The Email Elon Musk Just Sent To Twitter Employees Is A Masterclass In How Not To Communicate

from Fast Company Elon Musk has made quite a first impression on his new employees. During his first few weeks as CEO of Twitter, he laid off some 3,700 workers.  Since acquiring the company on October 27, Musk hadn’t formally spoken to the majority of staff who remain at Twitter. “Any sort of communication about anything would honestly just be the first step,” one Twitter employee working out of the company’s New York City office told me last week. “No one hears anything.” Today, Musk fixed that—sort of—but, in so doing, managed to send what some leadership experts describe as […]

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‘We Still Have A Lot To Prove’: VC-Backed Union Startup Responds To Skepticism Around Its Model

from Fast Company Jamie Earl White grew up in a rural Texas town near Uvalde where there was a clear resources divide between “the ranching class and the non-ranching class.” As an MIT student, he took careful notes during Occupy Boston and helped lead the “Justice for Janitors” campaign—a lesson in how, even with the support of the powerful Service Employees International Union, it could still take workers a year and half to win better contract terms. So, once White found success in tech a few years later, his mind returned to the problem of workers being under-resourced. He chatted […]

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Ethereum’s “Merge” is about to put every ether miner out of work

from ars technica In a few weeks, Ethereum is slated to undergo the most significant change in its seven-year history. Until now, the Ethereum blockchain has been secured using a method called “proof-of-work,” which consumes more electricity than the entire nation of Belgium. Next month’s switch to a new method called “proof-of-stake” is expected to cut Ethereum’s energy consumption by a factor of 1,000. The stakes are high. A botched transition could mean chaos for the many crypto projects built on top of Ethereum. A smooth transition would be the culmination of years of careful planning by Ethereum’s core developers. […]

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Three Interconnected Trends To Change The Way We Live And Work

from Forbes Distributed Leadership is going to be the norm because we are changing how we relate to each other (remote work, generational shift, digital working and living methods) so leadership is changing to. The natural distance has shrunk from things like social filtering to email, collaboration tools, social, real-time interactions, so the flow of communications and the associated frictions that occurred have almost totally disappeared. This changes how our relationships work from positional hierarchies to ones based on a constant test of trust in relationships. In effect problem solving is no longer going to be driven be external experts, […]

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Wall Street’s Rigid Culture Bends to Demands for Flexibility at Work

from NYTs When Tom Naratil arrived on Wall Street in the 1980s, work-life balance didn’t really exist. For most bankers of his generation, working long hours while missing out on family time wasn’t just necessary to get ahead, it was necessary to not be left behind. But Mr. Naratil, now president of the Swiss bank UBS in the Americas, doesn’t see why the employees of today should have to make the same trade-offs — at the cost of their personal happiness and the company’s bottom line. Employees with the flexibility to skip “horrible commutes” and work from home more often […]

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Larry Fink’s Capitalist Shell Game

from Project Syndicate BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink’s latest annual letter has taken the business world by storm. BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, and Fink, addressing the CEOs of the companies whose assets his firm manages on behalf of investors, took the opportunity to advocate a more ecologically sustainable, socially conscious, forward-looking form of capitalism rooted in stakeholder rather than shareholder value. Fink’s exhortation seems like a welcome break from orthodox dogma. But if his vision is supposed to be “woke,” it is not nearly woke enough. We’ve heard all this before, including in Fink’s own 2018 […]

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The Great Resignation and The Great Deflate

from Serendipity35 2021 was the year of the “Great Resignation.” We have been told that it was a year when workers quit their jobs at historic rates. This is an economic trend meaning that employees voluntarily resign from their jobs. Blame has been aimed at the American government for failing to provide necessary worker protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This led to wage stagnation. There was also a rising cost of living. The term was coined in May 2021 by Anthony Klotz, a professor of management at Texas A&M University. It’s now 2022 and unemployment rates have fallen […]

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Meta’s Failed Giphy Deal Could End Big Tech’s Spending Spree

from ars technica Instagram? Sure! WhatsApp? Go nuts. But don’t mess with GIFs. That’s the strange position taken by Britain’s competition watchdog in choosing to block Meta’s takeover of GIF repository Giphy. Meta, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) ruled, must now sell all the GIFs—just 19 months after it reportedly paid $400 million for them. It’s a bold move—and a global first. Never before has a tech giant been ordered to press undo on a completed deal rather than pay a fine or make promises about how the newly merged businesses would operate. Meta, the parent company of […]

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‘The Great Resignation’ Misses the Point

from Wired IN EARLY MAY, Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, did an interview with Bloomberg about a possible spike in job turnover. “The Great Resignation is coming,” he warned. A few weeks later, the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirmed a record 4 million Americans had left their jobs in April. Suddenly, people were reaching for ways to refer to the phenomenon unfolding before them—to brand it, to make sense of it. Klotz’s catchy off-the-cuff terminology, now printed on Bloomberg’s pages, seemed to fit the bill. And just like that, a name was born. We […]

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‘The Problem Is Him’ Kara Swisher On Mark Zuckerberg’s Crisis And Ours

from NY Mag When Vietnam’s communist rulers gave Facebook an ultimatum to censor anti-government posts earlier this year or leave the country, Mark Zuckerberg personally made the call to appease them. It’s among the damning revelations about the company to emerge from whistleblowers in recent weeks, most of them contained in the so-called Facebook Papers. The trove shows how Facebook knowingly amplified anger and misinformation about the platform and the company’s engineers chillingly identified ways to manipulate the behavior of its 3.5 billion users, meaning about half the planet’s population may ultimately be swayed by the whims of one man. […]

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Facebook Who? Zuckerberg Announces Rebranding As Meta

from ars technica During his Connect 2021 keynote presentation today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg rolled out the name “Meta” as a new corporate identity reflecting the company’s “new north star—to help bring the metaverse to life.” The name, which Zuckerberg noted comes from the Greek word for “beyond,” is “a new company brand to encompass everything that we do.” That means the company will be “looking at and reporting on our business as two different segments, one for a family of apps and one for work on future platforms,” he said. The name “Facebook,” Zuckerberg said, “just doesn’t encompass everything we […]

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Why Upping Your Communication Game Is A Huge Part Of Redesigning Your Work Life

from Fast Company In the new hybrid workforce model, everything needs to be more intentional, and that’s probably a good thing. Expectations will have to be made more clear, and two-way communication and feedback will have to be more explicit in a remote work scenario. That’s a good change. And workers will be rewarded for what they produce, not just for “face time” with the boss (pun intended). In fact, useless video meetings, where nothing gets done, will become less and less tolerated as “video fatigue” and effective time management become more important and more visible. When there’s no one […]

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Shareholder Democracy Is Getting Bigger Trial Runs

from NYTs When you buy shares of a publicly traded company, you’re a part owner and, in theory, have a right to vote on some important matters that come before that company’s board of directors. Yet millions of people have had virtually no voice in the decisions of publicly traded American corporations, even though they have ownership stakes. The problem is that those stakes are indirect — held through mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and pension funds. Under current regulations, these various funds control voting rights that might otherwise go to shareholders and to those who receive or are vested in […]

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The Grid Isn’t Ready for the Renewable Revolution

from Wired YOU CAN ALMOST hear the electrical grid creaking and groaning under the weight of the future, as two forces converge to push it—often literally—to its breaking point.  One force is climate change, which can exacerbate disasters that take down parts of the grid, as Hurricane Ida did this summer, knocking New Orleans offline just as a heat wave settled in. Or extreme weather can suddenly spike the demand for energy just when the grid is least able to provide it, like during last winter’s Texas freeze and subsequent power system failure. The other force, ironically enough, is the massive […]

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FCC Plans To Rein In “Gateway” Carriers That Bring Foreign Robocalls To Us

from are technica The Federal Communications Commission hopes to reduce the number of illegal robocalls from overseas with an expansion of rules that require phone companies to implement Caller ID authentication technology and block illegal calls. “Eliminating illegal robocalls that originate abroad is one of the most vexing challenges the commission faces because of the difficulty in reaching foreign-based robocallers and the foreign voice service providers that originate their traffic,” the FCC said. To make a dent in that problem, the FCC is proposing new requirements on domestic gateway providers that accept calls from outside the US. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking […]

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How Ai Translation Could Unseat English As The Lingua Franca Of The Business World

from Fast Company Anyone who has traveled to a country where the language spoken is not their native one knows that not conversing fluently (or at all) can turn even a VIP into a second-class citizen. Einstein himself would have struggled to express his intelligence in, say, Farsi. In one of my favorite episodes of Modern Family, Sofia Vergara’s character Gloria says in frustration, “You don’t know how smart I am in Spanish!” Even fluent speakers can face bias if they have an accent because of certain underlying perceptions that your language skills are correlated with your intelligence. No one […]

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The Carbon Removal Industry Needs To Grow To Be The Size Of The Oil And Gas Industry

from Fast Company Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have spewed an extra 2.4 trillion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, pushing the average global temperature up more than 1.2 degrees Celsius. The world adds another 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year. We’re already seeing what that means, from catastrophic flooding to heat waves that scientists thought were statistically impossible. As emissions shrink, the world will also need a way to pull the CO2 we’ve already emitted out of the air, both to cover the continued emissions of industries that are hard to decarbonize and […]

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The Perverse Consequences of the NCAA Ruling

from The Atlantic The Supreme Court has changed college admissions forever. The justices’ decision late last month allowing NCAA Division I football and men’s basketball programs to provide new educational incentives to student athletes created an overdue avenue for compensating student athletes in commercially lucrative sports, many of whom come from low-income backgrounds. And new rules the NCAA rolled out last week in response to a series of state laws allow student athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness without violating college sports’ amateurism rules. So far, the changes have been celebrated as a step toward greater equity. […]

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How To Mitigate The Harmful Effects Of Zoom Burnout

from Forbes During the pandemic, the amount of screen time for many people working and learning from home as well as binge-watching TV has sharply increased. And prolonged screen time is leaving a series of maladies in its wake. Researchers at Arizona State University published a study showing that heavy screen users—defined as those who use screens an average of 17.5 hours per day—reported the least healthful dietary patterns and the poorest health-related characteristics compared with moderate and light users, who averaged roughly 11.3 and 7 hours of screen use per day, respectively. More here.

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Design Of Hiring Algorithms Can Double Diversity In Firms

from Fast Company We know that algorithms can outperform humans across an expanding range of settings, from medical diagnosis and image recognition to crime prediction. However, an ongoing concern is the potential for automated approaches to codify existing human biases to the detriment of candidates from underrepresented groups. For example, hiring algorithms use information on workers they have previously hired in order to predict which job applicants they should now select. In many cases, relying on algorithms that predict future success based on past success will lead firms to favor applicants from groups that have traditionally been successful. But this […]

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