Summary of “Research Shows That Organizations Benefit When Employees Take Sabbaticals”

There’s an upward trend in employers offering their people more long-term vacations and sabbaticals, and the evidence suggests that everyone benefits.
While sabbaticals are still rare inside of corporate America, their presence is increasing rapidly.
According to a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management, the percentage of companies offering sabbaticals rose to nearly 17% of employers in 2017.
While the type, length, and other sabbatical details vary, research suggests that the upward trend in sabbaticals is due to two primary factors.
Sabbaticals and extended vacation time are not just good for employees to rest and recharge – they benefit the organization by stress-testing the organizational chart and providing interim roles to allow aspiring employees to take on more leadership.
Since the concept of sabbaticals is most popular in the academic arena, the majority of research done on their effect on employees has been conducted by studying professors.
It’s not surprising that the researchers found that those who took sabbaticals experienced, upon return, a decline in stress and an increase in psychological resources and overall well-being.
In one study, researchers surveyed 61 leaders at five different nonprofit organizations with sabbatical programs.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What We Learned About Bureaucracy from 7,000 HBR Readers”

We recently asked members of the HBR community to gauge the extent of “Bureaucratic sclerosis” within their organization using our Bureaucracy Mass Index tool.
Interestingly, individuals working in customer service, sales, production, logistics and R&D were more likely to feel that bureaucracy was growing than those working in functions like HR, finance, planning, purchasing, and administration.
Two-thirds of respondents believe that bureaucracy is a significant drag on the pace of decision-making in their organization-a number that rises to nearly 80% in large companies.
Taken as a whole, the BMI survey provides yet more evidence of the toll bureaucracy takes on productivity and resilience.
Morning Star, Spotify, Haier, and others have demonstrated that it’s possible to run large, complex organizations with a minimum of bureaucracy, and that doing so yields substantial performance advantages.
When we asked survey participants to identify the most significant barriers to down-sizing bureaucracy, 57% of them pointed to the reluctance of senior executives to share power, and 50% cited the widely-held belief that bureaucracy is essential for control.
So who’s right here? Frontline employees who believe that bureaucracy is vigorously defended and deeply embedded, or senior executives who see bureaucracy as a less fearsome foe?
Where do you start? How do you overcome pockets of resistance? How do you build the right sort of culture and values? How do you prepare individuals to take on more responsibility? What supporting changes in information systems, incentives and organizational structure are necessary? Sadly, when it comes to bureaucracy, there’s no uninstall button.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel’s employees worry about Facebook, prepare to sell stock”

CEO Evan Spiegel’s tight grip on Snap hasn’t let up since its hotly anticipated IPO six months ago.
1.2 billion Snap shares owned by investors and employees will be available to sell for the first time this month, presenting the ultimate test of confidence in the young company’s future.
Around the time of Snap’s initial public offering in early March, employees got a rare chance to ask the CEO, Evan Spiegel, anything on their minds.
Mindful of the big change for employees as Snap evolves from startup to public corporation, Snap has taken steps to manage the transition.
The bikes were originally going to be bright yellow, but Snap ultimately decided to make them black instead. “They didn’t want to have their employees singled out,” Solé Bicycle co-owner Jimmy Standley, who designed the bikes, told BI. Snap declined to comment for this story.
Unlike Facebook, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg openly shares the company’s 10-year vision and answers questions about upcoming products, the vast majority of Snap’s roughly 2,500 employees have no visibility into future announcements or strategic decisions outside of their specific departments.
The perks help offset Snap’s unusual and internally unpopular system for giving employees equity, in which 10% of restricted stock awards are unlocked after the first year of employment and doted out in 10% higher increments for the following three years.
Early Snap employees and executives are also given stock options.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel’s employees worry about Facebook, prepare to sell stock”

CEO Evan Spiegel’s tight grip on Snap hasn’t let up since its hotly anticipated IPO six months ago.
1.2 billion Snap shares owned by investors and employees will be available to sell for the first time this month, presenting the ultimate test of confidence in the young company’s future.
Around the time of Snap’s initial public offering in early March, employees got a rare chance to ask the CEO, Evan Spiegel, anything on their minds.
Mindful of the big change for employees as Snap evolves from startup to public corporation, Snap has taken steps to manage the transition.
The bikes were originally going to be bright yellow, but Snap ultimately decided to make them black instead. “They didn’t want to have their employees singled out,” Solé Bicycle co-owner Jimmy Standley, who designed the bikes, told BI. Snap declined to comment for this story.
Unlike Facebook, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg openly shares the company’s 10-year vision and answers questions about upcoming products, the vast majority of Snap’s roughly 2,500 employees have no visibility into future announcements or strategic decisions outside of their specific departments.
The perks help offset Snap’s unusual and internally unpopular system for giving employees equity, in which 10% of restricted stock awards are unlocked after the first year of employment and doted out in 10% higher increments for the following three years.
Early Snap employees and executives are also given stock options.

The orginal article.

Summary of “4 Rare Things Smart Leaders Do to Get Respect”

In my research of the best features of leaders that get respect from employees, it comes down to what they do from an emotional space – how they make their employees feel.
Translated as “Go and see for yourself,” the idea behind Genchi Genbutsu is to bring leaders down from their high perches to the production floor, where they can engage with workers, ask questions, and actively listen to truly understand current issues.
Respected leaders are discovering such insights, at the ground level, are key to helping them with decision-making.
Finding the leadership trait of curiosity in your future leaders has tremendous impact, and its benefits are backed by science.
One of the factors behind it – a true blind spot for most people in management roles – is their inability to display the one strength of exceptional leaders: Vulnerability.
When employees connect above the neck with their leaders, they will walk through walls for them.
Not convinced yet? For more than four decades, global HR consulting giant Development Dimensions International has been developing millions of leaders on personal effectiveness and employee engagement.
In one study, involving 15,000 leaders from more than 300 organizations, DDI researchers set out to determine which soft skill has the highest impact on overall performance for early stage leaders.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Manage Someone Who Thinks Everything Is Urgent”

The problem is that these employees may have been praised in the past for this very behavior, even when it results in mistakes that they can then heroically “Save.” And when urgency is a part of the organizational culture, it may feel like a requirement to move fast, whether you’re a leader or a frontline employee.
Despite the damage that unaddressed urgency can do, urgent employees are usually some of the most committed and are often very productive.
It’s typical for urgent employees to see only the upside of acting quickly, not the negative effects of acting too quickly.
These decisions led to some unfortunate employee layoffs, despite her having been asked to consult with others and weigh such decisions carefully.
Effective interventions let urgent employees actually experience the success that comes from a more deliberate, thoughtful approach.
During a period of organizational growth, a previously solid team leader made people nuts because he seemed to not take others’ input, needed to manage everything himself, and didn’t share enough information or decision making with his team.
We used mindfulness techniques to help him cope with the feeling and various techniques for engaging his team so that they understood the ramifications, how to anticipate, how to shoulder more responsibility, and how to warn him if anything was going off course.
Employees who are driven by excessive urgency often act like they’re scratching an itch rather than making intentional efforts to accomplish and grow as much as they can, either for themselves or their organizations.

The orginal article.

Summary of “”Leave the crown in the garage”: What I’ve learned from a decade of being PepsiCo’s CEO”

I’ve faced many challenges over the years – as we all do – but with inspiration from family, friends, colleagues and other sources of wisdom, I’ve learned many lessons along the way.
Though it would be impossible to name all the lessons I’ve learned, I’ve come up with seven critical lessons for running a Fortune 50 company in the 21st century.
That’s lesson number one: Come up with a vision that not only reflects the direction of a company, but moves people, inspires people to make it a reality.
My second lesson is to think hard about your time horizon.
He replied, “Because you’re trying to lead when you need to follow.” Then he added, “If you learned to follow, you’d be a better leader. And it would make you a better dancer.” What a profound lesson.
That’s what my seventh lesson is all about.
These are the seven critical lessons I wanted to share with you.
These seven lessons translate into the seven characteristics of a great leader: Vision.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Inside Story Of SoundCloud’s Collapse”

SoundCloud declined to make Ljung available for this story.
With the March 2016 launch of SoundCloud Go, a $9.99 per month subscription service, SoundCloud was a late entrant to a ferociously competitive streaming music space and with an array of services that offered no differentiation from incumbents like Spotify and Apple Music.
SoundClouders were asked not to favorite tracks, a common way of saving music, from their personal profiles, or to put links to audio tracks in company emails.
With SoundCloud holding out for just under $2 billion, Twitter balked, sources said, put off by the heady price tag, music industry headaches, and the discrepancy between Soundcloud’s monthly visitors and its registered users.
In November 2014, SoundCloud closed a deal with Warner Music Group, giving the label an undisclosed cut of revenue from ads, a 3%-5% stake in the company and protection against past copyright infringement from the label.
Why would anyone would pay for SoundCloud if they already have Pandora or Spotify? “People went to SoundCloud for free music,” DJ Justin “3LAU” Blau told BuzzFeed News.
Two months later, with recently inked licensing deals with Universal Music Group and Sony locked down, SoundCloud was finally able to launch its SoundCloud Go subscription product.
With SoundCloud looking to close a $100 million round this summer, sources say the company’s board may be considering bringing on a new CEO. Whoever that is, former employees hope that person will be able to rediscover what made SoundCloud so special to them in the first place.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Spinning Off a GE Business Taught Me About Managing Ultra-Fast Change”

So four years ago, when I was CEO of GE Capital Retail Finance and tapped to lead a mega change initiative – splitting off our unit into a new, publicly traded company, Synchrony Financial – I’ll admit I viewed it as a huge challenge.
Major organizational changes, covering everything from recruiting and branding to regulatory approvals and marketing, happened in rapid succession, with a hard deadline of 12 months to get it all done for the IPO – and 18 months from the IPO until our full separation from GE. While every CEO is forced to work through organizational change, many will tell you that of all their duties, change management scares them the most, because nearly every aspect of a company and its leadership is tested.
We went from being part of a company with over 300,000 employees, at GE, to being a company of 10,000, at Synchrony Financial, seemingly overnight.
We have more than 1,000 employees co-located at a number of different partner sites, so we needed to make sure each employee heard the same message directly from us, not only through email.
Often I received this question from our employees: “How can we preserve our GE heritage while embracing our new future as a stand-alone company?” To get to the answer, I asked them the same questions I had asked our senior leaders.
We transformed those feelings into a simple sentence: “We pioneer the future of financing, improving the success of every business we serve and the quality of each life we touch.” This ended up being the “True north” our employees rallied around.
As we further studied the employee feedback, as well as the composition of our workforce that was very different from GE’s, we made many changes.
We were completely transparent about all of these changes and took employee feedback into account as much as we could.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Small Talk Is an Overrated Way to Build Relationships with Your Employees”

These relationships do not follow the rules of other relationships in our lives; they require a careful balancing act.
If the only way you build relationships with your employees is by socializing, one of two bad things will happen: You won’t work enough at work, or your work social obligations will take over your nights and weekends and you’ll have no life outside of your job.
Rather than endless lunches or dinners or boondoggles, one of the best ways to build a good relationship with your employees is to make sure they feel heard.
Much more important than buying a Ping-Pong table is taking the time to help people on your team nurture new ideas; creating a culture of debate for important topics; making it clear who owns decisions and why; bringing others along; ensuring that employees have time to execute; and being open to admitting mistakes and learning from them.
Helping employees achieve career goals will certainly help you build better relationships.
When we worked together at Google, Russ developed a Career Conversation methodology that required all of his managers to have the following three conversations with each employee: Listen to the employee’s life story to learn what motivates them at work; ask employees about their dreams of the future to learn what skills they need to develop; together, develop a career action plan that is focused on the employee’s motivations and life goals, rather than a narrow and uninspiring focus on the next promotion.
In summary, the best way to build relationships with your employees is to improve how you work together, not to take a break from working.
Give feedback – both praise and criticism – that helps your employees grow.

The orginal article.