Yahoo seeks to reboot notorious company culture

Yahoo seeks to reboot notorious company culture

Summary: CEO Marissa Mayer's home work ban is crucial to rebuilding Yahoo.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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There's been much written lately about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer pulling back workers from their home offices as if it's an attack on telecommuting and the productivity of home-based workers.

It's neither; it's Yahoo trying to reboot its company culture, which has been kindly described by one observer as "notoriously dysfunctional and disorganized". It's been going on for years, and it's time to press the reboot button.

But company culture can't be remade through telecommuting. It has to be done physically and emotionally.

Mayer knows that changing Yahoo's culture is key to success, and that she faces a very rocky road.

Successful company culture changes at IBM and Hewlett-Packard provide some good case studies and useful pointers, but the first place to start has to be to get all staff onto the same page, into the same rooms, and just be together. Company culture is built by a people-to-people mesh network that always works best in the flesh.

Groups create culture, and successful groups create a winning company culture, which can spread and help motivate all parts of an organization. I've seen that happen at several Silicon Valley companies.

Also, there is also an opportunity to crack the whip a lot harder and bake that into a new corporate culture. John Gapper, writing in the Financial Times (below), sees a broad trend by many companies trying to boost staff productivity.

FTGapper
(Image: Financial Times)

"This is an age of harder work. From intense teamwork at the top to monitoring and surveillance at the bottom, managers are squeezing more from employees than they previously would have dared."

And having staff in an office together creates a peer-pressure effect that pushes them to work harder.

This isn't a bad thing. Gapper noted, "I would prefer to work hard at a successful company than idle at a demoralized, lethargic one."

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Topic: Tech Industry

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5 comments
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  • well which is it a reboot of culture or whip cracking

    It makes sense if a culture change is the goal, It's really hard to change a culture. Expect a lot of turn-over in a combination of voluntary, coerced voluntary, and involuntary exits.

    The age of whip cracking harder work hit right after 2007 just like it always does in a recession because jerk managers think, now is the time we can screw everybody and they cant do anything about it. Trouble with that strategy is when hiring picks up everybody leaves and usually not the ones you want first. This happens every time and is as predictable as if it were carved on the wall of stone.
    greywolf7
  • What's wrong at the end?

    The HTML didn't display properly :P
    Stephan Sevenyoln
  • I can see this happening soon

    Other companies, seeing how much media buzz this generates, also start to assign cute girls as their CEOs. And then every single trifle becomes extraordinarily worthy news for everyone to discuss. Yes, and with cat ears. Kawaii
    nitekatt
    • Cute Girl CEO

      Polar Cat....you obviously know so little about the intelligence, savvy business acumen, technical and people skills that Marissa Mayers has attained in her career to make such a stupid comment. Like she cares what you would think....she will make more money this year then you will in your lifetime.
      jillds
  • identifying weak and useless managers is the problem to be solved

    The first question that has to be asked to Marissa is, "Why didn't your managers allocate work to these remote workers or in case work was allocated and these remote workers had not completed their work, why are they still on your payroll?" Could it be because yahoo has no vision , no direction, no objectives and hence these remote workers had no work?

    Bringing everyone into office is merely optics, the core problem is poor management. Marissa has got to get her problem statement right, and work from home vs work from office isn't it
    kpthottam