Tag Archives: Office Culture

News You Can Use: 1/11/2017

Photo: Denys Nevozhai

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News You Can Use: 11/16/2016

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  • 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.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/282134

  • 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.

    https://www.siliconrepublic.com/video/salesforce-future-of-work-inspirefest

    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.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/10/what-its-like-when-a-coworker-tells-you-to-smile/505493/?utm_source=feed

  • 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.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3136563/emerging-technology/robots-and-ai-wont-cost-you-your-job-anytime-soon.html

  • 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.

    Also:

    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.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/11/millennials-groceries/506180/?utm_source=feed

Photo: Karsten Würth

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News You Can Use: 10/12/2016

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  • 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.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/3063817/is-job-hopping-really-just-a-basic-human-need

  • 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.

    http://nordic.businessinsider.com/best-companies-for-working-moms-2016-9/
    I actually wrote an article about IBM’s pro-mother position over at BabyCenter:
    http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/03072016-would-you-take-your-baby-to-work/

  • 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.”

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/25/how-to-pull-workers-back-from-the-brink-of-burnout/?ncid=rss
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  • 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.

    https://aeon.co/essays/you-don-t-have-to-be-stupid-to-work-here-but-it-helps?preview=true
    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.

    http://statescoop.com/reality-check-phillys-cloud-ambitions-grind-to-a-halt-after-transition
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Photo: Noah Siliman

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News You Can Use: 10/5/2016

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  • Here’s What It Takes For Your Company’s Culture To Survive An Acquisition

    Start small. Talk to your employees to identify their top concerns over an acquisition. Brainstorm some ways to keep the best aspects of both cultures intact, always looking for points of commonality. And over-communicate—every employee needs to understand what goes into an acquisition and what they should expect, and as those details change, team members need to know how and why.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/3063644/heres-what-it-takes-for-your-companys-culture-to-surive-an-acquisition?partner=rss

  • Why healthcare needs to care about Google’s acquisition of Apigee

    Healthcare has been relatively slow to adopt open API standards. Unlike social media and e-commerce, healthcare is mostly a closed ecosystem of proprietary software, notably electronic health record (EHR) systems that do not permit the free exchange of data. This has been the subject of much discussion and debate and has drawn the attention of the Office of the National Coordinator of Healthcare IT (ONC). The ONC has been pushing for more open standards to unlock the value of digitized medical records sitting in proprietary systems that can unleash innovation in healthcare and positively impact costs, quality and experience (the triple aim) in healthcare.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3120434/healthcare/why-healthcare-needs-to-care-about-googles-acquisition-of-apigee.html

  • How To Manage Technical Teams When You Don’t Share Their Credentials

    Whenever you lay out a plan that affects the work that technical team members will have to do, figure out what’s most important to you and do that first. You may find that the things others push back about aren’t especially critical to you, and that you can satisfy everyone’s interests without too much pain.

    But that means you need to distill whatever the ultimate goal is in your mind beforehand. Decide what’s absolutely crucial, and what’s negotiable will be come clearer. This way you can also give technical employees as much leeway as they need to figure out the “how,” which they’ll likely appreciate.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/3063554/lessons-learned/how-to-manage-technical-teams-when-you-dont-have-their-tech-credentials?partner=rss
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  • HPE Aruba Unveils Flexible Network Procurement Models Enabling Enterprises to Innovate at the Rapid Pace of Mobile and IoT

    To remove unpredictability in IT operations and spending, Aruba is taking a software-based approach with its Mobile First Platform, enabling IT organizations to quickly respond to new requirements as they emerge, minimize capital expenditures, and maintain a competitive edge. Customers benefit from customized options for obtaining and managing their networks with Aruba’s portfolio of programmable IT networking products for Wi-Fi, BLE, wired and wide area network (WAN) connectivity, and consulting, support and technology services from its key alliances.

    http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160912005258/en/HPE-Aruba-Unveils-Flexible-Network-Procurement-Models
    Worst.Headline.Ever

  • How to Strengthen Your Personal and Executive Presence

    Here’s an example: Martha is the CIO of a large financial services firm. After discussing her personal brand and talking to some of her colleagues, boss and staff, it became clear she was respected by the people she worked with. However, her current executive presence wasn’t sufficient for her mandate to transform the way technology was implemented and used within the business.

    In short, Martha’s current brand was seen as being “a manager who effectively problem solves and is known for hands-on implementation.” Not a bad brand, but insufficient for the task entrusted to her.

    How did Martha change her brand?

    One of the projects involved a series of town hall meetings designed to get her team excited about the IT transformation and buy in to supporting it. In alignment with her goal, Martha created a fun and inclusive agenda for the meeting and a highly visual presentation — the opposite of the usual boring, text-oriented presentation staff were used to.

    So… a “fun” meeting got the job done? No.
    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/278159
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Photo: Finn Hackshaw

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News You Can Use: 9/21/2016

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  • Salesforce announces new role: Chief Equality Officer

    This move, while notable for its diversity efforts, reflects Benioff’s continued contribution to community. TechCrunch noted Salesforce’s 1/1/1 charity program, which has over the years given “over $128 million in grants” and allowed employees to volunteer more than 1.6 million hours in their communities.

    http://www.hrdive.com/news/salesforce-announces-new-role-chief-equality-officer/426278/

  • Is Technology Making Procurement Professionals Lazy?

    More astute procurement professionals may be compelled to move towards more sophisticated technology which may be overly complex for the issue you are trying to solve. If you are trying to get adoption across your organisation versus a subset of power users, then make sure your specification is fit for purpose in order to maximise the impact across the organisation. Broad adoption is highly correlated to ease of use and buying a “spreadsheet on steroids” will likely mean you need an analyst to answer every executive’s question about your procurement spend.

    One of the great challenges procurement leader’s face is that they are often compelled to use procurement tools affiliated with their ERP provider. Most of these tools were born during the days of “Feature Wars” where more and more complexity was added to the tool until it became almost unusable without heroic manual effort. Where leaders have the influence to pull it off, they should explore best of breed, built for purpose tools.

    http://www.procurementleaders.com/blog/my-blog–guest-blog/is-technology-making-procurement-professionals-lazy-639415
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  • How Long Until Hackers Start Faking Leaked Documents?

    Forging thousands—or more—documents is difficult to pull off, but slipping a single forgery in an actual cache is much easier. The attack could be something subtle. Maybe a country that anonymously publishes another country’s diplomatic cables wants to influence yet a third country, so adds some particularly egregious conversations about that third country. Or the next hacker who steals and publishes email from climate change researchers invents a bunch of over-the-top messages to make his political point even stronger. Or it could be personal: someone dumping email from thousands of users making changes in those by a friend, relative, or lover.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/09/hacking-forgeries/499775/?utm_source=feed
    This is a great question, I have to imagine it has already happened. 

  • Why Supply Chain Managers Are Psychopaths

    A study of 261 corporate professionals working in supply chain management found that 21 percent of those individuals had clinically significant levels of psychopathic traits, such as insincerity, lack of empathy or remorse, egocentric behavior, and the ability to be both charming and superficial.

    The study found the supply chain management professionals had similar levels of psychopathic traits to the broad prison population.

    http://www.sdcexec.com/news/12256445/why-supply-chain-managers-are-psychopaths
    Difference Spin on the same study:
    One out of five American CEOs might be a psychopath

    “A really interesting question is whether psychopathy can be a positive thing. Some psychologists would say yes, that there are certain attributes like coolness under pressure, which is sort of a fundamental positive. But Robert Hare would always say no, that in the absence of empathy, which is the definition in psychology of a psychopath, you will always get malevolence,” Ronson told Forbes.

    “Basically, high-scoring psychopaths can be brilliant bosses but only ever for short term,” he added.

    http://www.zmescience.com/science/psychology-science/psychopathic-executives/
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  • Do You Have A F*cking Problem With Swearing At Work?

    But be careful who you swear around. The Wrike study revealed that of the 43% of those who do not use profane language in the workplace, 36% are bothered when others drop the F-bomb, and 20% would consider filling an official complaint in regards to their colleagues’ language. On the other hand, 33% of respondents would not consider a position at a workplace that strictly banned swearing, so you can’t f*cking win either way.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/3063775/do-you-have-a-fcking-problem-with-swearing-at-work?partner=rss

Photo: Ian Schneider

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