All posts in Weekly newsletter

  • Ethics and exhaustion, Sitting and cancer, Facebook’s mood manipulation, Maximising lifetime earnings, The social CEO

    Management Disrupted is a weekly summary of the best new thinking in management for knowledge work. It’s free to subscribe. Sign up now in less than 30 seconds

    Welcome to my weekly collection of the latest news and research for managing a high productivity knowledge workforce. I’ve pulled out a range of articles this week that all make for great reading (and most are on the short side).

    How much time should you spend with your boss? And what impact does it have on your happiness at work? This research from LeadershipIQ “found a correlation between time spent with a direct supervisor and employees’ levels of work-related inspiration, engagement and motivation.” According to the research the magic number is about six hours a week. Too much contact turns out to be counterproductive. Are You Spending Enough Time With Your Boss?

    Should you stay or should you go? This article looks at some publicly available statistics to determine the long term earnings impact of staying at the same company. The conclusion: “Staying employed at the same company for over two years on average is going to make you earn less over your lifetime by about 50% or more.” Employees Who Stay In Companies Longer Than Two Years Get Paid 50% Less

    I’d argue that employers aren’t powerless against this trend. As I talked about in the CEO interview with Glen Rabie this week – better data transparency can go a long way to removing the frequent switch premium.

    Whilst we’re on key long term workforce risks, there was more this week on the health impact of sitting. The evidence here is getting more and more comprehensive. Risk minded leadership need to get on top of this issue now – this is an issue that isn’t going to go away. This review recently published in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute confirms the links to cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.  Why not even exercise will undo the harm of sitting all day—and what you can do about it

    In management of a healthy, productive workforce, it’s also worth looking at Morning People Are Less Ethical at Night. This research shows that as you become exhausted, you’re far more likely to behave unethically. Those 80 hour work weeks are more than just a work-life balance issue – they’re also a broader business risk.

    More interesting management articles that you should know about this week: 

    For more info about me see the about page or follow me on Twitter @stevepell.

  • The end of disruption? Your company is not a family, Email volumes rising, Interaction for innovation

    Management Disrupted is a weekly summary of the best new thinking in management for knowledge work. It’s free to subscribe. Sign up now in less than 30 seconds

    Without any doubt, the story of the week was Jill Lepore’s take on Disruptive Innovation in the New Yorker (The disruption machine: What the gospel of innovation gets wrong). The article is a massive takedown of Clayton Christensen’s theory of Disruptive Innovation by a fellow professor at Harvard. Partially, it’s an argument against the overuse “disruption” as a management buzzword. But mainly, it argues that Christensen cherry picked examples and the theory has generally failed to be predictive.

    This piece is causing a huge stir in academic and management circles alike:

    There was also some great writing and research on a range of other topics. Here’s what I think is worth reading:

    For all the PR from collaboration vendors, email volumes continue to explode. A topic that’s close to my heart through our work at Intrascope – A Company Without Email? Not So Fast (WSJ)

    A scientific investigation of collaboration shows that only the strongest working relationships have an effect on performance – The Strength of the Strongest Ties in Collaborative Problem Solving (Nature)

    Innovation happens when people literally cross paths more often – Innovation: Disperse or Congregate? (Information Week)

    Describing your organisation as a family is deeply flawed – here’s why – Your Company Is Not a Family (Blogs @HBR)

    Education, retention and culture, how Bank of America and Intel are driving diversity – How to build a diverse workforce: lessons for Google and LinkedIn (The Guardian)

    For more info about me see the about page or follow me on Twitter @stevepell.

  • The dangers of negotiation, Robots destroying jobs, Valuing metrics (and simplicity), Are you picking on weaker staff?

    Management Disrupted is a weekly summary of the best new thinking in management for knowledge work. It’s free to subscribe. Sign up now in less than 30 seconds

    Best of the week

    Welcome to another week of Management Disrupted, my look at the best new thinking in management for knowledge work.

    There was a lot of great writing and thinking this week across a wide range of topics. Adam Nash makes a clear argument that “If you don’t give people metrics, smart people will make up their own”.

    Something that I’ve been talking about for a while: as the world moves faster with more complexity, simplicity is a key competitive advantage. Josh Bersin makes a good case for simplicity in HR.

    Finally, Marc Andreessen is one of the most influential thinkers across the intersection of the future of business and technology. So when he states “I don’t believe robots will eat all the jobs”, it’s worth reading.

    This week in management…

    Adam Nash, C.E.O. of Wealthfront, on the Value of Metrics
    “If you don’t give people metrics, smart people will make up their own,” and “you’ll get incessant fighting and arguments.” (NY Times)

    This is Probably a Good Time to Say That I Don’t Believe Robots Will Eat All the Jobs …
    “One of the most interesting topics in modern times is the “robots eat all the jobs” thesis. It boils down to this: Computers can increasingly substitute for human labor, thus displacing jobs and creating unemployment. Your job, and every job, goes to a machine.” (Marc Andreessen)

    Lean Out: The dangers for women who negotiate
    “In four studies, Bowles and collaborators from Carnegie Mellon found that people penalized women who initiated negotiations for higher compensation more than they did men…. Even women penalized the women who initiated the conversation.” (New Yorker)

    Your Work-Life Balance Should Be Your Company’s Problem
    Seven out of ten American workers struggle to achieve an acceptable balance between work and family life, reports a new study published in American Sociological Review… that number has been climbing over time, to a point where employees — especially parents — feel stressed, overwhelmed, and maxed out. (HBR Blogs)

    Can Envy Be a Virtue? Taming the Green-eyed Monster at Work
    “Organizations where corporate culture revolves around publicizing certain results — such as sales targets or monthly productivity numbers – are other examples of environments that contribute to envy… “The danger here is that envy goes from professional competition to interpersonal conflict.” (Knowledge @ Wharton)

    Why Simplicity is the Next Big Thing in HR and Business
    “We have inadvertently become far too enamored with our technology, mobile phones, social networks, photos, video sharing tools, and all the various competency models, frameworks, process diagrams, and workflows… In most cases the answer is to do much much less.” (LinkedIn)

    This week in leadership…

    The Neurochemistry of Positive Conversations
    “When we face criticism, rejection or fear, when we feel marginalized or minimized, our bodies produce higher levels of cortisol, a hormone that shuts down the thinking center of our brains and activates conflict aversion and protection behaviours… effects can last for 26 hours or more.
    Positive comments and conversations produce a chemical reaction too. They spur the production of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone that elevates our ability to communicate, collaborate and trust others… [but] its effects are less dramatic and long-lasting.” (HBR Blogs)

    The manager in red sneakers
    “Wearing the corporate uniform may not be the best way to dress for success. Research by Silvia Bellezza, Francesca Gino, and Anat Keinan shows there may be prestige advantages when you stand out rather than fit in.” (HBS)

    When the going gets tough, supervisors pick on their weaker staff
    “A crisis changes everything… In the aftermath, predators circle to exploit the weak and vulnerable. Pedro Neves at the New University of Lisbon provides evidence that following an organisational downsize, employees are more likely to receive abuse from their supervisors.” (BPS Research)

    Keep Learning Once You Hit the C-Suite
    “Executives should not only have a high level of intellectual curiosity (staying current on market trends and changing dynamics in business), but also a personal sense of flexibility and adaptability.” (HBR Blogs)

    For more info about me see the about page or follow me on Twitter @stevepell.