Summary of “The 5 New Rules of Employee Engagement”

Maybe the question is, what should you not do about it? Employee engagement has become such a hot topic that great swarms of consultants and authors are undoubtedly banging on your door as we speak, armed with enough action plans and PowerPoint presentations to make your head swim.
“The problem with employee engagement experts is they take well-meaning concepts and overengineer them to the point that they don’t bear any resemblance to what normal people understand,” says Neil Morrison, group human resources director for Penguin Random House U.K. “Then we wonder why we have a disengaged work force.”
An important turning point for employee engagement experts came with Daniel H. Pink’s Drive.
The new mantra and related team-building exercises, like group-assembling a bicycle, yielded striking results: Turnover dropped, productivity increased, and employee surveys showed engagement levels rose.
Leading the naysayers was the late Robert Gerst, a Canadian statistician who kicked up a storm in 2013 with an article in the Journal for Quality and Participation that concluded, “The dirty little secret of employee engagement surveys is that they’re largely junk science.” Gerst, who died earlier this year, argued that most consultants conducting such surveys have a built-in conflict of interest: First they reveal that large swaths of your work force are out to lunch, and then they sell you services to improve that dismal situation.
One reason measuring employee engagement is so difficult is there is no consensus on what the term means, exactly.
As employee morale started slipping, Farid tried immersing himself in the literature of engagement and spending more time with his HR people, looking for ways to celebrate achievements and keep people excited.
Rule 5: Actually, Don’t Worry About Engagement After decades of rapid growth, the field of employee engagement is now suffering a well-deserved backlash.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is Pay Transparency Right For Your Company? We Asked A Few That Tried It”

“If the team had to decide on promotions, transparency for salaries was sort of a necessity,” Rein says.
Pay transparency doesn’t necessarily impose a ceiling on negotiations since salary calculations take into account things like experience and location.
Buffer recently reviewed its employees’ salaries in order to evaluate its gender wage gap and found something surprising: Men at the company make 2.5 percent more than women do overall, which Griffis claims is because Buffer has more men on its engineering team.
For the most part, conversations about pay are less uncomfortable when you know exactly how your salary has been awarded and can compare it against what your peers are making.
Making Fair Pay Possible Without Full Transparency MarketGoo, a marketing and SEO platform for small businesses, seriously considered salary transparency, but eventually decided against it.
“It’s the team together that is creating the culture of the company and the values we want to reinforce.” Instead of transparent pay, MarketGoo is devising a formula to make sure salaries are fairly awarded, and Garcia says he’s open to reconsidering salary transparency as the company grows and the culture evolves as a result.
There’s a likely reason why more sizable companies haven’t tried salary transparency: It’s more difficult to implement if sweeping pay inequity has long been the norm.
McClurg doesn’t see why bigger companies can’t adopt salary transparency.

The orginal article.

Summary of “As Companies Become Purpose-Led, Where Does That Leave Charities?”

Where does this leave charities? Does it make them redundant? No. In the words of John Low, chief executive of Charities Aid Foundation, “Almost everyone … benefits from the work of a charity, and the demand for their services and support shows no sign of abating.”
Where civil society, governments, companies, and charities all come together, we make the most progress.
Charities are often the delivery partner for much of the good work that companies want to do because they have the right skills, access, and understanding of what works.
The charity sector can teach companies to do noncommercial, nonjudgmental listening.
Charities have long understood the need to collaborate and share a vision of a better world, how to work together, and bring the necessary skills sets to the table.
So the opportunity for charities is to look for long-term goals for society and work out what is best positioned to help achieve them.
Charities should ensure they have a seat at the table for those conversations, and where they don’t, they should demand the seat or start a new table.
We need “More worthy” profit-making entities and we need more long-term, commercially thinking charities.

The orginal article.

Summary of “For Lyme Vaccines: New Promise, Old Challenges”

As STAT reported on August 22, any new Lyme vaccine will face intense public scrutiny.
If the new vaccine does make it to market, will it fare any better than LYMErix? According to Gregory Poland, co-director of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who has given scientific advice to Valneva, that’s “a multi-million dollar question.”
A 1998 study in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at nearly 11,000 people who lived in Lyme-endemic areas and found that those who received three doses of LYMERix had a 76 percent reduction in Lyme disease the following year compared with those who didn’t receive the vaccine.
Because the problem has grown, the medical experts who develop recommendations on how to use vaccines – the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in the U.S. – might look more favorably on a Lyme vaccine, says Stanley Plotkin, a physician and emeritus professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
One of the group’s recommendations was to support the development of safe and effective human Lyme vaccines.
In a dissenting minority response, the authors write: “The search for a new vaccine should only commence when the science behind the past vaccine failure is understood.”
Among Lyme advocates and the chronic Lyme community especially, skepticism about a Lyme vaccine persists.
LYMErix’s troubled past, Marconi still argues that avoiding OspA might be the best strategy for new vaccines.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Find Your Dream Job”

In a job market transformed by turmoil and rebirth, there are suddenly all kinds of opportunities for adventurous souls.
Now: How can you monetize that skill? “You want to identify the place where your passion meets other people’s needs,” says economist Adam Davidson, cofounder of NPR’s Planet Money, who is writing a book on how to thrive in the 21st-century economy.
With a bit of smart research and creative thinking, it’s even possible to parlay your leisure interests into a dream job.
If your financial situation won’t allow you to go back to school or take a low-paying post, look for opportunities at your current job to broaden your skills.
One common pitfall of job seekers is to spend all their time trolling umbrella job sites like Craigslist and CareerBuilder.
Spend extra time on the summary section-“It should be deep,” says Sreenivasan-and update everything, especially the recommendations, even when you’re not actively pursuing a new job.
“The first job I applied for out of grad school, I got an interview but didn’t land the job,” says Sanjayan.
“The second job I applied for, with the Nature Conservancy, I didn’t even make the interview cut.” But he kept in touch with the organization and was eventually brought on as a lead scientist.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The fall of WeWork’s Adam Neumann”

This is the global headquarters of The We Company, and I was there to meet with its CEO and cofounder Adam Neumann.
The fall of Adam Neumann has been so swift and sudden, it’s hard to grasp fully.
Through interviews with executives across different divisions and regions of the company, a complicated picture of Neumann emerges.
Last winter, WeWork led a $32 million investment in a snack company started by surfer Laird Hamilton, one of Neumann’s friends.
Neumann ruled WeWork through a tight-knit crew, which included his wife, Rebekah; his brother-in-law Chris Hill, who served as chief product officer; and vice chairman Michael Gross.
Its directors allowed Neumann to be able to borrow millions from the company.
Also under their watch, WeWork leased space in buildings in which its CEO had financial stakes, though Neumann was not involved in the negotiation of these leases.
“I, Adam Neumann, am not a seller.” In mid-July, in advance of the pending IPO, the Wall Street Journal reported that Neumann had cashed out at least $700 million in cash and loans.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Tiny Satellites Are Changing The Way We Do Business”

Eye in the sky: A satellite from Planet captured a fire burning through one of the circular crop fields in the Toshka area of Egypt last year.
More satellites into orbit than ever before, providing an unprecedented near-real-time view of of every corner of the earth, from wheat fields in Egypt to glaciers in Antarctica.
Shipping Before the era of CubeSats, government-owned satellites tended to cover only the more populated areas of earth-leaving remote corners of the ocean in the dark.
Shipping routes in the Arctic, for example, weren’t covered by satellites or signal towers, which led to a dearth of knowledge about who was passing through and what they were doing.
Planet, which has launched nearly 150 satellites into orbit, uses its images to create maps that show an affected area before and after a disaster, helping field workers quickly identify roads that have been blocked or important buildings, such as schools or hospitals, that have been damaged.
National Security The U.S. government uses satellites for more than just keeping an eye on North Ko­­rea.
The two organizations are now using those insights to test the technology in Mexico, using satellite imagery, machine learning, and survey data to gauge how many people live below the poverty line in different municipalities.
Using satellite imagery to analyze an area as large as Mexico will likely produce less accurate results than a household survey, Newhouse admits, but the frequency with which it can be done could still be beneficial.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Four Years in Startups”

A technology conglomerate that first made its reputation as a Web-page search engine, but quickly became the world’s largest and most valuable private repository of consumer data, developed a prototype for a pair of eyeglasses on which the wearer could check his or her e-mail; its primary rival, a multinational consumer-electronics company credited with introducing the personal computer to the masses, thirty years earlier, released a smartphone so lightweight that gadget reviewers compared it to fine jewelry.
Giving the chief executive an ultimatum was unprofessional, crazy, even for one of the best employees at the company.
Every company wanted to build an app that users were looking at throughout the day.
The rug, a deep Presidential blue, was emblazoned with the startup’s mascot, a tentacled, doe-eyed octopus-cat crossbreed, holding an olive branch above the words “IN COLLABORATION WE TRUST.” The company had attracted a hundred million dollars in venture funding, and appeared to be spending it the way most people would expect three men in their twenties to spend someone else’s money.
My co-workers at the analytics startup had made fun of me for considering a “Life-style job”-it entailed a ten-thousand-dollar pay cut-but I liked the company’s utopianism.
In retrospect, the adherence to meritocracy should have been suspect at a prominent international company that was overwhelmingly white, male, and American, and had fewer than fifteen women in engineering.
The company promoted equality and openness until it came to stock grants: equity packages described as “Nonnegotiable” turned out to be negotiable for people who were used to successfully negotiating.
In each square was a different indictment: “Refers to a feminist as aggressive”; ” ‘That would never happen in my company’ “; “Asserts other man’s heart is in the right place”; “Says feminist activism scares women away from tech”; “Wearables.” Wearables: the only kind of hardware men could imagine women caring about.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How TikTok Holds Our Attention”

She downloaded TikTok last fall, after seeing TikTok videos that had been posted on YouTube and Instagram.
On YouTube, the Swedish vlogger PewDiePie, who has more than a hundred million subscribers, posted a video mocking the media for suggesting that TikTok had a “Nazi problem”-Vice had found various accounts promoting white-supremacist slogans-then showed Marcella’s video, laughed, and said, “Never mind, actually, this does not help the case I was trying to make.” Marcella started to get direct messages on TikTok and Instagram, some of which called her anti-Semitic.
Drag queens were on TikTok, opera singers were on TikTok, the Washington Post was on TikTok, dogs I follow on Instagram were on TikTok.
TikTok employs an artist-relations team that contacts musicians whose songs are going viral and coaches them on how to use the platform.
A former TikTok employee told me, in a direct message, “As strategic as it appears from the outside it’s a complete chaos on the inside.” After my first visit to the L.A. office, I sent a TikTok representative a list of questions asking for basic information, including the number of employees at the company, the number of moderators, the demographics of its users, and the number of hours of video uploaded to the platform daily.
If TikTok wants to keep growing, it will need to attract more people who are no longer in their teens, and it will need to hold their attention.
TikTok is generally thought of as a place for goofing off rather than for engaging in political discourse, and a TikTok executive dismissed the idea that the company was manually or algorithmically suppressing Hong Kong-related content.
TikTok may figure out how to maintain or enforce a jovial vibe more effectively than its predecessors have-but, even if it does, the kids who made it popular may get bored and move on to the next thing.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why the Tom’s of Maine Founder Thinks He Can Create the Next Patagonia”

On an icy day in early January, Tom Chappell peers across the rolling pasture of his 85-acre farm in southwestern Maine.
Chappell worked his entire adult life to grow Tom’s of Maine from an upstart that made hippie toothpaste into a national drug-store-chain staple.
After selling Tom’s of Maine to Colgate for $100 million in 2006, Chappell decided to join the emerging movement of entrepreneurs working to resurrect U.S. manufacturing.
In 1966, Tom Chappell discovered he was a natural at selling life insurance.
In 2006, having run Tom’s of Maine for 35 years, Chappell felt it was time to sell.
“No one could tell us how much of it there was,” recalls Chappell’s son-in-law Nick Armentrout, who had a farm outside Kennebunk and knew a thing or two more than Chappell did about ranching, which was nothing.
“We didn’t understand as a company that fit was important. Not just fit, but quality of design,” concedes Chappell of the brand’s clothing, which until this year, he says, fit inconsistently from one season to the next.
“What’s the problem? Price. And a lack of knowledge of the cost to the world and other people globally.” He’s hoping to ride the burgeoning movement in “Slow fashion”-people caring about ethical and sustainable production of their clothes-to help win Ramblers Way the loyal customer base that Chappell once enjoyed with Tom’s of Maine.

The orginal article.