I just finished the main session at SHRM11 where we heard Arianna Huffington, creator of the infamous Huffington Post to which I am an avid reader. Taking on new technology and up and coming trends, Arianna Huffington launched the site in 2005 and it has now become one of the most highly read news sources on the internet and they are just about to reach their 100 millionth comment from their readers.
In her speech she stated that although print media will always be around but the values and the things we look for offline are the things we are now looking for online; Information! Being innovative is key and we are all living in a period of transition in this world of survival and competition.
Online self-expression has become the new age entertainment ( writing blogs, facebook, twitter)….people want to express themselves. Instead of watching TV our society has turned into a lover of ”all things social.” I loved the analogy she used in regard to the new world of media when she said, “It’s like galloping on a horse, people observe and pass it on and so on and so on.”
She is also all about work/life flexibility and balance in the workplace and one of the things she noticed was that the more rested and balanced we and our employees are, the more able we are to deal with things in our life with wisdom and purpose. It creates a better more balanced and productive atmosphere.
One of the innovative ideas she implemented was creating two nap rooms within the working environment. “There’s nothing like a 15-20 min nap to put everybody in a good mood,” she stated. And she’s exactly right. Look at your own sleep habits and see how they may be affecting you personally.
When it comes to sleep and recharging – women seem take the lead in this but the need is there to create a world in which men and women get plenty of sleep. Men seem to be the ones to be more susceptible to sleep deprivation which is linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, and many other illnesses. Wanna be in the groove? How about offering “sleep lessons” to your employees? That’s exactly what they do at The Huffington Post family – and she goes on to say “People have forgotten how to sleep.”
Scheduling and organizing sleep
Who would have ever thought to plan your sleep like you schedule your weekly business meetings? That is one of the thing she has started implementing in her own life as well as encouraging her employees to start doing. She schedules and organizes it just as she would any other activity. None of us are ever at our best unless we are well rested. We are more creative and productive. It’s a proven fact. And isn’t that what we’re trying to accomplish? That of course is the end result we’re hoping for; a more creative and productive workplace. Bringing in balance.
Being a leader and especially an innovative leader is all about seeing the ice berg before it hits the ship and planning accordingly, trying new things, finding and experimenting with new solutions, being willing to fail along the way – not expecting someone else to take the lead.