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People Geekly #71

Issue No. 71, brought to you by Culture Amp
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 Tweet of the week (2.5 sec)

"Trust is about the culture of a workplace. If we are not open to learning from others, we are always competing. "

Taruna goel  (@write2tg)
The People Geekly is sponsored by Culture Amp, a platform for companies that put culture first. Sound like you? Take a tour of the new insight reporting.

This Smart Company article cites research published in Culture Amp’s 2016 New Tech Benchmark Report, that debunks some common company culture myths. Myth 1: People leave managers, not companies; research shows that company leadership has more of an impact on an employee than their direct manager. Myth 2. Millennials are negative and unreliable; research in the report shows millennials “across the board, are no more negative than the other generations.“ Myth 3. Perks make people happy; the reports finds that perks don’t encourage engagement nearly as much as other things, such as trust and company goals. Myth 4. Businesses keep employees by paying them more; Culture Amp Chief Scientist Jason McPherson says pay checks also don’t play into employee engagement “unless it gets really out of whack with the market, that’s when it does show up.”

Eight influential women working in Silicon Valley have joined forces to create Project Include, a new nonprofit focused on providing meaningful diversity and inclusion solutions for tech companies. According to the New York Times they aim to work with 18 companies in a cohort which will “meet regularly for seven months to define and track specific metrics…[then] the group will publish an anonymized set of results to show the progress — or lack thereof — that the startups have made around diversity.” Founder Ellen Pao is quoted as saying, “The standard mantra for every company on diversity statistics is, ‘We’re not doing well, but we’re working on it.'" Project include wants to “move the needle” on diversity in tech. 


Fog Creek's Lessons on Spinning Off Companies (6 min)

Gareth Wilson of Fog Creek Software shares lessons learned from spinning off tech companies. Notably, Fog Creek Software has created Stack Overflow and Trello. He says,“rather than pivoting to [an opportunity] you think is most likely to succeed, you could instead use your current company’s resources to prove it out first.” The four key considerations to think over before a spin off are how sharing resources can be a mixed blessing, risks and rewards (employees and investments moving around), communicating the change and recognizing new company culture differences, and planning for “life after the spinoff.”  

If you live in San Francisco you may have seen strategy number one (billboards) showing Dice engineer candidates posing in nothing but their underwear. EA Canada also created a unique billboard with a hiring message written in ASCII code. Other creative techniques covered are Google’s "foo.bar" engineering tests, Uber’s “code on the road”, Sonos' case study challenge, and Go Daddy’s “mirror” recruiting referral program launch.  

Maren Kate Donovan was the CEO of Zirtual, a company that in the words of Fortuneimploded overnight.” She shares a lesson learned from this experience on her blog, Escaping the 9 to 5. She begins by recalling a poignant dinner table conversation in which a guest said, “I just don’t know how you could have made those mistakes.” Donovan uses this powerful narrative to lead into her manifesto. She says, “In Silicon Valley, admitting mistakes and showing your vulnerable side is one of the biggest social faux pas that I’m tired of trying to follow.” Exploring how to deal with the situation she looks at “faking it till you make it” and “brutal vulnerability” choosing the latter as the more challenging yet emotionally beneficial option. 


Sydney Geekup @ AdRoll: May 12th 
New York Geekup @ Fog Creek Software: May 18th  
Chicago Geekup @ Hotel Monaco: May 19th
Vancouver Geekup @ Lululemon: May 30th 

Our friends at Responsive.org are hosting "The Future of Work" event on May 14th, in Brooklyn, NY. 

If you’d like to host a People Geekup in your city, send us a note! We'll be in touch.

Check out back issues of the Geekly and other things going on at Culture Amp over at our Blog and PeopleGeeks.com

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