How to defend Office 365 from spear-phishing attacks

Susan Bradley here for CSO Online. I wanted to bring to your attention something
I spotted in recent Windows Defender advanced threat protection alert. They talked about a zero day flash that was
used in a spear phishing attack. Adobe released a zero day patch for this on
December 5th of 2018. The target attack was against a medical institution
in Russia. The vulnerability titled up CV 2018 15982
had an interesting attack sequence. And it highlighted to me a number of mitigations
that one should use to block such attacks. The attacks started with the spear phishing
attack. As the site Knowb4 points out a whopping 91
percent of cyber attacks and resulting data breaches begin with a spear phishing email. Spear phishing e-mails are actually a targeted
e-mail at a specific individual or department with an organization that appears to be from
a trusted source. As a result it’s very hard to defend. It’s not impossible, but is hard to detect. So here’s how this attack played out. Spear phishing email consisted of a rar archive
file containing two files. The first was a lure document an enticing
email and the second was an archive file just disguised as jpeg file. Once the user opened the document an active
ex flashed control was activated. That ran a command script that unzipped the
archive file and ran the payload. In this instance a scheduled task was created
to start a backdoor whenever the user logged in. It collected vital system information and
then uploaded that information to a hard coded command and control IP address server every
five minutes. The backdoor was set to be able to receive
instructions that could be loaded into memory. There are several ways you can mitigate this
attack as well as defend a little bit more and also review your your email account to
see if has been compromised. Some of the more usual ways that you can determine
if your account has been compromised is if you see suspicious activity. Other users in your environment receive emails
from the compromised count. You see in box rules that you didn’t set. The user display name might be changed. The user’s mailbox is blocked from sending
email. The sent folders contain common hacked account
messages like I’m stuck here send money. There’s been unusual profile changes unusual
credential changes mere mail forwarding has been added. Again anything that just seems odd. Make sure you empower your end users to tell
you of unusual events they see in their mailbox. Next you obviously want to patch for the exploit
but again we can’t always have patches available so we also need to know how and what things
to do to protect. Just in case. For example on Windows 10 you can enable Windows
Defender System guard and exploit protection capabilities in Windows 10. Next you can turn on cloud delivered protection
and automatic sample submission in Windows Defender antivirus. This uses artificial intelligence and machine
learning to identify new patterns. And of course you want to make sure your office
ATP settings are available advanced threat protection. You want to make sure the advanced threat
protection safe links and advanced protect protection settings safe sends are set, You
want to turn on attack surface reduction rules in Windows 10 to limit the executable activity. You may need to review if you’re licensed
and able to do this you will need Windows Defender ATP and require Windows 10 enterprise
E5. Bottom line I want you to think about in terms
of when you will be attacked. Not if you will be attacked. If you plan with that in mind you will be
safer in the long run. So now before you were at risk. Think of all of the ways that you can harden
your systems. Until next time. This is Susan Bradley for CSO Online insider.

How to backup Office 365 Mailbox from Microsoft’s Cloud to Local Hard-drive

Before creating an Office 365 backup set, read the Office 365 Backup and Restore guide from our Forum. Go to page 6 of this document Go through the steps in “Granting Permission to Accounts for Creating Backup Set”, and “Granting Permission for Application Impersonation” Then, you can backup all the mailboxes within your company’s Office 365 account with your administrator role. Open your CloudBacko Pro software, and click “Backup Sets” to create a new Office 365 backup set. Enter your Office 365 administrator credentials here. Here, you can select the Mailboxes and Public Folders to backup. In this Schedule section, define the time that you need CloudBacko to start the backup automatically. You can define multiple schedules. E.g. you can have another Weekly schedule. Now, we have 2 schedules created. Next, define the Destination for storing your backup data. In this demo, we are going to use Local Drive as the destination. You can backup to multiple destinations simultaneously if needed. You can encrypt the backup data with an encryption key for security purpose. With the “Default” encryption type, CloudBacko will generate a 256-bit full length encryption key to encrypt the data. Or you can define your own key and algorithm by selecting “Custom” encryption type. This is the 256-bit full length encryption key generated by the software. Save this key securely, and ideally outside your existing computer so that when you need to recover the backup data on another CloudBacko installation, you can do it with this key. Ok, the backup set is created. We can trigger a backup now. When backup is completed, you can click the Report icon to see the backup details. Thanks for watching.

Cloud Conversations: Oracle’s Work with Emerging Tech

Big topic, artificial intelligence, everyone’s
talking about it. Oracle adaptive intelligence, how is this
being manifested in the cloud platform today? Yeah, we’re embedding AI
into every part of our cloud so we can democratize the access
and value from AI so it’s inside our integration cloud service, it’s
inside our analytics cloud service it’s inside our applications, our SaaS applications
so we can give you next best offer, how to do discounting based on what the
market data is saying, etc. So a very interesting discussion on AI,
and now there is an other big part to AI that you definitely want
to talk about. Well, its the autonomous database.
Of course! You know, people are spending so
much time patching database, provisioning databases, operating databases.
We want to take all of that away. With the autonomous database, we’ve created
a database that is self-driving, self-patching, self-scaling, self-healing.
Yes, self healing–exactly! So, the goal is, for example,
for a warehouse you don’t even have to worry about
setting indexes. You don’t even have to worry about
query optimization. Over the last two decades, we’ve learned
how to optimize the platform and we’ve learned how to optimize
the infrastructure upon which it is running So that you can just get
the value of the database.

Optimize Your Office 365 Environment with Veeam and MicroAge

Ready to optimize your environment with a complete Office 365 solution provider? We’re here to help. At MicroAge, we know the importance of constantly keeping your data available. That’s why we’ve partnered with Veeam to keep your data and apps online 24.7 for your clients and team members. Because while Office 365 includes a broad array of best-in-class solutions… — a comprehensive backup of your Office 365 data isn’t one of them. Whether your organization has already made the move or is in the process,… …it’s important to evaluate additional layers of backup as part of your Office 365 strategy. Simplify continuity from the data center to the cloud — extending Availability to virtual, physical and cloud-based workloads. Rely on lower costs, while mitigating risks upfront to ensure Availability of cloud-based workloads. Protect your data from security threats, accidental deletion and policy gaps. And quickly restore individual items and files with recovery flexibility. From MicroAge, your complete Office 365 solution…in partnership with Veeam. Mobilize your organization now — contact us at [email protected] today.

Where to store files in Office 365 for business

– [Narrator] One of the
benefits of Office365 is having access to your work files from anywhere on any device. Office365 gives you two ways to store your work in the cloud: OneDrive for Business
and SharePoint sites. Let’s take a look at OneDrive first. When you work in an Office app, save files to the OneDrive folder much like you save files to
a folder on your computer. When you save files here,
they sync to the cloud, and you can get to them from anywhere, including a web browser or a phone. You can get to OneDrive
by opening File Explorer, or get to the same files
online in Office365 by choosing OneDrive. With OneDrive, no one
else can see your files unless you share them. You can share individual files or a folder with multiple files. Another way to store
work files in the cloud is to put them on a SharePoint site. In Office365, choose SharePoint, then your site. When you store files in SharePoint, your team or even the entire office can see or update the files. Like OneDrive, you can get
to your work files from here or a phone with the SharePoint mobile app or your computer if
you synced files there. Unlike OneDrive, you can
customize a SharePoint site by adding pages, apps, and a company logo, and turn it into your own internet. If you create a group
or a team in Office365, a SharePoint site is included. Use this site for short-term projects or when working with clients to share and collaborate on files. Learn what else you can do with OneDrive and SharePoint in Office365.

Evernote Business at Evernote

Evernote Business at Evernote For years now Evernote has been building
great apps that help individuals to remember everything, to communicate
effectively, to get things done and they’re looking for really great
products that help them do the same thing …in the office. And that’s
what Evernote Business is all about. One of the best things is that Evernote
Business is not prescriptive… in how you’re supposed to use it.
It doesn’t impose a certain process on you If you want to use it as a project
management tool – you can. If you want to use it as a document repository
and sort of knowledge base – you can. I started by creating a business notebook
and put all the training documentation there; all our sales collateral, anything that
might be useful for a new employee to learn. You can either share these resources
with individuals or you can publish it …to the library so anyone can
access it at any given time. We actually make notes inside the business notebooks and they’ll be immediately accessible
to people when they need it. One of the problems in the product
development process is making sure that all the teams in the company – not
just your QA and engineering team – that they actually know what’s coming up. And prior to Evernote Business we really
managed this in -say- emails – in all kinds of different threads. Evernote Business lets us consolidate
all of the places we currently have information even though the info might be stored kinda everywhere. A lot of times we get questions to sales
that are more technical than a sales rep might be able to answer so they are able to reference a shared notebook that we have
between the technical support team and sales team and respond to the customer right away. That really encourages and creates this
openness and open culture within your company to share ideas and put your work
out there so other could benefit from everything that you’ve done. We use Evernote Business to discover
info that we might not necessarily know that we’ve been looking for. One of the ways is through related notes. If I created a note about XYZ, when you
scroll down to bottom -those related notes. So those are anything from other things
that I created as well as things that are in our business library. It’s a really quick and easy way to learn
what other people may know about something that you’ve trying to accomplish. Being able to access knowledge that I need
and I don’t have in my own brain or my own Evernote – it’s something that I couldn’t do without. It saves your time, it saves your effort
and it lets you do things just once rather than having to repeat what others
have already done. Now I feel like Evernote is not only my external brain,
it’s the external brain of my entire company. We’ve built Evernote to help individuals
be smarter, more efficient, work better and now we can bring that same thing
to companies to help companies be more focused to get things done – more efficiently. Your Knowledge Makes Everyone Smarter

Transform your business with Azure migration

[MUSIC].>>At Albertsons Company, we have invested very heavily in our digital platforms to meet the changing requirements
of our customers. We have transitioned all of our customer facing
applications into Azure.>>We were able to bring our own
architects and engineers and our DevOps teams
working together with Microsoft to come up with
a plan on migration.>>Last quarter we grew a huge amount and we are
excited about this hypergrowth. Our Microsoft partnership, it helps us leverage their innovation
to power our growth. [MUSIC]>>H&R Block has a storied history. The tax industry has evolved
tremendously over the last 60 years.>>We knew that Cloud migration was important. We needed to modernize.>>It is very critical that we pick our data platforms with scalability, high availability, and security. That’s a big impact of the business. We serve almost 20
million tax returns using our DIY and Appointment Manager applications,
which we are running in Azure.>>Migration to Azure has really
helped us accelerate our journey. [MUSIC]>>The pH scale was
invented at Carlsberg. We are a beer science company. We wanted to get a really
scalable, efficient, secure, lower-cost IT to come up with a digital solution to market
at a much faster scale. The Cloud migration was a way to
streamline and clean up our IT.>>We went for Azure for SAP,
because of the track record. What we have is now a foundation
that will allow us to scale all of the solutions
across every market, across every region in Carlsberg. [MUSIC]

New Work, New Tools, New Rules | Full Keynote (English Subtitles)

Thank you for the introduction and thanks for inviting me. We had a long call prior to this and before we start I’d like to share a story with you, the story of my very first email. Can you remember your first email? I was reminded of my email when I cleaned up at home recently and found something: I have a penpal from Canada since I was around 11 years old. We are still friends today and have met in Canada; his name is Chris, he is also an entrepreneur, he never learned German unfortunately. Anyways, we are still friends today and I found this document from 1998, it started with ‘Dear Christoph’, Chris’s answer to me. And ‘did you get my last email?’ was his first question. Back then we sent us faxes and because email was new, we used a fax machine to check if our emails are being read. Today’s equivalent would be sending a whatsapp-message about our emails. Why am I telling you this? Because technology has always been my passion, especially the ways in which technology can change communication. I’ve never been able to describe this but even back in school I was already fascinated by mobile phones. Even though I got in trouble for having a mobile phone in school, I even had a girlfriend break up with me because I had a mobile phone, it was very unusual to own one back then. But I really liked being on school trips and still be able to organize things. Unfortunately Chris was my only friend who had email back then, I couldn’t convince my dad to get an email address too. So this is my passion which led to the creation of a company and I want to share some stories from that company with you today. Lots of content but I hope I can craft some good stories. I all it new work, new tools, new rules. It’s about the digital transformation but also the transformation of the world we work in. And because it sounded too boring in my opinion, I added ‘and why nostalgics have never won.’ If someone disagrees, please let me know of an example during the question session. There are no examples in history of nostalgics or a nostalgic attitude improving anything. I am not talking about preservers. We need them as well as innovators. I am talking about diehard nostalgics. You were so kind to introduce me as a former entrepreneur but I still am one. My two co-founders might argue because my hobbies are my podcast, which we started to share the many things which are happening right now. and we wanted to share our experiences. We interview people like Facebook’s director of marketing, students who have founded a company, entrepreneurs, politicians, people from all walks of life. People who deal with new work and the digital transformation who are open to share things in a transparent way, not just the sugarcoated version presented to the general public. The podcast and the videos I make have become more than just a hobby, it has almost become a full-time job. It is an important resource for learning for us and we want to share it with others and will continue to do so as the community is still growing. Just to be clear, my core business is digital transformation. If people ask me what that is, there’s 3 fields who are effected: The business model that is becoming more digital every day, it’s a challenge for everyone. Then we have the customer experience, your inside app is only for internal use but still a good example. It is still an app that changes things. Another example is Uber vs. MyTaxi: People who use Uber know, they don’t have to anything when they arrive, just get out of the car and say goodbye. You don’t have to pay right then, or get your money out, pay, then get receipts to turn in to accounting etc. The third field is the digital transformations of operations, the operative processes. Things like process flow, communication inside the company, new work etc. This third field is our bread and butter. If you want to ask questions later, via the QR codes which you can just scan you can ask me questions and we will discuss them, as the CEO I should at least in theory be able to answer all relevant questions. So just ask away at the end. On our way to here we took the bus, it looked like this – we could save the flights when we travel with many people. I was thinking about what could help you. So I rewrote my presentation after our call and I want to give something so that tomorrow you can say to yourself: ‘This is something I can do differently now!’ I remembered a guest from my podcast who is 75 years old now and who was there when Nixon left the White House and Gerald Ford became president. The man who I met was 29 years back when all of that happened. And he was in the room when Nixon came and said: From this day on he was the White House Appointments Secretary My hairstyle and his are just a random coincidence. I was hiking at the Tegernsee and he was there for an event too. His name is Warren Rustand, 75 years old, 19 grandchildren… He told me many stories and I asked him : Warren, you have so many stories to tell, can we record a podcast? And he said: Yes of course, what is a podcast? We managed to explain it to him. And were sitting in a small hut, wearing sweatpants at the Tegernsee and recorded the podcast. I had many questions for him, ‘On his first days as president…’ and he interrupted me immediately and told me he can’t tell my anything about the CIA briefings. But I just wanted to know how they managed the transition and the immense number of events and requests How do you deal with that? Because a calendar is just a tool – a tool for communication and organisation. I assume everyone uses one daily, I asked him they managed their workload? I asked him for a specific reason: Warren was the one who developed the president’s appointment system which was used from Ford until Obama. His ideas were the foundation. Donald Trump uses this system for reasons unknown. Warren declined to explain further. What I wanted to know was how they dealt with the 300 invitations that President Ford got each day and how they organized his day. Just to compare: The boardrooms of Germany’s top companies will be paralyzed by 10 invitations per day. Every secretary will be busy with checking if the chancellor is there and if anyone else who’s important is there as well. and what they could talk about. 300 Warren said that the idea is simple: The calendar is a tool that shapes your behaviour every day. When I use a calendar in a way that I am the one being shaped, I become my calendar’s slave. One question: Who here feels like he is the undisputed master of his calendar? Not too many events, no unnecessary meetings, enough time to think. Who is the master of his calendar? Some catutious responses from the back. So listen to the podcast, episode 22, I am just telling you what Warren told me. And many other things well. Like their one day they reserved at Camp David to determine the president’s legacy. What he wants to leave behind. That’s not an easy task. And they used this legacy to set a priority. Priority is singular on purpose. Then Warren asked me what my priority is. And I didn’t know. I said Family He told me that’s a common answer. And then he asked me how I feel about sitting at the Tegernsee with him on a sunday, while my wife and my 3 week old newborn child are at home on the other side of Germany. I couldn’t give an answer. This was all live on the podcast and I like being challenged. Warren said the after the priority has been set, the calendar is split into three parts: 0-2 weeks forward the events are done in 15-Minute intervals. Exactly 15 minutes. 2-6 weeks forward the events are every hour, including briefings. And are then reduced to 15 minutes. And for events more than 6 weeks into the future, they are just assigned a daily slot. They still do it like that today. Obama is visiting Germany this week maybe you can see how it’s done in practice. Straightforward and easy to use. The important thing was the mindset: It’s a quote from the 70s, originally from Churchill, who said ‘we shape our buildings and thereafter our buildings shape us.’ Now it was: ‘We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.’ If we don’t invest the time to think about how we want to shape the tool, the tool forms us. Who here has a smartphone? Great, and who is the one who still has a Nokia phone? There’s usually one guy every time. Statistical probablities. To the smartphone users: Who of you has enabled the notifications? That means audio, visual or vibrating signals. Who has turned them on? What do you think, how many times do you look at your phone each day? Based on the average age of the people in this room I would say 80-100 times. My colleague behind the camera and the generation that is now 20-21 years old are more in the region of 200 times daily. MP you recorded your number once because people didn’t believe us. What do you need notifications for when you look at your device more than 100 times per day? Because we didn’t invest the effort of thinking about how we want to use the tool. And this is what I mainly want to share with you: We shape! How do we shape modern digital tools for communication in a way that supports a change of behaviour that makes improves our working life. That makes work easier and turns work into something that strengthens us instead of exhausting us. Because that’s the core of new work. That’s why we start with a look at the tools and some rules we work with. We also introduce tools, I will gladly answer questions about anything. And we will close with a bit about new work and mindset. Tools: There are two types of communication, asynchronous and synchronous. Asynchronous communication is written or read. Things like email and whatsapp. Not too long ago there were different tools, if you include the end of the 80s email was the new tool, and a big hit. Back when I was still in school we had a phone chain for when the teacher was sick. I’m not sure who remembers this, today this would just lead to a benign smile and a message in the whatsapp group. And a discussion about the next parents’ evening. For other tools you had the phone, meetings, the office, which is more of a synchronous communication tool. Synchronous communication is speaking and listening, the more emotional form. We broadly distinguish between those two sides. Today’s problem with thousands of communication tools, I can send emails, send a fax, letters, company mail, to video conferencing which never works, phone conferences which always start late, there’s a huge number of tools. And people try to improve with Office 365 or GSuite, Slack, WhatsApp etc. What people often forget, however, is that our brains take longer to process some things and are quicker at processing other things. On the side of asynchronous, reading or writing, which is faster? read or write? Louder please? Reading – yes, reading is significantly faster, on average 4x as fast as writing. No matter how fast you are able to write, you can read really fast. Speaking and listening? Depends on who is speaking of course. Unfortunately we are twice as fast at speaking than at listening, if we want to comprehend. The brain is very fast at listening but comprehending takes time. This leads to problems. I don’t know how your meetings I run so I will just use examples from an anonymous company. We are too lazy to prepare for the meetings because you’ve seen that writing takes time. Because the meeting starts late we talk quickly. Noone understands what we wanted to say. But thankfully we have a new intern who takes minutes and uploads them on drive G: for everyone where it is then forgotten. As I said, a random example for a random company which is is not yours. But examples like this are why every new employee has to learn about the matrix. It’s one of the basic tools to understand why communication fails in so many companies. There are of course many tools to add. We are talking about digital operations. It’s my strong suit which is why I’m talking about it. Based on experience from more than 150 podcast episodes, videos, projects. these things will always work. Three things always work no matter what the tool is called. The first is group communication, the second is concept communication and the third one is unplanned communication. Group communication: who is a member of a whatsapp group? Who here feels like that group never stops getting new messages? Who is the one responsible that you are still in this group? Your are, correct. That’s why we talk about behavious so much. Why do I use Whatsapp as an example, considering it’s not totally legal to use it for business puposes? It has of course replaced the sms, the Telekom has earned more than 4 billion € from SMS until Whatsapp came and killed it. Everyone uses WhatsApp, even the board members. It has changed group communication tremedously. Another example is WeChat, the ‘chinese copy’ of WhatsApp. Those of you who work in China know that over there only Germans use email still. You have to have Weixin to get any work done. Everything, private or business, is done via Weixin. They us it for payments, messaging, join work groups and leave them again. In the background you can see the new company HQ of Tencent, that’s how big they have become. Why do I share this? Because it changed our private communication forever. 20-30 years ago taking the new innovations of the business world back home was too expensive. Now, we are unable, for some reason, the innovation we use at home, even my dad is able to send voice messages and videos via WhatsApp, as well as live locations, we don’t bring them into the company. We struggle hard doing that. Our business tools are Microsoft Teams, Slack, or other messengers. Because we don’t understand that this form of communication increases the speed of communication enormously. It brings both sides of the synchronous/asynchronous matrix very close together. Voice messages are one example. Some people absolutely hate them. For these people, it’s the biggest waste that was ever invented. Of course, everything longer than a minute is a podcast and not a voice message. However, listening to a voice message lets me hear the voice of my colleagues. I immediately know what kind of mood my colleague is in, just by listening to his voice. Is he sick, does he have or good or a bad day? Noone wants to know how I fell – they do! If you work closely with some, of course you are glad to hear his voice on mondays. But not via a phone call at 8:30 when I am busy bringing the kids to school, and my son throws up a fuss because he doesn’t want to take off his shoes. A phone call would be really annoying in this situation. On those mornings, being able to consume something asynchronous, which is also spoken, so something usually only done synchronously, is a huge boon. This greatly increases speed. It also creates transparency. Just an example from our Slack channel, doesn’t matter whether you use Slack or Teams or something else, This channel is called ‘The Situation'(nothing to do with Jersey Shore). where everyone sends a few short sentences about his upcoming day. Some will say that’s useless. But it’s not – just by reading a few sentences I know who is on the road, who is sick, who is doing a project, it makes leadership transparent. The challenge is in the way you lead. Because what you used to do behind closed doors you are now doing on a stage in front of others. That’s the big issue. We often see that leaders have no big problems introducing this form of communication because of takes pressure off of them. And it’s still a big task, when you introduce a new tool many people will say ‘that’s bullshit and never going to work’ that’s the muscle ache you get when you have to change your habits because of a new tool. We can talk about how we gauge the effects of this new style of communication whenever you want – there’s no reason not to introduce it. The only reason not to is clinging to your old habits. Email isn’t even a bad communication tool we just transferred fax to email. Concept communication, what does that mean? If you go back to synchronous/asynchronous communication, a typical concept is creating a presentation. In Powerpoint. Probably the worst tool for concepts. The only thing worse is concept plans in Excel. Excel is not a painting tool just saying. Don’t do it. Concept communication. There are many tools you can use and I always have to try them out. This is my podcast partner Michael and me, passionately writing our book that we started two years ago, it will need at least another year. We wrote in one document together. Realtime collaboration is nothing new and has been around for quite some time. What’s the benefit of this? Let’s say I create a concept and write it down. And I ask people to proofread and share their thoughts. The classic workflow is to take the document, attach it to a powerpoint, attach that to an email, send it to three people and ask each of them for feedback. Then I get feedback from three people, each at a different time, and have to splice all of the answers and documents together on a saturday morning because it needs to be finished by monday. Someone please tell me where there was meaningful work done in this. In 2019. I can’t understand it. In my previous company we introduced realtime collaboration, that was ten years ago. And every time someone sent me documents as attachments I asked for a link instead because I couldn’t bear it anymore to read things like version 1, version 1.1, final version 2, master of final version 2. What the fuck. You couldn’t even search in the document. ‘Every new hire has 3 weeks where we explain our server structure, then you have to go to an employee has been here for longer than you and read up on everything. What? Why does still happen in 2019 when I can Google almost everything on my phone? I don’t understand. That’s concept communication. It doesn’t mean that everyone can read and comment about everything. But it needs to be possible to share things without having someone come into the office on weekends because he doesn’t have access. Unplanned communication – the source of innovation. Who knows the story of Steve Jobs at Pixar? After he left Apple and went to Pixar he tried to have all toilets set in one corner of the building. Because he noticed that people come into the office, hide behind their screens and try not to be seen on their way to the toilets. But there was no avoiding that trip. And on the way they met and talked about every possible topic the same as when getting a coffee or a water and eventually the conversations birthed innovation. This is what happens when people meet randomly and start to talk. The craziest ideas arise. This is how my podcast was created. We visited Harry’s in New York, the people who bought up razorblade companies in Germany. A successful startup dealing with razorblades. Razorblades as a subscription service. We checked out their meeting rooms and asked them why their seating was always behind the meeting rooms. And they told us that they found out that the most important conversations always happen right after meetings. That’s why there is always a place to sit after the meeting. People can sit down and continue their talks. Super simple. That’s how they fostered unplanned communication. This is also why we view the office as a tool for communication. One of the most important ones. In the digital age we need personal interaction more than ever. That also means that I’m not going to the office just to show up. In the office my task is interaction with others. Not to hide behind a screen. How do I foster unplanned communication in a digital space? This is where Facebook appears. With the introduction of the feed in 2009- who remembers StudiVZ (German Facebook clone)? You can read about it on Wikipedia now. Facebook introduced the feed in 2009, until then you had to visit your friends’ profiles. The feed was introduced relatively late. For the internet, the feed was the biggest invention since Google’s search engine Even if you don’t like Facebook, everything is a feed nowadays. The feed lets me discover things others have shared. If I use this principle in my company, it is possible to foster unplanned collaboration because there are so many contributions from others. And if I don’t get anything done I at least look at the feed. And I stumble upon topics like a coworker buying a car similar to mine and we get to talking. Some may say that’s not relevant to ‘business’ but it is because it directly leads to talk about projects, clients etc. This is how unplanned communication happens. These are the three formats group communication, concept communication and unplanned communication. What rules do we see when digital tools are used for fast communication? One thing we have noticed and you probably did as well, are couples sitting at a neighbouring table and both are busy with their phones. Or you are talking to someone but have your phone in your hands. I know you would never do such things but you have observed other people doing that. This is called ‘together alone – alone together.’ Our devices enable us to always be somewhere else. Andrew Huberman, a neuro-scientist from Stanford, explains why that is a very problematic thing for our brains. Because we lack the time, after a focussed work session to look relax, just stare into the distance and let our thoughts go. As a counterbalance to the focussed time at work. Because we immediately return to our screens. But our brains need time to regenerate. And this together alone, alone together problem is huge. Most people who try to change their business culture try to reduce the notification overload that usually happens because people are not trained correctly. An analogy would a football team setting up a training session, handing out one ball, set up 2 goals and then just say ‘go for it’. This does not work at all. We have found three simple rules which always help: The first rule is about emotional topics. How do you deal with them? How do I solve them? How do you solve them at home? Talking, of course. How do you solve them at work? Are you sure? You would be the first ones to do so. Let me give you an example. I did a presentation at one of our clients. And I tend to be very black-and-white. I am dyslexic myself and when I went on the stage, I said that most people who join the company turn into IT-dyslexic as soon as they enter the office, even though they manage at home. There were about 1000 people in attendance, and I told them that many people turn into IT-dyslexics. And right after my presentation ended, I got one, two, three emails and when I landed back in Hamburg, I got an email like this from the woman who organizes all their training and used to work with dyslexics earlier in her career and that what I said was really problematic and caused very negative thoughts in some, immediately I was sorry because that was not my intent. It was 5 am on a friday, I just got into a taxi and was on my way to help my wife with the children, when I got this email. What now? The more emotional the topic what now? Write her? It was friday evening, so she wouldn’t be back in the office until monday. The rule is, the more emotional the topic, the more synchronous the communication. I started to write her and then said to myself I am an idiot, turned on the lights in the taxi and got out the best camera there is, which is the one you are carrying right now. The current smartphone cameras are excellent and started to record my apology. I told her that I was really sorry, I really enjoyed the presentation and it was never my intention to hurt anyone. She wrote back immediately that this was the best apology she has ever seen and if she could send it to others. I told her that was my reason for recording the apology. This is what I mean with the more emotional the topic the more synchronous the communication. We tend to forget about that and put someone in CC so he knows where I stand. Getting rid of the ego is a huge problem, especially with digital tools. Just imagine a discussion in a public thread, someone comments, on and on and your boss immediately shuts down the whole thing. That’s the problem. Second, freedom without limiting the freedom of thers. Another hypothetical example, it’s friday evening, I want to edit a presentation and need access to some data from Dirk. So I can finish on Monday. Dirk is on vacation and is not available because his phone is turned off and I can’t get at the data. Then the discussion starts that I should have prepared earlier etc. We have the rule that you can do anything as long as you don’t limit the freedom of others. The mistake that happend was that the set of data was not shared with anyone. Our rule is that no documents are saved on the desktop, we do everything in the cloud, no exceptions. Because we use a cloud which conforms with every data protection standard, is secure, there is no reason to save anything locally. If I lose my notebook or it gets stolen, then I would have a huge problem with locally stored files. The same for if my company gets hacked. In this case it would have been my colleague who’s responsibilty it would have been to have the data availabel for everyone. We have the same rules for attendance. Everyone always equates new work and digital with home office but that doesn’t work every time. There are days where I need someone physically present. And when someone tells me that he has two days of home office per week in his contract and doesn’t want to come in, even though I have told him that I need him, he limits my freedom. And this rule is independent of hierarchy. Everyone is allowed to ask for someone to be present if they need it. I can then tell people that they limited my freedom because they didn’t let me work how I wanted to. One of our core rules and it works very well when everything is shared and I just have to look for it. Third rule: Always on is an important topic. People have the feeling that they need to be available 24/7 and get notifications everywhere. And it’s becoming a massive problem. There is the legend of the red telephone between Moscow and the White House. Of course it’s a legend, they actually use Twitter instead. The idea of it was that the POTUS could call the Kremlin and tell them that the US didn’t launch any missiles, it could have been the Chinese. The idea was to have a channel for emergencies. And that’s what our third rule is about: What is an emergency? We tend to view too many things as emergencies because we are stressed. But what is an actual emergency and how do I communicate that? We had a huge problem with this because of WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Xing, people tell me they can’t reach me and use more than one exclamation mark. Emails written with capslock on a pandemonium of communication tools. And we said enough is enough. Or rule is that when someone calls me twice in a row, this happened yesterday, I had my kids and we were at the playground, I usually don’t pick up the phone when I’m with my kids, my phone is also in my pocket so I don’t even see anything. I sometimes check if someone called me twice and when I checked, I saw that someone called me twice, so I put my children on the swing and started calling and it was an actual emergency. But this only happens once every 6 months or so. twice a year maybe. And if it’s an actual emergency, that’s ok. This rule is valid for all employees. So far we’ve had no misuse from employees, only from clients and partners sometimes, but then we explain the rule politely and that’s that. And then I can put my phone away and we start to notice that it’s our inability to put it away that’s stressing us. Before we start the discussion, a quick sentence about new work: People always ask me what new work is. Isn’t it just table football, fresh fruit and stuff like that. New Work is an attitude, nothing else. To use the current technological possibilites to turn work into something that gives us strength because it takes up such a large amount of space in our lives. Why shouldn’t we turn work into something that we really like and that doesn’t break us. That’s what new work is about. The only things needed are some basic principles, one of them is the distinction between knowing and learning, a knowing or a learning stance. One sentence from Microsoft’s cloud boss, who told is in our podcast that at Microsoft they try to transform from a knowing into a learning company. At first I just nodded until I realized what he meant. Who has children? You? Children learn by connecting neurons. Neurons are like two train stations which are not connected to each other. And as children grow older and learn to walk, the neurons start to connect to each other. As adults, when we get input about new connections we tend so say, even if it’s a great idea, that we already have a connection that works. That has worked yesterday and will probably work tomorrow. But that’s a huge problem. A learning attitude is the opposite of this mentality. And that’s why it is such a big challenge to really become a learning company. Putting the ego on the backseat instead of always knowing everything already. If you know, then why don’t you apply your knowledge? Don’t sit around and tell everyone you know everything. A well-known example which effected me as well was Nokia’s CEO in 2007 who said That’s attitude. 1200 days later Nokia was sold but that’s another story. If don’t manage to change my own attitude – and this counts for the management as well- I cannot expect others to change. I can’t tell everyone to change but I don’t have to. Everyone has to do adapt but my things will stay the same. A good example are the special rules for iPhones for certain employees. ‘We can’t use the cloud because of data security concerns.’ And I usually notice that the iPhones of the board members have cloud sync enabled. Just the regular apple cloud-sync. Where do they think their data is being stored? ‘In the Apple cloud’ They tell me. Oh right? it’s called iCloud and is not actually hosted by Apple themselves. Never has. it was first hosted by Microsoft, then by Google for several years and now it’s hosted by Amazon. This means you have used every big cloud provider. Congratulations. So much for an emotional discussion about data security. If I don’t change, I can’t expect others to change too. A positive example for this kind of attitude is Jeff Bezos in 1999. In 1999 Bezos as founder of Amazon was sued by several big corporations, by Barnes & Noble, Walmart etc. In an interview he was asked if he was afraid. Justen listen to the interview. So, just saying that it’s a fact that tomorrow everything could be different. A fact. The difference is simple: If you are afraid, your work suffers. If you are afraid, you can’t innovate. If you are afraid, you can’t negotiate well. Because you are always on the defensive. Without admitting that you too can be afraid because you are human too, you won’t bet at eye level with others We were all children once, everyone has been afraid once, everyone has their own way of dealing with fear. But that’s the common element between all members of a team. And for a CEO to say that he can lose it all, that’s not a fear, that’s a fact, makes a world of difference. So what can I do to put this all into practice tomorrow? Even though it’s difficult and there are time constraints? I have an idea for you. Everyone has a smartphone. Just think about if you would be able to, just as a small challenge, to go one week where you only use your phone to work. ‘Why should I do that, that makes no sense at all, I need a big screen etc.’ Yes. 99% of your customers use their smartphone to consume and order things. It’s sad but true. But you do as well. That means that the phone is our most important device. What can you learn? How do I see my customers? How does it feel? Are our tools even smartphone-ready? And by the way I have an actual job to do which is not just writing emails. I have to lead, not just create Powerpoints. Of course there specialized tasks which can only be done in Excel or things like video editing, But if I am unable to do the majority of my tasks on a smartphone in the year 2019, something is very wrong. That’s a good starting point. This would be my challenge for you. And I want to end my talk with a feeling. About why new work won’t go away but is actually something that deeply concerns us as human beings. The possibilities we have are huge and independent of our chosen career path. No matter where you work or what job you have, you can change your life. We personally visit each guest in our podcast and at the start of 2019, we visited a guest in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A 4-stop flight from Hamburg which sucks when the TSA is on strike and you carry filming equipment with you. It wasn’t a comfortable flight. We could only bring carry-on luggage. And we interviewed someone who invented the term New Work 40 years ago. His name is Frithjoff Bergmann, he was in the hospital when we visited him, so we asked him to postpone but he really wanted to record the episode. Frithjoff had to lie down from time to time, it was a 3-hours episode. During the breaks I was worried whether he will wake up again. Fortunately he did. Still, it was a moving talk in which I learned many things. I will show you the movie which hopefully conveys my emotions, then we’ll do the q&a session.