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Friday, June 4, 2010

What Motivates Us?

This is quite possibly the most difficult post that I've created in my 3 years of blogging, mostly because it hit's very close to home. I've typed and retyped it several times. My first inclination, probably my emotions coming into play, was to make this an in your face kind of post aimed at those who make the decisions, who are in the position of power and affect our productivity and sense of worth (you know who you are). However that is contrary to who I am, and it would do very little for those to which this post is truly aimed at. This is aimed primarily at those who we've left behind (you know who you are), particularly because I think that those who are at the top and have the real power to affect change will quickly dismiss this as radical talk from a disgruntled former employee. They are truly from the old school, and quite frankly it works for them and their bottom line. It works only for them, I might add, and I'd hazard a guess that it has worked very well. The people who make it work for them (the real assets)  drag themselves into the office dreading every step, put in a good days work (and then some) and leave feeling broken down and hollow, there is no personal satisfaction, as there is no appreciation for their creativity let alone recognition of their efforts! A pay cheque is not recognition of your efforts! A pay cheque alone does little for your self worth. While those in the position of power preach team work, they do not demonstrate it, they prefer conformance and compliance from their employees rather than engagement, personal satisfaction, and a sense of purpose. The profit motive has long been un-moored from the purpose motive, if there ever was one.

The video below includes a talk given by Career analyst Dan Pink, and was brought to my attention by a friend who, like I did, had the pleasure of working for a company that simply has no idea as to what motivates us. The old carrot and stick method was  used selectively, we were expected to feel as if we were lucky to be part of such a successful organization and that we should be thankful. We were not engaged in the process, appreciated for our creativity or encouraged to think beyond the task at hand. We often got the stick but there was very little carrot.

In the video Pink talks about us (the collective us), those who work in cognitively challenging occupations such as the world of IT. I encourage you to watch it, several times perhaps, and truly think about what is going on in your place of work. As for my friend and I, we have moved on to organizations that look at the science and understand what motivates us and I am thankful for the lessons which I have learned. I now have input, a sense of accomplishment, ownership, and purpose, I am no longer just a smaller, better smelling horse...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Story That Won't Go Away - Zuckerberg Grilled Over Privacy Policy

The New York Times runs down the grilling of Mark Zuckerberg by veteran reporters at an on-stage interview at the D8 conference. Zuck apparently took off his trade mark hoodie during the interview apparently feeling the heat of the questioning. At 26 years of age it's got to be tough running one of the largest plays on the internet... but perhaps the heat will mature him in a hurry.  The Facebook founder is said to have looked uncomfortable during questioning and skirted around answers. “Maybe I’m in denial,” he said. “I think our goals haven’t really changed that much at all.” He then added: “I just think we are a lot closer to the beginning than the end. As companies get bigger people expect you to slow down and do less crazy stuff. I guess I hope we never do that.”

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Facebook Making Divorce Lawyers Job Easy...

Let this be a lesson to braggarts and cheaters everywhere! It's not only potential employers who are checking your out online. According to CNN the first place that divorce lawyers are turning to in aid of their clients is Facebook. In the words of Ken Altshuler a lawyer from Maine, "Facebook is a great source of evidence," "It's absolutely solid evidence because he's the author of it. How do you deny that you put that on?"

I've got news for you Ken... it's not that hard to update the status of someone in your own household if you really want to, my kids are masters at it, and unless the dumb schmuck is stupid enough to leave photographic evidence I wouldn't count on it being "absolutely solid evidence". None the less this does, once again, highlight the fact that more people are paying attention to your social media updates than you might imagine and while I don't condone the actions of the cheating spouses, I do think that people need to realize the potential implications of what they post and/or at least be aware that nothing is truly secret in the world of social media. Even though it's a mighty big pool, you are bound to be found if someone is really looking, as you are truly putting your fate in your loosest lipped friend's hands :) 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Follow Up To Quit Facebook Day

The CBC has some interesting insight into the reaction to Quit Facebook Day. Apparently some 31,000 Twitter users vowed to quit FB with "Quit Facebook" being a trending topic yesterday. On the other hand Facebook  faithfuls poked fun at the notion with comments like "Today is 'Quit Facebook day' … Tomorrow is 'Oh shit I deleted my Facebook' day … And Wednesday is 'Create Facebook day.'" (I like this... very witty)

Canada's Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart said last year that some of Facebooks's policies break Canadian federal privacy law. "One of the biggest concerns we raised was the over-sharing of users' personal information with third-party developers who create popular Facebook applications such as games and quizzes," Stoddart said at the time.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

May 31 - Quit Facebook Day

There are a handful of high profile IT celebrities who are vowing to, or who have already, quit Facebook in protest of the perceived lack of interest (I'll give them some measure of reasonable doubt) by the company in keeping it's users personal information secure.  In addition there was recently a report of a leaked Mark Zuckerberg text conversation from the early days of Facebook that made light of the type of data that users where supplying the site, this has raised many eyebrows. 

In further protest a group of users have declared May 31st as "Quit Facebook Day", however I think the majority of Facebook's 400 million users seem to be either oblivious of the fact that their data is not necessarily safe in Facebook's hands or they are just not concerned. Regardless, I am doubtful that this movement will gather enough traction to put the site in real jeopardy, though it has prompted the company to respond with changes to the site allowing users some measure of opting out. Word is that it's only because of an internal uprising by Facebook employees that these changes where implemented. Personally I typically don't feed that much information to the site, other than feeds from this blog, my twitter account, or recently an experiment with foursquare...  I have to say that I am a little torn between what I think is the right course of action for me and the real advantages of belonging to the site, it has it's merits. 

Any of you plan on quitting?