Tag Archives: Work Life Balance

News You Can Use: 12/20/2017

  • Jailed for a Text: China’s Censors Are Spying on Mobile Chat Groups

    In China’s swiftly evolving new world of state surveillance, there are fewer and fewer private spaces. Authorities who once had to use informants to find out what people said in private now rely on a vast web of new technology. They can identify citizens as they walk down the street, monitor their online behavior and snoop on cellphone messaging apps to identify suspected malcontents.

    Years ago, in the Mao Zedong era, people were sent to prison, labor camps and death for opinions expressed in private. In the decades since China launched economic reforms after Mao’s death, prosperity and social mobility created room for more personal freedom and expression. Now China appears to be reverting to old form, empowered by new digital surveillance tools.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/jailed-for-a-text-chinas-censors-are-spying-on-mobile-chat-groups-1512665007

  • Billionaire CEO Michael Dell tells employees, forget hierarchy: ‘Be willing to break things, make stuff happen’

    “At our company, if we want to get something done, we tell them: ‘Just get it done. If anybody gets in your way, just shoot them.’ Not actually shoot them, but like, we’re all from Texas, so we use colorful analogies like that,” says Dell. “Make sure everybody knows we’re not actually shooting” people, Dell says. (Dell is headquartered in Round Rock, Texas.)

    “Don’t let anything stand in your way. Look, if you’re gonna do something new, you have to be willing to break things, and sort of make stuff happen,” says Dell. “If you have a big company, there are a lot of people running around that tell you you can’t do stuff.”

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/07/billionaire-michael-dell-on-success-take-risks-make-stuff-happen.html

  • How to Rebuild a Relationship After a Difference of Opinion
  • Too Many Meetings Suffocate Productivity and Morale

    So, my appeal to all you entrepreneurs, don’t suffocate the life out of your companies with too many meetings. Hire smart people, trust them to do their jobs, and get the heck out of their way, so they can do the jobs they were hired to do. You don’t have to micro manage every single decision. Empower your team to make their own decisions in a flat organizational structure. Even if they make mistakes, that is fine, they will learn from them. But, the team will be moving twice as fast at getting things done, than if they were burdened with a bunch of meetings. Speed matters with startups.

    Challenge yourself and every employee in your company to cap their recurring weekly meetings at 20 percent of their time. That is one day a week, or eight hours in a normal working day. That is up to 16 thirty-minute meetings they can schedule, plenty of slots to working with.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/304610

  • Drone curbs overtime in Japan by blasting workers with music

    Japan has a culture that encourages overtime out of a sense of loyalty, and that’s a serious problem. It not only cuts into family and social life, it leads to entirely avoidable deaths. Taisei (the company behind the main Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium) aims to fix that in an unusual way: having a drone nag you into going home. Its newly unveiled T-Frend is ostensibly a security drone that surveils the office with its camera, but its specialty is blasting workers with “Auld Lang Syne” (commonly used in Japan to indicate closing time) to force them out of the office. In theory, the music and the drone’s own buzzing make it impossible to concentrate.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/07/drone-curbs-overtime-in-japan-by-blasting-workers-with-music/

Photo: Samuel Zeller

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News You Can Use: 10/18/2017

  • I Was a Skeptic, Now I am Convinced Unlimited PTO is Good Business

    Even if it’s just symbolic, unlimited paid time off (PTO) reinforces the fact that we hired you because you seem like the type of person who can handle a little freedom. If I say that I trust you, and then follow up that supposedly heartfelt declaration by shackling you to your desk, you can be certain of two things:
    1. I don’t trust you.
    2. You shouldn’t trust me, either.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/298410
    Unlimited PTO sounds lovely, but I can barely manage to take the time I have off. I think for many, by not having set days off employees will take even less days, and I think companies like Netflix knows that.

  • Podcast: Ariba: Talking Treasury with Jerry Bernard

    From investment decisions to monitoring regulations and managing currency fluctuations, the treasurer’s life is never boring. Join us in this conversation with SAP Ariba’s own treasurer, Jerry Bernard, to hear about a day in the life of a corporate treasurer and to get an idea of which issues he feels are most important in the field.

    https://www.ariba.com/resources/library/library-pages/makeprocurementawesome-with-sap-ariba-episode-6

  • Want to Boost Your Career and Income? Develop a Side Project or Hobby
  • Struggling With A Work Setback? Reflect On Your Childhood (Yes, Really)

    Reflecting on my childhood and young adulthood isn’t just daydreaming–the point isn’t to avoid my present challenges by indulging in escapist nostalgia. Instead, it’s to try and remember the sequence of experiences that led me to where I am now. I try to reach beyond the fear and constraints of the moment so I can reconnect with something deeper and more permanent.

    When I work with clients who are struggling with professional difficulties, I ask them to do the same–to remember what inspired them to move along the career path they chose, no matter how frustrating the circumstances that path has led them into right now: What was in their work that originally gave them the feelings of pleasure and fulfillment that they’ve built their career on? What was an early moment of discovery and delight that first got them excited?

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40477510/struggling-with-a-work-setback-reflect-on-your-childhood-yes-really

  • One Year After Its Fake-Accounts Scandal, Wells Fargo Isn’t ‘A Better Bank’

    Indeed, the scandal has only gotten worse since it first came to light. Since Stumpf’s appearance before Congress, the estimated number of accounts affected has been revised up to 3.5 million. Additionally, a separate scandal, involving auto loans the bank issued, affected some 500,000 customers, who had insurance policies taken out in their names that sometimes resulted in defaults and vehicle repossessions.

    While Sloan tried to focus on progress made in the past year—bringing up changes made to the bank’s organizational structure, review processes, plans for repaying customers, sales incentives, and corporate culture—the senators focused on how long it took Wells Fargo to open official inquiries into the claims of fake accounts, the predatory nature of the sales processes, and the compensation executives received. The committee members dwelled on the questions of how the bank’s practices could be improved and whether it should be allowed to continue operating in the first place.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/10/wells-fargo-fake-accounts-sloan/541875/

Photo: Patrick Hendry

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News You Can Use: 9/20/2017

  • The Surprising Upsides To Getting Angry At Work

    So it’s no surprise that in measured doses, anger can prove a useful performance catalyst. Of course, this requires self-control and emotional intelligence. If you can tap into the driving and energizing force that anger provides, you may be able to produce better outcomes than you would trying to suppress those feelings. But the key is to feel a moderate amount of anger (or what psychologists call “arousal”–the mental stress or pressure that motivates people to act) that leads to higher performance than just being pumped with adrenaline on the one hand or being too bored, calm, and cool-headed on the other.

    Likewise, anger can help you become more aware of your values and motives, highlighting your inner compass and system of beliefs so you can realize how much you actually want something–and why. Conversely, the Zen-like ability to eliminate both anger and its sources will also extinguish any passion or desire to achieve. No wonder, then, that exceptional achievers–entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, and even scientists–are often motivated by an intense sense of dissatisfaction, frustration at their past performance, and even anger. They’re rebels with a cause, always work hard to create change.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40464734/the-surprising-upsides-to-getting-angry-at-work

    Yeah… measured doses

  • Blockchain In The Supply Chain: Too Much Hype

    In summary, blockchain is an interesting technology. But it may be the least mature of all the technologies described in this report. On the other hand, because blockchain is a back-end technology, most companies don’t need to proactively invest in exploring its value.  We will know the technology is mature when people don’t even use the term “blockchain,” much as people don’t use the term TCP/IP when talking about their use of the Internet. If the technology does mature, the providers of Public Cloud supply chain solutions will be adversely impacted.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevebanker/2017/09/01/blockchain-in-the-supply-chain-too-much-hype/#53715b4e198c

  • What moral decisions should driverless cars make?
  • Japan Is No Place for Single Mothers

    Women in Japan tend to struggle economically following divorce. That’s because traditionally in Japan, men work, and women stay home to take care of the children. About 62 percent of women drop out of the workforce when they have their first child, according to Kingston. When couples divorce, women have often been out of the workforce for a long time. Many institutions incentivize this arrangement: Japanese corporations often give husbands whose wives stay home a bonus, and the Japanese tax system punishes couples with two incomes. When women do try to return to the workforce, they usually can only find low-paying part-time work, if they find a job at all. And women who do work earn 30 percentless than men who do.  “In both the U.S. and Japan, you have a situation where women are forced to work, but if the economy doesn’t allow women to feed a family with 40 hours a week, you have a very difficult economic situation,” Ezawa said.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/09/japan-is-no-place-for-single-mothers/538743/?utm_source=feed

  • Stop Calling It ‘Coaching’ When All You’re Really Doing Is Scolding Your Team

    Unfortunately, when someone is “coached” they are typically being criticized. The overuse of criticism leads to a host of problems from escape and avoidance to the elimination of related, desirable behaviors. But what’s most damaging is get a dressing down for something that bothers someone but really isn’t that big a deal. If I get an earful (does it still count as an earful if the feedback is given via email?) about the content of my emails I am likely to say “okay fine, I won’t send any emails at all.” If I get blasted for using less-than-professional language on an internal message board, I am more likely to stop reading and posting altogether than I am to watch my word choice in the future.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/299804

Photo: Andre Hunter

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SourceCast: Episode 86: Magically Deleted Emails

Last week there was an interview with Arianna Huffington circulating through social media detailing how the HuffPo founder deals with email when she is away on vacation. Spoiler: They all get deleted.

Having recently come back from vacation, I thought this was a good podcast topic to cover and I opened it up to my wife and friends to share their thoughts on the practice.

Photo: Garett Mizunaka

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News You Can Use: 8/2/2017

  • Is IT having an identity crisis?

    Forty percent of the CIOs said that they make 50% or less of the IT decisions for their companies. And 39% said that business departments buy their own technology without consulting IT “often,” “very often” or “most of the time.” Meantime, IT departments themselves perform a shrinking proportion of the technology work they still oversee, with 24% of the respondents saying they outsource more than 50% of their IT and only 9% saying they outsource none at all.

    If outsourcing is the norm, and business departments outside IT are increasingly procuring their own technology, it may be time to ask exactly what IT’s role and identity is in the modern workplace.

    Also:

    Whatever IT’s identity within an organization may be, if it’s primarily viewed as a cost center, that’s not a good thing. “IT is a foundational element,” says Ed McLaughlin, CIO at Mastercard. “You really have to cease thinking of technology as a cost center. Technology is one of the primary assets of a business.”

    http://www.computerworld.com/article/3191986/it-management/is-it-having-an-identity-crisis.html

  • Do Raises Make Employees Happy or Is It Something More?

    “One of the most striking results we’ve found is that, across all income levels, the top predictor of workplace satisfaction is not pay. It is the culture and values of the organization, followed closely by the quality of senior leadership and the career opportunities at the company. Among the six workplace factors we examined, compensation and benefits were consistently rated among the least important factors of workplace happiness.”

    However, there was a study from Princeton that found that “having a higher income increases happiness but only up to about $75,000 per year.” After that, “higher pay doesn’t influence happiness much, and other factors take over.”

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/297326

  • The Case for National Childcare
  • 8 Ways Any Millennial Can Be a Millionaire in 5 Years

    Investing can be tricky, but it’s one of the best ways to get a return on the money you currently have. If you want to make significant money quickly, you’ll need to take some major risks, which means being willing to lose all the money you put in. For best results, start by investing a good amount of money. You can make more potentially if you risk more. Pick certain sectors that you find yourself most interested in and concentrate on investments in those spaces. Before any of this though, take time to learn as much as possible about the stock market.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/297322

  • Six Words And Phrases That Make Everyone Hate Working With You

    3. “IT IS WHAT IT IS”
    Clichés like this make you sound like a lazy thinker. We default unthinkingly to empty expressions when we’re trying to give the impression we have something to say but really don’t, and also when we want to sound as though we’re comfortable with something but might not be. “Business is business,” “it is what it is,” and phrases like them aren’t just meaningless and repetitious—they sound like you don’t really care or that your brain just isn’t in gear. Good luck getting promoted that way.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40441775/six-words-and-phrases-that-make-everyone-hate-working-with-you
    This is my dad’s favorite saying, guess he won’t be getting that big butcher shop promotion…

Photo: Brodie Vissers

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