David B. Grinberg

Mark and others:

The academic author of this New York Times op-ed makes several excellent and convincing points. It’s most certainly worth a read. You’ve got to love the professor’s term: “Dilbertization of Yahoo!”

In Defense of Telecommuting (excerpts)

* “The notion that impromptu conversations with colleagues in the cafeteria are the core of innovation seems a bit simplistic; in my experience, they are just as likely to produce talk of better jobs at competing firms or last night’s “American Idol” winner. Besides, much of this “research” simply shows that workers who collaborate with others in loose networks generate better ideas. It doesn’t suggest that the best way to create new products and services is by isolating your employees in the silo of a single location.”

* “Yet a work force culture based on long hours at the office with little regard for family or community does not inevitably lead to strong productivity or innovation. Two outdated ideas seem to underlie the Yahoo decision: first, that tech companies can still operate like the small groups of 20-something engineers that founded them; and second, the most old-fashioned of all, that companies get the most out of their employees by limiting their autonomy.”

* “If the Dilbertization of Yahoo actually improves innovation, I’ll change my tune. But companies like Yahoo will not get more out of their employees by watching them like hawks and monitoring their every move. Nor can they recreate the dynamism of their founding moment by trying to return to a perpetual organizational adolescence. The 37-year-old Ms. Mayer, new mother, may have yet to learn that.”