Unless you have been living under a rock, you would know that one of the latest pushes in all management circles — public, private, C-suites, academia — is to figure out how to improve workplaces so that they are supportive of good mental health. But part of that push is recognizing that we are not there yet, and even if we were, life happens outside of the workplace too, and eventually, even the most awesome place to work is going to deal with mental health issues with its employees.
Analysis without resolution
Earlier today, our branch held a half-day management discussion on mental health issues and included a desire for us all as managers to make a personal commitment to what we would “undertake” to improve our support on mental health issues. Some of them range from the obvious (don’t look at your phone while you’re talking to someone) while others are more complex (how to manage performance when there is an undiagnosed but suspected mental health issue on display). » Read the rest
The Drucker Forum is taking place this weekend in Europe, and I’m writing a series of posts reviewing some of the thought pieces that the various speakers provided in advance through the Harvard Business Review blogs or the forum site itself. Next up is Liviu Nedelescu’s “We should want robots to take some jobs“.
His article is prompted by the dominant theory that robots are taking higher and higher-level jobs, gobbling them up faster than industry is creating other jobs, leading to stagnation of median income and growth of inequality. Not to mention the fears of creating a future AI singularity that will replace mankind.
In a more hopeful vein, the article reviews other discussions that point to alternative paradigms like the fact that task-oriented economies tend to devalue humans, but robots can free us from that to focus on open-ended, creative activities with leaps of logic in innovation and thinking that we are more suited to accomplish. » Read the rest
The Harvard Business Review and a European conference site about the Drucker Forum are posting blogs by speakers to the Vienna conference taking place later this week, and I’m reviewing them. Back in May, Dambisa Moyo asked “Will Technology Support Global Growth?“. More specifically, Moyo asked if it would boost economic growth in developing countries, and points out two competing paradigms.
First, that transformation will transform livelihoods through info transfer, connectivity and communication leading to improvements in tech-enabled-health, education access, and expansion of use of mobile phones in gathering real-time market information.
Second, that transformation will also transform livelihoods through disruptive automation/robotics/AI leading to erosion of low-skilled jobs, reduced opportunities for young workers, and increased gaps in wages and between countries.
While those paradigms are well-argued, the conclusion is less clear i.e. that the private sector will already create new industries and opportunities on its own, so it is really public policy and government that need to pick up the pace to deal with the negative aspects of disruption. » Read the rest
I’m reading through a series of blogs on the Harvard Business Review and a European conference site about the Drucker Forum that will happen in Vienna later this week. Steve Denning wrote back in May about how The Internet Is Finally Forcing Management to Care About People. Denning’s position is summed up pretty well by the title of the article, namely that digital transformation will help drive humanist management.
Overall, Denning starts with a lament that all the humanist ways of thinking about management over the last 40 years have pretty much led nowhere because rewarding CEOs for shareholder value creates an impetus for command-and-control management over humanism. In Denning’s view, the shift of power from seller to buyer, from producer to consumer, will create pressure to create “new and better ways to delight customers”, beyond just price and volume. He also sees the digital transformation in the workplace, as it “shreds vertical supply chains”, and forces the businesses into the world of virtual meeting places and horizontal management rather than vertical command-and-control structures. » Read the rest
Early this past week, I came across a series of blogs on the Harvard Business Review about the Drucker Forum that will happen in Vienna later this week. HBR and some European sites are hosting guest blogs by many of the major speakers to the forum, a mini-preview of some of the issues on their mind. Each one has been awesome so far, at least in terms of my interests…management, technology, human interactivity, etc. Not surprising since the theme of this year’s forum is Claiming Our Humanity — Managing in the Digital Age. So, I thought I would take a peek at some of the blogs in a bit more depth.
The first one out of the gate was Richard Straub, who back in April wrote Managing in an Age of Winner-Take-All. The post is well-written, including allusions to computers and digital connectivity augmenting brain-led human development as much as mechanical improvements augmented brawn-led development. » Read the rest