Archive for March 2013

Breaking my silence…

March 7, 2013

I have to say this, despite the many good reasons to avoid the fray.

I have to say this, despite my belief that uninformed criticisms from the “outside” (defined for these purposes as non-employee, non-customer, non stockholder) border on the very edge of irresponsible citizenship.

I have to say this, despite the fact that too many people have jumped into the fray with myriad opinions and this entry (howsoever well-intentioned) will have as much impact as a whisper in gale force winds.

  1. Melissa Meyer is doing her job.
  2. Every mature company struggles with the notion of the extended enterprise.
  3. Transformation is neither easy, nor can it be judged “in progress.”
  4. Working from home isn’t an entitlement.
  5. This has nothing to do with technology: it is a management issue.

See: http://share.es/js1j7  (Yahoo’s Telecommuting Problem Is Management, Not Collaboration ) from CIO Magazine.  There are many examples of true collaboration with participants around the world, and there are just as many examples of poor teamwork among employees under the same roof.  For any CEO to announce such a dramatic reversal of policy, one must assume that other (smaller, internal) efforts have not yielded results.  However, most “outsider” have missed an essential element of Yahoo’s current dilemma (which, actually, is a polylemma because of multiple root causes): the core foundation of success with any distributed workforce begins with a management team that understands how to supervise, monitor, and communicate with their employees.  The ability of one’s supervisor to manage across time and geographic distance is critical to anyone who wants to work from home, or from any work location other than corporate headquarters.

In between the lines of the leaked Yahoo email, there are important issues about the Middle Management layer at Yahoo.  Anyone considering a similar reversal of telecommuting policy should first examine their management team, for it is unfair (and counter-productive) to force individual employees (and their families) into weeks/months of upheaval when, in the end, the root cause of your problem lies, instead, with managers and directors.