Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society. Companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.”
–Larry Fink, CEO, $6 Trillion BlackRock investment manager in his 2018 advisory letter
Mr. Fink’s extraordinary, yet seemingly common sense conclusion is that we need to consider caring not only for shareholders but also for stakeholders, especially employees. But is that a likely shift?
Continue reading Life Cycle Flexibility – Disrupting the Trajectory of Work – by Paul Rupert
In 1986 colleagues Barney Olmsted and Suzanne Smith asked me to join them at New Ways to Work, the original flex think tank, in a national campaign to promote “equitable flexibility.” It was one part response to the promising emergence of Job Sharing, Part-time, Telecommuting – and possibly Phased Retirement – as scheduling flexibility in a range of corporations steeped in industrial habits.
And it was another part defense against the growing popularity of the “contingent workforce.” This strategy of creating a ring of benefit-less part-time, temporary and contract workers surrounding a core of “regular employees” offered companies staffing flexibility – but it was flexibility at the expense of employees. (The DNA of these practices seems emergent on steroids in today’s “Gig economy.”)
Continue reading Workplace Flexibility: It’s Time for Straight Talk – by Paul Rupert
From the earliest blogs and profiles on Millennials – and there have been thousands – they were described as the anti-formal generation. Popular images painted them as innovating from Starbucks and boycotting performance reviews. No rigid flex options, no packages of stale annual feedback for them.
Times and preferences change. Millennials are quickly becoming the workplace norm, not the newbies. Many seek advancement rather than “job hopping.” This adventurous cohort is forming families in earnest, and with record percentages of dual earner couples. They face challenges that are both considerable and growing.
Continue reading Millennial Dream or Oxymoron? – by Paul Rupert
The Keystone pipeline debate has fueled political conflict for half a decade, with little oil to show for it. But now a very different pipeline discussion has gripped the country. Tech companies in dozens of states, and the educational infrastructure that supplies their workforces, are approaching consensus that the problem of “too few women” in high-tech is essentially a pipeline problem. And at the rate things are going, this conclusion will lead to front-loading the pipe at a rate Keystone’s advocates could only envy.
Continue reading STEM Dilemma: Female Drought or Flex Famine? – by Paul Rupert
There was a time when flexibility was all about time. Flextime, part-time, job share, compressed schedules enabled the capture of time for less work and more life outside work. When Hewlett-Packard first rolled out flextime in 1972, the term “flexibility” was used almost interchangeably – if narrowly – with flextime. The term “telecommuting” was coined in that same period, although the practice of flexibility as place was in its infancy.
Continue reading True Part-Time Seeks Orphanage — By Paul Rupert