The Anthropology of Work

From the blog

Is Your Company Y-Positive?

Is your company Y-Positive?  If you can answer yes to at least 4 of the following 10 questions, it might be…

1. Does your company have collaborative spaces on campus where employees can work in groups (outside the cubicles)?

2. Are employees allowed to work some or all of the time from home or remotely?

3.Does your company recruit talent from art and design schools?

4. Does your company have built-in mechanisms for capturing employee ideas for improving work processes or product/service offerings?

5. Does your company have a comprehensive social media strategy?

6. Is innovation a top priority in your company from the bottom-up?

7. Does your company actively recruit Gen Y talent (Millennials) for important positions?

8. Does your company have a leadership development track for under-30 talent?

9. Do Millennials participate when the company develops long-term strategic plans?

10. Does your company have an ‘internal start-up’ program where new business ventures can be hatched?

If you can’t honestly answer yes to at least 4 of the above questions, then you need to read this blog, buy The Fifth Age of Work, and get cracking…

In the not-too-distant future, competitive companies capable of attracting and retaining the best and brightest talent will be able to answer yes to most of these questions…These questions point to the future of business.  To the future of organizational design.  To the future of organizational culture.  To the future of innovation.

Agile and innovative companies in the future will by Y-Positive.  What does this mean?



Y-Positive companies, such as Google, SAS Institute, Zappos, IDEO, ING Direct, Semco, Best Buy, Sun Microsystems, and Infosys, are organizations where discretionary employee energy and innovation are the norm and not the exception.  They are organizations where the input of young knowledge workers- Millennials or Net Gen- is taken seriously and is rolled into company strategy.  They are organizations where employees have choice and flexibility in terms of when, how, and where work is done. They are organizations where work-life integration issues are built into the fabric of the employment (social) contract.  They are organizations where output and results trump face-time and tenure.  They are organizations where leaders and top managers earn respect from doing, not from talking. They are organizations where open workspaces support collaboration, trust, debate, and communication.  They are data driven and ‘designful’ and not ‘good ole boy’ social networks.  They are organizations that jettison inefficient legacy systems in favor of the leaner and more agile processes developed by Net Gen.  Y-Positive companies are future-proof because they look forward and not backward…

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