Mon, 19 March 2018
Director Of Stanford's New Big Data Program Gives Insight Into The Gig Economy, Big Disruptions Coming In The Future Of Work, Reasons Why AI Is Not The Biggest Threat To Jobs And More
Paul Oyer is a Professor of Economics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and director of Stanford’s new Big Data program called, Big Data, Strategic Decisions: Analysis to Action. Dr. Oyer is the author of two books published in 2014 – Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned from Online Dating and Roadside MBA.
With big data it’s critical to know what questions to ask. Dr. Oyer says, “Intuition is less important for making the right decision but really important to know what’s the question I need to ask – how do I even begin to ask the right question.” You have to ask the right question before the big data is analyzed. In the competitive environment, if your algorithm is based on your bias then eventually someone will develop one without it - and they will beat it and you.
In the classroom we constantly think about how we take the tools found in big data and how we combine it with good old business sense. That is where the creativity comes from and the big wins come from. Dr. Oyer says, “I am not so worried at all about people becoming so reliant on data that they don’t use their own expertise.”
When asked what future jobs may be taken over by AI, Dr. Oyer explains that if a computer can someday do what you are doing, it may be taken by AI. Some examples are: parking attendant, cab driver, transcriptionist, and foundry mold & core makers.
Worried? Get welding training – in general - get craft and trade training
Retraining is very important but unfortunately we’ve been bad at retraining.
It’s very hard for people to recognize that what they used to do is no longer needed. It is difficult then to go and get trained. People need to be open to training.
The gig economy is big and 40% of people working in this fashion by 2020 is not out of possibility. The statistics vary by how it was reported for full time workers. Two and half times the people are part time gig employees and didn’t show in some of the surveys and data.
Now, over 30% of Americans participate in gig in some way, now. People are from all ends of the economy - all ages, education, etc. are in the gig economy.
What You Will Learn In This Episode:
Links From The Episode:
Sat, 17 March 2018
Although most people don’t think about it this way, your organization’s physical workspace is a symbol. What does your symbol reflect to employees and outsiders?
What most people don’t understand is that your organization’s physical workspace is not just about the artwork on the wall, the material of the floors, the views or whether it’s an open or closed plan. Your physical space is much more than that; it is a symbol. It is what connects the employees to the organization. It is reflective of your organization and what it stands for.
Research has shown that physical workspace has a huge impact and value on our organizations. It help connect employees to a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging. It helps outsiders to get a feel for what your organization prioritizes. It creates an atmosphere conducive to productivity and innovation.
We should be mindful of this when we create our workspaces and we should be careful to not just copy the workspaces that other companies are creating. Your physical workspace should be unique to your organization, your goals, your way of working and your priorities. When people step foot in your organization, what will your symbol reflect to them?
Mon, 12 March 2018
Cindy Parnell is the Executive Director at Arizona State University Career and Professional Development Services. At 103,000 students, ASU is the largest university in the country. Parnell’s team of 35 serves all students.
Career services is a unique department in that it has multiple constituents including students and alumni. Career advisors are specialists who know and understand trends. This drives the programming and it is helping students by getting targeted information to help them move to their next steps.
Traditional education is focused on theory, knowledge acquisition - the true liberal arts education that is embedded with research. At ASU they take a more real world approach. One option is for students to work in a team in an interdisciplinary approach. The students who make up the team come from a variety of programs, so there could be students who are studying engineering, law and business alongside students studying art, communication, and teaching. They come together to work on a ‘real problem’ and then present it to the company which posed the problem. This allows students to work together to produce solutions around real world issues.
Parnell says, “The new wave of education is around creating ‘master learners.” ASU is creating a group of master learners. The jobs don’t exist for many students that are just beginning their college programs, so it is about creating opportunities to practice critical learning skills. Non routine jobs will most likely be what exists for the students when they leave college. So ASU realizes they need to teach that.
To do this they create environments for students to come to together to practice and then to debrief. Then the students will know how to adjust. ASU wants to drive learning and can allow missteps – without real world consequences and teach the students to then move along.
Some of ASU’s Innovations that are discussed are:
Parnell’s advice to employers is to connect with students earlier. Don’t wait until they are applying for jobs, connect with them while they are just starting college.
Parnell’s advice to parents is to let the students dabble and try different classes to see what they can excel. It’s ok to for them to change majors. It is important for students to get relevant experience.
What You Will Learn In This Episode:
Sat, 10 March 2018
The way we think about work is a little bit backwards. It’s time for us to redefine how we view work, managers and employees.
If an alien were to come to earth to make some observations they would notice several things including the population of earth, the lifespan of its inhabitants and that a huge part of their lives is something called work.
We spend a large part of our adult lives working, but the problem is a majority of us are working in jobs that don’t fulfill us. We are working for organizations that don’t care about us and for managers that don’t treat us well.
I believe we have a very backwards view of work. If you were to look up the words work, employee and manager in a dictionary you would find words like struggle, servant, and zookeeper. With the amount of time we are spending at work with our managers and coworkers I think it is time for us to redefine the way we think about these words. How can you redefine work in your organization? What is an employee at your company? What does it mean to be a manager in your company? It is up to you to redefine what it means to work at your company.
Direct download: why_we_need_to_change_the_way_we_think_about_work_clip.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:54am PDT
Mon, 5 March 2018
Workplace Analytics: How Using Data Can Optimize Your Workforce, Change Culture, And Make You A Better Leader
Natalie McCullough is the General Manager of MyAnalytics and Workplace Analytics at Microsoft. Her experiences are broad, from years of consulting organizations of all sizes and across industries. She found her true calling – helping people manage their scarcest resource – when she became the Chief Revenue Officer at VoloMetrix, the company that pioneered the category of workplace analytics, and was later acquired by Microsoft.
McCullough holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science from Stanford University.
People Analytics or Workplace Analytics is when data is used to maximize the workforce. This data looks at a variety of things – for instance, what are the most engaged and least engaged employees’ lives like. One result appears to show that employees’ leaders have most impact on their level of engagement. According to McCullough, “Regular solid one on one time is the number one reason the employees feel connected to the company.”
Microsoft has Office 365 that gives signals to look at using email and calendar data. This can be seen in My Analytics that arrives in an employee’s inbox. It is a 100% empowerment tool. The employee is the only one that can see the data. It is designed to assist the employee in improving their work life. Employees can see the amount of time they spend in meetings, on email or even the amount of time they spent multitasking in meetings – by measuring how much time they spent emailing during a meeting. In other words, how focused – or not – they were in the meeting. It is a “Fitbit for work”.
McCullough’s advice to managers/leaders to get started with data is to start on the journey with transparency and growth mindset. She also suggests experimenting. Don’t bite off something for the entire organization, focus on one thing to begin with.
Her advice for employees in regards to data is to remember that you have the right to ask employers what data is being collected. She says you should get ‘greedy’ and use the data to make your life better.
What you will learn in this episode:
Fri, 2 March 2018
No one wants to work for an organization where they feel like they are not taken care of. So why is it that billions of people around the world end up stuck in these types of jobs?
I think in the business world we’ve been telling a pretty good story – call it a lie if you want – but we tell millions of these every day. In an interview people ask, “What is it like to work here?” and instead of telling them the good and the bad things about the company, we build it up to be the best place to work in the world.
However, when that person starts working there, they find it is the exact opposite. They find that the employees are stuck in worlds filled with bureaucracy, using outdated technologies, sitting in outdated environments. Managers are taking advantage of employees, employees are backstabbing each other and there is tons of conflict and red tape.
We are propagating a false story – a lie of what it’s like to work for these organizations. So, what is the solution? The solution is transparency and honesty. Thankfully, that is what we are starting to see. We now have Facebook, Glassdoor, Vault and Google. If employees don’t like something about their company, their boss or their peers they make it known. This is forcing organizations to truly become the organizations that they say they want to be.
Mon, 26 February 2018
How To Be Great At Work: Mastering Your Own Work, Becoming A Forceful Champion, Matching Passion With Purpose And Much More
Morten Hansen is a Management Professor at the University of California Berkeley and the author of a new book, Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better and Achieve More. He also has a previous book titled Collaboration and co-authored a book called Great by Choice with Jim Collins.
Prior to joining the I School at UC Berkeley, Hansen was professor at Harvard Business School and at INSEAD, France, where he retains a part-time role. He holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. His research has been published in Administrative Science Quarterly, Strategic Management Journal, among others. He also speaks and consults for large companies throughout the world.
There is a notion that the harder we work the more successful we will be. So we become very busy and put in lots of hours. Technology has made work all absorbing. So the new book, Great at Work, looks at helping people look at the work they do with a focus on top performers.
Top performers do these two things:
Some topics in his book include:
Redesign work: The top performer changed the way they work. They ask, ‘How can I do this role better?” They look at what they are doing and challenge the status quo.
They also hunt for pain points such as: Where are people complaining? Where can I find solutions? and they ask ‘dumb’ questions such as: Why are there receptions in hotels? Why have 2 months of summer vacations in schools?
Don’t just learn, loop:
Passion and Purpose:
Fight and unite:
How do you get people to work together without consensus?
When it comes to the way we work, Hansen believes we have a skewed view of what success looks like. Hansen says, “I think the fundamental problem with the way we work now is what I call the "do more" paradigm of work. We believe that doing more is the way to succeed in having better results. More hours. More projects, more activities, more features in a products. And so on. So we are piling on work. And then people are stressed out by trying to accomplish all of these things. But it doesn't necessarily lead to better work. It leads people to be stressed out. And then these perks are not gonna really change that very much. And I think that's where we're gonna go back to the root cause of the work itself to change that.”
What you will learn in this episode:
Fri, 23 February 2018
With companies making a move towards relying on data and algorithms to make decisions, it is important to remember that there is still a human aspect that has to be considered.
Many organizations are making a move towards relying on data and algorithms for their decision making, but we have to ask if this is always a good thing. The truth is, no matter how calculated and precise these programs may seem, there is still a human programming the algorithms and there is plenty of room for error.
One example of this was included in a book by Cathy O’Neil entitled, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. In her book O’Neil told a story about a school in Washington D.C. that decided to use an algorithm to find the lowest performing teachers in the school. They ended up identifying around 200 teachers who had low performance levels and the school let those teachers go. One of the teachers, Susan, was particularly surprised that she was one of the teachers who was let go as she always had high reviews from students and was well-liked by peers and supervisors.
It turns out that what the algorithm couldn’t identify was that the low scores were not Susan’s fault. What had happened was the students in Susan’s class came from another school where teachers were editing the tests to make it look like the students got all the answers correct. So when those students moved into Susan’s class where their answers were not edited, it appeared that their scores were falling drastically.
What we have to understand is we still need a human aspect when it comes to making decisions. Data and algorithms are great, but we still need human input to understand why the data is the way that it is. We cannot simply rely on the data alone.
Mon, 19 February 2018
The Future Of Work & Security: Smart Buildings, Using Technology To Attract The Next Generation Of Workers And Dealing With Threats
Tracy Reinhold is currently the Chief Security Officer at Fannie Mae, a role he has held since 2015. Prior to working for Fannie Mae, Tracy spent 22+ years working for the FBI, first in the Intelligence Program in areas such as counter-terrorism and national security, and then as an FBI career agent.
With between 10,000 to 12,000 employees, the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), commonly known as Fannie Mae, is a United States government-sponsored enterprise and, since 1968, a publicly traded company. Founded in 1938, the corporation's purpose is to expand the secondary mortgage market by securitizing mortgages in the form of mortgage-backed securities, allowing banks to reinvest their assets into more lending and in effect increasing the number of lenders in the mortgage market by reducing the reliance on locally based savings and loan associations. Its brother organization is the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC), better known as Freddie Mac.
According to Reinhold, every company is a technology company today. It doesn’t matter what your core business is, whether it is in finance, logging or retail, it is bettered by technology
At Fannie Mae the security system is complex. For example, they have sensors on all their floors to figure out the most traveled patterns in the building so they can figure out the best evacuation routes or occupancy plan. This is beyond the usual idea of security functions within a company.
Security is a cost center for any company. It’s not adding money to the bottom line, as opposed to what it really does - take money away from the bottom line. So in order to be viable, you have to think about what sort of technology can be leveraged to protect the building. Or consider how it will also enhance the building operation. Ask how could this better utilize the space that the core business is currently using?
Something else going on at Fannie Mae is to leverage technology to enhance access control to what they consider critical spaces. For example, to reduce a company’s security force. If a turnstile that allows one to reduce 3 shifts of security personnel, the initial investment of $65,000 for that turnstile is quickly offset. So when one makes a pitch to the C Suite, you need to articulate how you will make a return on that technology investment.
When asked if he is worried about the use of increasing technology, Reinhold says, “I am not worried, I’m aware, and I think that is the difference”.
What you will learn in this episode:
Sun, 18 February 2018
Companies like Google, Netflix and Facebook have great perks and workspaces, but just trying to copy and paste their ideas into your company will not get you very far.
There has been a lot of talk over the past few years about the unique and impressive things that companies like Google, Netflix and Facebook have implemented. These companies have some great employee perks such as free food, massages, work flexibility and unlimited sick days. They have fun and exciting workspaces that include rock climbing walls, breathtaking views, on site gyms with trainers, open floor plans and napping pods. A lot of company leaders see what Google, Netflix and Facebook are doing and they feel they have to do the same to attract and retain their people, but this is a horrible idea.
The fact is, companies like Google are not making these decisions on a whim, so neither should you. They are implementing these things based on people analytics, data, research and studies.
The truth is there is no secret to figuring out what perks and benefits to offer your employees. If you want to create an organization where people genuinely want to show up to work you just have to ask your people and listen to them. Focus on what makes your company unique; what are your values, what are your goals, what do your people care about? Trying to be like Google kills what makes your organization special. So instead of trying to copy and paste from Google, try figuring out what is important to your organization and to your people before implementing perks, benefits or a new workspace.
Direct download: why_your_organization_should_stop_being_google_podcast.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:27pm PDT