Dear 2018, Thank U, Next. On Management #34

"Unskilled labor" is an oxymoron.

Happy New Year, and thank you for inviting me to your inbox.

Today, a 2018 newsletter recap, along with a few key stories from the year and some of the questions they’ve inspired me to explore in 2019.

Supporting members, thank you! You’ve asked me great questions, and offered solid input. You’re also funding my cut to Substack, fees for web services I use to produce this work, some of the books I write about, and a portion of my labor.

If you’d like to support the newsletter, here’s a discount coupon. It’s good through January 8. (Here’s more on member benefits.)


2018 in Review

The Power of Myth (in Business), The Superpower of 1:1 Meetings, Slowness, Speed and Structure, Mission and a Transition, Summer Reading, Managing Change, Training Day, Age and Today's Workplace, Teaching People "How to Have A Job".

And, here’s the 2018 audio playlist.

Newsletters I wrote for supporting members:

Ladies Swearing at Work, Audio Transcript: Francine McKenna and the Myth of Shareholder Primacy, History Is For Us To Make Every Day, Join Me, Pattern Recognition, (Mal)-Adaptive Noise Cancellation, Everything Has Changed, Failure to Respond, You Don't Need A Culture Plan, One Follow-up, One Question, One Goal.

(To become a supporting member, click here.)


2019: the blameless, the invisible, and the inaccurate

A question for 2019: how am I responsible for unintended consequences?

  • A reporter for a tech outlet recently tweeted that “nobody much” seems to talk about age discrimination in tech. This is not true.

    (In the reporter’s defense, he was tweeting a ProPublica story about age discrimination.)

    What’s true is that these discussions are happening in many venues, yet apparently invisible, to some.

    And, we’re all aging.

  • Actress Eliza Dushku was filmed while cursing at work on a CBS series. She was also being harassed.

    Also on film. Also at work.

    The harassment was so invisible to the CBS Chief Compliance Officer that he gave video of Eliza’s harassment to her attorney. Figuring Eliza’s potty mouth would be exculpatory, wth?

More questions for 2019: what am I not seeing, and how can I see it? Do I see anything that I can render more visible?

Another question: how can we develop and advance a better understanding of business history?

Credit: I scanned and read a few things about the American Chopper meme, also while dabbing my eyes, this time in appreciation of my own, er, unique sense of humor. I was cracking myself up.

Some questions I want to explore in 2019

  • How am I responsible for unintended consequences?

  • What am I not seeing, and how can I see it? Do I see anything that I can render more visible?

  • How can we develop and advance a better understanding of business history?


Supporting Members

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*yikes, the original email went out with a typo in the date. Sigh.

Thank you to everyone who gave time to help me to make the newsletter!

Thanks to Nick Barr, Gary Chou, CV Harquail, Beckie Klein, Jason Li, Mike Ma, Kieran McGrath, Marjorie Nass, Tracy Spencer, Michele Spiezia, Nikki Sylianteng, Edlyn Yuen, and many others who have given me feedback on my work this year, along with the folks at Orbital, the Danger Ladies, and my clients.

To Jane Watson, Linda Peng, Ashley Milne-Tyte, and Venture for America’s Todd Nelson, Natalee Facey and Sara Williamson for actively sharing my newsletters with their networks.

To my audio guests Marci Alboher, Juliette Austin, Bethany Crystal, Gary Chou, Karin McGrath Dunn, Kirsten Lambertsen, Francine McKenna, Ashley Milne-Tyte, Amy Vernon. (Here’s a link to a playlist with all of the 2018 audios.)

(And also to Camille Fournier, whose audio didn’t work out due to a technical issue. It was a user error. Mine. Here’s Camille, covering similar ground (and more) with Charles Humble, on the InfoQ podcast.)


Happy New Year

And thank you for subscribing, and reading.

If there are topics you’d like to hear more about, or questions I can answer here — or if you have feedback, or just want to say “hi,” please send me a note. I love hearing from you, and you will hear back from me.

Warm wishes for a wonderful new year,

Anne Libby

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A Good Thing

Vital Arts is a not for profit that has been established to honor victims of the Oakland Ghost Ship Fire by providing safe and affordable live, work, and performance spaces for San Francisco Bay Area artists and musicians.

If you’d like to donate, click here. If you work for an organization with a footprint in the Bay Area that would be interested in becoming a sponsor, reach out to the lovely folks at Vital Arts.


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