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What Motivates Gig Economy Workers

March 20, 2017

The gig economy workforce is growing. A new Pew Research Center survey on the sharing economy shows that 8% of American adults earned money from an online employment platform in the last year across industries, such as ride hailing, online tasks, and cleaning/laundry. These gig economy workers are driven by a range of motivations, from lacking other jobs to wanting control over their schedule to seeking social connection. But there are big differences separating those who are more financially reliant on gig work (56% of workers surveyed) and “casual” gig workers (42%) who report that they could live comfortably without the additional income. While gig work is a necessity for some, it is a luxury for others.

Read the full article at The Harvard Business Review.

How Design Thinking Turned One Hospital into a Bright and Comforting Place

March 13, 2017
Long dreary corridors, impersonal waiting rooms, the smell of disinfectant — hospitals tend to be anonymous and depressing places. Even if you’re just there as a visitor, you’re bound to wonder, “How can my friend recover in such an awful place? Will I get out of here without catching an infection?”

But the transformation of the 
Rotterdam Eye Hospital suggests that it doesn’t have to be this way. Over the past 10 years, the hospital’s managers have transformed their institution from the usual, grim, human-repair shop into a bright and comforting place. 

Read the full article at The Harvard Business Review.

How to Respond to an Offensive Comment at Work

March 06, 2017
Your colleague says something that immediately makes you feel uncomfortable. He thinks he’s just being funny, but the comment is inappropriate — maybe even offensive, sexist, or racist. What should you say or do if you find yourself in this situation? Is there a way to draw attention to the comment without putting the other person on the defensive? And are you risking your reputation, job, or career by speaking up?

Read more from The Harvard Business Review.

Want to Be More Productive? Sit Next to Someone Who Is

February 27, 2017
To increase worker performance, employers often invest in a number of things, from rewards and incentives to education and training. These traditional approaches develop employees’ skills and enrich their work experience. But we discovered a surprisingly simple way to increase productivity, one that was low-cost and had immediate impact: better office seating arrangements.

Read the full article from The Harvard Business Review.

Tech device blocks wireless distractions for drivers

February 13, 2017
An engineer has invented a device that he believes could eliminate distracted driving. 

He also says at least one U.S. mobile phone provider appears close to rolling out the gadget to its users and that another U.S. provider has shown interest in the technology. 

Read the full story, which appeared in The Toronto Star, on Press Reader.

How to Discover Your Company’s DNA

February 07, 2017
The term “company DNA” is sometimes used as a shorthand for an organization’s culture and strategy — a metaphor for what makes it unique. But there may be more to the metaphor. Understanding your company’s DNA can help you know what you can and can’t do, and how to achieve agility and authenticity in a changing world.

We know from biology that DNA contains the instructions an organism needs to develop, function, and reproduce. It is formed at conception and does not change. However, the same DNA can express itself in different ways based on one’s environment. It’s the reason identical twins have different fingerprints. In this process, called “expression,” the instructions in the DNA are turned into proteins and other cellular products.

Does biology inform business? It’s happened before. The language of ecosystems redefined our understanding of competition by viewing markets has habitats. Our understanding of organisms might lead to similar insights about organizations.

Read the full article from The Harvard Business Review.

How a Canadian engineer fuelled the battery industry

January 30, 2017

Lewis Urry was particularly proud of his life’s work at Christmastime.

The Canadian inventor of the modern-day battery powered the consumer electronics revolution that forever changed the holiday shopping season. The alkaline cell he created in 1957 brought portable power to the masses, making batteries a consumer staple used around the world.

The global market for household batteries is worth about $4.5-billion (U.S.) a year. A growing list of products ranging from toys to household appliances run on battery technology inspired by Mr. Urry’s innovation.

Read the full story from The Globe and Mail. 

How Design Thinking Turned One Hospital into a Bright and Comforting Place

January 23, 2017
Long dreary corridors, impersonal waiting rooms, the smell of disinfectant — hospitals tend to be anonymous and depressing places. Even if you’re just there as a visitor, you’re bound to wonder, “How can my friend recover in such an awful place? Will I get out of here without catching an infection?”

But the transformation of the Rotterdam Eye Hospital suggests that it doesn’t have to be this way. Over the past 10 years, the hospital’s managers have transformed their institution from the usual, grim, human-repair shop into a bright and comforting place. By incorporating design thinking and design principles into their planning process, the hospital’s executives, supported by external designers, have turned the hospital into a showplace that has won a number of safety, quality, and design awards — including a nomination for the prestigious Dutch Design Award. Even more important to the not-for-profit organization: patient intake rose 47%.

Read the full article from the Harvard Business Review.

Sustainable Business Will Move Ahead With or Without Trump’s Support

January 16, 2017

If we take the incoming president of the United States at his word, things look dire for the cause of sustainability. Donald Trump and many of his advisers appear hostile to action on climate change and to progress on many social issues that companies have already embraced, such as diversity and LGBT rights. Even if Trump himself stays ambivalent on some of these issues, Republican leaders have much clearer aims, including extensive plans to slash environmental protections.

Will the seismic shift in U.S. political leadership have a chilling effect on corporate action around environmental and social issues? 

Read the full article from the Harvard Business Review. 
Energy

How to Write Email with Military Precision

January 09, 2017
In the military, a poorly formatted email may be the difference between mission accomplished and mission failure. During my active duty service, I learned how to structure emails to maximize a mission’s chances for success. Since returning from duty, I have applied these lessons to emails that I write for my corporate job, and my missives have consequently become crisper and cleaner, eliciting quicker and higher-quality responses from colleagues and clients. Here are three of the main tips I learned on how to format your emails with military precision:

Read the full article from the Harvard Business Review. 

What Motivates Gig Economy Workers

January 03, 2017
The gig economy workforce is growing. A new Pew Research Center survey on the sharing economy shows that 8% of American adults earned money from an online employment platform in the last year across industries, such as ride hailing, online tasks, and cleaning/laundry. These gig economy workers are driven by a range of motivations, from lacking other jobs to wanting control over their schedule to seeking social connection. But there are big differences separating those who are more financially reliant on gig work (56% of workers surveyed) and “casual” gig workers (42%) who report that they could live comfortably without the additional income. While gig work is a necessity for some, it is a luxury for others.

Read the full article from the Harvard Business Review. 
Makes U Think