Tag Archives: Workplace Culture

SourceCast: Episode 97: Amazon’s Workplace Culture

The holidays have arrived and retail companies are trying to get into the black. The biggest retailer of them all, Amazon, hired over 100,000 people this fall season to ensure you get your packaged on time.

What are the working conditions for that temporary work force? What are the working conditions for the people sitting in Amazon’s offices? This week I try to answer those questions.

Photo: davide ragusa

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News You Can Use: 11/15/2017

  • I Learned a Lot About Strong Company Culture From Jeff Bezos — But There’s 1 Strategy I Won’t Copy

    Amazon’s culture is fairly cutthroat and trust does not run high. Every year employees are stack ranked and those at the bottom of the list are cut. In theory, it’s important to keep the bar for performance high and this is one of the ways Amazon does that. But, this practice pits employees against each other. Instead of working as teammates they compete as rivals. Trust is essential in building a healthy company. You need every person on the team to be willing to shift priorities and pitch in on initiatives that fall well outside their defined job role in order to make the company successful. You need a culture where people have each other’s backs. If you get the right people on board and align them all around a single vision, this will happen naturally.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/304037

  • Don’t Struggle Always to Be the ‘Smartest Person in the Room.’ Instead, Rely on a Mentor.

    Find several mentors who share your passions. When you reach out to mentors — and aim to have more than one — look for common ground according to your passion for similar challenges and objectives. Then, when you approach these individuals, emphasize these shared passions in a letter or speech to demonstrate the potential of a collaboration.

    Don’t just ask someone generically and blandly to be your mentor; you’ll risk coming across as a “social climber.” Mentors want to be aligned with those who share similar values and goals.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/304265

  • John Oliver: Economic Development (NSFW)

    Once again, I beat Mr. Oliver to the punch (Obviously I love Last Week Tonight, and just feel vindicated that we cover the same topics (and that I am a little ahead of the trend every once and a while).
  • Facebook, WeWork and others use this startup to make swag

    “People think of swag as junk but it shouldn’t be,” Swag co-founder Jeremy Parker told TechCrunch. “It could be an amazing marketing tool if it’s built right.”

    Swag.com offers products like water bottles, umbrellas, shirts, jackets, USB drives, bags and other items from brands like Patagonia, Case Logic. Once you pick the product, you upload your designs, specify how many you want printed and then wait for Swag to send you the production mockup for approval.

    Standard production time takes about 15 days while priority production takes 10 days and costs a bit more. Production doesn’t start until the customer has approved the mockup. Since Swag works directly with the manufacturer and vendor, it doesn’t have to hold any inventory.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/06/facebook-wework-and-others-use-this-startup-to-make-swag/?ncid=rss
    I really do enjoy good company swag and there is so much bad swag that I end up tossing.

  • How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met

    Behind the Facebook profile you’ve built for yourself is another one, a shadow profile, built from the inboxes and smartphones of other Facebook users. Contact information you’ve never given the network gets associated with your account, making it easier for Facebook to more completely map your social connections.

    Facebook isn’t scanning the work email of the attorney above. But it likely has her work email address on file, even if she never gave it to Facebook herself. If anyone who has the lawyer’s address in their contacts has chosen to share it with Facebook, the company can link her to anyone else who has it, such as the defense counsel in one of her cases.

    https://gizmodo.com/how-facebook-figures-out-everyone-youve-ever-met-1819822691

Photo: Jase Ess

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News You Can Use: 3/15/2017

  • New FCC chairman: Net neutrality rules were a ‘mistake’

    During his speech at Mobile World Congress, Pai said a “new generation” of leadership at the FCC is focused on “renewal as well as change.” The agency will return to the light-touch regulatory approach of the past three decades, he said.

    Pai touted his decision to end an investigation into so-called zero-rating plans, in which some mobile providers exempted some services from their data caps. Promoters of the free data plans have called them pro-consumer, but some net neutrality advocates suggested that plans may violate the rules against selectively promoting some web content.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3175766/internet/new-fcc-chairman-net-neutrality-rules-were-a-mistake.html

  • Building a Hard-Working Team Starts With You

    Once you have the right people, surround them with hard-working peers. Create a culture of “all for one, and one for all” prepared to do whatever is necessary to help the company win the race. Create realistic targets for them to hit by certain dates, and create a competitive spirit within the company, where people can show off their skills.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/288954

  • The Making of a Podcast Network | Scott Aukerman
  • ‘Ugh, I’m So Busy’: A Status Symbol for Our Time (a follow up to last week’s post)

    The gleam of being both well-off and time-poor, the authors write, is “driven by the perceptions that a busy person possesses desired human capital characteristics (competence, ambition) and is scarce and in demand on the job market.” In a curious reversal, the aspirational objects here are not some luxury goods—a nice watch or car, which are now mass-produced and more widely available than they used to be—but workers themselves, who by bragging about how busy they are can signal just how much the labor market values them and their skills.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/03/busyness-status-symbol/518178/?utm_source=feed

  • Toxic Workplaces Will Persist As Long As Fairness Is Just A Matter Of ‘Compliance’

    But HR, on its own, is poorly situated to fix a business culture that is indifferent to (or in denial about) offering meaningful opportunities for advancement to women or other minorities in the workplace. As political scientist Frank Dobbin has argued, human resources professionals have long struggled to establish their legitimacy within organizations.They are rarely the locus of power within corporations, which instead resides in revenue-generating departments like engineering and sales, and in the executives that preside over the business.

    HR advises. Business decides.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/3068482/pov/toxic-workplaces-will-persist-as-long-as-fairness-is-just-a-matter-of-compliance?partner=rss

Photo: Justin Tietsworth

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News You Can Use: 3/1/2017

  • Rough Day at Work? Exercise and Sleep Are the Best Ways to Shake It Off.

    They found that participants who took a daily average of 10,900 steps were less likely to take out their frustrations on their loved ones than those who took an average of less than 7,000 steps a day.

    The study also found that burning about 587 calories can translate to shaking off a tough day and stop an individual from bringing work issues home with them. The authors recommended activities such as walking and swimming.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/289127

  • The Millennial CPO: How Will the New Generation Transform the Supply Chain Profession?

    “I envision the field to become more and more tech-centric,” says Jennifer Wolff, senior manager of material planning at Masco Cabinetry. “I continue to be disappointed by the systems that exist for our field.” It is safe to say that technology has embedded itself into the average millennial’s personal and work life. According to Nielsen, more than 85% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 own a smartphone, and a quarter of them ranked “technology use” as the defining characteristic of their generation.

    http://spendmatters.com/2017/02/15/millennial-cpo-will-new-generation-transform-supply-chain-profession/

  • How a Math Algorithm Could Educate the Whole World — for Free
  • 5 Steps to Develop a Supply Chain Risk Assessment Process
    1. Define stakeholder concerns
    2. Identify points of risk
    3. Develop a risk mitigation strategy
    4. Partner with third-party auditors and data collection agencies
    5. Simulate outcomes

    http://www.satprnews.com/2017/02/14/5-steps-to-develop-a-supply-chain-risk-assessment-process/

  • Oracle launches four apps for supply chain automation

    Nainani said Oracle’s supply chain and transport customers have “found it hard to adopt our IoT cloud components because they were uncertain how much investment was needed up front and how it would pay off for them.” In response, Oracle designed the new suite of tools to produce quick results in applications that clients are already using, Nainani said. The applications are in such areas as manufacturing, maintenance, customer service, and transportation management, he said.

    http://www.dcvelocity.com/articles/20170214-oracle-launches-four-apps-for-supply-chain-automation/

Photo: Alexander Mils

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News You Can Use: 11/30/2016

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  • President Trump: Procurement, Supply Chain and Policy Perspectives

    Yet the pragmatist in me — and Trump is a pragmatist at heart — says we won’t rock the trade boat as much as some of the rhetoric in the campaign, and as much as DiMicco is likely to use his potential voice in a Trump administration to advocate for the laborer on the shop floor and domestic manufacturers alike, there are limits to how far Trump will go. Moreover, if China crashes, so too will commodity prices, which is not good for domestic producers.

    https://www.enterpriseirregulars.com/111316/president-trump-procurement-supply-chain-policy-perspectives/

  • Reconsidering Work-Life Balance in an Ever-Changing Workplace

    Increasing social interaction within the workplace is something else that can dramatically increase social well-being. For your company, this is best accomplished by creating social settings where employees get to know one other, independent of achieving a business objective. In fact, creating modern versions of coffee stations and watercooler-like opportunities and encouraging coworkers to eat lunch together can improve workplace morale and productivity by 25 percent, according to Ben Waber, CEO of management consulting firm Sociometric Solutions.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/284140
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  • Bot-Proof Your Career

    To set ourselves apart in the Bot Era, we will need to be creative. Creativity enables us to harness the power of a tool to help do our jobs better and more efficiently. Bots can’t work without human creativity leading the way. I recommend starting with reading everything you can about AI and look to other industries for inspiration – the most creative ideas will not be born in the HR space. Some of the best recruiters and sourcers I know are what I call “tinkerers;” they don’t wait for executives to roll out the next big technology. Instead, they regularly find small, inexpensive (or even free) ways to innovate. I would start with asking yourself, “How can I leverage bots to do the things that are bogging me down?”

    https://www.eremedia.com/sourcecon/bot-proof-your-career-part-1/

  • Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the supply chain

    The public availability of the ledger would make it possible to trace back every product to the very origin of the raw material used. The decentralized structure of the ledger would make it impossible for any one party to hold ownership of the ledger and manipulate the data to their own advantage. And the cryptography-based and immutable nature of the transactions would make it nearly impossible to compromise the ledger. Some experts already believe that the blockchain is unhackable.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/24/blockchain-has-the-potential-to-revolutionize-the-supply-chain/

  • Mentorship and the art of the cold email

    Minshew echoes Wessel’s advice, but says she doesn’t just seek out multiple mentors for specific issues, she specifically looks for people who were recently wrangling with her particular dilemma. “When I look back to the people that were most helpful to me in the early days of The Muse, a lot of them were six months to two years ahead.” Her roster of confidantes isn’t filled with big-name executives, she says, but entrepreneurs who have just hired their first CMO, or recently scaled from 30 to 100 employees.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/3065355/the-fast-company-innovation-festival/mentorship-and-the-art-of-the-cold-email

  • Zuckerberg says fake news on Facebook didn’t tilt the elections

    “Personally I think the idea that fake news on Facebook, which is a very small amount of the content, influenced the election in any way — I think is a pretty crazy idea. Voters make decisions based on their lived experience,” Zuckerberg said in an interview at the Techonomy 2016 conference in Half Moon Bay, California.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3139342/internet/zuckerberg-says-fake-news-on-facebook-didn-t-tilt-the-elections.html
    Facebook provided a safe place for the disinformation that fueled Trumps Rise

    While genuine political arguments do happen among friends on Facebook, the company’s “personalized news front page” is not designed to foster meaningful discussions. On the contrary: The stories surfaced there are based on the interests of like-minded friends. Facebook believes, and has from the start, that agreement and harmony make for better engagement than argument and disharmony. That’s why there’s never been a “thumbs down” button on Facebook, and the reason that adding the “angry face” emoji was such a tough internal decision for the company.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/3065521/election-2016/yes-facebook-provided-a-safe-place-for-the-disinformation-that-fueled-trumps-r
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Photo: POOYAN ESHTIAGHI

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