Weekly ammo #11

Hello there reader – here’s a freshly packed lunchbox of linky goodness that caught my eye.

This week the items are presented to you in ascending order of complexity – a nice magaziney start on working shorter weeks to get you going, winding up to a densely packed write up from Davos finale.

Should people be off on Fridays?

Sweetly tempting and interesting BBC article about The Gambia introducing a four-day work week for public sector workers. OK, so the bad bit is ‘President Jammeh wants the extra rest day to “allow Gambians to devote more time to prayers, social activities and agriculture”.’ (two outta three ain’t bad!) but the piece goes on to talk about other firms and other international examples.

If you’re interested in this, a must-read is the work done by the New Economics Foundation, ’21 Hours’ which has a compelling rationale for a shifting balance of time. Get a precis and the full thing here.

Employee ownership: a possible model for independent community pharmacy?

I really enjoyed this personal tale of turning a community pharmacy in Sheffield into an employee-owned business. Another quietly inspiring glimpse of more mutually beneficial ways to operate a business.

Oh, and I just tweeted this link, and a guy on Twitter had this to say: “for a good reason too – very well known in sheffield – great community service”. That just sums it up really doesn’t it?

Netflix Culture deck on Slideshare, uploaded by founder and CEO Reed Hastings

Lots and lots to like in here – particularly like the values, the emphasis on high performance (which is often quite jarring but I can really respect it), the vacation policy (there isn’t one…).

LOVE the ‘Highly aligned, loosely coupled’ strategy. This is an increasingly sought-after organisational structure (think Gore in Culture Shock but also other interesting organisations like Occupy) but here is snappily expressed by Netflix.

Really quite detailed and thorough, for something external, which makes it extra interesting. Much of the rationale is explained.

And lastly, I think one of the attractive things about this from Netflix is the confidence. The reader may agree or disagree with bits, but ultimately this is a well-thought through and confidently asserted expression of how Netflix wants to operate, and what it values. Interesting!

Thank you to @ade for sharing this.

Davos Debrief: In Resilience We Trust

Enjoyable and densely packed debrief, writing up what feels like a ton of this writers’ notes from Davos.

Plenty of familiar topics here, especially resilience, but this was shared with me for the final section, which is on Meaning: “Emerging as a major theme at Davos, it was mentioned by CEOs, NGO and religious leaders, and academia throughout the five-day program” and “It is perhaps no surprise that meaning and spirituality enjoyed such prominence this year in Davos, against the backdrop of a fragmented connected age so volatile that it seems to even lack the one historic watershed moment, the one crisis to agree on (as was the case in previous Davos meetings).”

Check the piece out yourself here. Better still, come to Meaning 2013 once we announce it! 🙂

Thank you to James Allen for sharing this.

And to finish, a quick update on the book itself.

Culture Shock had probably its best week since launch, with a satisfyingly high Amazon Sales Rank (which means everything and nothing, but is an author’s only real yardstick) and a new favourite tweet:

“It was challenging, thought provoking, inspiring, frightening. Quite a bit to take in, in a good way. It made me think. Alot.”

Onwards!

3 comments

  1. Curtis James

    Me and Steve have worked 4 day weeks since the start of People Who Do. Steve always says he gets more done in 4 days than he would in 5, as he has a constraint, one that can’t be moved and that’s his family, and it makes him focus on the 4 days he does have to work. It’s slightly harder for me, as my Friday is normally spent doing creative/design/photography things, and these are slightly easier to move. I often worry that our company has grown at a slightly slower pace, but, most of the time that worry is surpassed by the good feeling I get from slowing things down, and the benefits I get personally from that breathing, thinking and observing time. My Friday is still about work, but a different kind of work and that’s one of the things People Who Do are doing a lot of thinking about right now, the definition of work and people’s relationship to it.

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