Toward a Model of Work Redesign for Better Work and Better Life

Leslie Perlow

Toward a Model of Work Redesign for Better Work and Better Life (PDF), abstract:

Flexible work accommodations provided by employers purport to help individuals struggling to manage work and family demands. The underlying model for change is accommodation – helping individuals accommodate their work demands with no changes in the structure of work or cultural expectations of ideal workers. The purpose of this article is to derive a Work Redesign Model and compare it with the Accommodation Model. This article centers around two change initiatives – Predictability, Teaming and Open Communication and Results Only Work Environment – that alter the structure and culture of work in ways that enable better work and better lives.

Leslie A Perlow, Erin L Kelly, Work and Occupations, 2014 41: 111, DOI: 10.1177/0730888413516473

Photograph of Leslie Perlow. Source, Harvard Business School.


I posted recently about my experiences curating a Flipboard magazine. One dislike is the inability to 'flip' a URL for a PDF. So in this instance, I've created this post for the sole purpose of flipping it to Social Business Design magazine.

If you missed the link to the PDF above, here it is again.

ZiL Lane 2.0 – the new killer app for the interwebs

ZIL LANE 2.0 - the new killer app for the interwebsThe pitch for this new product is simple:

The Internet is the most important infrastructure we've ever created, so we mustn't neglect it. We need to build infrastructure for fast, pervasive and inclusive connectivity. We need to invest.

And where should the money come from? It's obvious. Those who use today's infrastructure freely for their commercial gain should pay for the privilege. Blockbuster paid for its own video rental shops, so why shouldn't Netflix pay to deliver its products down our pipes?

For-profit companies cannot expect a free ride. They pay. We all benefit.

So, are you buying ZiL Lane 2.0?

Net neutrality and ZiL Lanes

Net neutrality is a simple principle integral to the original design of the Internet and, to many minds including mine, absolutely essential to it. The principle asserts that the network will not prioritise – and by inference discriminate – some traffic over other traffic based on where it's come from. Sure, we're all happy to prioritise traffic constituting a video feed over email because who cares if the email takes another tenth of a second to arrive, but we should not for example allow those who operate the Internet infrastructure to prioritise one party's video feed over another.

Why? Continue reading

Big data. Big trust.

trust

This morning, my colleague Hector Arthur pointed me to a new report from Ovum's Mark Little knowing I'd have a few comments to make. In the corresponding blog post – "Big Trust is Big Data’s missing DNA" – Mark kicks off with:

In the rush to monetize customer data, companies risk diminishing the trust people have in services and brands. Sustaining and growing people’s trust in services is not just about “doing the right thing,” but also makes commercial sense.

As I like to say in other words, big data is worth more when wielded with customers rather than at them. Ovum calls this approach Big Trust.

Big Trust strategies are designed to build “trust equity” with customers as a basis for making core services stickier, for selling new services, and for brokering personal data to commerce under a new set of trust principles.

Public relations

The outlook is informed, directly or indirectly I know not, by the excellence theory of public relations presented by James E Grunig more than twenty years ago, which champions the two-way symmetrical PR model. This model uses communication to negotiate with the public, resolve conflict and promote mutual understanding and respect between the organization and its stakeholders. My Six Influence Flows model from 2011 extends this work for the digital / social / big data age, and you can find out more about PR models in my post here if it's your thing.

Of course, this is not how the majority of practitioners practice PR, deferring instead to publicity and 'spin', which may be associated more closely with distrust than trust. But excellent practice is championed if, as a shrewd procurer, you know where to look. Continue reading

“Our goal is to become a social business but how do we get the revolution started?”

revolution Ukraine demonstrators

During a deep and meaningful conversation recently, my interlocutor declared:

Our goal is to become a social business but how do we get the revolution started?

This post addresses two problems integral to this statement.

A means not an end

Social business is a fairly fuzzy concept at the best of times. Some consider it synonymous with terms such as Enterprise 2.0, Agile Business, Responsive Organization, and Future Work, whereas others more deeply invested in any one may argue the differences. For the record, I describe social business by way of the following challenge:

Do you help all the individuals associated with your organization (employees, customers, partners, suppliers, shareholders, etc.) build worthwhile relationships with each other and others, coalescing by need and desire, knowledge and capability and shared values, to create shared value?

Shared values

Some pundits prefer to talk about shared purpose rather than shared values, and I think this may well be akin to Stowe Boyd differentiating between collaboration and cooperation with shared purpose relating to collaboration and shared values relating to cooperation. In his words: Continue reading

Likes and dislikes of curating Social Business Design magazine for Flipboard

Social Business Design magazine for Flipboard 18 Feb 2014
Social Business is such a nascent, deep and wide topic that I couldn't do my thinking or clients justice without reading a lot. Everyday. So it occurred to me that if I'm taking the time to do this, then it makes sense to take a few seconds more to act as a filter and pass on the best bits to others.

Social Business Design _ Flipboard magazineI began curating a Flipboard magazine at the tail end of 2013. Flipboard tells me that the resulting magazine, Social Business Design, currently contains 210 articles and has attracted 128 readers.

Here's what I like and what I don't like about the process. Perhaps the upsides might prompt you to curate one yourself, and perhaps the Flipboard team might take note of the downsides. They do listen – Flipboard CEO Mike McCue (@mmccue) has taken the time to respond to me via Twitter, as have several of his colleagues.

I like

Flipping

I like the simplicity. Drag the "flip it" bookmarklet from the Flipboard website to your browser's bookmarks bar and you're all set up. When I'm reading an article I decide to flip, I just click the bookmarklet and a little window appears, just like this: Continue reading

Customer-centricity

Customer-centricity is an organizational point of view, not a customer point of view. It’s actually the organization-centric-view-of-the-customer.
...
Don’t you want CRM to help you and the customer mutually, allowing you both to manage the relationship? Surely the value of your understanding how influence goes around comes around is enhanced when those you interact with have similar understanding. Or would you rather propagate the status quo – CRM as a construct to manage the customer?

From Attenzi - a social business story.

Stowe Boyd’s manifesto and The People’s Front

The People's Front

Stowe Boyd recently published "A Manifesto For A Third Way Of Work" (although the title will change). The manifesto forms the basis of the book Stowe plans to write throughout 2014, crystallizing the perspectives and insight he has forged and assembled over the years. And if you've read Attenzi – a social business story then you'll know Stowe and I think alike on many matters.

[Update 20th March 2014: the title changed to A Manifesto For A New Way of Work.]

Here are the major theses, and I have identified with an asterisk the four I have chosen to argue below.

_____

Dissensus (versus Consensus)

— active and directed dissent is a better way to counter the cognitive biases of groups and individuals, and to sidestep groupthink; essential to increased innovation and creativity truly driving business

Cooperative (versus Collaborative)

— sidesteps the politics and collectivism of consensus-based decision-making, and shifts to looser, laissez-faire cooperative work patterns

Creativity (versus Tradition)

— new solutions to problems are needed, and traditional approaches may not only be broken but dangerous

Autonomy (versus Heteronomy)

— paradoxically, as we come into a time when we acknowledge that we are more connected to each other than ever before, a great degree of autonomy will become the norm; old demands to subordinate all personal interests to those of the collective will be displaced by a personal re-engagement in our own work and a commitment to a deeper work culture that transcends any one company’s corporate culture Continue reading