Weekend Leadership Reading: 10/4/19

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Weekends are time when things slow down a little. Your weekend shouldn’t be two more regular work days. That’s a sure road to burnout. Take time to refresh yourself. Take time for something different. Take time for some of that reading you can’t find time for during the week.

Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms. This week there are articles about toxic workplaces.

From Alex Alonso: Better Managers Can Remedy the Workplace Culture Crisis

“SHRM’s new report, The High Cost of a Toxic Workplace Culture, released today, reveals what many employers are seeing every day: the strong correlation between workplace culture, satisfied and engaged employees, and business productivity. When it’s toxic, everyone loses”

You can download a copy of the report here.

From Neelima Mahajan: Organizational behavior expert Jeffrey Pfeffer speaks to Think:Act about work life balance

“The modern workplace has turned into the corporate equivalent of the Hunger Games with people working faster, harder and longer – just to survive. Jeffrey Pfeffer, the Thomas D. Dee II professor of organizational behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, is calling the bluff on these unsustain-able work practices in his book, “Dying for a Paycheck”. In the book, Pfeffer – who has carved out quite the reputation for his commonsensical view of management and his repeated denouncements of toxic work environments – makes the stunning reveal that the workplace is the fifth-biggest cause of death in the US. Other countries, though not covered by this research, aren’t likely to fare any better. Interestingly, making people work harder is also not helping companies. In this interview, Pfeffer calls on organizations to think about the human costs involved in the relentless pursuit of increasing productivity.”

From Mike Walsh: When Algorithms Make Managers Worse

“Without careful consideration, the algorithmic workplace of the future may end up as a data-driven dystopia. There are a million ways that algorithms in the hands of bad managers could do more harm than good: How about using an algorithm to set your work rosters so that the number of hours is just below the legal threshold for full-time employment? Or automatically sending emails to people when they are more than five minutes late to work? Or nudging people to work during the time they normally spend with their families by offering incentives? Or using sensors to monitor warehouse workers and then warning them when they take too long to stack a shelf? Or constantly adjusting the color temperature of your office lighting so that your employee’s circadian system thinks that late afternoon is still morning?”

From Wharton: So Your Workplace Is Toxic: How Can You Fix It?

“In a recent survey of tech workers, more than half the respondents said they believed they were working in an unhealthy work environment. Of 9,000 participants in the 2018 poll by Blind, an anonymous workplace app, a quarter of the Google employees who responded said they viewed their workplace as toxic; more than a third at Facebook thought so, too; and almost half at Amazon and Intel said they were laboring away under toxic conditions.”

From the Economist: Even if WeWork is in trouble the office is still being reinvented

“The large office, like the factory, is an invention of the past two centuries. The factory arose because of powered machinery, which required workers to be gathered in one place. Big offices grew from the need to process lots of paperwork, and for managers to instruct clerks on what to do. But now the internet, personal computing and handheld devices mean that transactions can be dealt with on-screen and managers can instantly communicate with their workers, wherever they are. The need for staff to be in one place has been dramatically reduced.”

From Farhad Manjoo: Open Offices Are a Capitalist Dead End

“One story from WeWork’s inevitable blow-up: Our offices offer few spaces for deep work.”

Book Suggestions

Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance and What We Can Do About It by Jeffrey Pfeffer

The Algorithmic Leader: How to Be Smart When Machines Are Smarter Than You by Mike Walsh

Toxic Workplace!: Managing Toxic Personalities and Their Systems of Power by Mitchell Kusy and Elizabeth Holloway

Asshole Survival Guide by Robert Sutton

People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them the Keys by Dr. Mike Bechtle

Follow this link to my post titled “Should you read more books?

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