What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team

Psychological safety – that’s the phrase I’ve been searching for.

“Within psychology, researchers sometimes colloquially refer to traits like ‘‘conversational turn-taking’’ and ‘‘average social sensitivity’’ as aspects of what’s known as psychological safety — a group culture that the Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson defines as a ‘‘shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.’’ Psychological safety is ‘‘a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject or punish someone for speaking up,’’ Edmondson wrote in a study published in 1999. ‘‘It describes a team climate characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people are comfortable being themselves.’’”

What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team


Shadow Work and the Rise of Middle-Class Serfdom

The cost of “shadow work”: being busy without accomplishing meaningful work.
“You only get so much of the fuel that allows you to focus and gives you the mental energy to tackle the world each day. And what saps this fuel is making decisions, weighing options, and exercising self-control. Shadow work requires all three behaviors, and is thus a huge willpower drainer.”

Christian Pizza

There’s so much to like about this article, including the commentary about zombie music, but this description of “Becky” coalesced my unease with this segment of the music industry.

“One station programmer told me that Becky is a forty-two-year-old soccer mom…She is the one who runs her household, the one with her finger on the radio knob, and she wants something positive to play in the minivan as she drives her kids to soccer practice…Becky is the quintessential Christian radio listener.”

Christian Pizza


Freshly Squeezed: The Truth About Orange Juice in Boxes

The entire process behind pasteurized orange juice is capped off by added fragrances tuned to people’s preferences. Well played, food industry.

Juice companies therefore hire flavor and fragrance companies, the same ones that formulate perfumes for Dior and Calvin Klein, to engineer flavor packs to add back to the juice to make it taste fresh.

Freshly Squeezed: The Truth About Orange Juice in Boxes

The Problem With The Big Bang Theory…

Yeah, I like how this writer explains how TBBT’s humor relies on a sense of superiority to the main characters. It’s mean. I particularly enjoyed how he later contrasts Sheldon with Abed from Community and how Abed’s neuroses are celebrated rather than ridiculed.

“But this specifically is not my main problem, lazy humour is one thing but cruel humour is quite another. If you watch, really watch an episode of The Big Bang Theory and pay attention to when the audience laughs it soon becomes clear that what they’re laughing at. What Chuck Lorre wants us to find funny is not the jokes which the characters are making, it’s the characters themselves.”

The Problem With The Big Bang Theory…

For A More Ordered Life, Organize Like A Chef

This idea of mise-en-place (French for “put in place”)  reminds me how much good preparation goes into effective execution.

“But the key to mise-en-place is not so much the list, but the mindset. Cooks can easily do six hours of prep for a three-hour dinner shift. Mise-en-place forces cooks to account for every minute of their time and, says chef Dwayne Lipuma, every movement.”

For A More Ordered Life, Organize Like A Chef