Brilliant Reads: Silos, lattices and 2016 challenges

The business case for culture

In this insightful piece Lindsay McGregor and Neel Doshi articulate the connection between employee motivation, company culture, and the business case for improvement. If someone works because of enjoyment, purpose or potential, they will be more effective at their job than if they works because of emotional pressure, financial pressure or, worst of all, inertia. There is data to back up the authors claim that positive employee motivation correlates with customer satisfaction. In addition to encouraging CEOs to make a business – and budgetary – case for culture they also suggest some steps that leaders can take to develop and sustain a high-performance culture. These include always communicating the purpose of tasks and keeping the satisfaction of the customer front of mind.

How company culture shapes employee motivation
HBR 11 mins

Taking a risk for the team

A recent study by Google’s People Operations department found a similar formula for a successful team to the research above. Members of a team must feel that their work carries personal meaning and will deliver impact. The best teams have clear roles and responsibilities and members that can depend on each other to deliver high quality work on time. However, the most important factor was psychological safety – the security to be upfront with team mates with no fear of negative consequences. Individuals who feel psychologically secure in their teams at Google stay longer at the company, are rated more effective by executives, generate better ideas and make more money for the company.

The five keys to a successful Google team
Google 3 mins

Navigating the career lattice

As part of its ‘future of work’ edition The Observer highlighted five ways work is changing. One shift we’re all aware of is the decline of the career ‘ladder’ and the increasing value of having the diverse skills needed to flourish in collaborative and entrepreneurial workplaces. The piece also looks at the increase in automation and outsourcing and the ethical concerns it brings. Gartner predicts that in 2016 most firms with more than 500 employees will offer fitness monitors to their employees. Whether this is a benefit or a way for your boss to keep tabs on your lifestyle is another contentious issue. Lastly, the article considers the changing nature of retirement. With people living longer and the statutory retirement age increasing we will all be working to an older age. Although this is undoubtedly an unwelcome development for some ,the article encourages a focus on the value that experience brings and the positive impact this can have.

Five ways work will change in the future
Observer 17 minutes

Why culture is never inevitable

The Silo Effect is a business book written by an anthropologist; albeit an anthropologist who has spent the last 20 years writing for the Financial Times. In the book, author Gillian Tett asks us to look at the world as an anthropologist would – to remember that all culture is constructed and that no systems or behaviours are inevitable. Through a series of case studies including Sony, Facebook and the economic crisis of 2008, Tett examines the creative and commercial breakthroughs made possible when information and people can move freely within an organisation. For a summary read The New York Times review.

The Silo Effect by Gillian Tett

Addressing your 2016 challenges

We recently hosted two briefing events featuring Forrester Research in which we looked forward to 2016. The focus was on the key content trends to help brands connect more: both with their customers and across silos in their organisation. The slides from both events are in the posts below, if you would like to discuss your content or organisational challenges please get in touch.

Make your content connect more in 2016 – notes & slides
Make your organisation connect more in 2016 – notes & slides