Work. Shouldn't. Suck. (12/8/20)

Providing regular resources, research, and reflections on human-centered organizational design for thriving workplaces. From the people at // This edition by Tim Cynova.


I was saddened to learn about the passing of legendary Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. In the weeks since that news broke, I’ve reflected on just how much my early days of exploring people-centric organizational design included talk of Zappos. They were one of those companies that repeatedly stood out. A company so dedicated to its people and providing stellar customer service that someone would stay on the phone helping a customer for 11 hours. And then iterating and experimenting with holacracy. There are books and case studies about their operations and philosophy, as well as countless podcasts and interviews. I even had the privilege of spending a few days at Zappos HQ. My condolences to Tony’s friends and family, and my gratitude to him and the Zappos team for their inspiring contributions to the field.

Read About Tim's Visit to Zappos HQ

What’s new in my queue

Over the past 10 months, many of us have established new work habits, even if we weren’t consciously doing it. At this point, some of our work habits are less than helpful. Some might even be quite problematic. As teams and organizations continue to iterate and adjust to different ways of living and working, I was excited to come across The New Team Habits: A Guide for Creating Responsive Teams this week. It’s a workbook with readings, resources, and videos for helping teams achieve ambitious goals in a rapidly changing world.

Buy The Book

What I’ve been wondering

Who handles HR for the White House? More specifically, I’m curious what their entire HR apparatus looks like. I’ve poked around, perused their Glassdoor profile and org chart. While the White House Presidential Personnel Office handles the vetting and hiring of many White House employees — although, I’m not sure if that office covers positions like housekeeping — I can’t find if they also manage on-boarding/off-boarding, benefits administration, performance improvement plans, birthday recognition, dispute resolution, professional growth plans, etc. I’ve found some talk of a Chief Administrative Officer in the Obama administration whose office oversaw these duties, but don’t know if this was unique to that administration. Anyone know? Please share in the comments.

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Shared Leadership Models

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve participated in several exciting webinars and conference sessions discussing shared — or distributed — leadership models. In addition to my fellow co-CEO at Fractured Atlas, I was joined by some cool people from organizations who have done similar and complementary explorations in sharing power and equitable decision making, including Change Elemental, Open Mind Consulting, RVC, and Thousand Currents. And in my prep process, I landed on another podcast for my queue: Leadermorphosis.

Shared Leadership Articles & Podcasts

Employment Law & COVID

As COVID brought the closure of offices across the U.S. last Spring, many staff seemed to scatter across the country and countryside. Now ten months in, we take a look at some of the tax and employment law consequences for pandemic work-from-anywhere arrangements from our friends at Pillsbury Law. Relatedly, are you finding that state registrations are getting a little too complicated to manage? Also check out Know a PEO.

Read The Alert

Puppy pic, just because.

Thanks for coming along on this adventure! Discover more about organizational journeys in anti-racism, shared leadership models, and entirely virtual workplaces on Work. Shouldn't. Suck.