Tag Archive for: Business Week

C.K. Prahalad Discovers Corporate Agility

I was very pleased to read C.K. Prahalad’s back-page commentary in the September 21 issue of Business Week (“In Volatile Times, Agility Rules“).

The message is a basic one:  when the future is uncertain, you’ve got to be able to shift both your strategy and your operations in a nanosecond.

. . . Terrorism and pandemics pose threats of major disruptions.

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Virtual Work and Personality Types

If you are at all interested in flexible/mobile work, you may find this new article by Michelle Conlin of Business Week worth reading (“Is There a Virtual Worker Personality?

Michelle is an excellent writer about the world of work, with a deep interest in flexible/remote work and all its implications. She was the author of another BW article back in late March describing how telecommuting was shifting from being an employee perk to a corporate imperative (“Telecommuting:  Once a Perk, Now a Necessity“).

I blogged about that article here, and added some additional perspectives on our experiences at SCAN Health, the company featured in Michelle’s article (there’s also an even more-detailed description of the SCAN story in this post).

But back to work styles. This latest article highlights the interaction between working remotely and personality type. Her conclusion:  introverts have serious difficulties working out of the office (no real surprise – that’s a perspective that Charlie Grantham and I have been suggesting for years).  She’s got some good anecdotal data, and even cites a more formal study of several hundred mobile workers at Cisco Systems.

Five years into the mainstreaming of mobile work, there’s a growing enlightenment, buttressed by new research, that the benefits of working remotely are actually a bit more complicated, and nuanced, than the cheerleaders said. In all the effusive rah-rah’ing over this great employee unleashing, many managers overlooked a simple fact:  Some of us are simply not—by temperament, psychology, or personality type—wired for the life of the digital nomad.

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Twittering Matters

There’s an intriguing new article about Twitter and how it’s affecting corporate cultures and reputations in the June 1 issue of Business Week (“Managing the Tweets” – the online version is titled “Web 2.0: Managing Corporate Reputations“).

Here’s the essence of the article (written by our friend Michelle Conlin and her colleague Douglas Macmillan):

Social networking is a love-hate relationship. On the one hand managers want their workers to experiment so they can cultivate new-world skills. Employees as brand ambassadors! Products virally transformed into overnight hits! On the other hand, bosses are filled with foreboding about social networking’s dark side—losing secrets to rivals, the corporate embarrassment of errant employee tweets, becoming the latest victim of a venomous crowd.

Read it; the full article includes a number of very specific stories about individual companies and their employees – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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Telecommuting is the Newest Perk – and Cost-Reduction Strategy

There’s a great new story just published today in Business Week detailing how some organizations are turning to “telecommuting” and flexible work programs as a way to reduce costs and retain employees in these difficult times.

The article (“Telecommuting: Once a Perk, Now a Necessity“), by Michelle Conlin (editor of BW’s Working Life Department), highlights how SCAN Health Plan, BDO Seidman, and Capital One are using flexible work options to cut real estate costs significantly.

The really encouraging side of the story, though, is how many employees relish the reduction in commute times and the rebalancing of their lives (no surprise to us, but still a benefit that’s not widely enough recognized).

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