Soon You May Want to Hang Out at Work with Your Friends
The future of the workforce is about building stronger communities, not talent hunting for the most aggressively competitive employees. Millennials are leading the way in making this change.
Tamar Elkeles is the Chief People Officer at Quixey, where she globally leads all human resources. Tamar joins Quixey from Qualcomm where she built an award winning learning organization and served as the company’s Chief Learning Officer. In addition to her extensive career, Tamar co-authored the first book on the CLO’s role, “The Chief Learning Officer, Driving Value within a Changing Organization through Learning and Development,” and was named “CLO of the Year” by CLO Magazine in 2010. She holds both a M.S. and a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology.
Tamar Elkeles: I think the workforce of the future there's a couple of really key points. I think one is we need to figure out ways to utilize women in more leadership roles across organizations and I think we are at an inflection point around that. I'm thrilled to see that in 2016 there are things like in the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women, that there are more women's leadership programs out there. And I do think that diversity and inclusion are a big part of the workforce of the future. In 1995 I did my doctoral dissertation on stereotyping of women in engineering. And I look at that and I say that was 20 years ago. I think today we have huge opportunities, as well as a huge platform for us to be able to change the workforce, to be able to embrace women in more leadership roles. Diversity inclusion is really about perspectives. It's really about having diversity of perspective and diversity of thought. And that is independent of gender, that is independent of race, that is independent of ethnicity. That is really all about making sure that we have diversity of people in the room that have different experiences that come from different places. So, people that have an experience working in an established operation versus people from a startup, people who just graduated from college versus people with 25 years of experience, people from different industries, people from different locations in the world. And I think that's really what makes a great company.
In addition to that I really think that the millennial workforce or the next-generation workforce is really thinking about work differently. It's a give and take. It's an opportunity for an organization to give, and here in Silicon Valley there's a lot of entitlements around these cultures and around these employee bases. There is food everywhere. There is free services everywhere. There is lots of perks and lots of opportunities that other big companies can't offer to their employees. And I think that is changing the game. What we're saying is the workplace is an environment that you want to create. It is not just a place that you come to do your job, it is a place where you come to be social, it's a place when you come with your friends, it's a place where you can come and not only be yourself and do your work but also share with others and be part of a bigger community. And if we look at what happened with social media and with the networking, there's a lot of opportunities today to build communities. And that's what we're going to be doing of the workforce of the future is building communities where people want to work, they want to play and they want to be around those people on a day-to-day basis.
The workplace is more than a place to work; it's a social environment, says human resources executive Tamar Elkeles. Companies built by millennials are changing the face of corporate life, taking it away from a competitive, dog-eat-dog atmosphere to one of "diversity inclusion." This means brining people together from all different backgrounds to contribute their unique points of view to find innovative solutions to common problems.
A recent study gives new meaning to the saying "fake it 'til you make it."
- The study involves four experiments that measured individuals' socioeconomic status, overconfidence and actual performance.
- Results consistently showed that high-class people tend to overestimate their abilities.
- However, this overconfidence was misinterpreted as genuine competence in one study, suggesting overestimating your abilities can have social advantages.
Is this proof of a dramatic shift?
- Map details dramatic shift from CNN to Fox News over 10-year period
- Does it show the triumph of "fake news" — or, rather, its defeat?
- A closer look at the map's legend allows for more complex analyses
Dramatic and misleading
Image: Reddit / SICResearch
The situation today: CNN pushed back to the edges of the country.
Over the course of no more than a decade, America has radically switched favorites when it comes to cable news networks. As this sequence of maps showing TMAs (Television Market Areas) suggests, CNN is out, Fox News is in.
The maps are certainly dramatic, but also a bit misleading. They nevertheless provide some insight into the state of journalism and the public's attitudes toward the press in the US.
Let's zoom in:
- It's 2008, on the eve of the Obama Era. CNN (blue) dominates the cable news landscape across America. Fox News (red) is an upstart (°1996) with a few regional bastions in the South.
- By 2010, Fox News has broken out of its southern heartland, colonizing markets in the Midwest and the Northwest — and even northern Maine and southern Alaska.
- Two years later, Fox News has lost those two outliers, but has filled up in the middle: it now boasts two large, contiguous blocks in the southeast and northwest, almost touching.
- In 2014, Fox News seems past its prime. The northwestern block has shrunk, the southeastern one has fragmented.
- Energised by Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, Fox News is back with a vengeance. Not only have Maine and Alaska gone from entirely blue to entirely red, so has most of the rest of the U.S. Fox News has plugged the Nebraska Gap: it's no longer possible to walk from coast to coast across CNN territory.
- By 2018, the fortunes from a decade earlier have almost reversed. Fox News rules the roost. CNN clings on to the Pacific Coast, New Mexico, Minnesota and parts of the Northeast — plus a smattering of metropolitan areas in the South and Midwest.
Image source: Reddit / SICResearch
This sequence of maps, showing America turning from blue to red, elicited strong reactions on the Reddit forum where it was published last week. For some, the takeover by Fox News illustrates the demise of all that's good and fair about news journalism. Among the comments?
- "The end is near."
- "The idiocracy grows."
- "(It's) like a spreading disease."
- "One of the more frightening maps I've seen."
- "LOL that's what happens when you're fake news!"
- "CNN went down the toilet on quality."
- "A Minecraft YouTuber could beat CNN's numbers."
- "CNN has become more like a high-school production of a news show."
Not a few find fault with both channels, even if not always to the same degree:
- "That anybody considers either of those networks good news sources is troubling."
- "Both leave you understanding less rather than more."
- "This is what happens when you spout bullsh-- for two years straight. People find an alternative — even if it's just different bullsh--."
- "CNN is sh-- but it's nowhere close to the outright bullsh-- and baseless propaganda Fox News spews."
"Old people learning to Google"
Image: Google Trends
CNN vs. Fox News search terms (200!-2018)
But what do the maps actually show? Created by SICResearch, they do show a huge evolution, but not of both cable news networks' audience size (i.e. Nielsen ratings). The dramatic shift is one in Google search trends. In other words, it shows how often people type in "CNN" or "Fox News" when surfing the web. And that does not necessarily reflect the relative popularity of both networks. As some commenters suggest:
- "I can't remember the last time that I've searched for a news channel on Google. Is it really that difficult for people to type 'cnn.com'?"
- "More than anything else, these maps show smart phone proliferation (among older people) more than anything else."
- "This is a map of how old people and rural areas have learned to use Google in the last decade."
- "This is basically a map of people who don't understand how the internet works, and it's no surprise that it leans conservative."
A visual image as strong as this map sequence looks designed to elicit a vehement response — and its lack of context offers viewers little new information to challenge their preconceptions. Like the news itself, cartography pretends to be objective, but always has an agenda of its own, even if just by the selection of its topics.
The trick is not to despair of maps (or news) but to get a good sense of the parameters that are in play. And, as is often the case (with both maps and news), what's left out is at least as significant as what's actually shown.
One important point: while Fox News is the sole major purveyor of news and opinion with a conservative/right-wing slant, CNN has more competition in the center/left part of the spectrum, notably from MSNBC.
Another: the average age of cable news viewers — whether they watch CNN or Fox News — is in the mid-60s. As a result of a shift in generational habits, TV viewing is down across the board. Younger people are more comfortable with a "cafeteria" approach to their news menu, selecting alternative and online sources for their information.
It should also be noted, however, that Fox News, according to Harvard's Nieman Lab, dominates Facebook when it comes to engagement among news outlets.
CNN, Fox and MSNBC
Image: Google Trends
CNN vs. Fox (without the 'News'; may include searches for actual foxes). See MSNBC (in yellow) for comparison
For the record, here are the Nielsen ratings for average daily viewer total for the three main cable news networks, for 2018 (compared to 2017):
- Fox News: 1,425,000 (-5%)
- MSNBC: 994,000 (+12%)
- CNN: 706,000 (-9%)
And according to this recent overview, the top 50 of the most popular websites in the U.S. includes cnn.com in 28th place, and foxnews.com in... 27th place.The top 5, in descending order, consists of google.com, youtube.com, facebook.com, amazon.com and yahoo.com — the latter being the highest-placed website in the News and Media category.
If you thought your mother was pushy in her pursuit of grandchildren, wait until you learn about bonobo mothers.
- Mother bonobos have been observed to help their sons find and copulate with mates.
- The mothers accomplish this by leading sons to mates, interfering with other males trying to copulate with females, and helping sons rise in the social hierarchy of the group.
- Why do mother bonobos do this? The "grandmother hypothesis" might hold part of the answer.
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