robertogreco + workplace   84

The Rise of the WeWorking Class - The New York Times
"IMAGINE YOU TRAINED an artificial intelligence on a comprehensive stock-photo set of every boutique-hotel lobby from Palm Springs to Stockholm to Milan, then connected it to a five-story 3-D printer fully furnished with pendant-dome lamps, waxy leaves and old-school hip-hop lyrics. The output would be a WeWork. So much serene, lavish and mechanical attention is allocated to every detail: the neon and the daybeds and the fiddle-leaf figs, the wallpaper and the playlists and the typefaces. The newest iteration of its ever-emergent design concept may be indebted to Luis Barragán and Carlo Scarpa, but the degree of thought and investment that goes into its terrarium construction is something its busy occupants are expected to register only as background noise. WeWorks feel voguish but never threatening; comfortable but never shabby; rousing but never intemperate; detailed but never ostentatious.

There’s also free top-shelf coffee, the sort of minor frill most office workers might take for granted in a way the self-employed never would. One premise of the company’s existence is that it’s good business to provide such minor luxuries to the otherwise unfrilled. The coffee — and the draft kombucha, which has come to supplement beer as WeWork distances itself from the frattier aspects of entrepreneurship — is, at any rate, only part of an environment engineered for felicitous exchange. This strategy is supported by narrow hallways, boxy plate-glass enclosures, distant bathrooms and centralized fruit-water dispensers, but the company’s architects never indulged the belief that if they built it, people would come. The spaces themselves are the staging ground for yoga classes, wine tastings, make-your-own-trail-mix bars and vendor workshops about how to cut cloud costs. For what remains of life outside the workplace, there are cross-promotional discounts on 1-800-Flowers.com and Crunch gym memberships.

Most of us have serious reasons to worry about the future of work, and it’s easy to object to WeWork’s thin consolations on the basis of aesthetic or moral principle. Once you get accustomed to the basic product, however, it’s hard not to find it ... pretty nice. Over the course of about a year, I stopped into locations in six or seven cities, and in each of them I sat in front of my computer alongside other people in front of their computers and felt at once marginally more productive and slightly less unmoored."



"The relentless sociability inspired by WeWork was always one of the founders’ aims, even as the composition of its membership has changed. When the company first opened in 2010, its spaces catered to entrepreneurs. The founders soon understood that the increasingly fluid and anxious labor market — its conditions exacerbated by the downturn but likely to exist in perpetuity — presented them with a much larger potential customer base. Uber and TaskRabbit and other labor-platform intermediaries positioned themselves to match those who needed something done with those who needed something to do, but they based their recruitment drives on a cynical reading of the economic mood. The subway I took to WeWork was plastered with tough-love ads from services like Fiverr, which made naked appeals to stoic virtues. (“Actually, it hasn’t all been done before”; “In doers we trust”; “Reading about starting your own business is like reading about having sex.”)

That sort of campaign felt manipulative: The platforms’ emphasis on self-reliance for the economically precarious merely disguised their rent-seeking. WeWork, by contrast, just charged rent. The company was perceptive enough to realize that disaggregated workers (or at least those of a certain class) did not want to hear that they should just kill it on their own, bro. They wanted to hear that nobody ever can. What WeWork offered was not just rhetoric — a more sympathetic description of the restless, fretful life of the deinstitutionalized worker — but true shelter from a pervasive sense of alienation. Where Fiverr issued an invitation to gladiatorial combat, WeWork promised a work environment remodeled for solace and dignity.

Thus is the business model of WeWork, recently valued at $47 billion, now only facially about commercial subletting. All its accessories serve to buttress its real product: “office culture” as a service. When people at the company try to explain that culture, they invariably resort to talk of positive energy sources and the obligation to heal the social fabric — a vocabulary traditionally associated with utopian architecture, 1980s academic communitarianism or ayahuasca experimentation. They affirm that all the ostensibly small incremental niceties add up to more than the sum of their parts, and on some level I couldn’t help agreeing. The market certainly seems to. As of this January, WeWork has 400,000 members in 425 locations in 27 countries, at least 30 percent of whom are employees of large existing businesses. This latter category has helped double that membership in only a year. Some of these enterprise customers are merely outsourcing their facilities management the way they outsource manufacturing or payroll; others anticipate the revitalization — or even wholesale procurement — of their corporate culture. The conviction behind the rapid growth of WeWork is that the office culture of the future is likely to be the culture of the future, full stop, and that it is WeWork’s special vocation to bring it to market.

THE IDEA OF “CORPORATE CULTURE,” long before it was identified and cultivated as such, emerged as a solution to the problems of the large, distributed mass-industrial firm. Ransom Olds is credited with inventing the concept of the assembly line in 1901, and it was over the following decades that businesses began to feel an imperative to address the question of what work was supposed to “mean.” This was both an internal bottom-line matter — employees who toiled in exchange for only a paycheck were difficult to retain and unlikely to prioritize efficiency or innovation — and a social one. By midcentury, large companies like the car manufacturers had come to represent the predominant institutional affiliation for legions of American men. Even if these firms had no explicit philanthropic interest in civic cohesion, they certainly had a stake in the preservation of the social order. If they could invest piecemeal labor with something like dignity, they could neutralize the political and economic threats posed by union solidarity.

What they arrived at was a generic set of strategies, applicable at any industrial organization, designed to help workers recognize the value of their personal contributions to the final product. The classic formulation of this approach was Peter Drucker’s “Concept of the Corporation”; though it’s now seen — if not much read — as a foundational text in the study of management, it reads like a sober contribution to midcentury sociology. The simplest form of recognition is advancement. Workers, Drucker believed, ought to be viewed not as exploitable resources but as human capital to be fostered, and thus provided with the training necessary to secure a path upward. Programs like project rotations — which exposed otherwise specialized employees to the breadth of company operations — should be put in place even if they seemed, in the short term, economically irrational; in the long term, they represented an investment in worker potential. Employees unlikely to advance might more gladly accept their place in the corporate scheme when given a holistic perspective on production: The maker of a car’s door hinge, for example, might be shown where his discrete, repetitive effort fits into the fully realized car.

The anthropologist Clifford Geertz defined culture as a collective act of interpretation, the stories we tell one another about ourselves in an attempt to make ongoing sense of why we do what we do. A car manufacturer could just point to a sensible Oldsmobile, something the world self-evidently needed. Because cars were public goods, corporate culture could easily borrow its energy from civic culture.

It could also borrow civic culture’s prevailing norms — and, in turn, reinforce them. The management classic “Built to Last” describes how Walt Disney, for example, did not manage a corporation so much as lord over an extended brood of subordinates, each of them expected not only to abide by the letter of company decorum but also to embody its founder’s spirit. Hourly theme-park workers were held to an imperious standard of personal upkeep: for men, no facial hair; for women, no dangly earrings or excessive makeup. As one biographer described it, “When someone did, on occasion, slip in Walt’s presence and use a four-letter word in mixed company, the result was always immediate dismissal, no matter what type of professional inconvenience the firing caused.” The people making the country’s cars could be forgiven a coarse exclamation; the people making the country’s cartoons were held to a loftier code.

As the economy shifted from industrial manufacturing to the service and knowledge sectors, it became increasingly necessary for businesses to articulate their “core purpose” as an organizational and motivational principle — and a way to differentiate “their” ethereal knowledge work from whatever it was other companies’ employees did. The separation of corporate culture in particular from general civic culture was also encouraged by the ascendancy of free-market economics; Milton Friedman told executives that their sole remit was to tend to their own shareholder garden. Shared goals, while important, ought to be strictly values-agnostic."



"Over the past year, as WeWork has been folded into what is now called the We Company — which encompasses WeGrow, its school, and WeLive, its communal housing projects — its Powered by We product has been refined and … [more]
wework  work  labor  workplace  2019  culture  gideonlewis-kraus  cliffordgeertz  economics  organization  peterdrucker  solidarity  unions  facilities  fiverr  uber  taskrabbit  business 
march 2019 by robertogreco
Harvard Design Magazine: No. 46 / No Sweat
"This issue of Harvard Design Magazine is about the design of work and the work of design. “No Sweat” challenges designers to speculate on the spaces of work in an accelerated future, and to imagine a world in which a novel ethics of labor can emerge. What scenarios and spaces can we imagine for the next generation of work? How can we anticipate and formulate work environments and experiences that are productive, humane, and ecologically responsible?

From corner office to kitchen sink, from building site to factory floor, from cubicle to car to coffee shop, work shapes our lives and physical world. Whether we produce objects, generate ideas, manage processes, or perform services, work is a hybrid of dedication and alienation, power and oppression. As work spaces morph to integrate machines that mimic, assist, or complement human abilities, the way we perform work, and the way we feel about it, change too.

To work (to put forth effort) and the work (that effort, or the result it generates) are sources of pride and shame, fulfillment and drudgery. As many jobs become obsolete, and as populations are displaced under the pressures of climate change and political turmoil, the boundaries of the workplace are shifting in space and time. Though some claim that a world without work is on the horizon, “labor-saving” innovations are enmeshed with human exploitation, and housework and care work remain at the crux of persistent inequalities.

Paradoxically, the more that work, as we once understood it, appears to be receding, the more omnipresent and ambiguous it becomes. The workplace is everywhere—or is it nowhere?"

[via: "also check out Andrew Herscher’s piece in HDM 46 (not online) for critique of how architects mobilize constructions of “community”"
https://twitter.com/anamarialeon/status/1101941868210909184 ]
design  work  pride  shame  2018  responsibility  ecology  sustainability  humanism  productivity  labor  ethics  fulfillment  drudgery  jobs  workplace  housework  exploitation  emotionallabor  care  caring  maintenance  andrewherscher  architecture 
march 2019 by robertogreco
How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation
[some follow-up notes here:
https://annehelen.substack.com/p/how-millennials-grew-up-and-burned
https://annehelen.substack.com/p/its-that-simple ]

[See also:

“Here’s What “Millennial Burnout” Is Like For 16 Different People: “My grandmother was a teacher and her mother was a slave. I was born burned out.””
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/annehelenpetersen/millennial-burnout-perspectives

“This Is What Black Burnout Feels Like: If the American dream isn’t possible for upwardly mobile white people anymore, then what am I even striving for?”
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/tianaclarkpoet/millennial-burnout-black-women-self-care-anxiety-depression

“Millennials Don’t Have a Monopoly on Burnout: This is a societal scourge, not a generational one. So how can we solve it?”
https://newrepublic.com/article/152872/millennials-dont-monopoly-burnout ]

"We didn’t try to break the system, since that’s not how we’d been raised. We tried to win it.

I never thought the system was equitable. I knew it was winnable for only a small few. I just believed I could continue to optimize myself to become one of them. And it’s taken me years to understand the true ramifications of that mindset. I’d worked hard in college, but as an old millennial, the expectations for labor were tempered. We liked to say we worked hard, played hard — and there were clear boundaries around each of those activities. Grad school, then, is where I learned to work like a millennial, which is to say, all the time. My new watchword was “Everything that’s good is bad, everything that’s bad is good”: Things that should’ve felt good (leisure, not working) felt bad because I felt guilty for not working; things that should’ve felt “bad” (working all the time) felt good because I was doing what I thought I should and needed to be doing in order to succeed."



"The social media feed — and Instagram in particular — is thus evidence of the fruits of hard, rewarding labor and the labor itself. The photos and videos that induce the most jealousy are those that suggest a perfect equilibrium (work hard, play hard!) has been reached. But of course, for most of us, it hasn’t. Posting on social media, after all, is a means of narrativizing our own lives: What we’re telling ourselves our lives are like. And when we don’t feel the satisfaction that we’ve been told we should receive from a good job that’s “fulfilling,” balanced with a personal life that’s equally so, the best way to convince yourself you’re feeling it is to illustrate it for others.

For many millennials, a social media presence — on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter — has also become an integral part of obtaining and maintaining a job. The “purest” example is the social media influencer, whose entire income source is performing and mediating the self online. But social media is also the means through which many “knowledge workers” — that is, workers who handle, process, or make meaning of information — market and brand themselves. Journalists use Twitter to learn about other stories, but they also use it to develop a personal brand and following that can be leveraged; people use LinkedIn not just for résumés and networking, but to post articles that attest to their personality (their brand!) as a manager or entrepreneur. Millennials aren’t the only ones who do this, but we’re the ones who perfected and thus set the standards for those who do.

“Branding” is a fitting word for this work, as it underlines what the millennial self becomes: a product. And as in childhood, the work of optimizing that brand blurs whatever boundaries remained between work and play. There is no “off the clock” when at all hours you could be documenting your on-brand experiences or tweeting your on-brand observations. The rise of smartphones makes these behaviors frictionless and thus more pervasive, more standardized. In the early days of Facebook, you had to take pictures with your digital camera, upload them to your computer, and post them in albums. Now, your phone is a sophisticated camera, always ready to document every component of your life — in easily manipulated photos, in short video bursts, in constant updates to Instagram Stories — and to facilitate the labor of performing the self for public consumption.

But the phone is also, and just as essentially, a tether to the “real” workplace. Email and Slack make it so that employees are always accessible, always able to labor, even after they’ve left the physical workplace and the traditional 9-to-5 boundaries of paid labor. Attempts to discourage working “off the clock” misfire, as millennials read them not as permission to stop working, but a means to further distinguish themselves by being available anyway.

“We are encouraged to strategize and scheme to find places, times, and roles where we can be effectively put to work,” Harris, the Kids These Days author, writes. “Efficiency is our existential purpose, and we are a generation of finely honed tools, crafted from embryos to be lean, mean production machines.”

But as sociologist Arne L. Kalleberg points out, that efficiency was supposed to give us more job security, more pay, perhaps even more leisure. In short, better jobs.

Yet the more work we do, the more efficient we’ve proven ourselves to be, the worse our jobs become: lower pay, worse benefits, less job security. Our efficiency hasn’t bucked wage stagnation; our steadfastness hasn’t made us more valuable. If anything, our commitment to work, no matter how exploitative, has simply encouraged and facilitated our exploitation. We put up with companies treating us poorly because we don’t see another option. We don’t quit. We internalize that we’re not striving hard enough. And we get a second gig."



"That’s one of the most ineffable and frustrating expressions of burnout: It takes things that should be enjoyable and flattens them into a list of tasks, intermingled with other obligations that should either be easily or dutifully completed. The end result is that everything, from wedding celebrations to registering to vote, becomes tinged with resentment and anxiety and avoidance. Maybe my inability to get the knives sharpened is less about being lazy and more about being too good, for too long, at being a millennial.

That’s one of the most ineffable and frustrating expressions of burnout: It takes things that should be enjoyable and flattens them into a list of tasks, intermingled with other obligations that should either be easily or dutifully completed. The end result is that everything, from wedding celebrations to registering to vote, becomes tinged with resentment and anxiety and avoidance. Maybe my inability to get the knives sharpened is less about being lazy and more about being too good, for too long, at being a millennial."



"In his writing about burnout, the psychoanalyst Cohen describes a client who came to him with extreme burnout: He was the quintessential millennial child, optimized for perfect performance, which paid off when he got his job as a high-powered finance banker. He’d done everything right, and was continuing to do everything right in his job. One morning, he woke up, turned off his alarm, rolled over, and refused to go to work. He never went to work again. He was “intrigued to find the termination of his employment didn’t bother him.”

In the movie version of this story, this man moves to an island to rediscover the good life, or figures out he loves woodworking and opens a shop. But that’s the sort of fantasy solution that makes millennial burnout so pervasive. You don’t fix burnout by going on vacation. You don’t fix it through “life hacks,” like inbox zero, or by using a meditation app for five minutes in the morning, or doing Sunday meal prep for the entire family, or starting a bullet journal. You don’t fix it by reading a book on how to “unfu*k yourself.” You don’t fix it with vacation, or an adult coloring book, or “anxiety baking,” or the Pomodoro Technique, or overnight fucking oats.

The problem with holistic, all-consuming burnout is that there’s no solution to it. You can’t optimize it to make it end faster. You can’t see it coming like a cold and start taking the burnout-prevention version of Airborne. The best way to treat it is to first acknowledge it for what it is — not a passing ailment, but a chronic disease — and to understand its roots and its parameters. That’s why people I talked to felt such relief reading the “mental load” cartoon, and why reading Harris’s book felt so cathartic for me: They don’t excuse why we behave and feel the way we do. They just describe those feelings and behaviors — and the larger systems of capitalism and patriarchy that contribute to them — accurately.

To describe millennial burnout accurately is to acknowledge the multiplicity of our lived reality — that we’re not just high school graduates, or parents, or knowledge workers, but all of the above — while recognizing our status quo. We’re deeply in debt, working more hours and more jobs for less pay and less security, struggling to achieve the same standards of living as our parents, operating in psychological and physical precariousness, all while being told that if we just work harder, meritocracy will prevail, and we’ll begin thriving. The carrot dangling in front of us is the dream that the to-do list will end, or at least become far more manageable.

But individual action isn’t enough. Personal choices alone won’t keep the planet from dying, or get Facebook to quit violating our privacy. To do that, you need paradigm-shifting change. Which helps explain why so many millennials increasingly identify with democratic socialism and are embracing unions: We are beginning to understand what ails us, and it’s not something an oxygen facial or a treadmill desk can fix.

Until or in lieu of a … [more]
capitalism  neoliberalism  millennials  burnout  chores  work  parenting  2019  annehelenpetersen  cv  society  us  performance  meritocracy  inequality  competition  labor  leisure  perfectionism  success  schooliness  helicopterparenting  children  academia  economics  genx  genz  generations  generationx  socialmedia  instagram  balance  life  living  gigeconomy  passion  self-care  self-optimization  exhaustion  anxiety  decisionmaking  congnitiveload  insecurity  precarity  poverty  steadiness  laziness  procrastination  helicopterparents  work-lifebalance  canon  malcolmharris  joshcohen  hustling  hustle  overwork  arnekalleberg  efficiency  productivity  workplace  email  adulting  personalbranding  linkedin  facebook  consumption  homelessness  context  behavior 
january 2019 by robertogreco
Stanford professor: "The workplace is killing people and nobody cares"
"From the disappearance of good health insurance to the psychological effects of long hours, the modern workplace is taking its toll on all of us."
work  labor  health  2018  workplace  culture  capitalism  management  administration  psychology  stress  childcare  jeffreypfeffer  socialpollution  society  nuriachinchilla  isolation  fatigue  time  attention 
december 2018 by robertogreco
Cory Doctorow: Things that happen in Silicon Valley and also the...
"Anton Troynikov: [https://twitter.com/atroyn/status/1014974099930714115 ]

• Waiting years to receive a car you ordered, to find that it’s of poor workmanship and quality.
• Promises of colonizing the solar system while you toil in drudgery day in, day out.
• Living five adults to a two room apartment.
• Being told you are constructing utopia while the system crumbles around you.
• ‘Totally not illegal taxi’ taxis by private citizens moonlighting to make ends meet.
• Everything slaved to the needs of the military-industrial complex.
• Mandatory workplace political education.
• Productivity largely falsified to satisfy appearance of sponsoring elites.
• Deviation from mainstream narrative carries heavy social and political consequences.
• Networked computers exist but they’re really bad.
• Henry Kissinger visits sometimes for some reason.
• Elite power struggles result in massive collateral damage, sometimes purges.
• Failures are bizarrely upheld as triumphs.
• Otherwise extremely intelligent people just turning the crank because it’s the only way to get ahead.
• The plight of the working class is discussed mainly by people who do no work.
• The United States as a whole is depicted as evil by default.
• The currency most people are talking about is fake and worthless.
• The economy is centrally planned, using opaque algorithms not fully understood by their users."
ussr  russia  economics  siliconvalley  disruption  politics  indoctrination  centralization  policy  2018  currency  planning  conformity  conformism  drudgery  work  labor  humor  tesla  elonmusk  jeffbezos  wageslavery  failure  henrykissinger  us  government  governance  ideology  experience  class  collateraldamage  elitism  antontroynikov  consequences  space  utopia  workmanship  quality  accountability  productivity  falsification  workplace  colonization 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Is everything you think you know about depression wrong? | Society | The Guardian
"So, what is really going on? When I interviewed social scientists all over the world – from São Paulo to Sydney, from Los Angeles to London – I started to see an unexpected picture emerge. We all know that every human being has basic physical needs: for food, for water, for shelter, for clean air. It turns out that, in the same way, all humans have certain basic psychological needs. We need to feel we belong. We need to feel valued. We need to feel we’re good at something. We need to feel we have a secure future. And there is growing evidence that our culture isn’t meeting those psychological needs for many – perhaps most – people. I kept learning that, in very different ways, we have become disconnected from things we really need, and this deep disconnection is driving this epidemic of depression and anxiety all around us.

Let’s look at one of those causes, and one of the solutions we can begin to see if we understand it differently. There is strong evidence that human beings need to feel their lives are meaningful – that they are doing something with purpose that makes a difference. It’s a natural psychological need. But between 2011 and 2012, the polling company Gallup conducted the most detailed study ever carried out of how people feel about the thing we spend most of our waking lives doing – our paid work. They found that 13% of people say they are “engaged” in their work – they find it meaningful and look forward to it. Some 63% say they are “not engaged”, which is defined as “sleepwalking through their workday”. And 24% are “actively disengaged”: they hate it.

Most of the depressed and anxious people I know, I realised, are in the 87% who don’t like their work. I started to dig around to see if there is any evidence that this might be related to depression. It turned out that a breakthrough had been made in answering this question in the 1970s, by an Australian scientist called Michael Marmot. He wanted to investigate what causes stress in the workplace and believed he’d found the perfect lab in which to discover the answer: the British civil service, based in Whitehall. This small army of bureaucrats was divided into 19 different layers, from the permanent secretary at the top, down to the typists. What he wanted to know, at first, was: who’s more likely to have a stress-related heart attack – the big boss at the top, or somebody below him?

Everybody told him: you’re wasting your time. Obviously, the boss is going to be more stressed because he’s got more responsibility. But when Marmot published his results, he revealed the truth to be the exact opposite. The lower an employee ranked in the hierarchy, the higher their stress levels and likelihood of having a heart attack. Now he wanted to know: why?

And that’s when, after two more years studying civil servants, he discovered the biggest factor. It turns out if you have no control over your work, you are far more likely to become stressed – and, crucially, depressed. Humans have an innate need to feel that what we are doing, day-to-day, is meaningful. When you are controlled, you can’t create meaning out of your work.

Suddenly, the depression of many of my friends, even those in fancy jobs – who spend most of their waking hours feeling controlled and unappreciated – started to look not like a problem with their brains, but a problem with their environments. There are, I discovered, many causes of depression like this. However, my journey was not simply about finding the reasons why we feel so bad. The core was about finding out how we can feel better – how we can find real and lasting antidepressants that work for most of us, beyond only the packs of pills we have been offered as often the sole item on the menu for the depressed and anxious. I kept thinking about what Dr Cacciatore had taught me – we have to deal with the deeper problems that are causing all this distress.

I found the beginnings of an answer to the epidemic of meaningless work – in Baltimore. Meredith Mitchell used to wake up every morning with her heart racing with anxiety. She dreaded her office job. So she took a bold step – one that lots of people thought was crazy. Her husband, Josh, and their friends had worked for years in a bike store, where they were ordered around and constantly felt insecure, Most of them were depressed. One day, they decided to set up their own bike store, but they wanted to run it differently. Instead of having one guy at the top giving orders, they would run it as a democratic co-operative. This meant they would make decisions collectively, they would share out the best and worst jobs and they would all, together, be the boss. It would be like a busy democratic tribe. When I went to their store – Baltimore Bicycle Works – the staff explained how, in this different environment, their persistent depression and anxiety had largely lifted.

It’s not that their individual tasks had changed much. They fixed bikes before; they fix bikes now. But they had dealt with the unmet psychological needs that were making them feel so bad – by giving themselves autonomy and control over their work. Josh had seen for himself that depressions are very often, as he put it, “rational reactions to the situation, not some kind of biological break”. He told me there is no need to run businesses anywhere in the old humiliating, depressing way – we could move together, as a culture, to workers controlling their own workplaces."



"After I learned all this, and what it means for us all, I started to long for the power to go back in time and speak to my teenage self on the day he was told a story about his depression that was going to send him off in the wrong direction for so many years. I wanted to tell him: “This pain you are feeling is not a pathology. It’s not crazy. It is a signal that your natural psychological needs are not being met. It is a form of grief – for yourself, and for the culture you live in going so wrong. I know how much it hurts. I know how deeply it cuts you. But you need to listen to this signal. We all need to listen to the people around us sending out this signal. It is telling you what is going wrong. It is telling you that you need to be connected in so many deep and stirring ways that you aren’t yet – but you can be, one day.”

If you are depressed and anxious, you are not a machine with malfunctioning parts. You are a human being with unmet needs. The only real way out of our epidemic of despair is for all of us, together, to begin to meet those human needs – for deep connection, to the things that really matter in life."
depression  society  psychology  johannhari  2018  work  labo  hierarchy  meaning  purpose  belonging  competence  culture  medication  pharmaceuticals  anxiety  workplace  democracy  cooperation  sfsh  joannecacciatore  irvingkirsch  michaelmarmot  meredithmitchell  johncacioppo  vincentfelitti  aintidepressants  brain  serotonin 
january 2018 by robertogreco
CM 048: Dacher Keltner on the Power Paradox
"Is there a secret to lasting power? Yes, and Dacher Keltner has been teaching leaders about it for decades. And the secret is not the ruthless, manipulative approach associated with 15th-century politician and writer Niccolo Machiavelli. It is actually the opposite.

As a University of California, Berkeley, Professor of Psychology, and Founder and Director of the Greater Good Science Center, Dacher Keltner shares research-based insights he has gained. And in his latest book, The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence, he discusses a new science of power and 20 guiding power principles.

In this interview, we talk about:

• How the legacy of Niccolo Machiavelli continues to inform power
• Why power is about so much more than dominance, manipulation, and ruthlessness
• Why we need to question a coercive model of power
• The short- versus long-term impact of different kinds of power
• Why power is about lifting others up
• Why lasting power is given, not grabbed
• The important role that reputation, gossip and esteem play in who gains power
• How, within days, group members already know who holds the power
• What makes for enduring power
• How our body language and words speak volumes about power
• Why Abraham Lincoln is a fascinating study of empathetic power
• The fact that great and powerful leaders are incredible storytellers
• How feeling powerful makes us less aware of risk
• How feeling powerful makes us less empathetic, attentive and responsive to others
• How feeling powerful actually overrides the part of our brain that signals empathy
• How drivers of more expensive cars (46 percent) tend to ignore pedestrians
• How powerful people often tell themselves stories to justify hierarchies
• The price we pay for powerlessness
• Concrete ways we can cultivate enduring, empathetic power
• Gender and power
• Why the key to parenting is to empower children to have a voice in the world

Selected Links to Topics Mentioned [all linked within]

Dacher Keltner
Greater Good Science Center
Frans de Waal
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
Thomas Clarkson and the abolition movement
Why Civil Resistance Works by Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan
House of Cards
The 100-Year Life by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott
What Works by Iris Bohnet
Arturo Behar and Facebook
Greater Good in Action
Science of Happiness course on edX"
dacherkeltner  power  hierarchy  machiavelli  influence  paradox  coercion  2016  thomasclarkson  abolition  slavery  history  greatergoodsciencecenter  resistance  ericchenoweth  mariastephan  houseofcards  andrewscott  lyndagratton  irisbohnet  arturobejar  fransdewaal  chimpanzees  primates  privilege  superiority  psychology  empathy  class  poverty  wealth  inequality  poor  happiness  humility  altruism  respect  sfsh  leadership  administration  parenting  friendship  dignity  workplace  horizontality  sharing  generosity  powerlessness  recognition  racism  gender  prestige  socialintelligence  empowerment 
august 2016 by robertogreco
Gender differences in response to competition with same-gender coworkers: A relational perspective. - PubMed - NCBI
"We take a relational perspective to explain how women and men may differently experience competition with their same-gender coworkers. According to gender socialization research, the female peer culture values harmony and the appearance of equality, whereas hierarchical ranking is integral to the male peer culture. As competition dispenses with equality and creates a ranking hierarchy, we propose that competition is at odds with the norms of female (but not male) peer relationships. On this basis, we predicted and found in 1 correlational study and 3 experiments that women regard competition with their same-gender coworkers as less desirable than men do, and that their relationships with each other suffer in the presence of competition. We discuss the implications of these findings for women's career progression."
competition  competitiveness  work  workplace  gender  2016  women  relationships  careers  equality  harmony 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Managing Bias | Facebook
"At Facebook, we believe that understanding and managing unconscious bias can help us build stronger, more diverse and inclusive organizations. These videos are designed to help us recognize our biases so we can reduce their negative effects in the workplace. Surfacing and countering unconscious bias is an essential step towards becoming the people and companies we want to be.

Video Modules

Welcome from Lori Goler – VP of People

There are different forms of unconscious bias that can prevent us from cultivating an inclusive and innovative workplace. In these videos, we discuss four common types of biases: Performance Bias, Performance Attribution Bias, Competence/Likeability Trade-off Bias, and Maternal Bias.

Introductions and First Impressions

Foundations for first impressions come from our own experiences and sense of the world—what’s familiar to us. Our reactions to someone we don’t know may be positive, negative, or neutral depending on what’s visible or audible about them; depending on their race, perceived sexual orientation, accent or a number of other characteristics.

Stereotypes and Performance Bias

Stereotypes are often automatic and unconscious. In the workplace, stereotypes can influence decisions we make about other people, preventing their ability to fully contribute in their jobs. Performance bias occurs when people who are part of dominant groups, such as whites or men, are judged by their expected potential, while those who are part of less dominant groups such as people of color or women are judged by their proven accomplishments.

Performance Attribution Bias

When it comes to decision-making, unconscious biases cause some people to be perceived as “naturally talented,” whereas others are presumed to have “gotten lucky.” People on the receiving end of these biases are less likely to receive credit for their ideas, are interrupted more often during team interactions and have less influence on teams.

Competence/Likeability Tradeoff Bias

Research shows that success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women. Women are expected to be nurturing and care-taking, while men are expected to be assertive and action-oriented. Having to produce results and be liked makes it harder for women to get hired and promoted, negotiate on their own behalf, and exhibit leadership.

Maternal Bias

Research shows that women who are mothers experience an unconscious bias in the workplace that fathers and women without children do not. Mothers are disliked when not seen as nurturing mothers, and given fewer opportunities.

Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion and What You Can Do

Surfacing and counteracting unconscious bias and its impacts is not only the right thing to do—it’s essential for our success.

Why?

Research shows that individuals and organizations that believe they are meritocratic often have the poorest outcomes. That’s because when biases aren’t acknowledged, we can’t deal with them.

Our goal in publishing this portion of our managing bias training is to achieve broader recognition of the hidden biases we all hold, and to highlight ways to counteract bias in the workplace. We invite you to treat this as a framework for action. Please add to or amend this content based on challenges relevant to your organization.

Let’s commit to surfacing and counteracting unconscious bias to level the playing field for all of us.

Download More on What You Can Do

Download the Slides and References Used in these Videos"

[via https://twitter.com/sjjphd/status/654477639529402368
via https://twitter.com/V_V_G/status/654481215358042112 ]
facebook  bias  unconsciousbias  diversity  psychology  inclusivity  training  video  stereotypes  gender  maternity  likeability  competence  performance  business  workplace  firstimpressions  race  sexualorientation  judgement  success  inclusion 
october 2015 by robertogreco
A Toxic Work World - The New York Times
"FOR many Americans, life has become all competition all the time. Workers across the socioeconomic spectrum, from hotel housekeepers to surgeons, have stories about toiling 12- to 16-hour days (often without overtime pay) and experiencing anxiety attacks and exhaustion. Public health experts have begun talking about stress as an epidemic.

The people who can compete and succeed in this culture are an ever-narrower slice of American society: largely young people who are healthy, and wealthy enough not to have to care for family members. An individual company can of course favor these individuals, as health insurers once did, and then pass them off to other businesses when they become parents or need to tend to their own parents. But this model of winning at all costs reinforces a distinctive American pathology of not making room for caregiving. The result: We hemorrhage talent and hollow out our society.

To begin with, we are losing women. America has unlocked the talent of its women in a way that few nations can match; girls are outpacing boys in high schools, universities and graduate schools and are now entering the work force at higher salaries. But the ranks of those women still thin significantly as they rise toward the top, from more than 50 percent at entry level to 10 to 20 percent in senior management. Far too many discover that what was once a manageable and enjoyable work-family balance can no longer be sustained — regardless of ambition, confidence or even a partner who shares tasks equally.

Every family’s situation is different; some women may be able to handle with ease conditions that don’t work for others. But many women who started out with all the ambition in the world find themselves in a place they never expected to be. They do not choose to leave their jobs; they are shut out by the refusal of their bosses to make it possible for them to fit their family life and their work life together. In her book “Opting Out? Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home,” the sociologist Pamela Stone calls this a “forced choice.” “Denial of requests to work part time, layoffs or relocations,” she writes, will push even the most ambitious woman out of the work force."



"THE problem is with the workplace, or more precisely, with a workplace designed for the “Mad Men” era, for “Leave It to Beaver” families in which one partner does all the work of earning an income and the other partner does all the work of turning that income into care — the care that is indispensable for our children, our sick and disabled, our elderly. Our families and our responsibilities don’t look like that anymore, but our workplaces do not fit the realities of our lives.

Irene Padavic, a Florida State sociologist, Robin J. Ely, a Harvard Business School professor, and Erin Reid from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business were asked to conduct a detailed study of a midsize global consulting firm where top management thought they had a “gender problem.” The firm had a paucity of women at the highest levels — just 10 percent of partners were women, compared with nearly 40 percent of junior associates.

After careful study, Professors Padavic, Ely and Reid found that an equal number of men and women had left the firm in the preceding three years, a simple fact that contradicted management’s women, work and family story. Some of the men also left because of the long hours; others “suffered in silence or otherwise made do.” The firm’s key human resources problem was not gender, as management believed, but rather a culture of overwork."



"EVEN if men and women join forces to demand changes in the workplace, though, we cannot do this alone, as individuals trying to make our lives work and as workers and bosses trying to make room for care. Some other company can always keep prices down by demanding more, burning out its employees and casting them aside when they are done. To be fully competitive as a country, we are going to have to emulate other industrialized countries and build an infrastructure of care. We used to have one; it was called women at home. But with 57 percent of those women in the labor force, that infrastructure has crumbled and it’s not coming back.

To support care just as we support competition, we will need some combination of the following: high-quality and affordable child care and elder care; paid family and medical leave for women and men; a right to request part-time or flexible work; investment in early education comparable to our investment in elementary and secondary education; comprehensive job protection for pregnant workers; higher wages and training for paid caregivers; community support structures to allow elders to live at home longer; and reform of elementary and secondary school schedules to meet the needs of a digital rather than an agricultural economy."



"Change in our individual workplaces and in our broader politics also depends on culture change: fundamental shifts in the way we think, talk and confer prestige. If we really valued care, we would not regard time out for caregiving — for your children, parents, spouse, sibling or any other member of your extended or constructed family — as a black hole on a résumé. We would see it as engaging in a socially, personally and professionally valuable activity. We would see men who lean out for care as role models just as much as women who lean in for work. We would think managing kids matters as much as managing money.

Impossible, right? Yet I grew up in a society where my mother set out little vases of cigarettes on the table at dinner parties, where blacks and whites had to use different bathrooms, and in which almost everyone claimed to be heterosexual. That seems a lifetime ago, but I’m not so old. Our world has changed over the past 50 years, vastly for the better from the point of view of African-Americans, the L.G.B.T. community and families who lost loved ones to lung cancer. Given the magnitude of that change, think about how much we can still do.

We can, all of us, stand up for care. Until we do, men and women will never be equal; not while both are responsible for providing cash but only women are responsible for providing care. And though individual Americans might win out in our current system, America as a whole will never be as competitive as it ought to be. If we do not act, over time our families and communities, the foundation of our flourishing, will wither.

The women’s movement has brought many of us the right to compete on equal terms; it’s time for all of us to claim an equal right to care."
work  stress  2015  anne-marieslaughter  labor  care  caregiving  society  us  agediscrimination  overwork  health  gender  discrimination  poverty  economics  irenepadavic  robinelyerinreid  workplace  competition 
september 2015 by robertogreco
Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, and the Importance of the Interior « Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities
"
“The French have become masters in the art of being happy among ‘small things,’ within the space of their own four walls, between chest and bed, table and chair, dog and cat and flowerpot, extending to these things a care and tenderness which, in a world where rapid industrialization constantly kills off the things of yesterday to produce today’s objects, may even appear to be the world’s last, purely humane corner.”


-- Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition

During my first reading of Arendt’s The Human Condition, this particular quote attracted my attention, probably since I’m trained as an architect and sensible to these kind of imaginable, tangible examples. (I must also mention the very nice and almost poetic rhythm in the ‘construction’ of the sentences quoted above). The passage immediately reminded me of the famous text “Paris: Capital of the Nineteenth Century,” in which Walter Benjamin, among other things, links the importance of the domestic interior to the emerging impact of industrialization on the working people. Through the mutability of modernity, as symbolised by the arcades with their cast-iron constructions, Benjamin argues that the interior comes into conscious being to the extent that our life, work, and surroundings change. The interior of domestic life originates in the need for a place of one’s own: a small but personal haven in a turbulent world that is subject to constant change.

Acknowledging this development, the modern individual found himself confronting a new separation between living and working, between the (domestic) interior and the workplace. Here Benjamin stresses that in the workplace one deals with “real” life, (Although work is increasingly being carried out in bigger, virtual spheres.) whereas within the dwelling’s interior one harbours illusions. The interior is a safe haven, a familiar domain, in which one can cherish one’s personal history in an otherwise cold and threatening environment. “The interior is not just the universe but also the étui of the private individual,” Benjamin writes. The interior is so close to man that it is like a second skin – a perfect fit. It is geared to our rhythm (of life), and vice versa.

But there is more to it. Benjamin observes that the interior also offers meaning through living; it accommodates a story of personal remembrances. “To live means to leave traces. In the interior, these are accentuated.” In other words, there is no escape from life in the interior. Whereas in the public space those traces inevitably fade, in the interior they remain visible and tangible for the occupant. And that is crucial: people hold the interior close precisely because of the memories that attach to it. To be at home is more than to merely eat, sleep and work somewhere – it is to inhabit the house. That is to say, to make it your own, to leave traces.

It is possible to describe the interior in this perspective as a flight from the “real” world “out there,” but this overlooks the importance of the interior for this “reality.” Arendt’s quotation cited at the beginning of this article – which might be invoked alongside the same Parisian experience Benjamin analyzes – is part of her emphasis on the importance of the private realm vis-à-vis the public realm. A life lived exclusively in the bright glare of the public realm will fade, she states. It will lose depth, that is, its ability to appear into the world. It needs the private realm to recover, to reform, in order to reappear and once again participate in public. Although it may sound negative, darkness means first and foremost that something has been hidden from view. It is therefore shielded from the continuous maelstrom of public life.

Set against this backdrop, Arendt stresses the importance of one’s own household – or more to the point, one’s own home – as a necessary condition. This assertion is supported by the respect with which city-states once treated private property. The boundaries that separated each person’s space were observed most reverently, with the property inside treated as sacred spaces and things.

The darkness of the house and the blinding glare of the outside depend on each other. Indeed, they are inextricably linked. Distinct from family life with its protective and educational aspects, Arendt also takes this to mean that the private realm accommodates those things in life that cannot appear in public. She believes that the distinction between the public and private realms has to do with that which must be made visible on the one hand and that which must remain invisible on the other. What appears in public acquires maximum visibility and hence reality. However, there are some things in life that need to remain hidden: the intimacy of love and friendship, the experiences of birth and death. Both the physical and the romantic belong to the realm of necessity, Arendt claims. They are too closely tied up with the needs of the individual to be made a public matter. Put differently, the private realm provides space for the ineffable, the issues we cannot discuss or negotiate, or indeed the ones we cannot stop talking about. Those issues need a safe place, one among personal “things” and their memories.

If the importance of the interior is manifest anywhere, it is in the appearance of homeless people living like ghosts on the streets. Being homeless not only means living unprotected from wind and rain. It also means first and foremost not having a safe place where you can be more or less secure and sheltered, a place to which you can withdraw in order to recharge before re-entering the domain of uncertainty and danger.
These four walls, within which people’s private life is lived, constitute a shield against the world and specifically against the public aspect of the world. They enclose a secure place, without which no living thing can thrive. This holds good (…) for human life in general. Wherever the latter is consistently exposed to the world without the protection of privacy and security its vital quality is destroyed. (Arendt, The Human Condition)
"
hannaharendt  home  walterbenjamin  interiors  interior  uncertainty  certainty  refuge  hansteerds  privacy  visibility  invisibility  household  homeless  homelessness  security  danger  consistency  modernity  workplace 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Workspace of: Makeshift Society in NYC | VSCO
"Makeshift Society provides multi-faceted workspaces in both San Francisco and New York City that are geared towards entrepreneurs, creatives, and freelancers. A little while back, we featured Makeshift Society’s San Francisco location on the Journal, which you can view here. Since then, they successfully funded a Kickstarter of $30,000 for seeding a New York coworking space, and just recently, they finished building out the gorgeous 4,000 square foot workspace, which is located in a hundred year old pencil factory in Brooklyn.

For the configuration of their New York workspace, Makeshift Society created an open, airy, and bright layout that utilizes the large warehouse windows and vaulted ceilings. There are plenty of cozy corners, quiet areas, and meeting rooms where members can discuss privately with clients and collaborators. A range of options for membership, from a single day pass up to a full-time, 5 day a week plan, allows for individuals to create a schedule suitable to their needs.

In celebration of the completion of their New York workspace, Makeshift Society is throwing an open house with refreshments, demos, and talks on Wednesday, June 4th from 9am - 6pm. This event is free and open to the public. If you would like to attend the event, make sure to reserve a spot here as spaces are limited.

We were very excited to interview Makeshift Society regarding their beautiful and functional new space. Read on below to learn more about the differences between their New York and San Francisco spaces and the types of creatives they house. All of the wonderful images documenting their simple, inspiring, and warm workspace were taken by Noah Sahady and processed using VSCO Film 04."
makeschiftsociety  nyc  brooklyn  coworking  workplace  design  interiors  lcproject  openstudioproject  2014  via:nicolefenton  furniture  workspace  workspaces 
june 2014 by robertogreco
How to Minimize Politics in Your Company - Ben's Blog
[via: http://www.vox.com/2014/5/15/5719916/why-salaries-shouldnt-be-secret ]

"As I developed as a CEO, I found three key techniques to be extremely useful in minimizing politics.

1. Hire people with the right kind of ambition—The cases that I described above might involve people who are ambitious, but not necessarily inherently political. All cases are not like this. The surest way to turn your company into the political equivalent of the US Senate is to hire people with the wrong kind of ambition. As defined by Andy Grove, the right kind of ambition is ambition for the company’s success with the executive’s own success only coming as a by-product of the company’s victory. The wrong kind of ambition is ambition for the executive’s personal success regardless of the company’s outcome.

2. Build strict processes for potentially political issues and do not deviate—Certain activities attract political behavior. These activities include:

• Performance evaluation and compensation
• Organizational design and territory
• Promotions

Let’s examine each case and how you might build and execute a process that insulates the company from bad behavior and politically motivated outcomes.

Performance and compensation—Often companies defer putting performance management and compensation processes in place. This doesn’t mean that they don’t evaluate employees or give pay raises; it just means they do so in an ad hoc manner that’s highly vulnerable to political machinations. By conducting well-structured, regular performance and compensation reviews, you will ensure that pay and stock increases are as fair as possible. This is especially important for executive compensation as doing so will also serve to minimize politics. In the example above, the CEO should have had an airtight performance and compensation policy and simply told the executive that his compensation would be evaluated with everyone else’s. Ideally, the executive compensation process should involve the board of directors. This will a) help ensure good governance and b) make exceptions even more difficult.

Organizational design and territory—If you manage ambitious people, from time to time, they will want to expand their scope of responsibility. In the example above, the CFO wanted to become the COO. In other situations, the head of marketing might want to run sales and marketing or the head of engineering may want to run engineering and product management. When someone raises an issue like this with you, you must be very careful about what you say, because everything that you say can be turned into political cannon fodder. Generally, it’s best to say nothing at all. At most, you might ask “why?”, but if you do so be sure not to react to the reasons. If you indicate what you are thinking, that information will leak, rumors will spread and you plant the seeds for all kinds of unproductive discussions. You should evaluate your organizational design on a regular basis and gather the information that you need to decide without tipping people to what you plan to do. Once you decide, you should immediately execute the re-org: don’t leave time for leaks and lobbying.

Promotions—Every time your company gives someone a promotion, everyone else at that person’s level evaluates the promotion and judges whether merit or political favors yielded the promotion. If the latter, then the other employees generally react in one of three ways:

a. They sulk and feel undervalued

b. They outwardly disagree, campaign against the person, and undermine them in their new position

c. They attempt to copy the political behavior that generated the unwarranted promotion

Clearly, you don’t want any of these behaviors in your company. Therefore, you must have a formal, visible, defensible promotion process that governs every employee promotion. Often this process must be different for people on your own staff (the general process may involve various managers who are familiar with the employee’s work, the executive process should include the board of directors). The purpose of the process is twofold. First, it will give the organization confidence that the company at least attempted to base the promotion on merit and second, the result of the process will be the information necessary for your team to explain the promotion decisions that you made.

3. Be careful with “he said, she said”—Once your organization grows to a significant size, members of your team will, from time to time, complain about each other. Sometimes this criticism will be extremely aggressive. Be very careful about how you listen and the message that it sends. Simply by hearing them out without defending the employee in question, you will send the message that you agree. If people in the company think that you agree that one of your executives is less than stellar, that information will spread quickly and without qualification. As a result, people will stop listening to the executive in question and they will soon become ineffective.

There are two distinct types of complaints that you will receive:

a. Complaints about an executive’s behavior

b. Complaints about an executive’s competency or performance

Generally, the best way to handle complaints of type 1 is to get the complaining executive and the targeted executive in the room together and have them explain themselves. Usually, simply having this meeting will resolve the conflict and correct the behavior (if it was actually broken). Do not attempt to address behavioral issues without both executives in the room. Doing so will invite manipulation and politics.

Complaints of type 2 are both more rare and more complex. If one of your executives summons the courage to complain about the competency of one of their peers, then there is a good chance that either the complainer or the targeted executive has a major problem. If you receive a type 2 complaint, you will generally have one of two reactions: a) they will be telling you something that you already know or b) they’ll be telling you shocking news.

If they are telling you something that you already know, then the big news is that you have let the situation go too far. Whatever your reasons for attempting to rehabilitate the wayward executive, you have taken too long and now your organization has turned on the executive in question. You must resolve the situation quickly. Almost always, this means firing the executive. While I’ve seen executives improve their performance and skill sets, I’ve never seen one lose the support of the organization then regain it.

On the other hand, if the complaint is new news, then you must immediately stop the conversation and make clear to the complaining executive that you in no way agree with their assessment. You do not want to cripple the other executive before you re-evaluate their performance. You do not want the complaint to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once you’ve shut down the conversation, you must quickly re-assess the employee in question. If you find that they are doing an excellent job, then you must figure out the complaining executive’s motivations and resolve them. Do not let an accusation of this magnitude fester. If you find that the employee is doing a poor job, there will be time to go back and get the complaining employee’s input, but you should be on a track to remove the poor performer at that point."
benhorowitz  2010  management  leadership  officepolitics  politics  work  workplace  business  behavior  psychology  groupdynamics  relationships  administration  organizations  promotions  conflict 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Paper Pushers - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"For example, one might think that the proliferation of office jobs signals the achievement of a middle-class society, the white collar having long been a sign of respectability—and yet this is a time when the ground of middle-class stability is widely seen to be eroding, and when the average white-collar job earns you not much more, and often less, than a place on an automobile assembly line. Workplaces supposedly filled with "knowledge workers," with more potential control over their work, have not become more democratic or equal ones: Bosses fire workers, and more of them at once, with more impunity than ever before; the ones who don’t get fired are temps or contractors, who enjoy even less in the way of security. If the paradigmatic midcentury white-collar novel was The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, in which one of the central struggles was whether the protagonist could successfully rezone his enormous inherited property, meant for four houses, into a suburban development for 80 houses (spoiler: he succeeds), the defining work of our era has been Mike Judge’s Office Space, a movie in which arbitrary layoffs, mindless work in gray cubicles, and desires for revenge and sabotage curdle the "middle class" atmosphere.

In the face of this onslaught, it has been hard to see the response of white-collar workers as anything but passive. No organizations fight against the culture of layoffs, at the same time that the social safety net has been allowed to erode. In academe, temporary work by adjunct professors is simply accepted as the new normal in a violently unstable "job market" (truly one of the more mealy-mouthed and ideological phrases of our time). The Occupy movement represented an exhilarating moment of political visibility for declassed white-collar workers, allied as they were with unions and other institutions of the even more embattled working class. One can only hope that the repression that the police visited on the movement has only stifled, and not killed, its calls for real autonomy in the workplace and for an end to the harried, fearful aspects of the life of the white-collar worker that Mills diagnosed in 1951, and whose political consequences he feared. The success of such movements may yet lay to rest Mills’s pessimism about the force and power of white-collar politics. So far, however, in this respect, as in so many others, C. Wright Mills has been sadly prophetic."
economics  jobs  worl  labor  1946  2014  nikilsaval  cwrightmills  workplace  knowledgeworkers  unions  ows  occupywallstreet  workingclass  whitecolarpolitics  politics  adjuncts  solidarity  via:ayjay 
april 2014 by robertogreco
The Bossless Office Trend -- New York Magazine
"A nonhierarchical workplace may just be a more creative and happier one. But how would you feel if the whole office voted on whether to hire you—and when to give you a raise?"
hierarchy  horizontality  work  business  power  collaboration  cooperation  workplace  community  tcsnmy  lcproject  organizations  leadership  management  administration 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Disciplined Minds - Wikipedia
"…book by physicist Jeff Schmidt, published in 2000…describes how professionals are made; the methods of professional & graduate schools that turn eager entering students into disciplined managerial & intellectual workers that correctly perceive & apply the employer's doctrine & outlook. Schmidt uses the examples of law, medicine, & physics, & describes methods that students & professional workers can use to preserve their personalities & independent thought.

Schmidt was fired from his position of 19yrs as Associate Editor at Physics Today for writing the book on the accusation that he wrote it on his employer's time. In 2006…it was announced that the case had been settled, with the dismissed editor receiving reinstatement and a substantial cash settlement. According to the article, 750 physicists & other academics, including Noam Chomsky, signed public letters denouncing the dismissal…"

[ http://www.amazon.com/Disciplined-Minds-Critical-Professionals-Soul-battering/dp/0742516857/ ]
intellectualworkers  workplace  bureaucracy  control  employment  labor  noamchomsky  cv  professionals  disciplinedminds  institutionalization  mediocrity  management  managementstudies  middlemanagement  criticalthinking  personality  law  medicine  physics  2006  2000  unschooling  deschooling  independentthought  independentthinking  professionalization  jeffschmidt  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
I Want a World | Swell Content - Swell Content
"I want a world where “killing it” and “crushing it” aren’t seen as positives.

Where my daughter is always invited to product meetings and my son can marry his boyfriend, no matter where they live.

Where my sister doesn’t have to pretend she’s a man to feel comfortable online.

Where I don’t have to make jokes about how many white dudes are speaking at a conference or sitting in a board room.

Where nobody has to defend their right to participate.

Where we don’t embrace violence and silencing others in our vernacular.

Where we work together and take the time to understand each other.

Where we listen and ask questions.

Where everyone’s welcome."

[See also: https://twitter.com/nicoleslaw/status/270937047055859712 ]
violence  acceptance  sexulaity  women  workplace  conferences  sexuality  gender  2012  participation  betterworld  inclusiveness  inclusion  nicolejones  nicolefenton  feminism  inclusivity  inlcusivity  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
Afterall • Online • Two Slight Returns: Chauncey Hare and Marianne Wex
"For Chauncey Hare and Marianne Wex, the question of a career, of art as a profession, was unresolved in ways which have affected the legacy of their work, and even the legitimacy of categorising them as ‘artists’. While they were contemporaries, making their most important work in the 1970s, they had little else obviously in common: Hare was a documentary photographer based in California; Wex was an artist and art teacher living in Hamburg. They never met, or exhibited together, nor were they even aware of one another’s work. But in their choices, the vicissitudes of their reputations, and the political valencies of their work, there are parallels which suggest how vocations can unhinge careers, and how giving oneself over entirely to the work might mean abandoning it altogether."
judithwyatt  photography  renunciation  anti-career  janetmalcolm  artlabor  responsibility  jackvaneuw  bancroftlibrary  judywyatt  labor  leisurearts  self-sabotage  artworld  workplace  work  iainsinclair  aidanandrewdun  vocations  mikesperlinger  2011  1970s  art  mariannewex  chaunceyhare  artleisure  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
A Good Place to Work // ben's blog
"In good organizations, people can focus on their work & have confidence that if they get their work done, good things will happen for both the company & them personally. It is a true pleasure to work in an organization such as this. Every person can wake up knowing that the work they do will be efficient, effective & make a difference both for the organization & themselves. These things make their jobs both motivating & fulfilling.

In a poor organization…people spend much of their time fighting organizational boundaries, infighting & broken processes. They are not even clear on what their jobs are, so there is no way to know if they are getting the job done or not. In the miracle case that they work ridiculous hours & get the job done, they have no idea what it means for the company or their careers. To make it all much worse & rub salt in the wound, when they finally work up the courage to tell management how fucked up their situation is, management denies there is a problem, then…"
workplace  work  tcsnmy  opsware  benhorowitz  2012  sharedvalues  communication  leadership  administration  management  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
kung fu grippe • Suppose you are in a unit with 10 other people....
"Suppose you are in a unit with 10 other people. Your boss thinks every one of you is spectacular. Well it doesn’t matter because at Microsoft, you have to designate two of them as spectacular, four of them as mediocre, and then the rest as terrible. What you’ve done is create a system where every employee is not only trying to do their best, but every employee is trying to make sure that their colleagues don’t. Creating that environment is the exact opposite of what you want to do in terms of encouraging innovation."

—The downfall of innovation at Microsoft | Marketplace.org [ http://www.marketplace.org/topics/tech/downfall-innovation-microsoft ]

"I first learned about Microsoft’s practice of “stack racking” within teams about five years ago. Ever since then, the company’s fortunes have made a lot more sense to me.

And, not in a good way."
beenthere  hownottodoit  whattoavoid  ranking  adverserialworkplace  competition  howwework  workenvironment  2012  innovation  culture  workplace  kairyssdal  administration  leadership  tcsnmy  control  fear  hierarchy  management  microsoft  merlinmann  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
Hullabaloo - Actually, in Reality my Work is my Life
"We know that it's hard to organize workplaces and we know that most people no longer know what a union is, much less think it can do anything for them. But from where I sit, the real problem is that corporate values have filled the void, with ruthless competition, no job security --- all holding out the false promise that the "best" and "hardest working" will rise to the top. In fact, our whole "exceptional" culture with its fetish for individualism and competition (fed constantly by corporate propaganda) works against the idea that we are in anything together. We don't even have enough of a sense of community anymore to require people not to kill each other when it can be avoided."
work  community  2012  corporatism  competition  us  unions  collaboration  values  workplace  via:tom.hoffman 
june 2012 by robertogreco
THIS MUST BE THE PLACE
"There's no place like home. It's where we live, work and dream. It's our sanctuary and our refuge. We can love them or hate them. It can be just for the night or for the rest of our lives. But whoever we may be, we all have a place we call home.

THIS MUST BE THE PLACE is a series of short films that explore the idea of home; what makes them, how they represent us, why we need them.

THIS MUST BE THE PLACE is produced and directed by Ben Wu and David Usui, of Lost & Found Films."
place  refuge  sanctuary  wherewework  wherewelive  workplace  homes  thismustbetheplace  films  documentary  home  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
A Nation of Workplace Junkies | Territorial Masquerades
"Appadurai’s observation that we are “no longer fathers, mothers, friends or neighbors” rings particularly true on the airwaves. Compare the new shows with those of previous decades: I love Lucy, The Brady Bunch, I Dream of Jeannie, Leave it to Beaver, Good Times, Family Ties, 227, The Cosby Show, Roseanne, The Jeffersons, Growing Pains, Silver Spoons, Different Strokes, Alf, Married With Children (I could go on). The common denominator of these previous shows is that they were not about work; they were primarily about families and the setting was the household.

Even without taking into account the “reality” genre, which so often revolves around a “competition” between chefs, entrepreneurs, models, designers, or whatever—the ultimate prize is actually winning a job!—we have become a nation of workplace junkies."

[See also: http://www.anthropology-news.org/index.php/2011/11/03/a-nation-of-business-junkies/ ]
workplace  workplacehegemony  identity  meaning  purpose  families  culture  arjunappadurai  2012  workslavery  labor  work  from delicious
january 2012 by robertogreco
Collaborative Workspaces: Not All They're Cracked Up to Be - Design - The Atlantic Cities
"Being a part of group is awesome (go team!) but so is individual effort. The uncritical embrace of collaboration above all else can lead, as a social scientist at the SPUR panel remarked, to the reverse of what was intended: group-think, conformity, consensus for the sake of peace-making. Further, the suburban corporate campus, even when it attempts, as Facebook and Google are, to approximate urban environment, can often serve to exacerbate the type of self-reinforcing behaviors Bill Bishop explored a few years ago in his book, The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart. Forest City’s Alexa Arena, another participant in the SPUR panel, says that her company’s anthropological research while working on the more iterative workspace model seen in its 5M Project revealed that employees working in these environments found that their best ideas came not while in that bustling, lively office but more likely when they were in their own neighborhoods hanging…"
schooldesign  classroomdesign  2012  variety  adaptability  flexibility  work  attention  furniture  openstudioproject  openstudio  lcproject  tcsnmy  allornothing  unintendedconsequences  brainstorming  collaboration  susancain  extroverts  introverts  howwework  officedesign  architecture  design  workplace  workspace  allisonarieff  groupthink  solitude  productivity  workspaces  from delicious
january 2012 by robertogreco
Tucker Nichols Bravo Commission - YouTube
"Short documentary of the mural at the Bravo TV offices at 30 Rockefeller Center by artist Tucker Nichols."
tuckernichols  art  murals  glvo  classideas  text  embedded  listening  observation  storytelling  bravo  workplace  officeculture  from delicious
december 2011 by robertogreco
Generation Make | TechCrunch
"We have a distrust of large organizations…don’t look down on people creating small businesses. But we’re not emotionless…We have anger…flares up to become Arab Spring & OccupyWallStreet…We have ego…every entrepreneur who thinks their tech startup is the best…We have passion, & an intense drive to follow…through, immediately. Our generation is autonomous…impatient. We refuse to pay our dues…want to be running the department. We hop from job to job…average tenure…is just 3 years. We think we can do anything we can imagine…hate the idea that we should ever be beholden to someone else. We do this because we have been abandoned by the institutions that should have embraced us…We are a generation of makers…of creators. Maybe we don’t have the global idealism of the hippies. Our idealism is more individual: that every person should be able to live their own life, working on what they choose, creating what they choose…"
socialmedia  makers  making  generations  millennials  2011  justinkan  williamderesiewicz  entrepreneurship  ows  arabspring  occupywallstreet  idealism  attitude  trends  passion  unschooling  deschooling  hierarchy  revolution  via:preoccupations  davidfincer  markzuckerberg  individualism  self-actualization  independence  work  labor  behavior  startups  startup  workplace  motivation  geny  generationy  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Future Perfect » Power Plays
"For example:

- Look out for the person at an event who hovers by the door greeting people as they enter – regardless of whether they are the event host – the implied host.

- Subtle put-downs that trivialises the contribution of others

- At Pop!Tech Johathan Greenblatt (Director to the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation) prefaced his talk with a classic power play – by thanking the organisers for being invited to the event, and by then leading the audience in a round of applause for the organiser’s good work – reinforcing his authority to bless the work of others

- Award ceremonies."
powerplays  power  janchipchase  authority  awardceremonies  awards  2011  work  workplace  from delicious
october 2011 by robertogreco
New Ways of Designing the Modern Workspace - NYTimes.com
"Adjustable desks, foldout benches & louvered shades have their place but…furniture is not the problem…But in the same way that bamboo floors, hybrid SUVs and eco-couture haven’t done much to curb carbon emissions, designing (& buying) more stuff for offices, no matter how sleek or sustainable it is, likely won’t help reset the culture of work.

Design itself is the problem because it is being used to solve the wrong ones…has to expand beyond noodling with the cubicle. I’m willing to bet that almost any office worker would happily swap Webcam lighting…for solutions to more pressing work issues like…burnout or fear of losing health coverage…

Two other factors often undervalued (and often ignored) in the workplace? Family and time…

We shouldn’t be rethinking the cubicle or corner office but rather rethinking all aspects of work…"
psychology  work  design  officedesign  allisonarieff  cubicles  classrooms  schooldesign  sustainability  productivity  life  families  parenting  time  workplace  workspace  nathanshedroff  furniture  homes  housing  babysitting  childcare  flexibility  coworking  efficiency  yiconglu  serbanionescu  jimdreilein  justinsmith  theminerandmajorproject  architecture  interiors  interiordesign  environmentaldesign  environment  broodwork  florianidenburg  jingliu  commonground  eames  froebel  kindergarten  andrewberardini  larrysummers  rachelbotsman  creativity  innovation  2011  autonomy  learning  workspaces  classroom  friedrichfroebel  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Adventures in Free Schooling
"Adventures in Free Schooling was started for several reasons: to have a dialogue about democratic, alternative, creative, and popular education and critical pedagogy; to share resources on teaching and learning that is geared towards anti-oppression and liberation; to discuss the history of schools and their impact on our society; to explore current models and experiments in alternative education, teaching, and learning; and more.The discussions and topics found here have a heavy focus on history and the relation between workplace democracy and learning-place democracy. This blog is also dedicated to education that is focused on fighting societal injustices and creating liberation through learning and teaching. Last, but not least, Adventures in Free Schooling is a space that’s purpose is to create new and innovative ideas for alternative learning places and critical teaching methods."
freeschools  free  schools  education  democracy  democraticschools  learning  unschooling  deschooling  brianvanslyke  liberation  freedom  teaching  alternativeeducation  alternative  society  lcproject  history  workplace  opression  anti-opression  colonization  pedagogy  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Breaking Free From the Iron Cage: Business in the Connected Age : peterme.com
"So, if strategy & planning are manageable, it again begs the question, why are so many experiences so bad? & as you dig further, you realize the problem is with the organization itself. Strategies, plans, & execution are all outputs of organizational behavior. & if your organization is broken, if its values are ill-defined, vision unclear, & goals too restrictive, this will inevitably lead to mindless strategies, ill-considered plans, and sub-par execution.

So you need to address the extremely challenging aspects of organizational dynamics, interpersonal relationships, and all manner of, well, people stuff. And when you do that, you realize most corporations still operate under the mechanistic and bureaucratic practices of the 19th and 20th centuries, born of railroad functions and mass manufacturing. These bureaucratic approaches are inherently dehumanizing, and so these organizations struggle with the key characteristic of delivering great experiences–human engagement."
business  connectivism  learning  values  organizations  petermerholz  tcsnmy  lcproject  bureaucracy  hierarchy  relationships  flow  isolation  play  work  workplace  deschooling  unschooling  autonomy  control  industrialage  generative  services  social  society  change  human  humans  management  administration  leadership  experience  2011  shrequest1  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Suburbs and Cubicles : peterme.com
"The cubicle farm strikes me as the real-world embodiment of the dehumanization represented in org charts. I’m reading Douglas Rushkoff’s Life, Inc., about the rise of corporatism. He mentions the flight to the suburbs (also mentioned in The McDonaldization of Society) and I wondered about the connection between the suburbs and the cubicle farm. Both contributed to the individualizing of America, our separation from one another.. Both strike me as products of Weberian rationalization, in that tract homes and cubicle farms are models of efficiency and quantifiability from the stand point of production… but ultimately isolating and damaging from the perspective of those who have to live in and use them."
suburbs  suburbia  cubicles  perermerholz  work  workplace  structures  industrialage  deschooling  unschooling  community  communities  separation  individualized  individualism  collaboration  corporatism  lcproject  tcsnmy  hierarchy  petermerholz  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Eide Neurolearning Blog: The Wrong Environment
"In How Brain Science Can Save You from the Wrong Job, child psychiatrist Edward Hallowell makes the analogy between a child who is struggling in the classroom and adults who can't get engaged in their workplace."

"Specific person + environment = crisis"

[Includes] "Hallowells's checklist for  "Is your job a good fit?""
work  crisis  howwework  mismatches  tcsnmy  learning  education  cv  change  culture  fit  workplace  environment  schools  organizations  personalcrisis  organizationalculture  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Families and Work Institute
"Families and Work Institute is a nonprofit center dedicated to providing research for living in today’s changing workplace, changing family and changing community.

Since the Institute was founded in 1989, our work has tackled issues in three major areas: the workforce/workplace, youth and early childhood.

Families and Work Institute’s research takes on emerging issues before they crest and includes some of the most comprehensive research on the U.S. workforce available.

The Institute’s work has helped change the language of debates to move the discussion forward toward more effective, and data-driven solutions, and to result in action."
work  families  demographics  research  statistics  parenting  workplace  life  organization  careers  business  jobs  livework  glvo  work-lifebalance  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Open social scene: Coffeesmith, Garosu-gil | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
"I thought this was just an exemplary platform for conviviality.

Coffeesmith's multiple zones readily support:
- prospect and refuge;
- solitary drinking/reading/studying/people-watching;
- socialization at a variety of scales, from couples to mid-sized groups;
- a range of options for lighting and ventilation."
lcproject  space  conviviality  thirdplaces  design  architecture  environmentaldesign  lighting  ventilation  seoul  korea  socialization  adamgreenfield  experience  coffeehouses  work  workplace  workspace  cafes  classroomdesigns  thirdspaces  openstudioproject  workspaces  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Peter Principle | read more wikipedia. [Reminder of a sad truth]
"The Peter Principle is the principle that “in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence”.<br />
<br />
It holds that in a hierarchy, members are promoted so long as they work competently. Sooner or later they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent (their “level of incompetence”), and there they remain, being unable to earn further promotions.<br />
<br />
Peter’s Corollary states that “in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out their duties” and adds that “work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence”.”"
peterprinciple  hierarchy  incompetence  productivity  via:lukeneff  management  administration  promotion  work  workplace  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
…My heart’s in Accra » TEDGlobal: Steve Johnson – Chance favors the connected mind
"Johnson has been thinking about coffeehouses because he’s interested in question, Where Do Good Ideas Come From? (more or less...his new book.) He tells us that we have shortcomings in our language in discussing ideas. Our language – flash of insight, stroke of genius, epiphany – focus on ideas as atomic & disconnected. But an idea is a network – it’s a new configuation w/in your brain. How do you get your brain into new places where ideas can form?...

Great ideas aren’t flashes of insights – they’re the cobbling together of diverse ideas into a new configuation. So we need to let go of the image of Netwon, the apple & discovery of gravity. It’s rarely about individual contemplation – it’s more about the sort of chaotic, free-flowing ideas that happen in the coffeehouse or around dinner table. We need to build spaces like this, including in their offices...

People tend to compress their stories of discovery into a Eureka moment. In truth, most great ideas a “slow hunches”."
stevenjohnson  ted  chance  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  connections  innovation  mind  hunches  coffeehouses  ideas  conversation  design  ethanzuckerman  brain  discovery  howwework  workplace  tcsnmy  lcproject  schooldesign  science 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Why You Can’t Work at Work | Jason Fried | Big Think
"With its constant commotion, unnecessary meetings, and infuriating wastes of time, the modern workplace makes us all work longer, less focused hours. Jason Fried explains how we can change all of this."
jasonfried  37signals  bigthink  interruptions  meetings  communication  business  distraction  gtd  office  management  design  leadership  productivity  process  workplace  work  tcsnmy  creativity 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Creating a sick system [sounds way too much like so many schools]
"Really disturbing piece about how to make someone dependent on you...i.e. "creating a sick system". Here are the four basic rules:
abuse  employment  management  psychology  relationships  workplace  schooling  control  rewards  kottke  tcsnmy  delayedgratification  work  scary 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Weeknotes.com | Talent & Fervor
"Weeknotes are updates about what your business has been doing over the past seven days or so.
aggregator  berg  schulzeandwebb  berglondon  transparency  workplace  business  tcsnmy  storytelling  notes  weeknotes  webservice  collaboration  blogging  feeds 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Robert Paterson's Weblog: School Closures on PEI - Going from Lose Lose to Win Win
"To do this, each community has to have a centre of gravity - the building that was the school can and should become this.
communitycenters  education  schools  lcproject  community  small  local  tcsnmy  libraries  workplace  schooldesign 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Preoccupations - Meetings Are a Matter of Precious Time - NYTimes.com
"As a general rule, meetings make individuals perform below their capacity and skill levels.

This doesn’t mean we should always avoid face-to-face meetings — but it is certain that every organization has too many meetings, and far too many poorly designed ones.

The main reason we don’t make meetings more productive is that we don’t value our time properly. The people who call meetings and those who attend them are not thinking about time as their most valuable resource."

[via: http://www.37signals.com/svn/posts/1536-it-is-certain-that-every-organization-has ]
meetings  administration  leadership  management  time  productivity  tcsnmy  organization  efficiency  workplace  business  culture  workflow  work 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Planning to Share versus Just Sharing at EdTechPost
"Contrast this with these formal initiatives to network “organizations.” In my experience, these start with meetings in which people first agree that sharing is a good idea, and then follow up meetings to decide what they might share, then, somewhere way down the line, some sharing might happen. The whole time, some of the parts of a network are already present and could have just started sharing what they have, heck they could have started before ever meeting, even WITHOUT ever meeting, but this never happens. (I say part, because if it’s a network it will grow to include many others not in any intial group.)"
education  learning  networking  sharing  blogging  knowledge  bestpractice  institutions  organizations  collaboration  community  control  deschooling  lcproject  administration  management  collaborative  meetings  schools  leadership  ples  tcsnmy  open  networks  transparency  bureaucracy  decisionmaking  fear  safety  unintendedconsequences  obsolescence  workplace  gamechanging  self-preservation 
december 2008 by robertogreco
ed4wb » Blog Archive » Institutions as Barriers, Organizations as Enablers
"Schools’ automatic immune response has been to try to control the ELN by creating boundaries & regulations aimed at “protecting” the institution & those within it...need to protect itself from obsolescence, thus bureaucracy in charge of creating rules & regulations...This type of safety net rests on top of the institution’s members–not under them, preventing a free flow of potentially useful information. In an age when the tools for sharing, collaboration, and collective action are ubiquitous and dirt cheap, a controlling paradigm can be quite limiting and counter-productive." ... "PLNs & ELNs function best when they form organically–not due to decree or lengthy planning; when they can tap into the power of disparate voices–often found outside of the institution; are need-driven, amorphous, self-organizing, self-policing, fluid, permeable & control-wary. In other words, when they are given access to everything schools pretty much hate."
education  learning  networking  sharing  blogging  knowledge  bestpractice  institutions  organizations  collaboration  community  control  deschooling  lcproject  administration  management  collaborative  meetings  schools  leadership  ples  tcsnmy  clayshirky  open  networks  transparency  bureaucracy  decisionmaking  fear  safety  unintendedconsequences  obsolescence  workplace  gamechanging  self-preservation 
december 2008 by robertogreco
The generation raised on the internet | The kids are alright | The Economist
"Tapscott identifies 8 norms that define Net Geners, which he believes everyone should take on board to avoid being swept away by sort of generational tsunami that helped Barack Obama beat John McCain. Net Geners value freedom & choice in everything they do...love to customise & personalise...scrutinise everything...demand integrity & openness, including when deciding what to buy & where to work...want entertainment & play in their work & education, as well as social life...love to collaborate...expect everything to happen fast...expect constant innovation...2 things do worry Tapscott...inadequacy of ed system in many countries...2/3 of Net Geners will be smartest gen ever...other 1/3 is failing to achieve potential...fault is education, not internet, which needs to be given much bigger role in classrooms (real & virtual)...lack of any regard for personal privacy...“serious mistake & most of them don’t realise it.”"
dontapscott  netgen  millennials  work  workplace  administration  management  leadership  intelligence  change  internet  play  privacy  via:preoccupations  socialnetworking  education  future  social  family  digital  generations  brain 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Tim Brown on creativity and play | Video on TED.com
"At the 2008 Serious Play conference, designer Tim Brown talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play -- with many examples you can try at home (and one that maybe you shouldn't)."

[see also: http://blog.ted.com/2008/11/the_story_of_se.php (more info about the Serious Play Conference) ]
play  creativity  innovation  education  design  learning  psychology  process  ted  ideo  games  exploration  art  workplace  lcproject  drawing  children  tcsnmy  rules  risktaking  risk  constraints  materials  eames  experimentation  tinkering  timbrown  prototyping  make  making  roleplaying  davidkelley  constructionplay 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Productivity 2.0: How the New Rules of Work Are Changing the Game | Zen Habits
"1. Don’t Crank - Work With Deeper Focus. 2. Toss Out Meetings and Planning — Just Start. 3. Paperwork is out — automate with technology. 4. Don’t multi-task — multi-project and single-task. 5. Produce less, not more. 6. Forget about organization — use technology. 7. Out with hierarchies — in with freedom. 8. Work fewer hours, not more."
work  workplace  management  administration  leadership  focus  multitasking  singletasking  planning  meetings  efficiency  paperless  organization  productivity  qualityoflife  monotasking 
october 2008 by robertogreco
openeverything.net
"Open Everything is a global conversation about the art, science and spirit of 'open'. It gathers people using openness to create and improve software, education, media, philanthropy, neighbourhoods, workplaces and the society we live in: everything. It's about thinking, doing and being open."
openeverything  open  openaccess  opensource  art  education  culture  community  collaboration  innovation  creativecommons  opencontent  cc  events  networking  networks  wikis  neighborhoods  workplace  society  software  media  lcproject  philanthropy  creativity  freeculture  openstandards 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Harold Jarche » The new nature of the firm
"For enterprise 2.0 to work, it needs to embrace democracy in the workplace, something that rarely exists in industrial, command and control, organisations - which account for almost all of our businesses. Businesses run as monarchies or oligarchies but very few operate as democracies. We are so accustomed to this structure that most business people would say that it is impossible to run a business as a democracy. We know they are wrong and that there are democratic business models that work today."
democracy  democratic  work  workplace  hierarchy  management  leadership  organizations  business  administration  control  power  productivity  innovation 
august 2008 by robertogreco
The Next Starbucks [see the final design on page 3]
"Merging the concept of the flexible, shared workspace with that of communal dining creates a new “third place,” a community kitchen. Anchored by a 60-foot-long wooden harvest table, a kit of parts serving different functions can be freely arranged wherever the user sees fit. The configuration of the pieces as well as the length of the table can be customized, depending on the conditions of the store. Diverse spaces are created along the table’s length; some are highly interactive while others, such as the side tables, provide more privacy. This versatile modular system can also adapt to special functions that may happen inside the store. Its components easily detach and roll around in order to accommodate poetry readings or other large gatherings."
thirdplaces  starbucks  interiors  design  architecture  work  workplace  community  communitycenters  lcproject  urbanism  nomads  neo-nomads 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Throwing Sheep · Where We Started, Where We’ve Arrived, Where We’re Heading
"With a new generation of young people completely at ease with virtual social interaction moving into the workforce, it didn’t take tremendous powers of insight for us to conclude that a collision of value systems was imminent inside organisations."
via:hrheingold  change  reform  organizations  work  workplace  business  society  culture  administration  management  leadership  socialsoftware  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  technology  hierarchy  generations  millennials  geny  generationy 
july 2008 by robertogreco
8 Great Anti-Hacks to Fundamentally Change Your Life | Zen Habits
"post-higher-education life just isn’t configured to encourage growth; it’s configured to reward stagnation...what would your life be like if you cut out all the stepping stones?...“Productivity” is an Industrial Era economics term"

[see also: http://thegrowinglife.com/2008/04/quitting-things-and-flakiness-the-1-productivity-anti-hack/ ]
productivity  life  lifehacks  yearoff  work  society  gamechanging  perspective  education  ratrace  simplicity  focus  learning  colleges  universities  careers  workplace  time  happiness  schooling  deschooling  unschooling  habits  philosophy  quitting  responsibility  management  administration  leadership 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Average environments beget average work - (37signals)
"there’s a ton of untapped potential trapped under crappy policies, poor direction, and stifling bureaucracies. People waiting to do great work if given the chance...So if you want your team to excel...Start thinking about the room"
schooldesign  administration  leadership  organizations  management  jobs  workspace  workplace  space  design  environment  productivity  innovation  ideas  classideas  work  motivation  workspaces 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Mavericks at Work: Where the Most Original Minds in Business Connect
"Nelson said. “Why teach drawing to accountants? Because drawing class doesn’t just teach people to draw. It teaches them to be more observant. There’s no company on earth that wouldn’t benefit from having people become more observant.”
culture  pixar  management  administration  leadership  filmmaking  business  organizations  work  workplace  process 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Pixar's tightknit culture is its edge - (37signals)
"Nelson said. “Why teach drawing to accountants? Because drawing class doesn’t just teach people to draw. It teaches them to be more observant. There’s no company on earth that wouldn’t benefit from having people become more observant.”
pixar  business  administration  management  leadership  learning  lifelonglearning  workplace  work  education  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  observation  filmmaking 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Digital Natives in Our Midst | Advice and Opinion
“We’ve never before seen sub-groups working across organizational boundaries to advance the interests of the sub-group at the expense of the corporation...Few companies are prepared to deal with these issues in any comprehensive way.”
via:preoccupations  digitalnatives  millennials  generations  work  socialnetworking  workplace  collaboration  culture  society 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Ross Mayfield's Weblog: Millennial Backlash
"this is the largest demographic shift in history...When you have NetGens, biggest generation, entering workforce when Baby Boomers, second biggest, are leaving (in some industries 1/3 of the workforce in 3 years) – it creates conditions for change."
change  social  via:preoccupations  technology  netgen  boomers  work  millennials  geny  workplace  society  generations  babyboomers 
june 2008 by robertogreco
"You have to treat your employees like customers" - (37signals)
"When employees are trusted and treated like adults, they appreciate it just as much. The result: loyal employees who want to stick around forever."
management  administration  leadership  business  work  employees  customers  workplace 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Light Shelves | Live Building
"Light shelves direct the incoming light upwards towards the ceiling, which reflects it back down into the room. This also stops light from glaring on workspaces."
design  light  lighting  sun  via:migurski  schooldesign  offices  workplace  interiors  windows 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Seriosity: The Enterprise Solution for Information Overload
"We use psychological and economic principles that drive successful multiplayer online games to improve collaboration, innovation and productivity. We offer consulting services to help enterprises develop a game strategy optimized for their challenges and
games  business  arg  attention  collaboration  learning  management  leadership  mmo  mmog  seriousgames  virtualworlds  janemcgonigal  happiness  education  play  productivity  psychology  mmorpg  workplace  work  gaming  currency  money  economics  metaverse  email  enterprise2.0  complexity  entertainment  scarcity  socialsoftware  infooverload  im  wikis 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Where It All Began: Images From Wired's Early Days: Executive editor Kevin Kelly collates Wired's heuristics from assembled senior staff during Wired's first retreat soon after the 1993 launch
"a place people want to work," "entrepreneurial spirit," "should look like a large home office," "no editorial calendar, not marketing driven," "lead, not follow," "stay lean and mean," and "legendary contributor relations." + "improving constantly"
kevinkelly  wired  history  organizations  leadership  administration  management  workplace  1993  journalism 
may 2008 by robertogreco
CBS News Video - 60 Minutes: The Age of the Millenials
"They are young adults and have been coddled by their parents to the point of being ill prepared for a demanding workplace. Morley Safer reports on the generation called "Millenials.""
socialnetworking  generations  millennials  motivation  life  work  employment  society  psychology  administration  management  leadership  workplace 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Shedworking
"Shedworking is the only daily updated guide to the lifestyles of shedworkers and those who work in shedlike atmospheres."
architecture  design  sheds  homes  housing  simplicity  prefab  diy  workplace  work  workspace  structures  buildings  workspaces 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Bionic Office - Joel on Software
"There's a lot of evidence that the right kind of office space can improve programmer productivity, especially private offices...Private offices with doors that close were absolutely required and not open to negotiation."
officedesign  offices  psychology  workplace  workspace  work  coworking  architecture  interiors  productivity  programming  furniture  management  workspaces 
march 2008 by robertogreco
You Weren't Meant to Have a Boss
"You can adjust the amount of freedom you get by scaling size of company you work for...start company, most freedom...one of first 10 employees, almost as much freedom as founders. Even company w/ 100 people will feel different from 1 w/ 1000."
business  development  culture  paulgraham  groups  hierarchy  work  management  administration  society  nature  startup  jobs  motivation  entrepreneurship  organization  programming  freedom  workplace  projectmanagement  employment  education  economics  careers  success  organizations 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Workplace Experiments - (37signals)
"Shorter work weeks; Funding people’s passions; Discretionary spending accounts"
management  administration  leadership  productivity  workplace  business  37signals  education  creativeclass  democracy 
march 2008 by robertogreco
globeandmail.com: No e-mails, please. I'm trying to work
"Loblaw, Intel and other companies are declaring e-mail free days, setting aside thinking time and waging war on BlackBerry addiction. The crazy idea: doing less = getting more done."
email  attention  productivity  work  workplace  offices  policy  administration 
february 2008 by robertogreco
How to Save the World: Breakthrough Business Ideas for 2008
"creating a new economy with no zero-value-added intermediaries; Projects, not Careers; constantly on the move, standing (working standing up), walking, running, fit; BarCamp; Knowing When Not to Use Experts"
future  business  p2p  markets  work  careers  administration  management  leadership  workplace  offices  generalists  experts  unconferences  deschooling  projects  lcproject  organizations 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Web 2.0 workplaces [PICS] - UADDit
"Web 2.0 is special. And so are the places that make it happen. Here's how the offices of web 2.0 companies look like. I've also added descriptions to each site in case you've been living in a bubble and don't know what they do."
web2.0  workplace  workspace  productivity  space  design  work  flickr  twitter  lastfm  digg  linkedin  offices  photography  business  facebook  ethnography  interiors  geek  furniture  craigslist  mozilla  joost  jaiku  netvibes  reddit  last.fm  workspaces 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Students tell universities: Get out of MySpace! | E-learning | EducationGuardian.co.uk
"Businesses are banning social networking websites like MySpace and Facebook - but, to the alarm of students, universities are using them more and more"
digitalnatives  myspace  facebook  education  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  universities  colleges  business  work  workplace  students  learning 
november 2007 by robertogreco
When Two Tribes Go To War ~ Stephen's Web ~ by Stephen Downes
"never heard of a policy for what to do when you pass peer/colleague/superior/lecturer/student in street - why do we need one for online social behaviour?'." The beauty of living in free society is in how much of our behaviour goes unregulated."
ict  schools  workplace  control  filtering  computers  standardization  open  choice  trust 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Psychology Today: The Laws of Urban Energy
"The world is flatter than ever. But while technology may give us each the tools of creativity, it takes urban proximity and unpredictability to sharpen them...People learn, understand each other, and trust each other more when they deal in person."
architecture  cities  business  urbanism  urban  psychology  proximity  productivity  creativeclass  richardflorida  flat  worldisflat  design  innovation  relationships  creativity  place  workplace  capitalism  networking  networks  janejacobs  commons  social 
november 2007 by robertogreco
IM=Interruption Management? Instant Messaging and Disruption in the Workplace
"people who utilize IM at work report being interrupted less frequently than non-users, and they engage in more frequent computer-mediated communication than non-users, including both work-related and personal communication"
attention  continuouspartialattention  concentration  workplace  work  productivity  messaging  im  collaboration  communication  management  time  technology  business  overload  research  workflow  chat  presence 
november 2007 by robertogreco
SUbTLE: Semantic Ubiquitous Technologies for Learning and Exploration - Project page
"MOBIlearn: Exploring context-sensitive approaches to informal, problem-based and workplace learning by using key advances in mobile technologies"
mobilelearning  mobile  phones  learning  schools  education  locative  location  location-based  workplace  informal  informallearning  semantic  contextual  ubicomp 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Researchers find ceiling height can affect how a person thinks, feels and acts
"in space with 10-foot ceiling, they will tend to think more freely, more abstractly...might process more abstract connections between objects in a room, whereas a person in a room with an 8-foot ceiling will be more likely to focus on specifics."
interiors  design  psychology  thinking  behavior  architecture  environment  society  space  workplace  lcproject  schooldesign  offices  creativity  via:preoccupations 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Inspiring Ricardo Semler lecture at MIT - (37signals)
"says the military-inspired structure of most workplaces is anachronistic. He advises the students to rethink some of the fundamental assumptions they have about organizations, leadership, and life in general."
collaboration  democracy  innovation  management  game  leadership  crosspollination  talks  ricardosemler  future  policy  work  education  administration  learning  organizations  lcproject  meetings  entrepreneurship  workplace  business  balance  life  simplicity 
october 2007 by robertogreco
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