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264 items in CULTURE

In a move toward dismantling the rigid corporate hierarchy common at many Chinese companies, game developer NetEase is allowing employees to choose their own preferred nicknames.
Fascinating to read about tech driven culture changes, in other cultural contexts, outside the Western world.
Issue #207 published 27 Sep 2020
Teams become ‘geometrically more complicated’ with each additional team member and will begin to slip into disorder…
Great conceptual tools in this accessible post on developing other leaders in your team and delegating responsibility. H/T brainfooder Adriaan Kolff, for the share in the fb group
Issue #207 published 27 Sep 2020
What happens if you apply an accountancy framework to HR? If you thought ‘a misshapen monstrosity to be immediately consigned the flames’ then shame on you, because this fusion of disciplines is actually pretty damn good.
Issue #205 published 13 Sep 2020
Superb post from Firstround on how to hold a virtual offsite. Usually an in-person event, most of us will be doing this for the first time, so this is the ideal primer - if not complete template - on how to do it. H/T to brainfooder Adriaan Kolff for the share in the fb group
Issue #205 published 13 Sep 2020
Stay Saasy is fast becoming one of my favourite blogs; it’s basically a series of non obvious truths, succinctly delivered in posts of 500 words or less. Join the club if you find yourself nodding along to this one….
Issue #204 published 6 Sep 2020
Brilliantly executed project by brainfooder Damon Klotz - a collection of resources to help recruiters and HR folks get through this transition. Bookmark it, or find it in the larder.
Issue #203 published 30 Aug 2020
Where are you currently in your career? Relevant post for anyone at any stage I would say, but particularly if you are currently mid point, or at point of inflection. Have a read here. Oscar Mager in the fb group
Issue #203 published 30 Aug 2020
My litmus test for effective leadership: any room that you enter should have more certainty and a firmer plan by the time that you leave it. 
…valuable, chunkable insight from a cool looking series focusing on scaling team & product. Have a read here
Issue #202 published 23 Aug 2020
Insightful twitter thread on the 360 feedback review - why they can be useful and also why they usually are not. Some excellent thinking here, especially touching on the inevitable power dynamic between the stakeholders of the review process. Have a read here.
Issue #200 published 9 Aug 2020
Fascinating textual analysis of the formal culture statements from 700+ companies. Turns out, there as many 62 different values with none even coming close to being universal. Lots of things to think about in this post - rhetoric vs reality, the ritual of culture statements, the number of values you can optimally commit to…..all signs of great brainfood.
Issue #198 published 26 Jul 2020
Interesting framework to analyse business culture, focusing on the rhythm of the two sets of business departments which have the greatest functional proximity: sales + finance vs product + marketing. Of course, TA / HR is completely absent from the conversation, but rather than complain, we should probably ask why? Perhaps failure to understand ‘the cadence’ might be a factor. Have a read here
Issue #198 published 26 Jul 2020
Another great post from the tech world, this time from Julie Evans, who not only gives us a handy culture / team building tip, but also why you should ask before you do the good deed.
Issue #197 published 19 Jul 2020
bullsh1tting is a social practice that organizational members engage with to become part of a speech community, to get things done in that community, and to reinforce their identity. When the practice of bullsh1tting works, it can gradually expand from a small group to take over an entire organization and industry. When bullsh1tting backfires, previously sacred concepts can become seen as empty and misleading talk…
..and with that, I was hooked on this accessible piece of research on how BS can take over company communications. One for the culture builders (and strategic bullsh1tters)
Issue #196 published 12 Jul 2020
Incredibly rewarding post on intrinsic motivation, introducing interesting concepts such as ‘Employee Value Apex’ and the 'Dead Sea Effect’. It’s about developers, so hyper relevant to tech recruiters / managers of tech employees, but really could be applied to any discipline, including ours, so relevant enough for everybody.
Issue #196 published 12 Jul 2020
Brainfooder Robin Schooling is one of those commentators who always finds a unique angle to explain the unexplainable. Funny, erudite and maybe a little bit of a sad take on a company function wracked with self doubt. Must read folks.
Issue #196 published 12 Jul 2020
The inevitable dark side of People Analytics is performance tracking, especially by bosses who don’t trust their workforce. Interesting to see how an ecosystem of tech vendors has quickly evolved to fill this niche. Have a read, here (PS: love to hear from you if you work for a business which has tech like this - get in touch)
Issue #195 published 5 Jul 2020
How can organisations build on the trust accrued so far during this pandemic? Some useful tips for leaders of business in this accessible post from McKinsey&Co
Issue #195 published 5 Jul 2020
Trick question as the answer isn’t the number but a lead into an excellent post about creating jobs which foster growth and development. Engineering focused but the advice translates to any discipline. H/T to brainfooder Denys Dinkevych for the share.
Issue #193 published 21 Jun 2020
Simple, excellent advice from a manager who understood and learned from his error. If your task as a manager or team leader is to motivate your team members, de-motivating them by task based feedback is one of the worst things you can do.
Issue #193 published 21 Jun 2020
Top tip: put your framework into a pyramid diagram. This is what Iulian Gulea has done with this excellent post and he ends up with a great explainer of how to up-skill and become a master of your craft. Of interest to anyone who into personal development, L&D or building a learning culture.
Issue #192 published 14 Jun 2020
Important contribution to a challenging debate by brainfooder Jim Stroud. What is the role of HR on social & political issues - to referee or be a player in the game? There are variety of angles to this debate so please avail yourself to to them. If you are interested in debating this topic, please join Jim and I on Brainfood Live Ep66 - register here
Issue #192 published 14 Jun 2020
Are you any good at giving constructive criticism? I’m not, so I found this post remarkably useful as it is packed with theory supported by practical example. Loads of acronyms too, so that’s a bonus. Have a read here
Issue #191 published 7 Jun 2020
I just witnessed the lynching of a black man, but don’t worry Ted, I’ll have those deliverables to you end of day.
How do you manage staff performance during a crisis? Its a question which has been asked by our community members before, but sometimes we cannot - perhaps should not - ask our employees to compartmentalise. Essential essay - have a read
Issue #191 published 7 Jun 2020
Some acronyms to learn: CAI (Culture As Imagined) vs CAP (Culture As Practiced), and the distance between the two being CCG (Corporate Culture Gap). Beginnings of a framework here in this thought provoking post on employers walking the talk. H/T brainfooders Pedro Oliveira & Catia Sousa for the share
Issue #190 published 31 May 2020
Fabulous essay on the inherent dangers of giving and taking advice. We can’t shake our biography folks and always generalise from an example of one. Includes quotes from Moltke and van Clausewitz, which additionally makes this a must read.
Issue #189 published 24 May 2020
Interesting angle on the challenges of transitioning back to co-located work after lockdown. If you have a facilities or office manager, send this link to them. If you don’t, you got to read this yourself. H/T brainfooder Pedro Oliveira for the share in the fb group
Issue #189 published 24 May 2020
New language, new framework and a new tool to help you calculate a role’s ‘span of control’. Outstanding brainfood for anyone interested in role design, organisational structure and workplace culture. H/T brainfooder Mark Rogers for the share.
Issue #189 published 24 May 2020
Unusually practical post from HBR, with some excellent do-it-today tactics on hiring during a downturn. Also includes evidence that the strongest companies to emerge from recessions are those which manage to resist thinking in the binary states of ‘grow vs cut’. Useful ammo for us in HR / TA, for conversations at the top.
Issue #188 published 17 May 2020
If war and peace are fundamentally different states - then we need fundamentally different modes of operating to succeed in them. Line-by-line comparison in this thought provoking post on how to organise for either circumstance, though tellingly it doesn’t deal with how you are meant to switch between the two…..
Issue #188 published 17 May 2020
What separates success from failure? These 8 laws contain some of the most influential ideas that the biggest tech companies use to run their operations, design business models, and build products.
An outstanding article on the values behind some of the most iconic organisations of our era. And yes, Jeff Bezos’s 2-Pizza Rule is in there. Must read folks, so do so here. H/T to brainfooders Ivan Harrison & Anouk Agussol for the share
Issue #188 published 17 May 2020
Outstanding multi-threaded essay on the most famous strategy consultancy on the planet. Learn about operating model of consultancies, the importance of inductive reasoning and role of consultants in shaping, influencing and exploiting corporate culture. It’s a great read
Issue #187 published 10 May 2020
Remarkable start of a what looks to be a hugely promising series by brainfooder Damon Klotz. On wellness, motivation and how to handle a crisis. Good on so many levels - depth of content, variety of format, the user journey on consumption….must read folks.
Issue #187 published 10 May 2020
‘Prof. Kreck, I really would love to understand the proof of the Poincaré conjecture. Do you have any tips for me?’ He looked at me calmly and replied something like ‘Not really, but best of luck to you; maybe you can it explain it to me once you understand it.’
Wonderful essay on the power and importance of saying ‘I don’t know’.
Issue #187 published 10 May 2020
What are the unspoken expectations when you hire someone new? Written for startup founders but relevant for anyone working with others or being with others. Must read
Issue #187 published 10 May 2020
Dan Luu is some sort of perverse genius. Consistently brilliant analysis, expertly communicated in a way that is accessible to the laity, credible to the clergy, all served up on a website with an uncompromising UI from the late 90’s. On systems, complexity and the necessity of ‘bloat’ .
Issue #186 published 3 May 2020
Millions of data points on employee engagement, aggregated into a single web app. Some fantastic benchmarking value here, and potentially a whole lot more. Take a deep dive in folks. H/T brainfooder Damon Klotz for the share
Issue #185 published 26 Apr 2020
Never thought there’d be so much anthropology in recruitment. Culture divides as much as it unites. Or you can try to create a ‘cult’. But that usually requires dogma, a clerical class ('cultural guardians’..) to police it and a system of reward and punishment for exemplars and transgressors. 
Issue #36 published 23 Apr 2020
Insiders look at the inequity in banking salaries, penned by ex-technology intern who went onto the banks graduate scheme. Worth a read if you’re considering bank vs startup. 
Issue #36 published 23 Apr 2020
Lots of things to think about in this unfiltered post by Jan Wedel - not least the preconceptions carried into the project by himself. However, perspectives like this offer insight into the world of distributed, remote teams which we might all need to get used to. More on the Hacker News comment thread here
Issue #79 published 23 Apr 2020
Encouraging to see engineering / product ideas filter into the recruiting world. This is a transcript of an interview with Dan Pupius, ex Head of Engineering at Medium where he built a hiring framework like he would a product. Best part? You have to build the system as well as the results. Likely the best thing you’ll read today.
Issue #79 published 23 Apr 2020
We know meetings are the bane of office life, but do we really know why? It could be because you’re suffocating. Alarming and amusing in equal measure, put this post amongst the growing list which questions the value of the meeting.
Issue #158 published 23 Apr 2020
Are you doing a survey? From the amount of polling going round in the fb group, I’d be surprised if you weren’t. We should all read this outstanding post from our buddies at HubSpot. Beautifully presented interactive website packed with insight, education and - most importantly - practical tips. Must read
Issue #158 published 23 Apr 2020
Does the martini cocktail glass describe your career? Khe Hy thinks it might, in this interesting take on career trajectory. Might be useful, especially if you’re managing or recruiting others. And if not - hey, at least it’s a martini glass.
Issue #107 published 23 Apr 2020
Succinct and accessible summary of key HR models popular in business today. At the very least it’s a decent history of the concepts that have driven the discipline. H/T to Erik van Vulpen for putting this high value post together. HR folks should take a look.
Issue #107 published 23 Apr 2020
Do you know what ‘design thinking’ is? I suspect most of us heard of it, but fewer really grok it. I don’t pretend to be one of them, so found this white paper from Leiner & Partner useful. Download and have a read here.
Issue #159 published 23 Apr 2020
CEO, GitLab
CULTURE
Employee manuals’ are self written guide books that you make publicly available so that others can get the best out of you. GitLab - fast becoming a poster child for organisational innovation - is leading from the front, with CEO Sid Sijbrandij publishing his own.
Issue #159 published 23 Apr 2020
$5,000 and you can leave - counter intuitive nudging from the company which may know it’s workers better than any other. Fascinating post on how this strategy may actually be a way to keep staff for longer. 
Issue #71 published 23 Apr 2020
Superb analysis of the hiring drought at CTO level by my buddy and long time brainfooder, Dmitri Grabov. Compensation disparity, set in part by internal politics in permanent hires plus lack of commitment in developing younger talent, creates the drought.
Issue #71 published 23 Apr 2020
Jeff Bezos famously has the ’two pizza rule’ where no meeting should ever be large enough that 2 pizza’s can’t feed the entire room. Laurence Krubner goes further - anything beyond a one to one is a complete waste of time. He makes a persuasive argument in this excoriating post. 
Issue #66 published 23 Apr 2020
For years, managers have been encouraged to praise and constructively criticize just about everything their employees do. But there are better ways to help employees thrive and excel. Excellent post by HBR - do give this a read
Issue #129 published 23 Apr 2020
Interesting theory on how tools and frameworks can change culture. The rise of micro services has triggered a revolution in who-does-what in software development, consequently changing what the optimal characteristics (i.e candidates) are for the current and future software dev team. Have a read here
Issue #174 published 23 Apr 2020
Fascinating essay on how Google’s nudge culture infuses every part of its operations, including how it provisions food for its employees. So much to think about here; change management tactics, corporate social responsibility, company over reach….Long, enriching read. H/T brainfooder Chris Platts for the share
Issue #174 published 23 Apr 2020
“…Open sourcing your code, regardless of your company size, is one of the best ways to recruit top engineers…”. This is from AngelList, who analysed the application rate of companies who do vs don’t. Food for thought here for those hiring for tech
Issue #112 published 23 Apr 2020
Deconstructing the theories of truth, learning and excellence, this superb essay from Harvard Business Review might be the much need antidote to the ‘radical candour’ movement. Not only intellectually stimulating, it also contains practical how-to’s to move idea to action. Must read
Issue #138 published 23 Apr 2020
Proponents tout the benefits of sharing pay information across an organisation. But it seems that for many companies, the costs outweigh the benefits. Counter point to the Buffer philosophy from Wall Street Journal, is well worth a read, especially on the unexpected consequences of well meaning culture change. 
Issue #61 published 23 Apr 2020
FirstRound continue to produce the best content in the industry. Most are interviews with amazing figures who have something unique to say. Here we have Kenneth Lin, CEO of Credit Karma, doing branding by not caring about branding too much. It’s a great interview, profound and pragmatic. Must read 
Issue #61 published 23 Apr 2020
“Top executives can unleash agile teams by driving ambition, removing red tape, and helping managers adjust to new norms”. It’s really just the Prussian mission command model - centralised intent, decentralised execution - but it’s all the rage in HR these days, so you better have a read here
Issue #93 published 23 Apr 2020
The well being and mental health of our employees is belatedly becoming a priority in business. Brainfooder Yulia Bondar describes perhaps the unique reasons why this is particular challenge for recruiters in this outstanding confessional post. Have a read here
Issue #176 published 23 Apr 2020
“Even though you’re surrounded by people, and you’re talking all day long, being CPO is often said to be the loneliest role outside of the CEO role, because you don’t have somebody to confide in necessarily for everything,”
It’s a thankless task being a Chief People Officer, one of the most coveted roles in our industry and yet, maybe an impossible one to do well. Excellent and accessible post on the life at the top.
Issue #176 published 23 Apr 2020
The total absence of HR oversight in the White House perhaps demonstrates the place of the function in society. It’s strictly optional and depends on CEO buy in. This is already old news but points remain pertinent. 
Issue #43 published 23 Apr 2020
How do you hire exceptional employees? You probably don’t pipe them into a recruiting funnel designed for volume hiring is my best guess. I spoke with brainfood buddies Workable last week on how the highly skilled, in-demand might be the modern artisans of the digital era. Great job by Nikoletta Bika for making my words readable - check it out here.
PS: The inspiration for this post was a 15 minute talk I gave on the topic of artisanal working at RecFest AU earlier this year. Published last week, you can watch it here
Issue #105 published 23 Apr 2020
Recruiting Toolbox is a recruitment consultancy in the real sense of the term - they don’t recruit, but  help companies recruit better. Some evidence of their philosophy in this excellent post on how to manage your hiring managers - a crucially under estimated part of recruiting success. 

Issue #62 published 23 Apr 2020
Well done to the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP), for producing the first voluntary code of ethics for their membership. To be a recruiter is to be in a position of power - its long overdue to see these commitments codified and published. Expect other associations to follow suit. 
Issue #62 published 23 Apr 2020
Consistently thought of as amongst the most attractive employers on the planet, this outstanding long read from Wired paints a very different picture as internal culture wars take such a grip at Google that CEO Sundar Pichai was forced to issue a missive for employees to cease discussing politics on internal channels.
Issue #151 published 23 Apr 2020
Significant piece of research from our buddies at Slack and GlobalWebIndex. What are the differences between your Aligned vs Non-aligned workers? Could be a key measurement of your organisational health. Download the PDF here
PS: hi to all our new subscribers from Slack TA team this past week - great to have you all onboard ;-)
Issue #151 published 23 Apr 2020
Turns out, innovation is a numbers game. Great article from the Harvard Business Review, introducing ‘ideation rate’ as the key metric to a successful culture of innovation. H/T to brainfooder John Sumser for the share
Issue #54 published 23 Apr 2020
Not sure whether this story is apocryphal but anyone who has ever worked in or with a medium sized dev team will recognise ‘Rick’. Writing great code is writing maintainable code. 
Issue #54 published 23 Apr 2020
Succinct overview of the ’state of agile in HR’ by Steve Denning. HR is mainly doing ‘agile-lite’ - adopting the accoutrements of agile, but not really grokking it. Great reading for everyone implementing agile. The Agile manifesto btw, is still up there and is still available for all as the guiding north star in case we get lost on the way
Issue #136 published 23 Apr 2020
Are you WEIRD? If you’re reading this newsletter, there’s a good chance that you are. It has huge implications in how we might be assessing behaviour when we hire and how we manage performance after we do. 
Issue #76 published 23 Apr 2020
How important is mental health? Critically important in of itself, but increasingly we are becoming aware of it’s correlation to poor productivity. Kristian Bright writes from a perspective of a recruiter who knows overwork and managed to pull it back. NB: If you have £10 spare, you can help Kristian reach his charity target by donating to mental health charity Mind, here
Issue #80 published 23 Apr 2020
The most important lessons in learning to code is empathy, says OH subscriber Tom Pyle. Excellent piece of writing on the real value of crossing disciplines. 
Issue #48 published 23 Apr 2020
John Cutler comes out with a single page summary on a topic that is struggling to get out of cliché. If you’re going to print something and stick it on your office wall, print this. 
Issue #59 published 23 Apr 2020
The role that language plays in thinking has literally been on our minds since Aristotle. It matters which words we use - wisdom here from brainfooder Neil Morrison
Issue #59 published 23 Apr 2020
We need the society of others, but few tasks are designed to be collaboratively 100% of the time. Yet most offices remain open plan….
Issue #24 published 23 Apr 2020
Startups hit the ‘cultural chasm’ 2 years after launch. Maturation of the business is a variable we do not consider often enough when we are hiring for 'culture fit’ 
Issue #24 published 23 Apr 2020
This is where McKinsey & Co really excel - outstanding how-to post on leadership during a crisis. Main point: recognise it is a crisis but communicate with ‘deliberate calm’ and 'bounded optimism’. Bang on every point, so must read
Issue #180 published 23 Apr 2020
Developers….can be the worst. If you’ve ever worked in /with a dev team, you know that it can be a brutal place. Philipp Ranzhin explains how he was one of the folks who made it this way, and why he was wrong. It’s a brilliantly written piece, giving an inside look at the world of code reviews, hierarchy and ’previous idiot syndrome’.
Issue #124 published 23 Apr 2020
FirstRound are back with bang with this enormous post packed with some really innovative ideas, provided by companies which have tested them in practice. It’s a superb read folks.
Issue #121 published 23 Apr 2020
Are we wasting our time with employee engagement initiatives? Fascinating brainfood from Harvard Business Review, which presents an obvious-now-you-think-about-it argument: that employees might not be ‘disengaged’, they may just have low wattage personalities.
Issue #121 published 23 Apr 2020
What is Recruitment Operations? Inspired from the development of DevOps in software engineering, this is an emerging function within a mature TA team which focuses not on headcount but optimising processes. Great read by our buddies at Zinc.
Issue #121 published 23 Apr 2020
Working for a year at a mechanic shop taught me that, in order to have a flourishing business and team, more than just formal process matters.
That was enough to have me hooked on this post by Majorie Knepp. Makes me think what other lessons are available for us to learn if we could better connect industries and share experience. Easy, fun, valuable read
Issue #175 published 23 Apr 2020
The story of Value’s “flat, bossless, open office” utopia is now an infamous retelling of Golding’s Lord of the Flies in a modern tech business setting. This post by Ong Kar Jin is a warning of something we should know already - all utopia is propaganda
Issue #156 published 23 Apr 2020
Too much of recruiting is rhetoric says long time brainfooder Stevie Buckley, in another excellent post on how we can differentiate and still do good work. Can ethics be a recruitment marketing asset? Of course it can, but only if it’s honest. 
Issue #73 published 23 Apr 2020
Real talk on culture change by Barclay’s Ian Miell. Direct, to-the-point, pragmatic - this is the way to write a method post. Main takeaway? Make team members do all the jobs so that they each have a perspective on what everyone’s role really is. 
Issue #73 published 23 Apr 2020
Highly promising blog / report series on employee sentiment by Dropbox. Two main takeaways for me - we want to slow down and we want less interruptions. Can also be read as a great example of inbound marketing strategy - serialisation vs mega report. Have a read here
Issue #132 published 23 Apr 2020
In recruitment, we are prone to survivor bias, but sometimes we need to let go of the skepticism and simply absorb great lessons where we find them. Lenny Rachitsky pens a powerful retrospective on the lessons he’s learned as an early employee of a unicorn. It’s a great read.
Issue #132 published 23 Apr 2020
Still after ‘A’ Players? You better make sure they are not rogue. These are the mavericks for whom there is only one source of truth and no one who isn’t them is going to get it. Great post by Keir Lowden, on the dangers of ignoring culture fit
 
Issue #23 published 23 Apr 2020
Transcript of an interview between Bryan Helmig, CTO and Co-founder of Zapier, who has been working with a 100% remote development team since the very beginning of company’s growth and with fellow YC alum Yurij Riphyak of Youteam. Real talk between two founders who believe in remote first.
Issue #81 published 23 Apr 2020
There is truth in cliché. National management stereotypes and how to adapt to them. This report from Harvard Business Review can be read on many levels - as a practical how-to, an appeal for better cross cultural communication and perhaps, as a deterrent to diversity?
Issue #49 published 23 Apr 2020
No bullshit (as ever) from my friend Laurie Ruettimann on workplace culture. Love this post on walking the talk when it comes to cultivating a positive company culture. It’s do-it-tomorrow advice folks, so get a load of it here
Issue #120 published 23 Apr 2020
Employees remain the best source of inspiration for talent acquisition / development ideas. You ask the right questions, you get some great answers. 
Issue #37 published 23 Apr 2020
“Over the course of our careers, Jen and I observed situations where women and underrepresented groups were often excluded from key emails or meetings,” Korey said in a statement to The Verge. “Slack affords levels of inclusion and transparency email simply doesn’t.
You’ve got be wary of stories like this, especially as it’s told from one side only, but it’s undeniably a fascinating account of radical transparency culture gone bad.
Issue #166 published 23 Apr 2020
Leonardo Federico, founder of Sametab, somehow finds the time put together in-depth essays on workplace culture. This one on internal communication is superb - likely best thing you’ll read all week.
Issue #166 published 23 Apr 2020
So I think this is relevant to recruiting. Moran Cerf, a neuroscientist, says the surest way to maximize happiness has nothing to do with experiences, material goods, or personal philosophy - but who you hang around with. 
Issue #52 published 23 Apr 2020
Names are metaphors and, you know what? Metaphors matter. This is an excellent post from Ben Halstead who warns us to be careful when we decide what to call the work we do. A must read for anyone hiring developers / engineers 
Issue #52 published 23 Apr 2020
We need to replace on-boarding with integration. Good article this, hard to find fault with the premise. Thanks Danny Crook  at Klarna, for the share
Issue #30 published 23 Apr 2020
“….The virtual Museum of HR has a big room full with Employee Journey Maps…” Tom Haak with a wonderful line to start his exhibition of the ways in which we describe the employee journey. The design makes a difference. Have a look here and see for yourself.
Issue #109 published 23 Apr 2020
One of those posts which is so good that you wish it was longer. The ‘three distances’ (physical, operational, affinity) is a great concept to use in management of remote work. As more of end up doing it, new skills of communication are required. Must read
Issue #77 published 23 Apr 2020
There’s going to be some meetings content coming up these next few issues, because if we’re going to have them, then we might as well do them well. This collection is practical, searchable, useful - tech focused but relevant to any industry, including ours.
Issue #177 published 23 Apr 2020
So here are the four main differences between organisations who successfully staff their digital initiatives: 1. Look potential rather credentials 2. Software skills rather than hard skills 3. Think team rather than individual hiring and 4. Align incentives to encourage existing employees to upskill. Recruiters pretty much need to circulate this report to your hiring managers
Issue #171 published 23 Apr 2020
Fascinating premise by brainfooder Bas van der Haterd on the efficacy of 4 day week’s on employee productivity and performance. Might the performance improvement occur because 4 day week are unusual and not universal? In line with the concept of relative vs absolute poverty. Worth thinking about this, especially when adopting the latest trends….
Issue #171 published 23 Apr 2020
Heresy.io is coming out with some great content pieces lately. In line with the ‘Agile-in-Recruiting’ conversations that have been going round, this post gives us great pointers on how to run effective stand ups.

Issue #69 published 23 Apr 2020
Haters are going to hate, but credit goes to Amazon for always trying new things. We know that going back to nature leads to increase in health and productivity so is the ‘rain forest office’ the ultimate employee perk?
Issue #69 published 23 Apr 2020
Who you should hire depends on the maturation of your business says Lew Moorman, founder of Scaleworks. It is a convincing critique of ‘credentialism’ and the worship of big brands in recruiting. H/T for brainfooder Billy McDairmid for the share. 
Issue #69 published 23 Apr 2020
Are you conspicuously better than your colleagues? I know I am, which I why I make sure I never have many. JK. This is a management problem that falls squarely onto lap of HR - how to deal with jealousy in the workplace. 
Issue #42 published 23 Apr 2020
Fascinating study tackling the apparent paradox of our aversion to meetings, yet their seemingly inexorable increase in frequency. It represents changes in the workforce, especially in the growth of ‘thinking vs doing’ roles. Also: this post introduces the concept of underlying social purpose that is the real reason for many of the things we do in business. It’s more anthropology and it’s a great read
Issue #162 published 23 Apr 2020
Why didn’t governments come up with Google or Facebook or Amazon? Especially when many startups in the early era of the Silicon Valley actually emerged from government. Steve Blank with a fascinating essay on culture comparison.
Issue #162 published 23 Apr 2020
‘Something we could do better at is making it really possible and a really great experience for people to leave’.
Clickbait title and cut down interview(s) present Monzo in a less than flattering light here, but there are two valid points made in this post. Fast growing companies can outgrow early employees, and an effective way to manage changing relationships is surely just mature management.
Issue #162 published 23 Apr 2020
With data, you can measure and improve performance, but that won’t facilitate breakthroughs. Leadership is the art of doing things you’re not sure of, and doing them with enrollment instead of authority.
A/B is cool but its not the way to make transformational breakthroughs, says Seth Godin. He’s as relevant as ever.
Issue #162 published 23 Apr 2020
Does it matter if your CEO is a billionaire? Once we get over the obvious question on the direction of causality, we can start to see some fascinating insights in this report from UBS on ‘billionaire managed businesses’. Interesting premise, cool website so download the full report here
Issue #162 published 23 Apr 2020
You know from the first line that this is great writing. Learn about ‘levelling’, 'red zones’ and 'moving out to moving up’ by tech insider Rachel Kroll, who - when she is not writing great posts like this - is a senior engineer at Facebook. Must read for those interested in tech culture / tech hiring.
Issue #98 published 23 Apr 2020
The 25% Rule
CULTURE
Social norms can be changed by only a quarter of the group, ‘for good or ill’ as this post from Coglode helpfully notes. That’s all it takes for a dedicated minority to shift the 'Overton’ window. Perhaps we can apply the maths to more benign purpose, in the context of our companies. Must read for anyone currently embarking on or wrestling with culture change.
Issue #98 published 23 Apr 2020
How much of your day is spent multitasking with communication tools? And just how bad is it for your productivity? We know the answers: ‘way too much’ and 'absolutely terrible’. This post might give us a way out - have a read here
Issue #98 published 23 Apr 2020
Getting into Instagram recently - mainly because it’s a business knocking on the door of close to 1 Billion users - and I thought I’d better. Here’s a great interview transcript with James Everingham, formerly Head of Engineering at Instagram, on how to make better decisions in transparency & communication. As with everything on FirstRound Review, it’s excellent for recruiters / HR / talent folks of all stripes.
Issue #98 published 23 Apr 2020
The secret to employee engagement? Give them an actual stake in the business and involved them in the decisions that affect the business. Fascinating cameo portrait of Danone - decent case study in case anyone wants to quickly and radically trigger culture change.
Issue #137 published 23 Apr 2020
Software is easy. People are hard. A wonderful website which pokes fun at all the persona’s we know and secretly love. It …might also actually be useful. H/T to ‘foodie Andrew Stetsenko for the share
Issue #123 published 23 Apr 2020
There are surprisingly few formal studies on office romance…
…and as 40% of conjugal partners meet at work, office romance must rank as a seriously under researched topic in the world of recruiting and HR. A light hearted but well researched piece from our buddies at Good&Co on a phenomena we need to talk more about. Have a read here.
Issue #123 published 23 Apr 2020
progression.monzo.com is a single place where all our current and future employees can see the skills, knowledge and behaviours that we value here at Monzo.
Impressive transparency from Monzo on their progression framework, a tool to match employee competence to compensation. It’s a fantastic template and an even better example. H/T to ‘foodie Katrina Pascoulis for the share
Issue #123 published 23 Apr 2020
“they’re just shapes’ says Richard Bartlett in this insightful post on what we should really be focusing on when we want to create effective modern organisations. Some ONA in this, because in the end, it’s all about power dynamics.
Issue #128 published 23 Apr 2020
More on Holocracy. Great to see some companies press ahead with experimentation in radical organisation change. Decent overview from Molly Levinson of the story at Blinkist. Thanks OH subscriber Deborah Caulet for the share. 
Issue #28 published 23 Apr 2020
Startups default to the radical. There’s perhaps been no greater attempt at changing organisational culture than Zappo’s attempt at radical de-centralisation. Here’s a perspective behind Holacracy, warts and all. 
Issue #28 published 23 Apr 2020
Matt Buckland is an infrequent yet excellent commentator on the big issues of the day in recruiting. Here’s his take on Culture and it’s general misuse in recruiting job adverts. 
Issue #28 published 23 Apr 2020
We’ve heard of the relocation package. But what about the de-location package? Zapier in the news this week, for their ‘pay you to get out of town’ deal for new employees. An interesting idea to save costs / increase talent pool. Here’s their original blog post. 
Issue #26 published 23 Apr 2020
Superb post from brainfooder Adriaan Kolff - a worthy story made more so by the willingness to share it. We learn more from the failures than we do from the successes folks. Must read for any manager thinking about doing an offsite.
Issue #164 published 23 Apr 2020
Hard truths and great tips from Blinkist Director of Design Temi Adeniyi on scaling up her design team. Especially like #3 - ‘implicit knowledge of old heads is hidden information for newbies’. H/T brainfooder Deborah Caulet for the share. Have a read here
Issue #164 published 23 Apr 2020
How much of the work you do is about the work you do? An interesting concept introduced by Asana in this report on knowledge workers task distribution, and how communication / collaboration tech have led to a barrage of interrupts which prevent the deep work we need to do. Thankfully, there’s a couple of pages at the end on what to do about it. H/T to brainfooder Denis Dinkevich for the share
Issue #164 published 23 Apr 2020
Superb resource from Atlassian - an interactive website packed full of ideas and how-to’s, categorised according the the culture challenges you currently face. It’s a marvellous contribution to community. One to bookmark for anyone interested in growing a healthy company culture. 
Issue #63 published 23 Apr 2020
We are getting better at thinking about culture. Dr Richard Claydon has been one of my favourite follows on LinkedIn this year, primarily because of content like this. 2017 has seen ‘culture’ mature from being a slogans on the office wall to behaviours that get rewarded and punished according the values of the business. 
Issue #63 published 23 Apr 2020
Firstround is hands down the best original content blog on matters of recruiting and talent. Written in the format of “overheard in..”, is post is packed full of innovative ideas which can be immediately implemented by recruiters / hiring managers to get better tomorrow. It’s a fantastic read. 
Issue #63 published 23 Apr 2020
Employee activism is an increasingly significant phenomenon, whether it be for social justice agenda, or plain old material self interest. Great example of the maybe both here, with MS employees crowdsourcing an anonymous pay spreadsheet in order to figure out how much the other guy is being paid. Maybe time to do one for Brainfooders - thoughts in replies to this email…
Issue #153 published 23 Apr 2020
Some sound anthropology here, written with a literary flair you might expect from the Economist’s Ryan Avent. Summary: the reason why we do work so hard is because personal / professional lives are so intertwined that our social capital is now heavily invested in the realm of work. 
Issue #38 published 23 Apr 2020
Blindly worshiping at the altar of best practices is dangerous, say recruitingbrainfood subscriber Matt Bradburn.  He’s almost certainly right but options are most limited to those who don’t know enough to know.
Issue #38 published 23 Apr 2020
Human beings hunger for superheroes. It’s basically an abdication of responsibility. Don’t worry, let the Donald take care of it etc. We probably need to grow up.

 
Issue #27 published 23 Apr 2020
The best content will be both a revelation and common sense. I think this post from Carly Guthrie, HR Lead for Per Se, achieves it. Thanks to OH subscriber Matthew Bradburn for the share. (Firstround is an excellent blog btw, consistently excellent original content)
Issue #27 published 23 Apr 2020
First rule of managing conflict? You have to agree on a way to disagree. Excellent new writing Kate Leto, guest blogging on our buddies Mind The Product platform. Not strictly recruiting related, but problem / solution set are universal. H/T brainfooder James Mayes for the share. 
Issue #75 published 23 Apr 2020
Somewhat of a ‘stream of consciousness’ summary of the inside look of some major tech companies. Not easy to read to but some interesting nuggets here, especially on Google’s approach to recruiting / management. 
Issue #75 published 23 Apr 2020
We’re complicit in this - we’ve all been shilling for the system for as long as we can remember. We’re still doing it, i.e ‘get into STEM everybody!’ There’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow folks. Just more grind.
  
Issue #51 published 23 Apr 2020
Great post here by OH subscriber Stevie Buckley on the maturation of employee benefits. Bonus points for the attack on ‘drinking culture as default’ - overdue and necessary
Issue #51 published 23 Apr 2020
Superb essay on something we probably all agree on - the 8 hour day / 40 hour work week - is completely nuts. Do your bit to change it, read and share this post. 
Issue #34 published 23 Apr 2020
Fantastic interview with Josh Reeves, a CEO who has an anthropologists insight into the importance of ritual and of staying true to your own best practice as you grow your business. Must read, folks.
Issue #99 published 23 Apr 2020
Unfiltered truth from Workable’s CEO Nikos Moraitakis on some of the biggest myths and misconceptions in the recruiting software industry. ‘Effort bias’ in particular is a term we should know. #nikosrants should be a thing. Must read folks.
Issue #99 published 23 Apr 2020
HR / Recruiting cannot avoid this culture war. Tim Sackett takes on the tough topics and - as always - gives it to you straight. 
Issue #45 published 23 Apr 2020
We all respond differently to similar stimuli - so why don’t write a user manual so our colleagues know about it? This is a great management idea thats really easy to implement - lets do this. 
Issue #45 published 23 Apr 2020
Fascinating long read on WeWork founder Adam Neumann and his journey from selling baby clothes to transforming the modern commercial real estate business. It’s all there - crazy big vision, crazy big hair, all-in-culture, massive scale, turnover-as-strategy and the rest. It’s a fascinating read on a convention busting organisation.
Issue #143 published 23 Apr 2020
Business Model Canvass revolutionised the presentation of operating frameworks. This effort from XPLANE uses the same ‘one-pager’ ethos to create and update their 'Empathy Map Canvass’. The sequencing in particular gives the newcomer to design thinking a step-by-step how-to. Read the blog here, and download the one-pager here
Issue #108 published 23 Apr 2020
Useful post by FirstRound on pay transparency. Turns out, it’s not either / or but a spectrum along an axis of transparency-to -flexibility. Compass CEO bethanye Blount gives the guidance in this insightful, in depth interview. Must read, so do it here
Issue #108 published 23 Apr 2020
Cynthia Maxwell has led engineering teams at Slack, Apple, Yahoo! and Pinterest. Here’s the management framework that’s become one of the most powerful resources in her toolkit.
Issue #44 published 23 Apr 2020
Excellent post from Kim-Mai Cutler, Operations Partner at Initialized Capital on remote work culture. Main takeaway? Don’t fly in future remote employees for in-person interviews - that’s not how they are going to be working, and all you’re going to get are false signals. 
Issue #74 published 23 Apr 2020
AgileTA
CULTURE
I had the pleasure is sharing a stage with Global VP of Talent Acquisition Kevin Blair last month and was privy to some of the thinking here - IBM rolling out Agile in TA. Here is the comprehensive overview by Dave Putterman published on Linkedin and more on the conversation here
Issue #74 published 23 Apr 2020
What do you get when you apply neurochemistry with incentives for more effective management? A pretty damn good post on culture building, that’s what. Oldie from HBR (first published in 2017) but I came across this only recently and it has aged extremely well. Have a read here
Issue #152 published 23 Apr 2020
Technical competence matters for managers. Technical competence matters more for employees of those managers. 
Issue #17 published 23 Apr 2020
Interesting perspective PointNine Capital’s Robin Dechant on where industrial companies are and where they should be going. Presentation is from the investor perspective, but plenty of it accessible / relevant for us in the hiring business. 
Issue #87 published 23 Apr 2020
By using the ‘Formula’ of course. Superbly presented resource for anyone involved in the hiring and management of staff. Congrats to Greg Skloot for putting this together. This is a post everyone should read. 

Issue #87 published 23 Apr 2020
Hiring ‘entrepreneurial talent’ is high on the priority list for corporations desperately trying to digitise and innovate. If attracting this type of talent is important to you, have a read of this outstanding how-to post from The Bakery’s Ellen Donnelly,
Issue #135 published 23 Apr 2020
“…Confirming what people already believe can sometimes help organizations overcome barriers to change….”
It’s probably not that obvious an insight, but its worth underlining that we need to systematise repetition to in order to really effect culture change. Super interesting piece from Sloan Review on how to make it happen.
Issue #125 published 23 Apr 2020
We are in dire need of new models to rethink the work we do. It’s very pleasing to see some new thinking from Quora’s Head of Engineering Ozzie Osman on the ‘candidate climb’, a recruiting model based on escalating effort expended by the candidate. It’s not perfect but we need alternatives to the 'recruiting funnel’. Have a read here.
Issue #125 published 23 Apr 2020
Great example from our buddies at Heresy.io of the adapting the agile way of working from it’s origins in software development to the world of business. Can it work for recruiting? I think probably could, as does Mark Lundgren, who might be doing something about it soon. Examples if you have them folks. More discussion here
Issue #68 published 23 Apr 2020
Remarkable post by Barclay’s Ian Miell on a challenge all of us who have worked with or for enterprise scale organisations would recognise. Generous, wise, and true, this post gives an explainer for the inexplicable and points to a potential way out. It’s a must read for everyone here.
Issue #104 published 23 Apr 2020
Clear thinking by Josh Bersin on how to design for resilience. There are 5 principles but really the first one is the most significant - distribution control, centralised co-ordination. It’s Prussian Army Auftragstaktik all over again.
Issue #184 published 23 Apr 2020
How do you secure budget for your recruiting strategy? Most of us will simply just fail at this, so we may do well to pay attention to this outstanding how-to series from Mary Grace Hennesey. I first saw part 3 in the fb group, but then followed the trail to parts 1 and part 2. I’d recommend reading all three.
Issue #122 published 23 Apr 2020
Case study is on exec hiring, but the lessons of the process could be applied to any experienced hire. Especially like the ‘3 strengths’ approach, as well as early referencing. Great brainfood from FirstRound again - enjoy it.
Issue #122 published 23 Apr 2020
Fascinating experiment by Japanese chip maker Disco Corp, where everything in the company has a price, including daily auctions of work assignments, paid via an internal virtual currency call ‘Will’. Is this a potential future model of company organisation? Must read for the cultural experimentalists out there - do it here
Issue #142 published 23 Apr 2020
It’s hard to write a credible how-to on culture building but guess what? Bunch.ai have managed it. Loads of goodies in this post, including the Culture Canvass, Culture Hacks Library, a free chrome extension of culture alignment…. covers a lot ground if fixing culture is part of your brief.
Issue #142 published 23 Apr 2020
Important post of the reality of modern, professional software engineering. Coding is different when you’re paid to do it - it usually means you’re optimising / refactoring other people’s work. Melissa McEwen has had enough - she’s giving it up to be a farmer. Thanks to brainfooder Stevie Buckley for the share
Issue #60 published 23 Apr 2020
Github is increasingly becoming a hub for HR / Recruiting content, especially for tech careers. This is a great initiative by our buddies from Financial Times - especially pay attention to the competency framework. Blog explainer is here. H/T Christine Ng for the share.
Issue #130 published 23 Apr 2020
Fascinating social experiment by a company which pays everyone the same salary, regardless of role or seniority. Credit to iwantmyname (great service for finding a new domain names btw) for going this a go. This is their 10 year retro - and why they are sticking with the policy.
Issue #130 published 23 Apr 2020
Fascinating piece of proprietary research from our buddies at Peakon - the 2019 Heartbeat report on employee retention delivers some critically important insights. Want to know who your at risk employees are? Then read this report
Issue #130 published 23 Apr 2020
Much needed post from Josh Bersin on how to read employer reviews. To paraphrase my friend Bill Boorman ‘reviews are written by extremists’ and need to be taken as such. They are resources for learning folks, not for judgement. Read Josh’s post here
Issue #92 published 23 Apr 2020
Erika Price writes an intelligence piece on why people are non-productive. It’s not laziness folks, it’s unseen barriers. I’m telling you, the best stuff always comes from outside the bubble
Issue #95 published 23 Apr 2020
More culture as content, this time from our buddies at Blendle who this week published their Employee Handbook. It’s basically a wiki for all things people related. A resource and maybe an inspiration for us here.
Issue #95 published 23 Apr 2020
Superb essay from Peter Cappelli who makes a compelling case for a fundamental reset on our mindset on recruitment. Hiring from the outside is inherently difficult and things can only get better if we do less of it. Must read
Issue #133 published 23 Apr 2020
The journey from staffer to manager can be rapid in high growth businesses. Edward Kim, CTO of Gusto tells his story of moving from ‘nerd in the closet’ to leading a team of 100+ software engineers. Great read for anyone involved in tech hiring / tech management. 
Issue #90 published 23 Apr 2020
How do we make decisions when there isn’t a ‘King’? 'Rough consensus’ over majority vote is amongst the many lessons offered in this outstanding post by the good folks at Doist. Long read but a must read for everyone here.
Issue #141 published 23 Apr 2020
Piala, a marketing company in Japan has taken a creative approach to motivating its employees to quit smoking, as well as promoting an equitable culture. Is this a good idea?
Issue #56 published 23 Apr 2020
ONA stands for ‘Organisation Network Analytics’. It’s something I’ve discovered quite recently, and I’m banging the drum about it. It’s a change of perspective on how to analyse teams and individuals. This is a useful and accessible post from Philip Arkcoll for those who want to know more. 
Issue #56 published 23 Apr 2020
Fantastic commentary from long time brainfooder Lars Schmidt on the end of ‘culture fit’. It’s a catch-all phrase for rejecting folks who aren’t like us. Examples of a new way from Facebook, Pandora and Atlassian included in this short accessible essay.  
Issue #56 published 23 Apr 2020
FirstRound has one of the best business blogs for the talent industry around. Here is another in a long line of gems: a great essay from Patty McCord created the famed ‘Culture Doc’ that became Netflix’s foundation. Radical honesty that isn’t an affectation. It’s brilliant, inspiring and true.  
Issue #56 published 23 Apr 2020
There is a social logic to business that underpins organisational logic. We will always have variance in power and status, hence always have hierarchy. 
Issue #22 published 23 Apr 2020
It’s fair to say Laurie Ruettiman is back. Hers is a voice we need in lending perspective to the mundane in new, thought provoking ways. This is a great essay on conflict, accountability and forgiveness. Also check out her new project #LetsFixWork
Issue #82 published 23 Apr 2020
“…the most dramatic negative effect of metric fixation is its propensity to incentivise gaming: that is, encouraging professionals to maximise the metrics in ways that are at odds with the larger purpose of the organisation….”
You do what you measure,  it’s the curse of the KPI. 
Issue #82 published 23 Apr 2020
Bill Taylor has a simple test which will help you figure out what kind of workplace works for you. 16 questions - give it a shot folks. 
Issue #33 published 23 Apr 2020
We about candidate experience all the time but never the recruiter experience. Does it matter? Our buddies at Hello Talent come up with an important perspective - if its not fun, it’s not working
Issue #33 published 23 Apr 2020
Always great to see non-specialists write about recruitment. Here’s a short post from HelloSign’s Joseph Walla on what you have to do to scale from 10 people to 20. HR gets a mention, but not much of one. 
Issue #33 published 23 Apr 2020
Along with ‘team-player’, 'passion’ is probably the most over used cliche in company job descriptions. OH subscriber Cherone Duggan from our buddies at Workable pens a much needed post on why we need to remove it. 
Issue #33 published 23 Apr 2020
Does this resonate with you? Perhaps a big reason why people start either accelerating harder / faster to retire sooner, or look to drop out of the rat race in some way. Work is not what it’s cracked up to be. And why would we ever think it would be?
Issue #47 published 23 Apr 2020
Culture Amp’s Senior People Operations Manager, Stacey Nordwall provides a comprehensive, easy to navigate, practical to implement how-to resource creating an on-boarding program that puts people first.
Issue #67 published 23 Apr 2020
Excellent summary from Harvard Business Review, which takes input from Facebook’s People Analytics team on why people leave their jobs - and how we can design jobs better so that they don’t. 
Issue #67 published 23 Apr 2020
“How you operate is linked to how you’re perceived: says Denise Lee Yohn. We need more of this thinking, though I think we have succeeded in retiring nerf gun / foosball tables from the debate, which is progress
Issue #41 published 23 Apr 2020
Culture is more than just words, but the words do matter. Some great insight from Buffer on the how’s and why’s to set up a People Ops team, care of Buffer’s Inclusivity Catalyst Courtney Seiter
Issue #41 published 23 Apr 2020
Outstanding post from Matt Bierner, whose main learning from 10 years on the pre-eminent Q&A site on the planet - Stack Overflow - is how to actually ask a good question. In an era where asynchronous-written is fast overtaking synchronous-verbal communication, being able to ask a good question might become a critical skill in business. Check out the how-to here. Must read folks.
Issue #170 published 23 Apr 2020
Talent matters, but maybe not the way you thought. It’s how you put them together that makes the difference. Another one to think over with C-Level. 
Issue #18 published 23 Apr 2020
Interesting framework to use when considering team fit. What is your functional role? And - perhaps more importantly - what is your psycho-social role? As recruiters, we obviously don’t screen at all for this, beyond perhaps the team meet or team interview. 
Issue #18 published 23 Apr 2020
We make promises to the future all the time. But sometimes we guess wrong. The spread of the non-compete clause has real world implications. Do we need to ban these things?
Issue #39 published 23 Apr 2020
Are we in a ‘Talent Golden Age’? Brainfooder Zoe Jervier makes a persuasive case we entering into one. It’s becoming a more strategic function, tooling is getting better and…people are actually choosing to enter the profession. It’s a validating read
Issue #88 published 23 Apr 2020
Are we tired of hearing about Uber yet? Probably not, so here’s an intelligent discussion on how performance management influences culture. For Uber - and other companies that use ‘Stack Ranking’  - culture is a dark forest, where to succeed others must fail. 
Issue #21 published 23 Apr 2020
Take the busywork out of HR and the headache out of hiring with these easy automation solutions.
It’s all too easy, or at least, it should be. Give at least one of these a shot folks. Good post from our buddies at HelloSign. Thanks to Katy Flatt for the share
Issue #101 published 23 Apr 2020
We all need more time off folks. This 2018 benchmark report of vacation policy statistics by Owl Labs covers attitudes to vacation policy, vacation guilt, and time off from work in the US vs Europe. Bring on the 4 day week. H/T brainfooder Ach Petrosyan for the share
Issue #101 published 23 Apr 2020
Great post on ‘hierarchy of helpfulness’ - I think it applies irrespective of stage of company. Are you a 1 or a 5? My accountant is always a 1. H/T brainfooder Alistair Fraser for the share
Issue #55 published 23 Apr 2020
It’s becoming a cliche to say that job descriptions are old hat. Few of us seem to be doing anything about it though. Here’s an actionable and well linked post by Corporate Rebels for those who want to try. Thanks long time brainfooder Steve Jacobs for the share.
Issue #55 published 23 Apr 2020
Jargon can be an evolved efficiency in communication - or a conscious barrier to entry for those who we want to intimidate. Fantastic post again from Dropbox, who are finding out ways to put an anthropological lens to common workplace challenges.
Issue #161 published 23 Apr 2020
Superb analysis of one of the most (in)famous moments in Amazon’s journey. Jeff Bezos course corrects by insisting on shared media for communication. ‘Everybody who doesn’t do this will be fired’. Probably couldn’t do cultural triage like this these days Jeff. Relevant to anybody who cares about culture, remote work, synchronous vs asynchronous communication. H/T to brainfooder Denis Dinkevich of the share.
Issue #161 published 23 Apr 2020
Which countries do expats feel particularly welcome, or unwelcome, and why? 12,500 expats surveyed about their life abroad - super resource on the challenges of relocation. Downloadable the PDF here and H/T to the one and only Jacob Sten Madsen for the share. 
Issue #78 published 23 Apr 2020
The work-from-home revolution forces us to review how transferrable our processes really are to the virtual world. Decent post from LinkedIn on one of the most important - recruiter relationship with the hiring manager - have a read here.
Issue #182 published 23 Apr 2020
Atlassian are one of many vendors who are producing some excellent brainfood these days. This post on the usefulness of industrial thinking to post-industrial business raises simple questions to hidden problems. Efficiency is not the same as Effectiveness. Well worth a read.
Issue #139 published 23 Apr 2020
Brainfood favourite Jeff Moore is back again with another outstanding post - this time of hiring for culture fit. Credit to Jeff for directly taking on the critique of culture fit, as well as providing 3 do-able tips on how to do it well. Have a read here
Issue #139 published 23 Apr 2020
Content is easy when you’re prepared to be honest. Refreshing post by long time brainfooder Jess Hayes of Wonderbly who gives us a behind-the-scenes look at growing startup with growth pains. 
Issue #57 published 23 Apr 2020
The problem isn’t noise, but who’s making it. Turns out, we can’t tune out if the we know the people who are talking -presumably because they might be talking about us. We are irredeemably tribal it seems. 
Issue #57 published 23 Apr 2020
It had to be one of the toughest take-over jobs in the world, but Dara Khosrowshahi - two months in as the new CEO of Uber - seems to making the best of it. Here’s his post on the company’s values revamp. Update: that job keeps getting harder - Uber loses appeal in UK employee rights; huge implications for the rest of the gig economy, with likely knock on effect to contractor / freelancer world. 
Issue #57 published 23 Apr 2020
What is the difference between stress vs pressure? Interesting thoughts and practical tips in this post from Pipedrive in how we can create healthier workplaces for our people.
Issue #157 published 23 Apr 2020
Outstanding essay from Arjun Sethi on the journey a company makes when it scales from single product teams to ‘people platforms that support teams’. Great balance between depth & accessibility, along with some excellent cameo portraits which illustrate the main points Arjun makes. Have a read here
Issue #106 published 23 Apr 2020
It’s always great to see non-specialists think and write about their hiring experiences. João Luis shares his experience of hiring software developers - there’s some can’t-argue-with-this content here, as well as innovative ideas even experienced recruiters can learn from - it’s an excellent read. 
Issue #65 published 23 Apr 2020
Few would disagree that the repositioning of HR into a strategic rather than administrative function is critical to modern talent management. Quartz at Work are producing some great content around this, including this piece on the rise of the Chief Human Resource Officer.
Issue #117 published 23 Apr 2020
Some interesting insights in this case study on eye wear giant, Warby Parker. Decentralised responsibility for on-boarding for a start - not owned by HR, but by all elements of the business. A few more nuggets in this one folks, this is a decent case study by our buddies at Jilt.
Issue #117 published 23 Apr 2020
Great to see examples of cultural change from within the recruitment industry. Jamie Leonard and the team behind RecFest, moved to a 4-day working week this year - here’s their documentation on how it went. Love the transparency, love the learning. Have a read here
Issue #160 published 23 Apr 2020
What is the average turnover rate in tech companies? Outstanding post from Human Predictions which dives into LinkedIn public data to figure out how long people stay in tech jobs in tech companies. It’s a great read. H/T ‘foodie Denis Dinkevich for the share
Issue #148 published 23 Apr 2020
Have Performance Reviews been unfairly disparaged? Reading this post encourages me to think that maybe they have, especially if you find a way to do them well. Excellent post again from FirstRound (not a bad piece of content on this site), which combines theory with practice, a well considered framework and even templates to copy and use. Have a read
Issue #148 published 23 Apr 2020
Remarkable post on recruiting, ossified organisational culture and the remedy of radical change. Complete with a call to action to send CV’s to a private gmail email account. This is recruitment as done by Dominic Cummings - a.k.a the evil mastermind of Brexit - and some say, the most influential man in the UK. Crazy genius or just crazy? You kind of have to read it and make your own mind up.
Issue #169 published 23 Apr 2020
Basecamp were a mission driven business before it was even a thing. This guide to internal communication is another outstanding contribution to the growing body of knowledge on company culture. Focused on internal comms, the lessons are for any kind of communication, in any context. Must read. H/T Jelmer Zuidema for the original share in the fb group
Issue #169 published 23 Apr 2020
Recruitment, retention, transition, ’previous idiot syndrome’ - it’s all there in this extract from Michael Lewis’s forthcoming book on the Trump White House. Underneath the politics, there’s a recruitment story here
Issue #103 published 23 Apr 2020
Any of this sound familiar? Probably does if you’ve worked at an early stage, rapid growth startup. Polemic from brainfooder Matt Buckland, with an unwritten call to action for founders and business leaders everywhere - culture cannot be cosmetic.
Issue #103 published 23 Apr 2020
The excellent headline describing what we already know - that what we already know, isn’t going to be enough. Some excellent techniques for lifelong learning, in the workplace and in the community. Adobe internal material but useful culture stuff for us all - check out it here.
Issue #103 published 23 Apr 2020
Simple reason: feedback is associated with evaluation. And evaluation is a posh word for judgement on past actions, whereas advice is perspective on future action. Surprisingly clear insight from some important experiments - must read for everyone here
Issue #155 published 23 Apr 2020
Thought provoking post from ‘Science for Work’, a blog dedicated to challenging opinion with evidence, and this post is a great example of what they are trying to do. Enjoy the read. H/T Liam Fitzgerald for the share
Issue #155 published 23 Apr 2020
…speaking of Glassdoor reviews, this gem on twitter this week - an employee leaving a negative review, based on the employer (as it happens, Indeed) denying her the right of concealed carry. Crazy sounding stuff, but the example raises a difficult question on how to prioritise employees sense of security when they diverge, and when they conflict with another.
Issue #155 published 23 Apr 2020
Vendor produced content is becoming some of the best stuff online these days. Dropbox’s ’work in progress’ blog is setting a standard. Check this post on radical candour in the workplace for an example of what I mean - it’s all about the 2 C’s - care & challenge.
Issue #134 published 23 Apr 2020
Sherlock Holmes said once to Watson: “You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.” It’s an encapsulation of the main theme of his thought provoking post from HBR and how the process of ‘de-familiarisation’ might be the key to thinking outside the box. Must read.
Issue #134 published 23 Apr 2020
Work Is Work
CULTURE
This could be the most brilliant essay ever written on organisational design or the rantings of a maniac. That I’m not sure is the reason why I’m sharing with you all so you can decide. Just promise me: read it twice before you do.
Issue #183 published 23 Apr 2020
Two things immediately to think about in this post: 1) the order of priority of the roles listed and 2) the clear absence of HR / TA / People Ops in the list. Perception problem is still a problem for us folks. Can we change it or …..is it actually just true?
Issue #146 published 23 Apr 2020
‘Levelling up’ is tech speak for climbing the career ladder, as each tier of seniority or level comes with different responsibilities and a changing role. Check out Levels.fyi for a cross company comparison tool of what I mean. Meanwhile, Square have developed a growth framework to support engineers who are transitioning to engineering management. Of interest to tech recruiters, and also to anyone else developing a progression framework.
Issue #146 published 23 Apr 2020
Jeff Bezos has some simple rules. ‘Two Pizzas’ is one of them - no team should be too large that it cannot be fed on two pizza’s. Auren Hoffman explains in this fascinating Quora post. H/T John Sumser for the share
Issue #53 published 23 Apr 2020
Intellectual capital trumps financial capital is the general idea behind this piece. Basically, we need to make space in our day to think. Tough to do in recruiting, where targets and KPI’s create the constant pressure to optimise
Issue #53 published 23 Apr 2020
Interesting title, interesting concepts introduced in this accessible post on workplace psychology. The abstractions are nicely chained down to reality with an excellent how-to guide at the end. Have a read
Issue #147 published 23 Apr 2020
Maria Konnikova writes about how to create a positive work environment. Research shows that it involves not telling people to ‘be positive’ but to create 'a moderately regulated environment …with a high degree of autonomy’. Can we do that? I think we probably can. 
Issue #20 published 23 Apr 2020
 ‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’ reckoned Juliet in Shakespeare’s most famous play and reminder for us on how important - or not - nomenclature might be. What if the term 'human resources’ is really holding back the function in business? A conversation started by brainfooder Lars Schmidt in this excellent post.
Issue #172 published 23 Apr 2020
Love the writing and the thinking behind this post from Robin Schooling. In fact, I think I love Robin Schooling (you should follow this lady). We should have a dream folks and make those dreams happen - have a read here
Issue #172 published 23 Apr 2020
Mark Suster on why great meetings often don’t follow through. Focused on founder vs investor relationship but I suspect we can all find analogy here. Excellent post on why you need to remind people why they love(d) you. 
Issue #84 published 23 Apr 2020
Some nice writing and thinking from Damon Klotz here on the workplace trends too keep an eye on for the next year. Particularly like the influence remote first / remote only organisations will have on co-located businesses - they will set the standard on communication & organisational efficiency. Have a read here
Issue #168 published 23 Apr 2020
As making external hires becomes ever more challenging, focus has begun shifting towards retaining those that you already have. In depth report from Deloitte with 5 key trends / to-do’s to deliver in 2020. Have a read here
Issue #168 published 23 Apr 2020
Love this post by Kapwing (cool product video editing btw). It’s honest, naive - in a good way - and packed with straight talking we can all learn from. It’s a great read for early stage founders looking for support in their first real hiring challenge and for all recruiters really. Have at it.
Issue #149 published 23 Apr 2020
“All data contains bias. It is created by a culture for a purpose. You can see the bias by noticing what isn’t measured or managed”. How we handle human capital data is already says a lot about what we are as an organisation or team. Great thinking again by OH subscriber John Sumser
Issue #40 published 23 Apr 2020
Boss Marcus Wood says his workers were ‘getting on my tits’, and unless performance improves he would fire their ‘sorry arses’. It had to be a recruiter. And Marcus, I have sympathy - I really do.
Issue #94 published 23 Apr 2020
Onfido VP of Engineering Morgan Bruce on building teams. Worth juxtaposing this with the Harvard Business Review post earlier in this newsletter - some noticeable commonalities, especially on the value of keeping teams together for longer, and bringing them back for repeat projects.
Issue #94 published 23 Apr 2020
1. Keep teams small 2. Take your time 3. Use the same teams 4. Share work equally 5. Get some seniors in. All of this from aggregating anonymised data from thousands of DropBox projects - super interesting data set. Read the insight here.
Issue #94 published 23 Apr 2020
Burnout is a growing problem for the modern workplace. It has an impact on organisational costs, as well as employee health and well-being. All this we know but what are we going to do about it?
Issue #46 published 23 Apr 2020
Are you measured on ‘number of hires’? I’m guessing that you probably are. It is absolutely is a bad metric. But it is easy to put into a spreadsheet and so we default to it. It’s the tyranny of KPI’s folks - we do, what we can measure
Issue #32 published 23 Apr 2020
McKinsey recommend that you mobilise your boss and colleagues to get ahead. You need to manage in every direction to progress your career. Good post on managing your career
Issue #32 published 23 Apr 2020
Perhaps nothing is more important to your career than who you really are. Use guide from Harvard Business Review - the key, as ever, is to moderate your extremism. 
Issue #50 published 23 Apr 2020
An interesting thesis here on how to engineer innovation in an organisational culture - it needs a little unsteadiness to produce the dynamism needed for change. 
Issue #50 published 23 Apr 2020
Is there a better corporate blog on talent than First Round? Here’s an interview / case study with Patreon’s Lucia Guillory on her pioneering approach to People Ops that creates an end-to-end employee experience. It’s kind of a must read. H/T OH subscriber Kayleigh Smart for the share. 
Issue #50 published 23 Apr 2020
Interesting post by our buddies at Beamery, on paradox of internal mobility - we get some of the best results from moving people around within businesses, and yet struggle to implement systems to support it. Combination of theory, case study and future scenario, this post is a useful conversation starter. Maybe something we can talk about in the fb group.
Issue #173 published 23 Apr 2020
What makes a trustworthy leader? Ability to foster positive relationships, good judgement / expertise and consistency, according to this post from HBR. Not sure I’m entirely onboard with the first two points, but the last one - consistency - is key. Have a read here
Issue #173 published 23 Apr 2020
As we continue to think about the future of work, we are increasingly looking into the past, in particular examining artisanal work with the modern lens of ‘good work’. An interesting post on skills learning and why apprenticeships beats the classroom. Worthy read if you want to learn how to learn
Issue #173 published 23 Apr 2020
Not all email of course, but most of them, especially if they are the administrative busywork which are demands for attention , requests for unscheduled work or simply communication for the sake of communication. Important read for anyone interested in productivity, mental well being and engagement.
Issue #173 published 23 Apr 2020
We need another unit of analysis to better understand engagement. Company is too big, individual is too small, it’s the proximate individuals within a team which makes the difference. Outstanding analysis from the comprehensive ADPRI study. This is a must read post
Issue #140 published 23 Apr 2020
We’re all ‘doing’ agile now aren’t we? Not so says Sean Dexter who introduces the cool concept of 'agile theatre’ to us over the course of this excellent post. Useful for beginners as well as frustrated practitioners - which I suspect describes most of us in this community. Have a read here
Issue #163 published 23 Apr 2020
Outstanding counterpoint to the above post, so should be read side-by-side. Couldn’t agree more with the sentiment expressed by brainfooder Rassam Yaghmaei - there’s plenty of recruiter bad practice out there, but are we taking too much joy in shaming it? Have a read here
Issue #163 published 23 Apr 2020
Superb post on internal communication by SameTab. Has a bit of everything - social psychology, employee engagement, work-in-context, finding the message, choosing the medium and getting into a rhythm of context driven communication. Must read folks.
Issue #163 published 23 Apr 2020
Excellent and accessible report from MIT Sloan Management Review on meaning at work. We like our lists, so here it is laid out for us: 5 virtues to make work meaningful, 7 sins to make it meaningless. 
Issue #70 published 23 Apr 2020
Chances are you’re doing it all wrong says Patty McCord. Lots of gold nuggets in this wide ranging piece, particularly key points such as recruiters literacy on the business they’re recruiting for, ‘A players’ being a contextual term and compensation levels that make sense. Published in January but worth a review again here.
Issue #97 published 23 Apr 2020
In a world of accelerating change, skills have a short shelf life, leading the multiple gaps within business. What to do about it? Read this outstandingly accessible report from LinkedIn for a start. 
Issue #97 published 23 Apr 2020
What happens if you reverse engineer how mission first companies describe themselves in their culture docs? An interesting experiment by Anya Dvornikova who is applying product development methodology to culture building. Bit of a massive post, but dig in, because there’s some gold here. H/T to ‘foodie Denis Dinkevich for the share.
Issue #144 published 23 Apr 2020
Can you be crude and clever at the same time? I think this is idea is somehow both. More should try it. 
Issue #31 published 23 Apr 2020
For those who don’t know Josh Bersin, you probably want to look him up. Here’s his view on what ‘Agile HR’ looks like. Agile purists probably won’t be happy but then purists never are!
Issue #31 published 23 Apr 2020
If hiring is a priority, then it must mean that you dedicate the resources to build hiring capacity. Head of Talent is no longer a luxury for Startup - it’s a critical early hire. Thanks to Priyanka Karunanithi of BGF Ventures for the write up
Issue #31 published 23 Apr 2020