WORK AND POLITICS

Google Curbs Political Debate by Employees – The Wall Street Journal

Many companies want to have free expression for the most part, but discussing politics at work can be challenging and divisive. Like religion and cultural discussion, politics involve deep personally held views, which many are unable to discuss in a manner respectful to others.

Unless one works at News Corp, Time Warners, or other news outlets, political discussions are outside of what one is paid to do. Therefore, limiting these discussions and potential arguments can help maintain productivity. Many companies limit a variety of discussions in the workplace, especially thoughts and feelings about management efficacy. Political discussions may help reduce tensions in many already challenging work environments.

If workers want to discuss political issues with colleagues, they can always do so during happy hours or offsite lunches. That is a fair exceptions. Therefore, people can ensure conversations are between parties willing to participate in such discussions.

 

 

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BEYOND SHAREHOLDERS

CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY (WSJ)

Shareholders are important for corporations, as their capital funds operations. But, corporate leaders need to also consider impacts on consumers, who provide revenues, and employees, who perform operations. Over focuses in one area can be detrimental in other areas, which harm corporate outcomes.

For instance, many companies provide great return on investments, but struggle to maintain market share and customer bases when markets change. The organization may be efficiently run, but may lack needed investments in product pipelines to compete with substitutes.

If workers are not kept happy, customer experiences are impacted as well as quality in production. The best investment a company can make is in human capital, providing fair and competitive compensation as well as professional development programs. Satisfied workers are more productive and can be relied on for greater quality output than low skilled labor miles away from customer markets.

Companies focusing on stakeholders not just the shareholder should not be shocking. Companies that care for the employees, protect consumers, and lift communities will be able to provide more stable long term returns.

TWO BECOMES ONE

DISNEY AND FOX STUDIO (WSJ)

Integrating organizations can be extremely difficult, especially former competitors. The fit and role of each unit needs to be communicated across the whole organization.

According to the attached article, there was poor communication, leading uncertainty and key departures. Few knew where they stood and what future they had in the combined entity.

After a string of duds, Fox Studios needs a change of direction. Movies that actually brings in profits. Movies that people actually want to watch. For the sake of the remaining people, hopefully the leaders can turn it around in a more collaborative manner.

LUXURY ON A BUDGET

THE RISE OF HAND ME DOWN INC (WSJ)

The increased focus on saving is not surprising given the financial strife many saw first hand. Also, penny pinching helps allow for greater consumption.

Many are cognizant of the reality that many social programs will be depleted by the time one may need it, so savings plays a more important role than ever before.

More entrepreneurs provide ways to bridge the gap in access to luxury goods for budget conscious consumers. The market idea is clever. Early adopters, who are willing to spend any amount for access to a product, provide affordable access to late adopters.

Many people let luxury goods sit lightly used. Why not recoup some of the value for future purchases? Budget conscious consumers now have access to goods without spending exorbitant amounts of money on products no one really needs.