What GM’s layoffs reveal about the digitalization of the auto industry


While all of those perspectives are relevant, the most revealing aspect of GM’s announcement may well be what the layoffs say about broader technology trends. GM’s layoffs are not just incremental but existential, in that sense:

They are about accelerating the staffing changes mandated by the company’s aggressive transition from analog to digital products and from gasoline to electric power.

As such, the new layoffs (and associated future hirings) are likely an augury of much more disruption coming — in the auto sector, for sure, but also in firms all across the economy.

Central to GM’s announcement is, in our view, what we call the “digitalization of everything.”

By that, we mean that GM’s layoffs significantly reflect the talent and workforce strains associated with the diffusion of digital and electronic technologies into nearly every industry, business, and workplace in America.

Source: What GM’s layoffs reveal about the digitalization of the auto industry

Americans Value Critical Thinking But Choose Not To Practice It | GovExec.com


If a lack of civility in public discourse is the problem, a lack of critical thinking may be partly to blame.

recent study by the Reboot Foundation, which was founded to fund research on critical thinking and develop resources for parents and schools, concluded that while the American public claims to engage with opposing views, people don’t actually do so in practice.

Only 25% of people are willing to regularly have debates with people who disagree with them; roughly the same share says that they regularly avoid talking to people with opposing views.

It is hard to build critical-thinking muscles when they are engaged simply to confirm one’s own existing beliefs.

Source: Americans Value Critical Thinking But Choose Not To Practice It – Management Matters – Management – GovExec.com

Why The Agile Workplace Must Include AI And Humans


What should the workforce of the future look like?

Unlike today’s model, it will be made up of three distinct types of “workers”: traditional (full- and part-time), agile (gig, contract, project-based) and artificial intelligence (automation technology).

I believe, within the next few years, about 40% of a business’s workforce should consist of a mix of agile and AI workers.

Source: Why The Agile Workplace Must Include AI And Humans

Revealed: Google’s ‘two-tier’ workforce training document | The Guardian


The guide instructs Google employees on the ins and outs of interacting with its tens of thousands of temps, vendors and contractors – a class of worker known at Google as TVCs.

“Working with TVCs and Googlers is different,” the training documentation, titled the The ABCs of TVCs, explains. “Our policies exist because TVC working arrangements can carry significant risks.”

The risks Google appears to be most concerned about include standard insider threats, like leaks of proprietary information, but also – and especially – the risk of being found to be a joint employer, a legal designation which could be exceedingly costly for Google in terms of benefits.

Source: Revealed: Google’s ‘two-tier’ workforce training document | Technology | The Guardian

The science of toys: A guide for the perplexed shopper


In a world focused on test scores and where our children are under increased pressure to perform, it is important for parents and educators to remember that play is powerful because it naturally harnesses a set of principles that lead to learning.

Play, especially a type of play called playful learning in which children lead but adults support them in discovering a learning goal, seems to be an especially powerful pedagogy for learning—even in domains usually linked with direct instruction methods including literacy, numeracy, and even shape knowledge. Playful learning does this by supporting joyful interactions, an actively engaged brain, iterative thinking, and the power of social interaction.

But what do these ideas look like when you are in the store or online buying a toy?

Source: The science of toys: A guide for the perplexed shopper

Enforcing — The Second Of The Only Four Ways To Succeed As A CEO


The overall thesis of this series of four articles is that the only four ways to succeed as a CEO are to act as chief enabler, enforcer, enroller or customer experience officer. This is the final choice flowing from your overall strategic choice, which dictates your choice of culture, organization, how to operate, and the CEO’s role.

This current article will dig into what it means to be the chief enforcer.

Source: Enforcing — The Second Of The Only Four Ways To Succeed As A CEO

NASA Continues Its Reign Atop Best Places to Work in Government | GovExec.com


Among large agencies, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration led the pack for the seventh straight year, increasing 0.3 points from 80.9 last year to 81.2 in 2018.

The Health and  Human Services Department came in second, improving 0.5 points to 70.9 this year. And the Commerce Department saw a 1.1 point increase, from 69.2 in 2017 to 70.3 this year.

But the Agriculture Department saw a 6.9 point decrease in engagement, according to the Partnership’s rankings, falling to 59 this year, ahead of only the Homeland Security Department among large agencies in overall score.

Source: NASA Continues Its Reign Atop Best Places to Work in Government – Management – GovExec.com

An ant colony has memories that its individual members don’t have | Aeon Ideas


Ants use the rate at which they meet and smell other ants, or the chemicals deposited by other ants, to decide what to do next. A neuron uses the rate at which it is stimulated by other neurons to decide whether to fire. In both cases, memory arises from changes in how ants or neurons connect and stimulate each other.

It is likely that colony behavior matures because colony size changes the rates of interaction among ants. In an older, larger colony, each ant has more ants to meet than in a younger, smaller one, and the outcome is a more stable dynamic.

Source: An ant colony has memories that its individual members don’t have | Aeon Ideas

Stopping the Cybersecurity Brain Drain Calls for Outside the Box Thinking | Nextgov


The president’s new National Cyber Strategy calls for the development of a “superior cybersecurity workforce.” That might be easier said than done.

Historically, finding, nurturing and keeping skilled cybersecurity talent has been a significant challenge for government agencies.

The government has always been an attractive destination for students seeking financial aid or job skills, and the public sector has a well-earned reputation for training. That reputation could be used to create a cybersecurity National Guard.

In exchange for a year or more of cybersecurity training, students would commit to the equivalent number of years of government cybersecurity work.

Source: Stopping the Cybersecurity Brain Drain Calls for Outside the Box Thinking – Nextgov

Trust Has No Substitute | EE Times


One of my toughest judgments when I was CEO was to figure out which suppliers, distributors, managers, and a host of other categories were best for my company. There is no rulebook.

What I had to rely on was my own capability to judge who was best. You, must, of course, meet with the people involved, ask a lot of questions, check out all that’s pertinent, review what data you have, and get recommendations.

In the end it is my decision. More than anything, it is a matter of trust with the other person.

Source: Trust Has No Substitute | EE Times