1. The damage done by rampant credentialism. Using educational accomplishment as a proxy for skills and problem-solving ability is a deeply elitist and flawed approach. 2. Selling ideas "up the chain of command." This HBR piece has some useful advice, but the whole argument is premised on the notion that
The ESG mirage. A great Businessweek piece on how popular ESG ratings driving trillions into sustainable investing have little connection with a company’s impact on the planet. Sustainable Investing Is Mostly About Sustaining CorporationsWall Street uses ESG ratings to boost “sustainable” labels on stock and bond funds—but what
Domineering leaders reinforce domineering behaviors across the organization. This is hardly surprising. Advancement in organizations is almost invariably a product of zero-sum “promotion tournaments.” In such a system, domineering, cutthroat behaviors are the norm, not the exception. Unless we make structural changes to how leaders are selected (by their peers/
The management column (Bartebly) in this week's The Economist makes the case that managerial hierarchies are valuable & inevitable, and flat organizations represent a "false utopia:" Why companies need middle managersOrganisations embrace flat hierarchies at their perilThe EconomistThe EconomistThe article is paywalled, but the basic logic is as follows: Flatter
Among all of Warren Buffet's legendary shareholder letters, the 1989 edition is among my favorites. In it, he makes a powerful argument that, when it comes to firm performance, institutional design is far more important that the talents of individual executives. Here's the key passage, drawn from the section where
If you pay people more, they will be more productive. Wow, who knew? Glad to see corporate executives rediscover the power of efficiency wages (i.e., paying above-market wages with the aim of improving employee motivation and productivity), something that Henry Ford recognized back in 1914. Commentary: Here’s why
In its 1976 annual report Procter and Gamble described itself as a company built on "freedom and individual initiative." The report devotes seven whole pages to unpacking these principles and the various practices that reflect and reinforce them--such as employee involvement, promotion from within, and profit sharing. Here's the excerpt,
1. Does WFM hurt productivity and collaboration? A large-scale study of work patterns at an IT services company during the Work-from-Home (WFH) period shows that: ⬆️ hours * same output = ⬇️ productivity. The culprit: a substantial rise in communication and coordination costs due to WFH. And it's not just near-term productivity that suffered.
A "key to our success was that we isolated our scientists from financial concerns and freed them from excessive bureaucracy," says Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, reflecting on how the company developed its COVID-19 vaccine in record time. The CEO of Pfizer on Developing a Vaccine in Record TimeIt started with
US employment is recovering, but we're still a long way off pre-pandemic levels for most occupations. Good U.S. employment numbers today, as @DanielAlpert described in a great Twitter thread today: Good JobsDay (and Good Friday). We at @jobqualityindex expect that the restoration of private sector low-wage/low-hours jobs, wiped
The world’s unicorns, VC-backed startups worth more than $1 billion, have been getting a lot of press over the last five years. All this excitement about the unicorns is understandable — they underscore the promise of new technologies and the power of the entrepreneurial spirit. Unicorns also represent a threat
A quartet of management academics (Phillip C.Nell, Nicolai J. Foss, Peter G.Klein, and Jan Schmitt) just published an interesting paper suggesting that "digitalization" of business will lead to an expanded role of HQ and more power and involvement by execs, rather than encouraging more decentralized forms of management.