Editor’s Note: This story contains one of our Best Business Lessons of 2014. Check out the full list here. advertisement advertisement At Eugene, Oregon-based Palo Alto Software, a company that develops business planning and other business-focused software, every day is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. CEO Sabrina Parsons, who has led the company since 2007, is a staunch advocate of family-friendly policies and is trying to help her employees and others in the tech sector deal with the fact that people have babies. Taking care of them shouldn’t derail your career. Parsons says that the juggling work and parenting is tough for all parents, but the physical and societal demands placed on women hold particular challenges. From getting pregnant and giving birth to the disparity in many caregiving situations, she says parenting puts women’s careers at risk more than men’s. “You’re in the prime of your career with all of this experience, … [Read more...] about The Tech Company With The Radical Idea That Having A Baby Shouldn’t Derail Your Career
Dream about reviving a baby
Whose job is it to sign the kids up for summer camp, fill out (and fax) the tedious forms, make sure that peanut-free lunches are packed every evening, and drive children to their fun-filled destinations each day? advertisement advertisement In many households–even in this age of egalitarian marriages and dual-income households–much of this minutiae of parenting falls to mom. And it’s burning women out, both at home and at the office. What’s causing this gulf in responsibility, and what’s a modern couple to do? The first important step is to acknowledge that there’s a problem. Inequality Starts With Parental Leave Many couples happily sail along as equals before they have their first child, dividing jobs at home, charging ahead at the office, and dreaming of the family they’ll create together. Today, millennial women are more highly educated than their male counterparts; Millennial men, when surveyed, say that they want to be much … [Read more...] about A Practical Guide For Working Parents To Divide Household Responsibilities
advertisement advertisement There are few products less sexy that a thermostat. It is a boring, utilitarian commodity, right? The world agreed for over 100 years, until the lead designer of the iPod decided to shake things up. Tony Fadell took a completely fresh approach and challenged conventional wisdom. Rather than starting with the existing competitive set, he shattered industry norms from design to function. The result? The incredible new device known as the Nest Learning Thermostat. Besides its distinctive look, this baby ain’t your father’s thermostat. The artificial intelligence “learns” your habits. It has sensors to know when you are away so it doesn’t heat or cool an empty house. It’s connected to the web and evaluates external weather conditions to determine how to best respond inside. You can even control it from a smartphone app on the go. All this whiz-bang technology does more than fuel your inner geek. The Nest saves its … [Read more...] about Is Your Company About To Be Knocked From Its Perch?
advertisement advertisement Motivation is a hot topic year-round, but particularly in January, the month of fresh starts, checklists, and lofty goals. It’s the time of year we try to figure out how to prod our employees to excel, to hit and surpass ambitious targets. Happy, motivated employees are, simply, good for business. “Research shows that when people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level–productivity, creativity, engagement–improves,” Harvard Business Review reported in its January/February 2012 story “Positive Intelligence.” “Happy employees have, on average, 31% higher productivity; their sales are 37% higher; their creativity is three times higher.”—Harvard Business Review So what’s the best way to get it done? Pay up. Money, of course, is a key motivator for many employees. And financial incentives do work to motivate employees–but only to a … [Read more...] about The Weigh-In: What’s The Best Way To Motivate Your Employees?
The cleverest trick that Apple has ever pulled isn’t convincing us to pay $500 for a phone or MP3 player, but rather convincing the world that if you want good design, then you have to follow Apple’s template of clean lines and stripped-down details. You can see how that happened: The company has become so synonymous with both good design and minimalism that most people assume those two things are one and the same. They’re not: You can have good design that’s fanciful and wacky; likewise, you can have minimalist design that’s horrible. advertisement advertisement The fact is, minimalism has been a business strategy for Apple–and maybe their most successful business strategy of all. While just-in-time manufacturing and a stand-alone retailing have earned it hundreds of billions in sales, minimalism built the brand that made their gadgets lust-worthy to begin with. Let’s dissect how that works. Every Gadget Sells The Others One of the … [Read more...] about Beware Of Following The Gospel Of Minimalism, Preached By Apple