Image for post
Image for post

You’d hope meaningful interaction isn’t dying and it’s not yet time to worry about futuristic outcomes that seem to dominate TV/movie concepts recently, but there is cause to worry.

For example: while many companies aren’t even remotely there yet (ha) on embracing remote work (see how I made that funny with the “remote” parallel? I’m good.), many people do work from home or a coffee shop a few days per week. (I’ve seen it as high as 40% in some studies.) Wi-Fi is everywhere in the first world, so this is certainly a possible concept. …


Image for post
Image for post

Work sucks. Then you die?

It’s a handy thing to put on t-shirts, sure, but for a while it was a tongue in cheek joke — kinda like my friend’s dad always telling us “The thing with life is, no one gets out alive.”

But the problem with the “work sucks” joke is that it ultimately became extremely true for a lot of people.

I want you to choke on this tailpipe of a statistic: there are about 1.2 billion full-time employees in the world. (That’s not yet the statistic.) Per Gallup research (here it comes), 15% of them are engaged with what they do. So that’s about 180 million people — maybe more than half the U.S. — who actually like going to work and dealing with their boss, etc. But it’s 180M out of over a billion. …


Image for post
Image for post

If you’ve ever watched the TV Land show Younger, which is actually pretty good, they have a joke in Season 4 about Kelsey (Hilary Duff) being a “doppelbanger,” which means most of the guys she sleeps with or dates look very similar.

In other words, dating types.

Sometimes the concept of “dating types” refers to like, literally types of dating. (Casual sex, long-term relationship, friends with benefits, etc.)

Here, we’re gonna use it to refer to the whole concept of “I have a type” and/or “He/she is not my type” or “He/she is my type.”

In a world where surprise and delight seemingly means so much to those looking for their own beautiful happy ending, does it still make sense to stick to specific dating types, especially if those types haven’t necessarily worked in the past? …


Image for post
Image for post

This argument about to be laid out might confuse a couple of people semantically, so let me say this up front: obviously, credibility — and similar notions, such as your reputation — are tremendously important to capturing and retaining business. I would think we all know that. The argument here won’t be that credibility is a bad thing. No. Credibility is a good thing.

But the quest for credibility is another story.

Let’s start here

Interesting article from Northwestern on “when to pick the not-best candidate” for a job. Their reasoning mostly resides in this section:

In the model, a firm’s credibility — and thus its ability to motivate excellent performance — comes from rewarding past successes, regardless of whether a given employer or supplier is the best choice for new work moving forward. …


Image for post
Image for post

Never been too big a fan of the hierarchical structure within companies, usually because it creates a whole host of additional issues — like when people use the intersection of hierarchy and professionalism to create a mind-blowing amount of double standards in a given office. Rooting respect only in hierarchy, i.e. “You have to respect me because I make more money than you do,” is possibly one of the most soul-draining aspects of white-collar work.

Here’s the problem, though: there’s nothing readily apparent to replace hierarchical structure. In fact, in this article on Stanford’s business school website about rethinking hierarchy, a Stanford professor says that if they gave out a Nobel Prize for management, it would go to the person who could come up with a better organizational structure that actually works. …


Image for post
Image for post

Literally do not (and have not ever) understand the basic resume. Why is this still a thing? In the era of LinkedIn, which is apparently worth $26 billion but has essentially no value, why are we still evaluating people off the basic resume? I’m confused.

Then I run into articles like this one about how “leading companies build the workforce they need” (buzzword alert) and I see quotes like this:

The World Economic Forum predicts that “by 2020, more than a third of the desired core skill sets of most occupations will be comprised of skills that are not yet considered crucial to the job today.” …


Image for post
Image for post

Just was reading this article about “resilience,” which is one of the bigger business buzzword terms of the last 10–20 years. I get that “resilience” is important, but it shouldn’t be something we have to call out within thought leadership or business journalism. Most humans are resilient just getting out of bed every morning. Relationships change, relationships to work change, pets die, parents die, people move, friends make fun of you and don’t realize it, you’re hungover, you eat badly, Game of Thrones is spoiled for you, your significant other doesn’t want to have sex, your flowers died, your car needs $4,000 of work, or whatever else. Life isn’t easy.


Image for post
Image for post

Let me start out discussing effective collaboration by giving you a paragraph from a Sloan Management Review (MIT) article called “Why Your Company Needs More Collaboration:”

Digitally advanced companies are more collaborative because they pursue corporate objectives that depend on the effective use of technology, which, in turn, depends on effective collaborations. But increasing collaboration can be fraught: Different functions may exhibit a history of animosity toward one another; individuals with strong egos may not work effectively together; sharing relationships with clients may be anathema for others; and misaligned goals or mistrust can stymie efforts to create shared value with external partners. …


Image for post
Image for post

I guess we should cue this up by defining the 20–40–60 rule. We’re going to do that via here:

Originally spoused by actress Shirley MacLaine — and adhered to by Silicon Valley legend, entrepreneur and investor Heidi Roizen — the rule goes something like this: “At 20, you are constantly worrying about what other people think of you. At 40 you wake up and say, ‘I’m not going to give a damn what other people think anymore.’ And at 60 you realize no one is thinking about you at all.” …


Image for post
Image for post

You ever heard of the Eisenhower Matrix? No? Yes? Either way, it’s important for any type of decision-making, especially if you’re all of the belief that this is the fastest-moving, busiest time ever. I will explain to you what exactly it is, including visuals, but I gotta walk through this so you have the back context. Isn’t that what this blog is called?

The first step in this process

There’s a really good recent article on First Round Review about making self-care a competitive advantage. I’m sure a lot of hardcore business people bristle at that, because “self-care” runs opposite to “The Temple of Busy,” and the busy side is more important for relevance. (More on that in a few seconds.) …

About

Ted Bauer

Blogging, largely about work and how to improve it. How I make (some) money: http://thecontextofthings.com/work-with-me/

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store