The Source Wall: An Introduction
Sorry, Your Org Chart is Dangerously Obsolete
Question: What do superhero protagonists and have to do with performance reviews?
If you spend enough time working on organizational design and behavior, you will eventually be asked about your beliefs on human nature. Clients and colleagues will ask what you believe. Are human beings naturally selfish entities that need to be hemmed in by the powers of rules or the indifferent, unforgiving discipline of market forces in order to work together?
Other clients and colleagues venture (usually not those in management positions), are we not all fundamentally innocents? Perhaps our troubles working in concert are really caused by the sins of those who would manipulate us into working under harsh environments and force us into winner-take-all worldview for their own purposes? Our struggle is the fault of the hypocrites. It’s the fat cats, the charismatic charlatans, and those who indulge in the perversions of human nature that are to blame for the way we are.
But the truth is much more interesting than that ...
How to Make "We Just Can't Find Highly Qualified ... " a Useless Phrase in 3 Steps
Researchers have determined that workplace stress endured by those with job insecurity and high work demands causes roughly 30,000 deaths in the United States each year. In all, 62% of workers say that their jobs are their primary sources of stress, while 1 in 4 workers have taken a mental health day off of work to cope. Workplace stress costs companies additional expenditures of up to $190 billion dollars a year—representing 5 to 8% of national spending on health care.
What is making our workplaces so mentally demanding? How is possible that we’ve created institutions that are literally putting us in the hospital as a result of work-related stress?
Read our proposal for building a healthier and more productive workforce.
Finding and Keeping Great Teachers through Equity
If you’ve ever attempted to address the under-representation of black, Latinx, and/or women in any organization through practical means (i.e. by trying to hire more people who identify as black, Latinx, and/or women), then you have likely faced a version of the following response from organizations that under-perform in hiring for such diversity:
“Believe me. We’ve tried but we just can’t seem to find enough highly qualified (insert underrepresented demographic here) that (1) meet our requirements, (2) are in our location, (3) are a good fit for our team, and (4) aren’t being offered other positions.”
I like to call this kind of response to underperforming on diversity the Uninspired Seeker Effect on Less Efficient Search Strategies -- or a U.S.E.L.E.S.S. for short.
(image courtesy of the New School San Francisco)
Conroy Talent & Associates and The New School of San Francisco have partnered on a unique project to understand what brings professionals into the teaching vocation, what inspires them to pursue non-traditional teaching pathways, and what keeps them in the profession beyond a 5-year window.
How White Hiring Managers Can Support Racial Equity at Work — Part 1/10: Don’t Be Afraid to Set Goals & Experiment
Pursuing social justice should be the top priority in any human endeavor: for profit, nonprofit, whatever.
If you are a leader in an organization or company where ensuring that 1) equally qualified people of color and women can occupy a representative set of leadership positions within your workforce over the next calendar year, 2) people of color and women receive equal pay for equal work, and 3) actionable steps are being taken to promote equity and inclusion across every dimension of diversity (especially race) are not in your top five priorities for 2017, you are abdicating your responsibility to your mission and/or stockholders.
Resources: Never Write Another Cover Letter, Part 1
In 2004, Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan published a paper, the title of which was itself nearly as jarring as its conclusions, Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?
Don’t let the titillating title fool you, this was no click bait article engineered for a social media news feed. Bertrand is now a professor at the University of Chicago’s School of Business and is a Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Center for Economic Policy Research, and the Institute for the Study of Labor. Mullainathan is a 2002 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award recipient, a long-time professor at Harvard, and his latest research focuses on using machine learning to better understand human behavior, just to name a few accomplishments. In other words, this was as serious as labor market research gets.
And it would break the myth of equal opportunity in hiring in half...
Changing Work for Good: Nonprofit News #2
Cover letters. Ugh. We know. Even saying the words makes our fingertips ache with sorrowful anticipation.
But that's kind of the point, isn't it? No one really goes into a cover letter knowing quite what to say or how to sell their skills to an employer, unless you have preexisting knowledge of the employer or hiring manager, or you are referred to the interview process by an employee of that company -- in which case it can feel like ...
Changing Work for Good: Nonprofit News #1
Back toward the latter half of June, the New York Times published an interesting article about the moves that baby-boomers are making in leaving their corporate careers for the nonprofit and social sector -- and some even forgoing retirement for a while to do so.
One of the takeaways from the article is that, despite their being programs like Social Venture, Encore Fellowships, and Experience Matters, there still needs to be a better matchmaking process for more experienced private sector transitioners and the nonprofits seeking to hire them.
Changing Work for Good MicroPodcast #7
The segment will be a weekly feature of our show and will cover recent employment trends in the nonprofit world and social sector. Today, we're highlighting recent layoffs at the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) and the hiring of a new top executive at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.
Changing Work for Good MicroPodcast #6
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report in February of this year, in conjunction with the Urban Institute and Johns Hopkins University, that showed the nonprofit sector was the only sector of the U.S. economy that actually increased overall in jobs and wages from 2007 to 2012.
Changing Work for Good MicroPodcast #5
Framing your knowledge of self as something you're grateful for and that's been informed by your past work experiences is always a better look for employers and recruiters than having a restrictive list of needs. It shows that you know yourself as a professional, but that you're also a positive force in workplace. More specifically it shows you are willing to learn and open to new experiences.
Resources: Episode #4
Today we're discussing how to start your job search. Our recommendation: start by understanding the companies you want to work for, get to know their culture and their people, and then work backwards to find open positions with those companies or organizations like them. The opposite -- plugging in your search terms into a job site or job aggregator -- could have unfortunate consequences. Listen on!
Dirty Little Secrets of Hiring #4
Today's Anchor podcast described the importance of doing two pieces of homework prior to having a conversation with your manager. The podcast was intended for those of you who've lost trust in your manager or whose lack of support is causing you to consider starting up a new job search.
Before having such a conversation with your manager, I'd like to suggest that you utilize these the two resources below to prepare your feedback.
Dirty Little Secrets of Hiring #3
Today's episode is dedicated to getting practical about the two kinds of preparation anyone needs to do before having a feedback conversation with their manager. These "managing up" conversations will tell you whether or not you need to start reinvesting in your career or if you need to start looking for a new gig.
Dirty Little Secrets of Hiring #2.2
The #1 reason why people are disengaged at work and end up leaving their job is that they have a poor relationship with their manager. This episode is dedicated to helping you decide if your challenges with your manager can be overcome, or if you actually need to start a new job search.
Dirty Little Secrets of Hiring #2.1
Do your homework! We discuss a variety of tools you can use to help identify what your skills and experience should net you as an hourly or salaried employee before negotiating your salary during the interview process.
Dirty Little Secrets of Hiring #1
Today we talk about when it's okay to discuss/negotiate your potential salary during the hiring process. Hint: it shouldn't be your first question about the job!
How our two top tools for recruiting and hiring enable interviewer biases and make the blind job application process so difficult.