Tag Archives: Burn Out

News You Can Use: 11/16/2016


  • Workaholism Is the Threat That Masquerades as Dedication

    The difference between working 40 hours per week and working, say 55 or more, shows up in the quality of the work. In the ‘80s, the Whitehall II study in Great Britain highlighted a drop in cognitive function for those working longer schedules. Teams that spend more hours at their desks but get progressively less effective aren’t benefiting the business.


  • The working life is changing fast, companies need to catch up

    Explaining that work “doesn’t really work today”, Katherine von Jan, MD of strategic innovation at Salesforce, highlighted the better experience that customers have over workers as a hint that things aren’t right.

    The customer experience is at an all-time high, with ease of service from ordering to delivery of products and services – meaning our expectations are probably too high when we get into the office.


    The message is really good, but this poor woman is so awkward…

  • What It’s Like When a Coworker Tells You to Smile

    It seems that when I walked about the campus, I had failed to smile at the people who would determine my status as faculty or reject. It also turned out that I did not dress appropriately; interrupted men when they were talking even if they paused for breath and it seemed to me they were done rambling on and on; spoke out about controversial issues like presidential campaigns, civil rights, lack of diversity in both employees and courses; and a host of other things I did that identified me as a “left-wing feminist.” I knew I had an EEOC case when the female faculty member assigned to be my “mentor” explained to me that “you have to dress to please the men” in order to get tenure.


  • Robots and AI won’t cost you your job anytime soon

    Robots function a lot like reptile brains. Technology hasn’t come far enough in biomimicry to create the right movements, expressions and thought patterns to bring AI to where it can work alone. Current AI technology, whether it’s an actual robot or just software, almost always need a human guide. At best, robots are relegated to one specific task that they can repeat multiple times.


  • Why Do Millennials Hate Groceries?

    Economists have found the same shift toward restaurant dining and away from old-fashioned grocers. Using Census data, the economist Mark J. Perry calculated that for the first time on record, Americans are spending more money at restaurants and bars than at grocery stores.


    But today’s shoppers are springing for options in a market that supermarkets once monopolized. Modern shoppers divide their shopping among superstores like Walmart, supermarkets like Giant, specialty shops for bread and coffee, and online shopping for all of the above. It is what industry analysts are calling “grocery channel fragmentation,” and nothing in this retail sector is growing faster than than the low-end. In a reflection of the slow recovery, dollar and convenience stores accounted four in five new food retailers that opened since 2013.


Photo: Karsten Würth

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News You Can Use: 10/12/2016


  • Is Job Hopping Really Just A Basic Human Need?

    The idea that you learn quickly at the beginning and your progress slows later on is what we call the learning curve, and it’s real. It’s also motivating at first; it feels great to know that your skills are growing so fast that you can see a difference from week to week. It can be much more frustrating to be stuck in a rut later on, feeling like you’re making incremental gains at best.

    One thing that job switching provides is lots of opportunities to pull yourself up the steep part of the learning curve. It can actually be addicting to continually place yourself in situations that force you to rise to new challenges. You might like that experience so much that you find yourself job hopping over and over again as a result.


  • Here’s what makes IBM, McKinsey, and 12 other big companies some of the best places for moms to work

    Working Mother magazine just identified the 100 best companies for working moms to honor those organizations that are setting the standard for work-life practices in the US.

    To compile the list, which is now in its 31st year, Working Mother surveyed hundreds of companies with more than 400 questions about their paid time off and leave policies, workforce profile, benefits, women’s issues and advancement, flexibility policies, and company culture, among other things.

    I actually wrote an article about IBM’s pro-mother position over at BabyCenter:

  • How to pull workers back from the brink of burnout

    Unfortunately, simply working longer hours doesn’t lead to better work. As CNBC recently reported, a Stanford University study found that employee productivity falls off a cliff after 55 hours per week. After 20 years of working in Silicon Valley, I understand that this can be hard to accept. I didn’t accept it myself until recently, when, for the first time in my career, I took a position where I am not expected to be always-on. In fact, I’m encouraged to be off, and I’ve never been more productive. But I struggled with the shift. I pushed back hard. It took time for me to assimilate to this “new normal.”


  • How organizations enshrine collective stupidity and employees are rewarded for checking their brains at the office door (thanks for the suggestion KS)

    At least $14 billion gets spent every year on leadership development in the US alone yet, according to researchers such as Jeffrey Pfeffer at Stanford, it has virtually no impact on improving the quality of leaders. In our own research, we found that most employees in knowledge-intensive firms didn’t need much leadership. People working at the coalface were self-motivated and often knew their jobs much better than their bosses did. Their superiors’ cack-handed attempts to be leaders were often seen as a pointless distraction from the real work. George, a manager in a high-tech engineering firm, told us he saw himself as a very ‘open’. When we asked his subordinates what he actually did, they told us that he provides breakfast in the morning and runs an annual beer-tasting.

    While this article had me shaking my head in agreement a few times, it is lacking in actual facts to back up the perception. But an excellent rant none the less.

  • Reality check: Philly’s cloud ambitions grind to a halt after transition

    Outdated and overly complex IT procurement processes also impact the city’s ability to transform. Rather than trying to outline every possible requirement to squeeze into one enormous procurement for a completely new system, the city should look to more agile development, like its FastFWD program. FastFWD focused on problem-based procurement and tested applicability and feasibility before moving to wide-spread enterprise procurement. Finding more flexible funding options is the key for moving towards more flexible development and deployment models. Tech companies can be advocates for agile development and procurement by being realistic in their proposed solutions with measurable and attainable goals and timelines.


Photo: Noah Siliman

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News You Can Use: 3/16/2016


  • Two-Thirds Of Americans Think Robots Will Take Our Jobs By 2065
  • Procurement Managers See Pressure to Reduce Costs Ramping Up

    “One clear differentiator we saw in the research this year was the recognition of the value of improved market intelligence,” says Sawchuk. “Procurement leaders are realizing that higher-quality information can help them drive greater business value. Big data has been a game changer when it comes to customer analytics, offering an unprecedented ability to quickly model massive volumes of structured and unstructured data from multiple sources. But procurement’s lack of maturity in market intelligence is a significant obstacle that must be overcome.”


  • Why Do Half of Millennials Still Live With Mommy and Daddy?
  • Why Millennial Women Are Burning Out

    A study from the University of Kansas found that women are burning out faster than men after looking at attrition rates of journalists. According to the research, women reported higher levels of overload and intention to leave the field.

    The author of the study “examined the numbers through gender socialization theory, which claims that society puts certain expectations on people based on their gender from a very young age. Where women are more often expected to provide the majority of family care and raise children, men are expected to be the breadwinners and put work obligations before family. That was supported by the findings showing that women experience significantly higher rates of role overload, or feel that they are unable to complete their assigned duties in the work time allowed,” notes the University of Kansas study.


  • In pursuit of HIPAA, a new compliance gap arises

    The operations team was leaning toward encrypting the hard drives, because options that are fairly easy to deploy are available. I agreed that it would be easy to do, but I objected that the method wouldn’t really be effective from a security perspective (and encryption is one thing that should be all about security). When you encrypt a hard drive, you are ensuring that anyone who comes into possession of that drive can’t access the data. In other words, the only way such encryption would protect the company would be if the hard drive were stolen. Now, the likelihood is infinitesimally small that a bad guy is going to determine where our highly secure data center is located; get past the security guards, man traps and biometrics; and then figure out which of the hundreds of drives to pull out.


  • eWorld: technology and talent trends that will shake-up procurement

    Technology and talent are increasingly part of the same sphere and this hit home over the course of the day. Artificial intelligence (AI) may reduce procurement specialists’ need for cognitive capabilities in analysing what the procurement outsourcing & consulting company, Optimum Procurement Group, call ‘hard trends’ – for example demographic data suggest the aging ‘baby boomers’ will increase the public spending in public health facilities. This would modify the capability requirements of procurement professionals.

    Certain roles and skills could be redundant in the future, yet, AI are not sophisticated enough in dealing with soft trends – i.e. something that may happen depending on several interdependencies – which requires more complex and agile analysis. Qualitative and soft skills are increasingly important capabilities in the procurement professionals.


  • HR Analytics: How Should Big Data Be Used in the Workplace?

    When employers use predictive models to decide not to train people who, for instance, are on the verge of being either fired or awarded promotions, they’re basing their decisions on what an algorithm says may or may not happen, rather than what employees are actually doing. People are unpredictable, and unknown factors can influence outcomes. Decisions that affect people should be informed by data, but made by people.


  • Metrics that count

    In 2015, Gartner conducted a survey in conjunction with Supply Chain Management Review (SCMR) to address that question and to gain a better understanding of how manufacturing metrics are characterized, developed, and used to link manufacturing and supply chain performance.


Photo: Space X

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SourceCast: Episode 09: Tis the Season

sn_xmastree_Aaron Burden

It’s the holidays. IBM is celebrating their friends and EMC & Dell’s new situation is making family photos awkward.

The year end crunch is also upon us, so we talk about ways to avoid burning out in a cold month.

Photo: Aaron Burden

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News You Can Use: 12/16/2015

sn_beachfire_Patrick Fore

  • 6 Ways to Salve Burnout Before It’s Career Terminal

    Do more of what you enjoy.
    Are you really spending your work time doing what you really enjoy? Or does that get pushed to the side while other, mundane, tasks take priority? Take an inventory of how you spend your day by keeping a journal. Divide a page into two columns, one for the things you don’t enjoy and one column for those you do. Each time you perform a task during the day, record it in one of the two columns along with how much time you spent doing it. Tally the number of tasks and hours spent at the end of the day, or week. If your “don’t like” column towers over the “like” this may be what’s causing your burnout.


  • Procurement Study Pays Attention to Younger Generation

    “In our experience,” says Rudzki,, CPOs can dramatically improve their internal credibility with the executive staff by relating their proposed agenda (including the need to transform supply management) to the metrics that the senior staff and the Board of Directors already monitor.

    “Rather than having Procurement introduce a new metric for itself (which may come across as self-serving), we have generally found it to be more productive — and quicker at achieving credibility — to relate the proposed CPO agenda directly to the particular metrics currently in use by the company’s senior management,” he says.



    Remember, the reason you’re having a review in the first place is to give you feedback that will hopefully help you improve at your job. Avoid going on the defensive or blaming others for your performance failures. In fact, don’t discuss your teammates at all and focus solely on your own performance.


  • Why There Will Always Be Human Sourcers

    Will we, sourcers, become obsolete? I am not sure about that…..As a global sourcer, I pride myself in my creativity. Sometimes I use a gutsy approach and I approach candidates that would not be the first choice for this role – They could be either too senior, he may have just started a new role, he may be of another industry – Hell – when I start being creative? I have no idea on how to anticipate where my search is going to take me… In the mid of one search, I open another window (One? 20!) and perform another search there with another idea that came up to me on a spur of a moment.


  • Your Best Employee Is Your Weakest Link

    When I ask business owners and managers to identify their weakest link most of them will start a mental inventory of their team’s attitude and skills. But in almost every case the weakest link isn’t the slacker, or the prima donna or the dim bulb who is costing the business the most. Even without a tragic wake-up call, the weakest link is nearly always the person who knows how to do things no one else in the business can do. If that link breaks, even for a sick day or short vacation, it costs your business in small, but cumulative ways that you might not even notice. If they are able, or unwilling, to return to work those costs will accumulate fast.


  • Why I Give Everyone Hugs — Even Clients
    [This one is for you Tracy]

    As for work, as odd as this may sound, a hug de-personalizes work situations in a flash. I guess nothing can be more personal than body contact, but for me a hug says, “This isn’t about you or me individually; it’s about us as a team.”

    After a discussion in which you’ve been given feedback, especially tough feedback, a hug says that those comments weren’t personal. It says that those comments are just business and that it’s my job to give you that feedback.


Photo: Patrick Fore

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