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Monthly Archives: March 2012

New design less resign

A new “free-spirited” architecture trend is transforming the corporate offices of Seattle. “I think one of the lessons is to understand your business, and understand what your people need to do their best work,” says Martha Choe, the Chief Administrative Officer at The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and advocate for creating inspirational work environments. By breaking down walls and removing private offices, architects hope to exterminate all expressions of hierarchy and create an open, flat conversational culture. Click here to find out how other companies are altering their offices to improve the cultural environment.

A very public departure

When Greg Smith resigned from executive director and head of Goldman Sachs United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, he did not leave quietly. Through the op-ed section of the New York Times, he shared the brutally honest truth behind the cultural erosion in one of the most influential investment banks in the world. Coupled with this public stoning, the response through social media outlets, such as Twitter, was enough to completely upset any reader’s cultural perspective on the firm.

Click here to read more about Greg Smith experience with Goldman Sachs and after 12 years, why he felt he needed to leave the firm.

Let your fingers do the talking

Social media has created a transparency of information between businesses and the public. The consumers (who may also be a potential employee) affect the company’s public image, drive brand awareness, or like the aforementioned Greg Smith, provide an insider’s perspective to company culture. Viewing social media as a tool rather than a hindrance can help you dictate how your company is viewed. Here are some suggestions from 10 of the top executives from companies like Oscar de la Renta and IBM on how to speak to an audience with authenticity and relevance.

Culture is not “one size fits all”

Facebook employees often participate in “hackathons” meant to foster innovation through shared knowledge and effort in hopes to create something bigger and better than one person can do alone. A “hackathon” may not seem exciting to everyone – certain cultures attract specific people. So, Fast Company asked social media experts such as Ried Hoffman, cofounder of LinkedIn, and Dennis Crowley, cofounder and CEO of Foursquare, to express their views on how to build and nurture a great culture that will help attract the right people and ensure the successful execution of your particular business strategy.

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The branding race has begun

The common perception of National Public Radio (NPR) is not that of a digital giant, rather one of a veteran non-profit media company. However, top digital talent is what they need in order to continue their mission of creating a more informed public.

24 Hour Fitness is identified by its flexible hours and openness to the average worker’s busy schedule, yet when they go to career fairs recruiting talented professionals to run this multimillion dollar business, students think they are there to sell memberships.

Once considered a passing fad, employment branding is proving to be the best resolution for increased employee and candidate engagement, better cultural fits and reduced attrition.

Click here to find out how these two organizations are aligning their core values with their employee promise and showing why, for the right person, they would be a great place to work.

Do more, manage less

The Peter Principle states that as people continue to get promoted they “do” less and manage more — ultimately getting to a point where they’re in a position that they aren’t good at and don’t enjoy.

Tracy Dolgin, President and Chief Executive at the YES cable sports network, reversed this principle and implemented a “doer” mentality during the recruitment process for YES.

“We wanted it to be more like a start-up environment, without a start-up product,” Dolgin said. He wanted to create a flat organization where passionate people could create amazing things by doing what they do so well.

Read the full interview with Dolgin, where he discusses his perspective on leadership and how his methods could work for your company.

Two perspectives are better than one

When defining a corporate strategy for a business, it seems that moving away from the traditional perspectives of older executives and incorporating newer perspectives of younger generations may be beneficial to a successful execution.

Generation Y’ers are competitive and see things through eyes shaped by social media. They are conditioned to view data transparently as opposed to privately and look for ways to perform in the moment, opposed to the uncertain future.

Generation X’ers don’t consider winning to be the ultimate goal. Their independent and careful dispositions force them to question how feasible certain strategies will be under vastly different circumstances.

Click here to read more about these generational thinkers and their questions on everything from the underlying philosophy of a corporate strategy to its timeframe and tactics.