you visualise what you want to achieve then there is a much better chance of it actually happening (disbelievers ….stop reading now !!)

Taking this approach, you can apply it by doing some simple visualisation about the year ahead and tapping into all of Your Possibilities.

Take a quiet few moments so you can concentrate with a blank sheet of paper and a pen and do some visualisation – Take a few deep breaths and relax and close your eyes.

Now imagine the last working day of this year, just before you head out the door to do some last minute shopping and enjoy a well-earned rest. You are feeling really satisfied as you reflect on your fantastic achievements during the year. Some of these were personal things and some of these were professional things – you are feeling great because you have achieved them.

Now open your eyes and start writing:

I had a great year because ….

Now off you go – list the things that will make this year a great one for you.

Take your time and be as specific as you can including all of those business and personal goals that will give you that huge sense of satisfaction on that last working day of the year.

This is the starting point – when you are ready you need to study this list and start figuring out how you can go about making this list come to life.

Put your piece of paper in a safe place so that you can refer to it throughout the year to make sure your list of possibilities stays on track.

The Framework!

Let’s try a few things to make sure this is a list that goes beyond today!

Accessible – As an enhancement to that exercise how about re-writing that list on a notepad on your smartphone (or any other device that you use on a regular basis).

Reminder – To make sure you revisit your list on a regular basis maybe set a reminder on your calendar to check back on it. Does monthly work for you or do you need to check it more frequently?

You decide knowing how you are so choose a time of a particular day of the week or time of month that is most likely to work for you (some day on the last week of the month isn’t the worst idea of all)

Action! – No doubt there will be a mix of actions that will be required to bring the list you have visualised to life. How about when you check that list (at those scheduled times) you decide on some realistic tasks that you can do (big or small) to start moving things along.

Month by month/ Season by season – On your list there will be items that can only happen at certain times of the year. It is no harm marking those with the relevant time periods or even changing the order of your list to reflect that.

Next week/next month – When you do your regular check on your list highlight the things that you can start doing next week or next month (or today!) and again be realistic, you won’t be able to do everything together.

Update that list – Why not change things during the year as circumstances change but make sure that this isn’t an easy way to abandon your initial great intentions.

The Ultimate Review – at the end of the year check that list…how did you do?

One of the things on my list was to get back to writing on a regular basis again – this is a good start!

Enjoy realising all of your possibilities..

Have a Win Happy New Year !!

This clip of Benjamin Zander is really motivational and well worth watching.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Time to talk to the unvaccinated?

November 23, 2021

We are reading about the need for taking more care, not going back to the workplace, socialising less and the need for possible regular antigen tests to keep us safe. Fancy a stick up your nose three times a week?

We are reading about Covid sweeping through our schools with students and teachers alike falling with the disease.

We are reading about how the hospitals are under severe pressure with over half of the serious Covid cases being unvaccinated people who have fallen seriously ill and the other half being vaccinated people with underlying conditions. (92% of the adult population are vaccinated – the numbers are clear).

We know 100% that the hospitals are rammed with Covid patients and as a result normal procedures are being postponed and god love anyone who goes there with an emergency case.

We are also reading that the unvaccinated are a big part of the problem, allowing the disease to spread more and possibly mutate.

A restaurant or venue owner is obliged to ask customers for their Vaccine passport and proof of ID but they are not permitted to ask their own team members if they are vaccinated ..”invasion of privacy“.

Do we not have a duty of care towards our employees?

We are reading about huge protests in Rotterdam and Vienna as people are freaking out about the necessary restrictions that have been introduced – angry with the wrong people?

If more severe restrictions are introduced here, no doubt people and businesses will be freaking out and all of this will be aimed at NPHET and the government, who will only be doing this to keep people safe and our hospitals functioning.

Maybe it is time to stop pussyfooting around, enough of the “PC” stuff and if we want to get out of this Covid mess and keep our loved ones safe and our businesses open it is time to focus our messaging on those who have so far been unwilling to vaccinate.

Maybe not quite “boot in” but it is time to apply some real peer pressure because it is needed.

Instead of the various lobby groups pressurising the government, maybe it is time to start focusing on those members of the general public who are not playing ball and putting everyone at risk and our lives on hold and livelihoods at risk.

Instead of being angry at the government, maybe it is time for us to start talking to family, friends and colleagues and encourage them to keep us safe. (instead we are all dancing around them gently- it’s their right)

If the unvaccinated are the biggest part of the problem, let’s tackle this head on and stop trying to solve it by tinkering with other measures that won’t deliver a solution.

We’ve all seen the advert about wearing a seatbelt..

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design Podcast Production and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

And how was your day?

November 11, 2021

I was casually chatting with my daughter Ellen today and as part of our usual chit chat I asked her how her week was going.

A bit sad dad, one of the kids in the school passed away this week” she said to me.

While this is a conversation that would floor any of us, in Ellen’s world it is sadly one that gets repeated with an unbearable frequency.

Ellen works as a special needs assistant in a school in Cork, whereby they look after very special kids with all sorts of disabilities.

A very sad fact of life is that often they suffer from poor health and they don’t get to enjoy the full life that all of our kids have and on occasion their lives come to an end when they are still in that school going age.

Ellen says this boy was a loveable rogue and quite the character and was well known and loved by everyone in the school.

They put up a tribute wall for him with photos of him since his time in the school and while it is heart breaking hopefully he can feel their love as he makes his way to his mum who passed away a number of years before. (Ellen tells me he always asked people about how their mum was)

Those lucky enough who are blessed with health and healthy children might stop for a moment and think about these special children, their families and the people who devote their hearts and careers to minding them.

Rest in peace, the honorary Garda Sean Tyrell and thoughts and prayers for his family, friends, teachers and carers.

And thank you my daughter for that huge kind heart of yours – the world needs more of you.

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design Podcast Production and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

“Sharp Shooter” CEO of ISME, Neil McDonnell talks about his time in the Defence Forces and fighting for SMEs in Ireland

October 15, 2021

In the latest episode of my Win Happy podcast, number 203, I chatted with Neil McDonnell, CEO of ISME, the organisation that is dedicated to looking after SMEs in Ireland.

Neil has been had a fascinating life and career that brought him from the senior ranks of the Irish Defence Forces to leading an organisation that is critical to the Irish economy.

His unusual career as well as the important role he now holds sparked my curiosity, and I was delighted that he quickly came back to me after I had reached out to him for the podcast.

People never fail to amaze me and Neil was no different sharing his experiences about the Defence Forces, his terms of duty in Lebanon and how that life of discipline and hierarchy transfers to a career in our business world.

As well as speaking about his time in Lebanon, the terrible situation in Afghanistan, Covid, Brexit, and other big challenges for SMEs in Ireland he shared some other stories and how him being a “Sharp Shooter” led to an unexpected victory for the Irish!

A really big thanks to Neil for coming on my podcast, for his hard work flying the flag for the small guys and I hope you might take the time to tune in and give me your feedback!

To listen click here or go to your favourite podcast app or Spotify!

Take it easy ..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design Podcast Production and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Snobs about jobs ..

September 30, 2021

I’m reading an ironic headline this morning in the Irish Times, which comes a few weeks of hearing the same stories coming from the UK:

“Lorry driver shortage ‘an imminent national emergency’ in Ireland

Yep…it’s another one of those jobs that we look down our noses at when we talk about careers as we push our young population towards “good” jobs in STEM and in the professions.

My daughter is studying to be a….

You must be so proud ….

We’ve all heard it!

And now we realise that we don’t have builders to build the houses we need, we don’t have painters, carpenters, electricians, we don’t have chefs to cook the food we enjoy in our restaurants and hotels, we don’t have bar staff to serve us drinks and now we clearly don’t have lorry drivers to move all sorts from A to B and in the same breath some break into a cold sweat about the amount of immigrants entering the country and people stuck in direct provision limbo.

If Covid has and continues to teach us anything, it is that many of those jobs that we don’t really value and the ones that we most rely on.

Let’s lose the job snobbery and encourage people to chose careers that suit them and show them the respect they deserve – we need you..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Blurb….

September 9, 2021

Don’t you just love those emails you get from organisations who you have never heard of who come promising you overnight success if you just buy into their “magic system” .

They seem to think that they have cracked some secret code to automating your success in some way.

Here is today’s example..

Do you want to learn how you can grow your business, keep your sales team motivated and back up your intuition with real data insights, hitting your revenue goals each and every quarter? 

(Oh wow, I’m excited, I’d love to do all that !!)

Then join us at XXXXXXXX (with some respect to them I removed this – they are trying) on Tour! We will bring you the cutting edge in intelligent revenue management from experts in the field, so you can gain that key advantage to ensure your business reaches far beyond its revenue goals. 

You will discover how:

  • To hit your number quarter after quarter
  • You can leave the frustration that comes with disconnected data in 2021 
  • To accelerate your pipeline
  • The biggest gap in revenue operations is affecting your business processes 

Oh dear … irrelevant and pointless humbo jumbo, humbo jumbo, humbo jumbo and if you fall for it then good luck to you.

The gas thing, and adding some insult to injury is that in this GDPR world of ours, the local chambers that we are members of in fear of the GDPR police can’t give me the contact details for members (isn’t that why we join??) where we might actually do some mutual business and we still get these unsolicited BS communications from places we have no connection with…

There is no silver bullet, no magic wand to success other than hard work and doing the right things.

That’s my second “rant” blog post in a row, I better break out of this sequence quick !

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Backing Brave and “Your Relationship Manager”

September 1, 2021

I just received a significant piece of correspondence from the bank I have been with for 40 years.

It was important, great, huge even, but it captures in a nutshell how far we have come from the bank where you knew your manager and there was a genuine relationship, to the one that exists today, which is nothing but a connection to an entity that just processes transactions.

My significant letter starts with..

Dear Customer(s)..

Even though it was written to me this generic piece of auto generated crap didn’t use my name and tried to cover itself with an “s” in plural just in case the generic BS correspondence was intended for more than one person.

As well as the humbo jumbo in the middle section which did include a “thank you for your business” message there was some technical stuff with no effort at providing an actual relevant contact person if I had a query about any of it.

And then it signed off .., with a

Your sincerely

that’s another joke, this was auto generated.

and then the “person” who sent it.

The Manager , no name, and no actual signature (does this possibly make this correspondence invalid?).

The only contact details on the letter was a phone number in Dublin – I can imagine how far I would get if I called the number and asked to speak to the person who sent me the letter.

I’m fairly sure I would get a “your call is being recorded“.

Oh, I forgot to mention what was included in the humbo jumbo, a pure classic..

Should you require any further details or other AIB products please do not hesitate to contact your Relationship Manager at your local branch

Hey AIB and everyone on this automation, bot, AI, less people drive, let’s stop pretending… this is not a relationship and no advertising campaign can rescue this empty BS.

Getting simple things like important correspondence right, even in an automated world might just make a difference.

Backing Brave?? …Maybe start with real people?

Rant over ..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland