Hot Topic Friday: March, 29 Newsletter

Abundance Accountability Personal leadership Respect



Happy Friday everyone! Here are some Hot Topics that caught my attention this week.

Hop Topic 1: Hilton Named No. 1 Company on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List

What it’s About:

Fortune published its Best Companies list. Check out the following from Hilton President and CEO, Chris Nassetta. He notes, “We lost our way a bit…We forgot that we are a business of people serving people, and the corporate environment got very disconnected from the front line.”  Under Nassetta’s guidance, Hilton launched an expansive program to upgrade “back-of-house” areas used by staff, and introduced many other employee focused changes.

Why it’s Important:

Organizations sustainably thrive when they really get the people side of the business right. With the stock up 274 percent from its IPO price in 2013, you gotta believe that Hilton’s investors are cheering the employee-first philosophy the hotel has executed on. Every organization can learn from what the great ones do. The Top 100 Best Companies to Work For list offers a roadmap to become culturally and financially better.

Hot Topic 2: Human Contact is Now Considered a Luxury

What it’s About:  

Reporter Nellie Bowles points out that screens used to be exclusive to the elite. Nowadays, avoiding them is a status symbol and makes the argument that human contact is rapidly becoming a luxury good. She shares a “WTF” story of a 68-year-old lonely man, whose life is emotionally richer through his relationship with a virtual, avatar cat named Sox that lives on his tablet. It’s what he can afford. At the opposite end of the rich scale, and in unabashed irony, the wealthy of Silicon Valley are paying huge dollars to send kids to screen-free schools.

Why it’s Important:

I do not want to minimize or judge the special relationship between a virtual cat named Sox (being controlled from a remote destination), and the “master” human being sitting on a couch. However, when human contact becomes something for the rich only, we might have a BIG problem. Work, although allowing for much more remote and gig experiences, must make room for our human need to be with each other. Let’s keep an eye on this trend.

Hot Topic 3: WeWork Loses Billions and is Excited About It

What it’s About:

The co-working company disclosed on Monday that its losses more than doubled last year to about $1.9 billion, even as its total revenue also expanded to about $1.8 billion. It will not slow down it’s breakneck, worldwide growth and the President, Artie Minson, believes it can get profitable as it needs to. The company also feels it can withstand a recession because organizations will move to more variable space commitments; WeWork’s wheelhouse. In eight years, it has grown to a company valued at $42 Billion USD with 401,000 paying members. Wow!

Why it’s Important: 

This underscores the reality of the gig economy and signals the way many organizations are re-thinking the physical work space. My co-author Garrett worked in a WeWork space in LA and asked in a previous blog, “What if many traditional organizations like post-secondary institutions started using space like the ones offered by WeWork?” Hmm.

And finally! Here’s Cecil’s Bleat of the Week!

“Today’s leaders must be willing to take on the job of driving fear out of the organization to create the conditions for learning, innovation, and growth” – Amy C. Edmondson, from her book, The Fearless Organization

Bye for now!

– Lorne Rubis

Incase you missed it:

Monday’s Lead In podcast.

Tuesday’s blog.

Wednesday’s Culture Cast podcast.

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