The Bottleneck Is At The Top Of The Bottle
Gary Hamel on one major reason companies change so slowly.
Quote of the Moment
The bottleneck is at the top of the bottle.
In most companies, strategic orthodoxy has some very powerful defenders: senior managers. Imagine an organizational pyramid with senior managers at the apex... Where are you likely to find people with the least diversity of experience, the largest investment in the past, and the greatest reverence for industrial dogma? At the top. And where will you find the people responsible for creating strategy? Again, at the top.
| Gary Hamel, Strategy as Revolution
In The Great Resignation: Why workers say they quit jobs in 2021, Kim Parker, and Julia Menasce Horowitz summarize research they conducted on The Great Quittage:
A new Pew Research Center survey finds that low pay, a lack of opportunities for advancement and feeling disrespected at work are the top reasons why Americans quit their jobs last year. The survey also finds that those who quit and are now employed elsewhere are more likely than not to say their current job has better pay, more opportunities for advancement and more work-life balance and flexibility.
Majorities of workers who quit a job in 2021 say low pay (63%), no opportunities for advancement (63%) and feeling disrespected at work (57%) were reasons why they quit, according to the Feb. 7-13 survey. At least a third say each of these were _major_ reasons why they left.
Overall, about one-in-five non-retired U.S. adults (19%) – including similar shares of men (18%) and women (20%) – say they quit a job at some point in 2021, meaning they left by choice and not because they were fired, laid off or because a temporary job had ended.
The reverberations of this shift — 20% of the working population quitting at least one job in 2021 — will be echoing in the economy for years.
‘A Biden administration report says collusion and other constraints on competition hold down pay and prospects in the labor market’, writes Eduardo Porter:
The recent narrative is that there is a tight labor market that gives workers leverage. But a new report from the Biden administration argues that the deck is still stacked against workers, reducing their ability to move from one employer to another and hurting their pay.
The report, released Monday by the Treasury Department, contends that employers often face little competition for their workers, allowing them to pay substantially less than they would otherwise.
“There is a recognition that the idea of a competitive labor market is a fiction,” said Ben Harris, assistant Treasury secretary in the office of economic policy, which prepared the report. “This is a sea change in economics.”
The report concludes that lack of competition in the job market costs workers, on average, 15 to 25 percent of what they might otherwise make. And it emphasizes that the administration will deploy the tools at its disposal to restore competition in the market for work.
“This is the administration declaring where it is on the enforcement of antitrust in labor markets,” Tim Wu, a special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy on the National Economic Council, said in an interview in which he laid out the report’s findings. “It is sending a strong signal about the direction in which antitrust enforcement and policy is going.”
That’s an awfully strong statement from the administration about the foundation of work as the cornerstone of the American dream and the individual pursuit of happiness. You can’t, because they don’t want you to.
Alison Gabriel, Daron Robertson, and Kristen Shockley share research in Research: Cameras On or Off?, that makes it clear that we should turn off the cameras on our video calls:
Our results — recently published in Journal of Applied Psychology — were quite clear: Using the camera was positively correlated to daily feelings of fatigue; the number of hours that employees spent in virtual meetings were not. This indicates that keeping the camera consistently on during meetings is at the heart of the fatigue problem.
It’s not the time spent Zooming; it’s all the little boxes with heads in them, including your own.
How Well-Designed Work Makes Us Smarter | Sharon Parker and Gwenith Fisher argue that ‘work that permits autonomy, demands problem-solving, and meets other criteria for good design can bolster employees’ cognitive skills and ongoing learning’.
Can Workers Climb the Career Ladder Working Remotely? | Corinne Purtill uncovers the workwashing about 'water cooler' conversations but did find support for the common worry about lack of proximity to senior executives as problematic for those working offsite.
U.S. Employers Still Scrambling to Fill Vacancies, Report Shows | Talmon Smith points out that ‘wage inflation’ is baloney:
After the Labor Department’s employment survey showed strong wage gains in January, hourly earnings were nearly flat in February. And even if wage gains stay strong, they remain far from runaway levels.