Would you join Amazon’s internal CIA? Must be adept at doubletalk and bullshit

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Amazon recently posted a job description for an “Intelligence Analyst.” It came under fire because the description explicitly calls for tracking “threats” of labor organizing, which is generally illegal. But it’s also a fascinating snapshot into how leaders at Amazon talk (or doubletalk). The listing, which was visible yesterday, is no longer live at Amazon, … Continued

What Zoom did right and wrong during its outage

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Zoom went down for a lot of users on Monday morning. That was also the first day of school for a lot of public school and college students. The company treated the outage as a matter-of-fact event and communicated clearly and regularly throughout. Was that enough? How Zoom communicated Zoom’s problems first started appearing at … Continued

Test your ethics: 11 real-world ethical challenges

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I’ve faced many ethics quandaries in my long career. You will, too. Everyone believes they are ethical. But when it’s time to decide, what will you actually do? Real-life ethics test Here’s a list of ethical situations, most of which I actually faced. Put yourself in my shoes. What would you do? In the interest … Continued

How Goodyear should have responded to Trump’s attack

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A Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company slide that circulated on social media stated that political attire (like “Make America Great Again” gear) was unacceptable in the workplace. President Trump responded by calling for a boycott of Goodyear. Let’s take a close look at Goodyear’s response, and how it could have been better. The visual that … Continued

Write more. Meet less. Reflections on the memo culture.

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Zoom is great. Meeting on Zoom for 5 hours a day, not so much. Writing can help — especially if your company adopts a writing-centric “memo culture.” The value of a memo culture Consider two companies that have a memo culture, Amazon and Netflix. At Amazon, if you’re having a meeting, you have to write … Continued

What leaders do

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I’ve had the privilege of working for some amazing leaders — and having helped elect a few, too. Here are some personal observations about what leaders do. The best leader I ever worked for was George Colony, the founder and CEO of Forrester Research, where I worked for 20 years. He wasn’t perfect and I … Continued

Why Zuckerberg reversed course: it wasn’t just the boycotts

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Boycotts rarely work. But in the face of advertiser boycotts, Facebook just did a U-turn on its policy on labelling or blocking presidential posts. The cause and effect here is a lot more complex than it appears. As recently as the beginning of June, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the right decision on presidential posts, … Continued

Goldman Sans: A font with control issues

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Goldman Sachs, the global financial firm, has released a new font style, “Goldman Sans,” that is designed for clarity, especially in financial documents. The font comes with a license that tells you what you can and can’t do with it; for example, you can’t use the font to disparage Goldman Sachs. That’s bullshit. Here’s an … Continued