Corporate Eye

The February Wrap-up

Kitchen Counter

Continuing the 2010 tradition, some updates and short takes for last month:

Following up on the meeting detailed in Confused about .jobs Job Boards? . . . reports (sort of) about the event were summarized by John Zappe in this post on   It certainly doesn’t clear anything up, but if by chance you’ve followed the saga thus far, it’s a must read.

If you are new to the topic, however, you can just jump directly to the Recently Breaking News.  In the nick of time for this wrap-up, Zappe posted an update that reveals a new turn of events.  To wit:  Direct Employers has taken down all the controversial .jobs sites (which were in beta but scheduled to launch this month) for “enhancements.”

There’s more detail, and more back story.  But that’s the gist of it.

Also out recently is this AP story, which presents a sunnier version of the .jobs story, largely in the context of profiling Bill Warren.   Reading all these items together, it’s tempting to think there has been a collision of good intentions, ambitious goals, poor communications, questionable decisions, and changing times. But of course it’s the outcome that will ultimately define “what happened.”

In the meantime, here’s one more thought about Employment Happiness.  It’s assumed today that there’s a quantifiable value to having happy employees:  lower turnover, better employer brand, higher productivity, etc.  But that’s a relatively recent point of view.  Were the people making Model Ts happy in the workplace?  The gray-flannel-suited men of mid-century Manhattan?  The drug-enabled workaholics of the zoom-zoom 80s?

It’s arguable that corporate America as we know it was built by unhappy people—and since things haven’t been going too well in the economy since the idea of worker happiness became popular . . . maybe there’s food for thought.

This last item is a bit out of order, since posts about the new Fortune 100 Best Places to Work list will be coming up in March.  But I wanted to get in a couple of small discoveries from the list that didn’t fit into the future posts:

  • The law firm of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has instituted a non-partner track, offering long-term opportunities for lawyers who don’t want to work 100+ hours a week on their way to the partner suite.  Now that’s a good idea.
  • Six of the 100 companies on the list were touted as having “no lay-offs, ever.”  But Mercedes Benz was the only one where voluntary pay-cuts for CEO and execs were mentioned among the cost-saving measures.

Don’t forget:  In the U.S., Employee Recognition Day is the first Friday of March.  Check out some good recognition ideas for that day or any other.

(Many thanks to rvacapinta for sharing the kitchen counter still life.  You can see a fabulous Friday Night Dinner unfold on his Flickr page—highlighted by an entrée of seared scallops with a cauliflower purée in a walnut vinaigrette with orange caramelized chicory.)

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Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.