Sunday Sampler: Best Writing, Info Chaos, Workout Wear Fridays, Marc Benioff, John Chen

The Economist has compiled some starting points for the best writing in 2013:

Writing worth reading: Dark matter | The Economist — Altmetric, an upstart in the field of measuring impact of scientific research, publishes a review of the 100 papers that received the most attention online in 2013.

A number of articles on Fukushima radiation (wince), but also articles on the impact of fiction reading on cognition, sleep studies, and the seven minute workout regime proven. Specific to the future of work: Facebook Use Predicts Declines in Subjective Well-Being in Young AdultsUnique in the Crowd: The privacy bounds of human mobilityReal-Time Strategy Game Training: Emergence of a Cognitive Flexibility Trait, The Morning Morality Effect: The Influence of Time of Day on Unethical BehaviorRomantic Partnerships and the Dispersion of Social Ties: A Network Analysis of Relationship Status on Facebook, and others.

The Altmetric reviews include links to Twitter data, articles that refer to the stories, and links to the stories themselves.

John Mancini of AIIM has a great presentation, I’m Mad As Hell — The CEO Technology Agenda, and he suggests three disruptors that are leading us to information chaos: consumerization, cloud/mobile, and the changing nature of work (‘forcing organizations to think flat and agile, not hierarchical and slow).

Screenshot 2014-01-11 09.16.24

A good read.

Vicky Hallett proposes a new take on casual Fridays — Workout Wear Fridays — as a no-cost benefit to employees, and one that promotes fitness, as well.

Vicky Hallett, Workout Wear Friday

But to see a return on investment, [Bruce] Elliott [manager of compensation and benefits at the Society for Human Resource Management] says, businesses need to create a culture of wellness, and clothes alone can’t do that. “You don’t want to just say, ‘It’s Friday! You can wear sweats to work.’ It’ll get old quickly,” he adds.

To make the idea stick, he’d also throw in a planned physical activity for offices to do together as a team — maybe a morning group walk on the Mall. Then participants could be allowed to wear those clothes the rest of the day as an incentive.

I confess that I wince when I hear ‘allowed to wear those clothes the rest of the day as an incentive’. I know she means as an incentive to exercise, but it’s crappy that this sort of thing would be seen as something that someone — upper management? — has to allow, as opposed to something that might happen virally.

Marc Benioff is telling executives to get with the smartphone revolution or die, saying at a recent NYC event,

My job is to give customers clarity as we see it from our point of view on how they should run their business… We’re telling them to use a customer platform, in that we’re selling this product and this is what we believe also. So, we’re trying to couple our belief with our product.


My advice is that we are in a customer-centric economy where the customer is much more in charge than ever before and if the customer gets out of control… you’ll end up with a corporate version of Arab Spring, and the person who’s going to be on their way out is not a king or a dictator but the CEO.

[…] not all customers are ready for this, but more and more are. And more and more every day. Because the future is the phone. And with 5 billion phones coming, the future is not the PC.

You’ve got to be ready to change how you govern your company or your country, because these technologies have changed us. How I work every day and how I communicate and how I entertain myself, has all changed because of this device [holding up a smartphone].

With 5 billion of these smartphones coming, everything is going to change. So this is a great opportunity for business to change.

Corporations seem to be listening, considering the dismal 2013 PC sales numbers, down 10% from 2012.

John Chen is no longer the Interim CEO of BlackBerry: he’s the CEO. He’s led a furious restructuring, cleaning out a bunch of senior execs in the past month (see Blackberry’s Chen is pushing hard to turn the company around,  BlackBerry isn’t dead yet, and the market for mobile OS might not be closed, either, and  BlackBerry posts massive loss, new hires, good numbers on iOS and Android). I still think there is a play there.