Happy Friday everyone! Here are some Hot Topics that caught my attention this week.
Hot Topic 1: Phone Love!
Source: New York Times, Samantha Irby, comedy writer.
What it’s About: Irby writes a brilliant, somewhat tongue-in-cheek article about how we love our phones in spite of everything we know to be harmful about our relationship with them. The following excerpt is a taste of her earthy perspective: “I have long understood that I am a tiny, powerless cog in the wheel of modern America, plus I’m not a hacker, so what do I even know about keeping things hidden? Is it even possible for me, a regular person who cannot figure out how to program the television remote, to circumvent the eyes of all of the faceless technology corporations analyzing my information? What am I going to do, cheat Amazon? Outsmart Google? No, I’m going to do what everyone else does: enter my credit card information when prompted and get that thing I need two days from when I decided I needed… Yes, your phone is potentially hazardous to whatever semblance of security you might have. Yes, there are many medical professionals who would attest to the deleterious effect modern technology has on the brains and interpersonal skills of adults. But hear me out: Maybe it’s worth it?…”
Why it’s Important: For those of us who design experiences in the world of work, I believe we need to pay very close attention to Irby’s honest self-reflection. In spite of all the hazardous issues to our security and physical/mental well being, we are likely to increase our love affair with our phones. 5G, Moore’s law, and a host of other exponential technology and content explosion will make us even more “one.” It’s our job to embrace and humanize for the greater good, rather than wish for a breakup.
Hot Topic 2: 996.ICU, Have We Lost Our Way Regarding “Success?”
Source: Reuters, ARYNEWS.tv.
What it’s About: Alibaba Group founder and billionaire, Jack Ma, defended the grueling overtime work culture at many of China’s tech companies, calling it a “huge blessing” for young workers. In a speech to Alibaba employees, Ma defended the industry’s “996” work schedule, which refers to the 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. workday, six days a week. “I personally think that being able to work 996 is a huge blessing,” he said in remarks posted on the company’s WeChat account. ‘Many companies and many people don’t have the opportunity to work 996,’ Ma said. ‘If you don’t work 996 when you are young, when can you ever work 996?… Let me ask everyone, if you don’t put out more time and energy than others, how can you achieve the success you want?’”
Why it’s Important: This 996 perspective as an expectation and assumption for so-called “success,” may roll off the tongue of a billionaire a little too glibly. This month, activists on Microsoft’s GitHub, the online code repository site, launched a project titled “996.ICU” where tech workers listed Alibaba among the companies ranked as having some of the worst working conditions. 996 is even being questioned in China, where an opinion piece published in a state newspaper argued that 996 violated China’s Labor Law, which stipulates that average work hours cannot exceed 40 hours per week. I think thoughtful leaders have to challenge the narrow definition of “success,” and confront the assumptions underlying 996. At what cost? For whose benefit? Let’s have a rich and meaningful conversation on this. Jack Ma offers just one world view. Let’s hear others’.
My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):
Picture and ratings provided by Vivino.
And finally! Here’s Cecil’s Bleat of the Week!
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” –
[Cecil is the mascot for LorneRubis.com]
Bye for now!
– Lorne Rubis
Incase you missed it:
Monday’s Lead In podcast.
Wednesday’s Culture Cast podcast.