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People Geekly #49

Issue No. 49, brought to you by Culture Amp
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This is the forty-ninth issue of Culture Amp's weekly email updating you on all the best #peoplegeek news around.

Are you after a new role as a People Geek? Culture Amp is hiring a Head of People. We’d love to hear from you.

 Tweet of the week (2.5 sec)

"Too much emphasis on being serious in the workplace can lead to a negative culture that limits creativity. #Play #BeCreative"

Rabia Eddari  (@RabiaE)

Envato recently won the award for “Australia’s Coolest Company for Women.”  Co-Founder Collis Ta’eed reflects on what that means. There are some obvious things are in place, like pay equity, flexible working, maternity leave, and equal opportunities for promotion and development. But the less obvious are respectful exchanges, colleagues that demand the best and don’t tolerate complacency, and the ability to bring your whole self to work.

Cultural Add (3 min)

Melanie Stern proposes the idea of a “cultural add” when it comes to hiring people. Generally people like to hire someone who is a cultural fit. While this is sometimes a good idea, it may lead to a less diverse group of people. So Stern suggests replacing the term and look at hiring people who will enhance your cultural stew. 

Many companies offer free office snacks, but now some places, like Sprint, are trying to shave costs by getting rid of the free food. Rebecca Greenfield discusses why it’s a bad idea. Not only does it demotivate employees to have something taken away from them, it actually reduces productivity in other ways. By not having snacks nearby, employees will spend time away from their desks foraging. Studies show this is an average of 2.4 hours per day.

What a company does is more important than what a company says. Christoph Becker of gyro discusses how corporate culture has become a much stronger driver when it comes to forging long term partnerships between companies. “Business decision makers couldn't have been clearer about what they want from prospective partners. They want to know if you've got a soul.”

The era of empathy (11.5 min)

Cameron Conway cites Rita McGrath’s three eras of management. The first was about execution. This included a top-down structure where the manager told the employee what to do, and that was about the end of it. The second era was about expertise. In this era management jobs started being split into specialized sub categories. The piece now argues we're in the era of empathy. Conway quotes Roman Krznaric, “Empathy in the modern workplace is not just being able to see things from another’s perspective—it’s the cornerstone of good teamwork, smart leadership and innovative design."


Chicago: Due to the success of our first People Geekup last month we are excited to head back to Chicago for #2 on Wednesday, December 9th. Come ready to share a cocktail and some stories with fellow People Geeks. We'll have some people there to share stories from the Culture x Design conference in NYC.

New York: NYC will be the final destination for People Geekups in 2015. Join us on Thursday, December 10th. If you attended Culture x Design then this will be a great chance to re-connect with some of the attendees, or if you weren’t there then this is a chance to meet those who were and hear some of the stories and learnings from the day. 

San Francisco: Join our friends at Culture Lab X for their final event of the year. They will be discussing how a culture of trust is the key to success. This event on Tuesday the 15th of December will be part workshop and part holiday gathering and a great way to round out the year. 

If you haven't seen our videos from the Culture x Design videos, you can check them out here.

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