Organizational culture is what we call the habits of an organization. These are ways in which people behave spontaneously especially when they are unsupervised. When everyone starts behaving in a similar manner consistently, we say that the organization has a strong culture. The new members of the organization quickly fall in line. They watch everyone around them and learn how to behave in most commonly occurring situations.
Kevin Kelly – the editor of Wired magazine has had a ringside view of the way technology has evolved. In this book he talks about the twelve forces that are shaping our future. For example, adding artificial intelligence to any service can change it in amazing ways.
Every major digital company has been using more and more of it. Facebook uses it to recognize faces with almost the same degree of accuracy as a human. Netflix knows everything about your movie viewing habit and can predict the movies (that have not yet been made) that you will like in future. Yes, they knew that you will love the House of Cards even before you saw it.
Stress is a silent killer. But you know that. What you don’t know is how almost half the workforce is suffering from its ill effects. Loneliness is the biggest curse of the contemporary India. The pressure to find employment drives people to uproot themselves from their friends and family. That takes away the biggest mental safety-net one could have. Software engineers have often said that they dread weekends because they have no friends in the city where they are now working. Hanging around in malls is a poor substitute.
Loneliness is a curse – but how is it killing the workplace? Read on…
The decisions that happen as people wait for their loved ones who are battling their odds of survival are beautifully sketched out. Should she let the doctors operate on her comatose husband? What if he dies on the table? What if he lives but in a vegetative state? Everyone around seems to be so unhelpful. The snippets of conversations between Shiv and Tara are ever so natural and spontaneous.
“Do people dream when they are in coma?” Tara asks Shiv and then adds, “He better be dreaming about me.”
As compared to the drivers on the road, do you rate yourself as better than 90% of them? Most of us would agree with that rating of our skill. We could justify it by saying that, “I am not saying that I am the best driver. But I am better than 90% of the drivers I see on the road.” The problem is that most people tend to believe that too. Statistically speaking that is impossible. Could you succeed as a cabbie? If you said yes, read on.
When I stepped into the Virtual Reality lab with my colleagues, I was skeptical about why it was such a big deal. I had seen 3D movies before and how different would this possibly be? Someone handed me what seemed like an oversized version of welder’s goggles which also had earphones that sealed off all external sound. I looked at the world I had entered. It was a roller coaster […]
Work is increasingly becoming complex. In fact, it is becoming too complex for any one individual to do it. We need to work in teams. The time spent by managers and employees in collaborative activities has exploded by 50% or more. We watch great examples of teamwork in movies that fill us with a warm glow and then we come back to the teams we are a part of and wonder why they are not as committed as the people you saw on screen. This is the book for you.
Every startup wants to grow and big a global corporation. Every global corporation wants to have the spirit of a start-up. Is it harder for a startup to grow or is it tougher for a large organization to be nimble? Both of them have their unique strengths. The giant enterprises have great brand awareness, a stable set of customers and presence across geographies and markets. They also find it easier to hire… maybe they find it easier to hire people who have a lower risk appetite. Who like things that are well defined with clear rules. Once hired these are the very people who will slow down what was once a nimble start up that was hungry and wanted to change the world. What slows down a once fast growing company? The Founders Mentality tells a fat corporation how to lose weight.
Addressing the lower rungs of Maslow’s hierarchy seems passé. Are employees willing to work in a stressful workplace if their mission seems lofty enough? Evidently yes. Recently, Tesla and SpaceX – both run by Elon Musk were in the news for being stressful places to work. Elon Musk responded by saying, “SpaceX and Tesla rated most meaningful work in high tech. Also, most stressful, but that goes with the territory.” Musk has really made engineering and manufacturing interesting again.
Given that the job description of a CEO or someone in a general management role is likely to be fairly similar give or take a few nuances of the business. So why doesn’t every new hire succeed? When a senior executive moves between organizations, what they tend to leave behind is the social capital. They leave behind the teams that they had built strong ties with over the years. They leave behind the goodwill generated in the old company’s ecosystem that gave them more leeway when they faltered. It is no wonder that a new CEO often tends to bring in at least a few key people from the old company.
As robots take on more and more work that is rule bound the opportunities will grow for roles which need empathy, negotiation skills and collaboration, precisely the skills that women are better at because of their caregiving roles. To make that happen we need a reorganization of the workplace so that people aren’t penalized for choosing flexible schedules by being shunted into positions that are less meaningful to them or less rewarding financially. We need to speed up progress by changing the lens with which we view work. It is not about gender any more.