Issue #57
#57 - Laugh n' learn about the world of work? Yes, please.
March 10, 2023

#57 - Laugh n' learn about the world of work? Yes, please.

What's up, everybody?

Today, we focus on on a topic that gets overlooked too often in conversations about work: fun.

Yes, yes, we know, we believe in all sorts of crazy things at TalentStories. We think work should be safe, and connected, and meaningful. And we think it should be fun, too. We even believe that making it these things might -- [gasp!] -- help drive a bit of performance.

Sure enough then, I often stumble into fun fodder when I curate these work Stories. When I do, I save them in a note-taking app, and tag them there as "fun stuff". Sometimes I even ping them across to Usman on WhatsApp, so we can trade a 🤣, a 🤪 or a 😛. In fact, this back and forth from last month is now today's second Story:

Indeed, this week, all three of our TalentStories are light-hearted. But y'all know that a story wouldn't be a "TalentStory" if we didn't also use it to question, learn and go a level deeper together, right?

  • Story #1 - A cheeky post from a software CEO reminds us just how complex managing other humans can be.
  • Story #2 - "Remote work propaganda". This one is roll-on-the-floor funny, but unlike story #1 -- which was intentionally playful -- this Story appears to have no clue as to how ridiculously it reads. 🙃
  • Story #3 - The German language has so many wonderful words, many of which require full sentences in English to deliver the same meaning. Today we learn a new (and long, and fun) German term -- that segues nicely to a key TalentStories theme: our response to change, and whether and how we can cultivate that response.

Thanks again for reading and exploring -- and 😝 -- with us. Have a great week!

Aki + Usman

P.S. Our podcast of issue #56 "Female leaders "break up" with work; IKEA leaders ditch forecasts for scenarios; big retailers struggle to find leaders" is right here.


#FunAtWork #ManagementIsHard #Grace

Ahhh...sweet, tasty management.

Jack runs an HR software startup, Lattice, which companies use to drive employee engagement.

His post of lighthearted examples also highlights just how much of a manager's job is, ultimately, to manage a slew of tensions. Day-in and day-out a manager navigates tensions between employees and the business; in how they are perceived as a manager; between creativity and analysis; authenticity and "acting the part"; transparency and opacity. The list is long, and gnarly.

Alas, it turns out this management stuff is damn hard. Complex, lonely, and under-supported; and changing on-the-fly as a result of the sea of information, ambiguity and change in which we now swim. And, oh yeah, beyond hiring and performance reviews, there's also that pesky requirement to actually lead other people. 🤔

In the end, Jack's post winds up a great reminder of the need to offer ourselves -- and our bosses :) -- a bit of grace from time-to-time.


#FunAtWork #RemoteWork

The TL;DR: we need to "psychologically recover" from work. And said recovery should happen during our commute. Including the commute to work -- where we go to get psychologically depleted.

Got it. 🤣

There's a lot to comment on here, but let's at least start by challenging the assumption that we should have to psychologically recover from work. That's not to say work isn't physically tiring; or that our work doesn't psychologically drain us for that matter. It does.

But we cannot accept that as an OK or healthy baseline; an assumed starting point from which to then launch into recommending a commute as an appropriate solve. Not, mind you, a soul-nourishing activity like exercise, or a great book, or engaging with your community, your family, or your friends. Heck, even a fun show on Netflix! But a good, old fashioned two-way commute.


#FunAtWork #NatureVsNurture #Vocab

English needed 15 words and 101 letters, above 👆🏻, to communicate what German did via one 19-letter word. Come on, say it with us: "fingerspitzengefühl" !!

Efficiency aside, when we looked at the definition, we honed right in on the the term "instinctively". It made us wonder: do some people really have an almost uncanny "sixth sense" for how to navigate change? If so, were they born with that? Or did they acquire it?

Look, folks, getting smarter about a radically changing world of work is the name of the game for TalentStories. And exploring how we respond to change is a core theme. So we believe that being able to navigate that change is required; and acquired. We just think it's a lot more fun to acquire it with other people. 🙂

Thanks for reading. 🙏🏻

Work moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
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