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Make It Happen.™ - Issue #11

Make It Happen.™ - Issue #11
By Mäd • Issue #11 • View online

Hi there,
I hope you had an exciting first half of summer – the year has been flying by faster than ever. 
It’s been business as usual at Mäd: for us this means an ever-evolving stack of projects under our belt and a lively environment at the office. 
We’ve had a busy sales cycle this quarter, lining up several new projects for Q3. Alongside this, we’re in the final stages of signing two strategic partnerships with leading software providers to support the growing requirements of our new and existing clients. 
We’re continuing to develop our internal communications channels. Part of our goal has been to produce more high-quality insights – something we’ve been putting our efforts towards with our recent series about design and development (and more in the backlog). We’ve also maintained our presence on LinkedIn and grew our following.
Finally, we’re actively preparing to publish Work Like Mäd our very first ebook that has been in the works for quite a while. Although this will be a completely novel experience where we’re guaranteed to encounter some trial and error, it’s certainly something we’re thrilled about.
Join the exclusive Work Like Mäd mailing list to find out more!
Thoughts.
With all this going on, I’ve recently found myself reflecting on intentionality. 
It’s invaluable to learn how to be deliberate in all that you do – whether it’s work, relaxation, or play. This means making informed decisions based on specific goals and committing to act on them. 
Without this intentionality at work, it’s easy to fall into the “busyness” trap, where we feel busy yet struggle to make significant progress towards our goals and objectives. Especially when working on a flex-time schedule or 4-day work week, the ability to work more deeply is essential. 
As a result of deep, intentional efforts, you can fully rest and recharge when you’re off work. This leaves you not only refreshed but also capable of achieving more with less.  
News.
  • The 4-Day Work Week: Update.
As we’ve reached the end of our trial (and have decided to fully adopt this working arrangement for the time being), I’d like to look back on our 3-month experiment. 
Our aim was to ensure that all team members are able to get closer to achieving a state of work-life balance – maintaining both work productivity and personal wellbeing. We’re still following a flex-time arrangement, just with more flexibility of how and where to use that time.
What We Found. 
To get some insights and statistics, we conducted a company-wide survey halfway into the experiment, and once more at the end of it. 
The majority of the team (80%) reported increased productivity and focus, with most people feeling more productive in the mornings (although this varies, which is why we advocate flex-time). We were happy to find that ALL of our team members reported improved well-being and happiness, stating that they’ve had more time for family, hobbies, and traveling. 
As for client projects, we’ve been able to keep up with deadlines and reach set expectations. We’ve noticed that those of us who work with clients often tend to be result-focused, rather than thinking about defined working hours as such. Of course, there are Fridays when some of us do work but then again – the structure of the week as a whole is flexible enough to enable any adjustments that individual team members want to make. 
To our surprise, our small trial was even noticed by the 4 Day Week Global organization! They reached out to us to find out about our experience as perhaps the first and only workplace in Cambodia to test the 4 day work week. 
We’re optimistic that this experience has allowed our team to learn how to better balance their lives and avoid burnout. Our hope is that we can inspire other companies in the region to conduct their own trials and see the benefits for themselves.  
  • New Members. Last month, we welcomed Seyha Heng to our team of developers. He will primarily be working on the continuous improvements of HungryApp, and also handling our WordPress projects.
  • Team Updates. Over the last couple of months, our design team has been focused on upskilling as they pursue a range of certifications on Uxcel – a professional design platform that offers courses on UX/UI design. Our Managing Partner, Kieran, has also had the opportunity to chat with Uxcel CEO Gene Kemenez about how our team has benefited from receiving additional training to enhance their skillset.
Spotlight.
  • DFDL. We’re delighted to have signed an initial agreement with one of South East Asia’s leading law firms to work closely with them from the start of their digital transformation journey. 
  • WHO. As our recognition from leading international organizations continues to grow from strength to strength, we’re fortunate enough to add the World Health Organization to our client list.
  • CIMB. As we continue to be the digital transformation partner of choice for Cambodia’s leading financial institutions, CIMB is the latest firm to partner with Mäd to optimize their customer experience.
  • Multiple Natures. We have had the pleasure of working once again with long-standing client Multiple Natures to develop a new sales process for their unique personality assessment tool. To support these efforts, we’ve also collaborated with the team to produce a redesigned, more impactful website. 
  • Amret. We’ve closely collaborated with the Amret MFI team to support the launch of their new Loan Origination System (LOS), which will serve thousands of Amret agents nationwide. Initiating the shift from pen and paper to digital, the app simplifies and optimizes the day-to-day work of Amret agents.
Insights.
Remember we mentioned a guide on how to find the balance between your design and development teams? We’ve now released the first two insights of the series – check them out below.
  • Bridging the Gap Between Design and Development. The relationship between design and development can make or break the end product. While designers can devise a sophisticated, visually engaging interface that aims to fulfill user experience (UX) goals, the app or website will only truly work when it is supported by functional code from developers. If your goal is to build stunning products that resonate with the end-user, our advice is: communicate.
  • Designing Design Systems. Designers are constantly tasked with creating more products with more functionality for more people. This can get quite complex, especially when working with clients from diverse industries, and collaborating with developers both internally and externally. To ensure that teams can launch beautiful, efficient products, we build design systems. 
From the Web.
  • Putting Ideas into WordsThe biggest challenge when it comes to writing is to pretend that you are writing for someone who knows absolutely nothing of what you’re trying to explain. We’ve encountered this countless times: when working with clients where we have to position ourselves as experts in the field, when onboarding new team members, and most recently – when writing our first ebook. Paul Graham described the process very accurately:
​​Putting ideas into words is a severe test. The first words you choose are usually wrong; you have to rewrite sentences over and over to get them exactly right.
  • Living a Meaningful Life Within the Constraints of Time. At Mäd, we’re known to share an array of tips on optimizing time management to achieve peak productivity (and we hope this has been helpful). But with that, it’s also worth asking ourselves: if our focus shifts too much towards performance, does it make us lose sight of time spent on personal happiness and meaning – on actually living? In the book How to Live on 24 Hours a Day, Bennett discusses the eternal question of how we can make the best use of our time.
  • The Law of Reversed Effort. We believe in achieving more with less – but this goes against the widely held belief that making the most effort is the key to success. The Law of Reversed Effort, however, stipulates that focusing too much on achieving certain results makes the desired outcome harder to reach: “When we chase something, it moves away from us. But when we leave it alone, it comes to us.” So achieving goals requires not only work, but also the skill of abstaining from action when needed – knowing when to act and when not to. 
We hope you’ve had a productive (and fun!) month. As always, we’re here to support you and your business if you have any inquiries or are looking to reach your digital transformation goals.
Have a great summer and stay safe! 
Cheers,
Manny
Psst...
Before you go, check out an introductory sneak peek from our upcoming ebook:
Hello.
This is the book that I wish I had when I first started my business.
Starting a business has been one of the most challenging things that I have accomplished. In hindsight, this could have been much easier if I had made better choices. 
The only way to make better choices is to have the proper framework for decision-making. This should have foundations in both experiences (often known as mistakes!) and insights.
If you can learn from other people’s mistakes, that’s often better than making your own — hence this book.
This book analyzes the last seven years of experiences that I have had running Mäd, a strategic consultancy. I’ll be teasing out fundamental principles that helped me overcome my initial lack of knowledge.
I’ll be sharing some of the ideas and processes that I use to ensure I make the right decisions more often than not. The key idea is to run a calm business that has solid fundamentals. 
Perfection, after all, is not required to be successful!
If you’re starting out, the advice here will save you a significant amount of headaches. It will also lead you to a successful business with sustainable growth.
By sustainable growth, I mean building a firm that:
  1. Turns a reliable profit each year.
  2. Provides everyone with a sensible balance between work and free time.
  3. Creates a culture and working environment that you can be proud of.
If you already have a business, then you will gain value by discovering new ways of doing things.
P.S. Join our exclusive Work Like Mäd mailing list to be the first to know the official release date (and get a special offer – that’s on us!).  
#workwithmad
Reach out to us. [email protected]
How we think. Insights
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By Mäd

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