Mothers and job satisfaction, Making time to think, Open office culture, Leadership around the world

The best of the week…

Just one clear standout in “The Boss With No Office”. A great piece on the power of workspace to drive cultural change (using Bloomberg as a case study).

This week in Management

The Boss With No Office: Is it good for workplace culture when management sits with employees?
“When we imagine a powerful CEO, we typically picture a secluded corner office large enough to fly a kite in, with thick wood paneling, plush pile carpets, and a gatekeeping assistant—all designed to dampen the intrusion of any exterior stimuli. But a newer vision of management feng shui involves an emphasis on availability, transparency, and the abolishment of physical hierarchies.” Link

How HR Makes HP a Great Place to Work
“HP has been through some tough times, but it’s in the midst of a turnaround that’s succeeding largely because the company’s head of human resources, Tracy Keogh, is making HP a great place to work once again.” Link

Have a job you love? Thank your mother
“Children who have strong relationships with their mothers don’t end up with a work orientation that is all about material gain. Being close to our mother, it turns out, provides us with a value set that prevents us from putting money first and simply punching a clock.” Link

Meet the company that punishes managers for bothering underlings on vacation
“When an employee goes on vacation, their manager sends out a message to all the internal folks they work with letting them know that “Joe is on vacation embargo this week.” What’s that mean? Don’t call Joe. Don’t email Joe. Don’t even think about what Joe would do until Joe’s back in the office. We tell folks not to contact [Joe] under any circumstances and to report it back to Joe’s manager if he tries to contact them.” Link

10 Kinds of Stories to Tell with Data
“For almost a decade I have heard that good quantitative analysts can “tell a story with data.” Narrative is—along with visual analytics—an important way to communicate analytical results to non-analytical people. Very few people would question the value of such stories, but just knowing that they work is not much help to anyone trying to master the art of analytical storytelling.” Link 

This week in Leadership

4 reasons leaders fail to scale up — and how to overcome them
“As anyone who has grown a small business knows, your role as a leader changes dramatically as the organisation grows. So what are some of the key reasons that leaders fail to make this transition?…” Link

7 Things You Need To Stop Doing To Be More Productive, Backed By Science
“Have you ever wondered where the 40-hour work week came from? In 1926, Henry Ford, American industrialist and founder of Ford Motor Company, conducted experiments with interesting results: when you decrease your daily working hours from 10 to 8, and shorten the work week from 6 days to 5, your productivity increases.” Link

Leading Across Cultures: Learn to Adapt Your Style
“Whether you feel the best boss is more of a facilitator among equals or a director who leads from the front, to succeed in international business you need the flexibility to adapt your style to your cultural context.” Link

Ron Kaplan of Trex, on Making Judgments Instead of Decisions
“When people speak, you measure the variance between what they tell you is going to happen and what actually happens. The smaller the variance, the greater the credibility. Also, the longer it takes to answer a simple question, the more I worry. If I ask a guy if it’s raining outside, and he starts to tell me about cloud formations, I know we’ve got an issue.” Link

A Simple Nuance that Produces Great Strategy Discussions
“All too often strategy meetings devolve into pitched battles over who is right and who is wrong about the company’s future direction. How can you reshape the discussion to produce collaboration rather than discord? The key is to switch the fundamental question you consider from what is true to what would have to be true.” Link

Make Your Team Feel Powerful
“Research has shown that helping others feel more powerful can boost productivity, improve performance, and leave employees feeling more satisfied on the job. A study conducted by Yona Kifer of Tel Aviv University and published in Psychological Science found that employees were 26% more satisfied in their roles when they had positions of power.” Link

Just One Thing—Prosper by Making Time Every Day to Just Think
“No program, no management fad, no short-list of the top ten things to do. Just a reminder that your brain and the brains of your team members will serve you best if you build in and/or encourage people to regularly tune out the drumbeat and turn off the updates. I’ve watched burned-out managers come back from the brink by recognizing the need to create time to think deeply, and then making it a habit.” Link

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