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.

Share your thoughts. Be kind & play nice.