First, I want us all to remember that we can’t step in the same river once.
So it is with our notions of accountability in the sector. One of the most central of our accountability institutions is, of course, GuideStar, founded by NPQ’s board chair, Buzz Schmidt. GuideStar was a qualitative leap forward for this sector, but now Buzz has written a monograph for our sister publication Alliance that seeks to drive the notion of an accountability ecosystem in a changing landscape even a few steps further.
I urge you to take a look at it and provide feedback, because our experience is that Buzz is both often a few steps ahead of the rest of us and a master at gleaning from the intelligence around him.
Meanwhile, Yahoo!’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer, has decided to go against the grain with an edict banning telecommuting, and I think she has an interesting point, though I may not agree with her methods. In a company memo (leaked to the press on Friday), she wrote:
To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.
Beginning in June, we’re asking all employees with work-from-home arrangements to work in Yahoo! offices. If this impacts you, your management has already been in touch with next steps. And, for the rest of us who occasionally have to stay home for the cable guy, please use your best judgment in the spirit of collaboration. Being a Yahoo isn’t just about your day-to-day job, it is about the interactions and experiences that are only possible in our offices.
At the very least, I would love to get a conversation going about the reasons given for this step, the ways in which Marissa Mayer’s concerns are or are not being addressed in other workplaces. Please feel free to discuss other implications that you think need to be discussed but we are very interested in your thoughts about the specific issues she raises.