August 2019 – On busyness, company culture, working remotely, and strategic decisions

  • We overestimate how much we work and exercise, and we’re no busier than we were a few decades ago. We think we are. Also, we wear our busyness as a badge of honor. (Center for time use research)
  • We need to rethink our assumptions about introverts. The need for solitude seems to be more associated with being the kind of person who feels free and in control of their life and who finds pleasure in reflecting on their inner experiences – and among both introverts and extraverts there will be those who do and do not fit this description. (PsyArXiv)
  • A survey of more than 20,000 U.S. adults ages 18 years and older revealed:

– Nearly half report sometimes or always feeling alone or left out;

– One in four rarely or never feel as though there are people who understand them;

– One in five people report they rarely or never feel close to people or feel like there are people they can talk to;

– Around half have meaningful in-person social interactions on a daily basis.

Getting the right balance of sleep, work, socializing with friends, family and “me time” is connected to lower loneliness scores. (Cigna)

  • 77% of employees struggle to address issues related to company culture and 69% of HR leaders say that their company’s culture does not meet its needs. (Gartner)
  • Employees think companies should offer soft skills training and training in new technologies (Sitel)


  • Researchers asked workers how they felt about every physical aspect of their workplace that might cause them to be happier. Result: enclosed private offices ranks higher than other floor plans in every category except building maintenance. (Journal of Environmental Psychology)
  • Research from Stanford and other sources reveals that working from home vastly increases productivity (Inc.)
  • Also, working remotely is now the norm for developers. 86% of IT developers work remotely, with almost one-third working from home full time. 43% said that the ability to work remotely is “a must-have” when considering a job offer. (DigitalOcean)
  • 72 percent of senior-executive respondents to a survey said they thought bad strategic decisions either were about as frequent as good ones or were the prevailing norm in their organization. (McKinsey)


  • Scientists report they have a model that could, using 15 demographic attributes, correctly identify 99.98% of Americans in any anonymous dataset . (Nature)



Work: When you’re back from the summer and you want to start your coaching sessions, contact me by replying to this email message and we’ll get started.

Music: San Francisco early-music ensemble Voices of Music play from the earliest known manuscripts, using instruments of the time, and with the kind of playing techniques popular back then. Check out their rendition of the Pachelbel Canon and of Vivaldi’s Winter from the Four Seasons.

Finished reading: The ethics of authenticity by Charles Taylor.

Started re-reading: Conscious Business by Fred Kofman.

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