YourForce: What Would Google Do? No, What Would You Do?

By Mike Prokopeak

Mar. 22, 2015

What would Google do? It’s not a bad question to ask when facing a tricky management problem.

Since its launch from a Northern California garage in 1998, the company has become one of the world’s high fliers, worth nearly $400 billion.

With that kind of success, it only makes sense to profile Google HR executive Laszlo Bock, starting on p. 40. Innovative, relentlessly focused on results and open to criticism, Bock has turbocharged Google’s people function. It’s exactly the kind of compelling story we want to share with Workforcereaders.

But it’s not the only story. There are many effective and innovative approaches to today’s biggest management challenges. We aim to tell those stories, too.  Sometimes it helps to Google the answer, but the real question is: What would you do? I hope Workforce helps you answer that question.

T.S. Madaan YourForce March 2015

India’s ‘Soul’ Man

Bhopal, India-based Aakriti Group, a multifaceted company in residential real estate, sugar mills and hospitality, recently held an employee workshop featuring speaker T.S. Madaan, above, covering life skills to help raise levels of family happiness, social acceptability, career growth, mind development, physical health and “purity of soul.” Aakriti Chairman and Managing Director Hemant Kumar said, “The aim was to inculcate a sense of stress relief and refresh employees. Corporate sectors tend to drain a lot of energy out of young souls.”

Reader Feedback

Reader Roger Clegg reminded readers of Workforce’s story on women in the C-suite not to forget the Civil Rights Act:

Executives who have read “Ceiling Is Believing” (Workforce magazine, February 2015, p. 32) should not forget that it is illegal under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to discriminate or give preferential treatment on the basis of sex in hiring and promoting.

This ban applies to politically correct as well as politically incorrect discrimination. There are only limited exceptions, and none of them applies in the circumstances discussed in the article. Executives should simply recruit, hire and promote the best-qualified individuals, regardless of sex, and not worry about achieving a predetermined gender mix.

Anything else is not only illegal, but unfair and divisive, and ultimately damages the company by favoring less-qualified people.

Roger Clegg

President and general counsel Center for Equal Opportunity

Regarding Kris Dunn’s column headlined, “White People and Political Correctness,” James Klingelsmith wrote:

Until everyone understands how our brains work, these situations will persist. Humans process information in a very, very emotional way and can mentally suppress significant evidence when it doesn’t support their own hypotheses. Now combine this with our need to stereotype to survive and you have a recipe for disharmony and perceived bias.

The people who called you out on the use of “kemosabe” are the perfect example. I’m not sure if they were Native American or simply trying to be empathetic, but they judge the term using emotion rather than fact. It used to be that we reserved condemnation for intentional and serious violations of human decency.

Mike Prokopeak is Workforce’s editor in chief.

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