The idea of ‘playing hooky’ always feels a little naughty or rebellious – a throwback to school days when kids bunked off without good reason. It comes with a delicious frisson of danger too, the idea that we might just get caught out.
Unfortunately these days, it is also loaded with guilt. In other words, if we’re playing hooky, we’re not pulling our weight or meeting our obligations.
Luckily, Jodi Hume is here to tell us otherwise.
We first met Jodi in February 2021, when she jumped on board to help us host a webinar on decision fatigue. Back then, the industry was still contending with red lists, restrictions and travel bans. Jodi is an expert on how to identify and approach decision fatigue when you’re mired in the weeds. She’s also passionate about the topic of ‘energy management’ – and the importance of playing strategic hooky. Because when you’re tired, struggling, or as Jodi says, “under water,” the last thing you believe you should do is take a break. But for Jodi it’s critical, especially for leaders:
“The degree to which you are clear, and able to make decisions…is the maximum amount that anyone in your organisation will be.”Jodi Hume
Strategic hooky is about taking the time to be clear, to manage your energy and to rest.
(By the way, the word ‘hooky’ is thought to have its roots in the 14th century Dutch game hoekje, or ‘hide-and-seek’, which just makes me love it more. After all, we all need to hide from the world at times in order to seek – and hopefully gain – a little clarity.)
When you’re managing your energy, meetings can be make or break. Some can leave you fired up and ready to go. Others can be a massive energy suck. Especially online, but not always. Someone complained on Twitter this week that now they get to spend money on petrol just to go into the office and say, ‘nothing from my side’. It made me smile, but also sit up and take notice when Natalia shared an article on silent meetings. Apparently, silent meetings are all the rage – with tech heavyweights like Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and Block already adopting the practice.
How does a silent meeting work? In one example, senior executives were handed a six-page printed memo to read in total silence for as long as a half hour. Execs are encouraged to scribble notes in the margins that they can share once everyone is finished reading and the discussion begins. In silent meetings at other companies, employees jot down ideas, questions and comments in a virtual document shared by all attendees.
It’s an engaging, inclusive approach, and great way to get input from everyone. Especially when research shows that during a typical six-person meeting, the same two people will speak more than 60% of the time. I think it’s genius.
But then I’m one of those people who need a little ‘processing’ time before I speak up in a meeting. However, according to the Harvard Business Review, people often equate value with ‘speaking up’, and if you struggle to do so, you may feel like you’re failing. But you don’t have to ‘speak up’ to contribute to meetings. Done right, meetings can leave us feeling energised, inspired, creative, ready to take on the whole world.
So here’s to a week of creative collaboration, constructive meetings and a little strategic hooky. Go get ‘em.
Marketing Musings: You have no more than 15 seconds!
By Steph Reinstein
That’s right, 15 seconds is all it takes for a website visitor to be interested enough to stay … or leave your website, thereby increasing the quirky-sounding metric called Bounce Rate. It will increase when a visited page is exited without browsing another page on your website. (Before you shoot me down, yes, I know Bounce Rate is disappearing to leave the place for a new metric called Engaged Sessions in the coming Google Analytics 4, but that is a topic for another day.)
Why should you care about the Bounce Rate? According to Jon Lister from Elite SEM, creating quality content is mission critical: Google cares how long you spend on a website and how deep you navigate. Google knows when you hit the back button, or worse, you go back to the search results. These are signs that the search result did not yield satisfactory results.
According to Yoast, a high Bounce Rate can be attributed to a few factors and is not always bad. For example:
- Low-quality content, mismatched audience (-)
- Page was meant to inform about a specific topic/product, i.e., a blog post (+)
- Page was meant to engage a user, i.e., to trigger a purchase or a subscription but failed to do so (-)
There is no magic switch to remedy low engagement on your website. It takes time and dedication. Start by doing an audit of your website or landing page:
- Loading times – everyone hates a slow-loading website.
- User Interface Design – stick to conventions and simplicity; remember you have 15 seconds, don’t make your visitors figure out how your website works.
- Quality content – a well-written blog or an offering solving the visitor’s needs is crucial. In the case of a service/product, be upfront about the pricing and the pain points it relieves.
- Make it visual – 65% of people are visual learners.
While it takes only 15 seconds for your web visitor to decide if you are his/her cup of tea, it can take weeks or months to correct and climb through the search engine result page.
Inspiration from: https://www.crazyegg.com/blog/why-users-leave-a-website/
What the world was musing over this past week
Heathrow’s ‘mountain of luggage’ woes
Any issues at South Africa’s main airports over the last few weeks seem to pale in comparison to the chaos at Heathrow. As Terminal 2’s mountain of luggage grows after a technical glitch with the baggage system, passengers have been warned it could take a couple of days to be reunited with their bags.
Zim hotel offers guests a bucket of hot bathwater during loadshedding
We feel you, Zimbabwe, we really do. Especially the beloved, century-old Meikles Hotel which had to offer guests a bucket of hot water during loadshedding. It’s been a challenging time for the hotel, with power outages lasting up to eight hours at times.
The threat of power cuts hits Australia – and Nando’s brings the heat
On that note, I think we were all surprised to hear that Australia is facing its own version of loadshedding this week … and Nando’s was quick to welcome them to the club.
Close encounter for tourists in Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park
Two tourists narrowly escaped injury on Wednesday, when their Ford Figo was tossed into a ditch by a lone bull elephant. In a dramatic encounter, the elephant lifted the car “like rugby players performing a lifting in a line-out”.
Are you ready for Jack-and-Coke in a can?
Believe it or not, Coca-Cola is teaming up with Jack Daniel’s distiller Brown-Forman to make Jack-and-Coke cocktails in a can. It marks the fourth new alcoholic drink in Coke’s portfolio in less than two years, and will debut in Mexico later this year before expanding to other markets.
The UK’s haven for alternative thinking
Scientists, architects and engineers are flocking to the sleepy Welsh town of Machynlleth – where they’re doing their best to change the world.