30. March 2015
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Start by hiring the right people, says Laszlo Bock, then give them freedom
“Honestly, work just sucks for too many people,” says Laszlo Bock, head of human resources at Google Inc. That, he says, is why he is so eager to give away the lessons he has learned in the course of taking Google from 3,000 to 53,000 employees since his arrival in 2006.
Mr. Bock’s evangelical zeal has many expressions. He has a new book out April 4 called “Work Rules!” (Note the exclamation point.) He frequently speaks at conferences on both coasts, including one hosted by Google itself, called re:Work. (Note the provocative typography.) And he advises a startup, called BetterWorks, which is putting some of his ideas into practice by turning them into software to which companies can subscribe.
When Mr. Bock speaks, people tend to listen. He is essentially the godfather of “people operations,” a term for the modern version of human resources invented at Google that has spread to countless other tech companies.
“Whether you’re talking about manual trades or computer science and teaching, there’s a sense that ‘I just gotta do my dumb job’—but it doesn’t have to be that bad,” says Mr. Bock, who speaks with the congenial urgency of a TED speaker or TV chef. Read the rest of this entry »
30. March 2015
Source: The New York Times
Facebook has shared designs for data storage, computer servers, and rack designs, among other hardware.
Facebook showed plans last week for drone aircraft that beam lasers conveying high-speed data to remote parts of the world.
As powerful as that sounds, Facebook already has something that could be even more potent: a huge sharing of its once-proprietary information, the kind of thing that would bring a traditional Silicon Valley patent lawyer to tears.
Facebook is not alone. Technology for big computers, electric cars and high-technology microcontrollers to operate things like power tools and engines is now given away.
These ideas used to be valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. To the new generation of technologists, however, moving projects and data fast overrides the value of making everything in secret. Read the rest of this entry »
26. March 2015
Source: The Economist
Online learning could disrupt higher education, but many universities are resisting it
WHEN MASSIVE OPEN online courses (MOOCs) took off three years ago, there was much concern that they would destroy traditional universities. That isn’t happening. “We’re doing a better job of improving job skills than of transforming the university sector,” says Rick Levin, a former president of Yale, who runs Coursera, the biggest of the MOOCs.
At the margins, technology is making education cheaper, more convenient and more effective. University of the People, a non-profit American-accredited online university, offers degrees to students all over the world at a total cost of $4,000; if they are poor, they can get scholarships. It started teaching in 2009, was accredited last year, has produced 65 graduates so far and now has 1,500 students.
The faculty is made up of academics who volunteer their services. Read the rest of this entry »
15. March 2015
YES, THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MANAGING AND LEADING, AND UNDERSTANDING IT CAN ONLY SERVE YOU, YOUR BUSINESS, AND YOUR EMPLOYEES WELL.
Do you think leadership and management mean the same thing? If you do, keep reading—knowing the difference will make your job more fun, boost your staff’s morale, and could even make you more money.
The mistake many entrepreneurs make as their companies grow is focusing on how to manage their workers. They devise elaborate ways for teams to collaborate and communicate, dream up long- and short-term goals to set checkpoints and monitor when and how they are met, and focus intensely on office infrastructure.
In this all-too-common rush to expand bosses often forget to develop their leadership strategy. A more nebulous concept, leadership refers to the higher-level thinking: What are our overall goals? How would my ideal representative present himself? And how can I make it second nature for my employees to embody that model? Read the rest of this entry »
5. March 2015
From autonomous drones to emergent AI to digital genomes, this year’s list from the World Economic Forum offers its latest glimpse of our fast-approaching technological future
Fuel-cell vehicles have long promised several major advantages over those powered by electricity or hydrocarbons.
SA Forum is an invited essay from experts on topical issues in science and technology.
Editor’s note: Today the World Economic Forum’s Meta-Council on Emerging Technologies, one of the organization’s networks of expert communities that form the Global Agenda Councils, released its Top 10 List of Emerging Technologies for 2015. Bernard Meyerson, chief innovation officer of IBM and author of the following essay, is chair of the Meta-Council. Scientific American editor-in-chief Mariette DiChristina is serving as vice-chair.
Technology is perhaps the greatest agent of change in the modern world. Although never without risk, technological breakthroughs promise solutions to the most pressing global challenges of our time. From zero-emission cars fueled by hydrogen to computer chips modeled on the human brain, this year’s Top 10 Emerging Technologies list—an annual compilation from the World Economic Forum (WEF)—offers a vivid glimpse of the power of innovation to improve lives, transform industries and safeguard our planet. Read the rest of this entry »
2. March 2015
From the HBR Jan-Feb 2015: Why just since 2008? (hfk)