Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Tag Archives: Social Sciences

Is our native intelligence being burdened by increasing complexity?

Are People Getting Dumber?: The World Grows More Complex” presents one of the funniest social commentaries I’ve ever read. At another level, I know it’s not a funny issue of course. Rather, this turns out to be an interesting one to think about. Here is an excerpt as written by Linda S. Gottfredson, a professor in the School of Education who studies the sociology of intelligence at the University of Delaware:

Many of us feel stupider by the year, if not the week. Age and ill health take their toll, but Mother Nature isn’t the culprit. It’s those clever people busily complicating our lives, innovation by innovation, upgrade upon upgrade. They don’t lower our native intelligence, but relentlessly burden it… Just ask a humorist. One “Frank and Ernest” comic strip shows a caveman pointing to an engraved stone tablet and saying: “Look! I just invented writing!” His companion says: “Thanks a lot! You just made everybody else in the world illiterate!” Read more of this post

Gender Representation Disparities in Various Career Fields

Why is Human Resources (HR) dominated by women? It’s been difficult to ignore how frequently this topic has been tackled in the past few years. After considering a number of articles (listed below), I’ve decided to add my voice to the discussion on internal drivers behind career decisions while considering the role of brain development. Indeed, when considering why there are vastly different proportions of men and women in various fields, more insight can be gained by looking beyond physical differences and paying attention to internal predispositions instead.

Ideal Traits of Global, Cross-Cultural Virtual Team Members

Information about selecting virtual team members with focus on the need to function globally and cross-culturally is scarce. As luck would have it, I came across some recommendations derived from Dr. Joel Paul Ginsburg’s work – available in dissertation form here. The following is a representation Global Symfony’s recommendations which I’ve modified for simplicity (see their website for details): Read more of this post

This INTJ’s Take on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Typealyzer

My Typealyzer result: NT for “Rationals” and INTJ specifically.

Having written on the subject of surveillance, I’ve been exploring how much insight others can possibly acquire about you just based on your writing. From here, it didn’t take long to discover various text analyzers developed through uClassify.com (most of which seem crudely put together), but I’m pretty sure more sophisticated, and less readily accessible, text analyzers exist elsewhere. Of those that are available to the public, Typealyzer (which gives you a Myers Briggs type based on your writing) has been most frequently discussed by bloggers. Did the Typealyzer accurately classify me? Although there are infrequent variations on individual posts, for the most part, it has classified me as INTJ and this is consistent with how I score on self-reported assessments across time and situations as well as others’ evaluation of me.

Yes, much uproar has been made about MBTI’s reliability (or rather lack thereof) in recent years. In this post, I will delve deeper into problems encountered in the use of the MBTI. After some thought, I believe I can reconcile claims of unreliability with claims of reliability (and meaningfulness for some test-takers). To begin with, a better question than “Does MBTI have good/poor reliability?” is “For whom does MBTI have good/poor reliability?” See the discussion (pages 290-292) in Capraro, R. M. & Capraro, M. M. (2010) about why it may be incorrect, in this case, to speak of reliability for a tool or instrument. Rather, it may be more accurate to talk about reliability for a particular evaluation or the interaction of evaluation and assessment tool. This article is available here and here. Read more of this post

What a Recent Misadventure Taught Me About the Need for Adventure and Excitement in Life

English: Disneyland Adventureland.

English: Disneyland Adventureland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“There’s virtually no way to get excitement and adventure through a job,” people would tell me, “If you want those things, you’re better off trying to get them through non-work activities.” I would begrudgingly nod in agreement as relatively safe and predictable jobs seemed more salient in my mind. Until this day, I never thought I would experience the type of exhilaration that comes along with some of life’s challenges so I never knew, before, what I had been missing out on. Read more of this post

Work isn’t working: Microsoft ‘envisioner’ Dave Coplin on why the office must change

Ross McGuinness provides an apt description of how little we have deviated from the centralized workplace and the uniform work shift since Victorian times. Our ongoing resistance to utilizing technology to its fullest potential translates into missed opportunities for boosting productivity and creativity as compelling employees to experience the “daily grind” fosters disengagement. Furthermore, the open office plan appears to pose more problems with regard to productivity and creativity. Little wonder that people who work in an open office environment take more sick days compared to people who have their own private workspaces for instance! Read on for more specific information about today’s deficient work arrangements.

Social Bonding Over Distance & a Look at the Lives of Digital Natives

Do we really need to commute back and forth every workday in order to foster and maintain relationships with a given group of people? Let’s consider this question. During my exploration of how dispersed teams function, I’ve encountered people (such as described in this post) who meet in person as infrequently as once a quarter. It surprises most people that this can work. Speaking from my own experience as a team member of Better Collaboration, I’m happy to report that there are other factors (aside from opportunities for in-person interaction) contributing to a sense of cohesion.

Upon comparing my experiences with in-person versus technologically-mediated meetings, I’ve observed that having a strong shared sense of purpose and common interests helps transcend the physical distance factor. So when I hear people say they would rather have others drive from one city to another just for the sake of getting everyone in one room for every meeting rather than have occasional virtual meetings, I wince. Read more of this post

In Support of Introverted Remote Workers

Internet search results for articles and research studies generally come down on the side of extroverts and ambiverts who lean towards extroversion as having what it takes to be productive remote workers. It makes sense that, especially in a virtual team situation, your coworkers and people you report to would have difficulty with a remote worker who tends to go missing in action. Building trust comes with difficulty without a sufficient degree of communication and oftentimes there’s critical information that needs to be conveyed in a timely manner. Read more of this post

Being bored (and zoning out) at work can make us more creative?

English: A bored person

English: A bored person (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having written about the problem of boredom at work (where an individual’s skill level surpasses the challenge of the tasks), lets turn now to one of the possible benefits of boredom… creativity! The following article was very interesting indeed: Being bored at work can make us more creative. Some excerpts follow:

Most of us think of being bored at work as a negative experience, but a new study suggests it can have positive results including an increase in creativity because it gives us time to daydream.

I do find that daydreaming fuels my creativity, although I can imagine this generally being a tough sell to employers. Also, it turns out that zoning out can also help boost creative problem-solving (see More Than Just ‘Zoning Out’: Exploring the Cognitive Processes Behind Mind Wandering). Even better huh? Continuing on with the article: Read more of this post

Virtual Teams and the Challenge of Cross-Cultural Differences

Cover of "The Handbook of Culture and Psy...

Cover of The Handbook of Culture and Psychology

From David Matsumoto’s The Handbook of Culture and Psychology:

The next two decades promise to be even more exciting for research on culture and emotion. Interesting programs have sprung up all around the world and in all disciplines of psychology. New technologies for mapping culture as a psychological construct on the individual level are being developed, as well as ways to measure precisely moment-to-moment changes in our brains and bodies when we feel or judge emotion. Collectively, these endeavors will tell us more in the future about the relationship between culture and the physiology of emotion, the representation of display and decoding rules, emotion perception, and culture itself in the brain (p. 161) Read more of this post

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