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  The Four Day Week: Lessons Learned From Taking Fridays Off
by Rebecca Ryan - Feb, 2010
In January 2010, we shrank our work week from five days to four, giving everyone Fridays off. The idea was born of economic necessity; Fridays off seemed like a way to give something back to our teammates in exchange for the salary sacrifices they were willing to make. Our teammates loved it! On Fridays they sleep late, have lunch with friends, start long weekends with their loved ones, and pursue their hobbies. It’s been a...
  Three Ways to Tame Your Email (and get back in the zone)
by Rebecca Ryan - Feb, 2010
Since so much email is poorly contructed, it becomes our job as recipients to distill the meaning of the email. (Am I the only person who’s annoyed that anyone can send me an email, and then it’s my job to figure out what the hell they want?) Email’s not going away, so we may as well learn to domesticate it, so that it purrs like a kitten in our lap. Here are three ideas to help you tame your interoffice email. 1. Use...
  Five Ways to Hack Your Work So You Can Have a Life
by Rebecca Ryan - Jan, 2010
Hack #1: Curb your (email) enthusiasm. No one gets promoted for the number of emails they send. In the “time waster” category, email earns top honors. (Facebook is close behind.) Engineers at Intel studied the impact of email interruptions and found they cost over a billion dollars a year. It’s time to show your email who’s boss: • In your email preferences, disable notifications that bounce or chirp. Here’s how to d...
  17 Questions - Are Employees Depressed?
by Rebecca Ryan - Dec, 2009
“He who runs behind truck is exhausted, he who runs in front of truck is tired.” - Anonymous The Great Recession has two victims: employees who have been laid-off and are chasing the truck (a job), and employees who still have their jobs and are pumpin’ their legs like crazy, trying to stay ahead of it. According to Dave Ulrich, HR guru and author of the classic text, Human Resource Champions, depression sets in when a...
  Extra Effort Required To Attract and Retain 25-34 Year Olds: A Tale of Ten Cities
by Rebecca Ryan - Dec, 2009
A study published for the International Regions Benchmarking Consortium has once again underscored the urgency for cities to develop a solid talent strategy. The study confirms a great deal of existing research - the people most likely to migrate are young, single, and college-educated. 25-34 year olds have graduated and have a good idea where their career is going, but haven’t yet formed deep roots in a community. This is...
  Nine Tips to Reach the Next Gen with Email
by Rebecca Ryan - Sep, 2009
Even if you’ve embraced Twitter and Facebook, email is still a potent tool to reach young professionals. Here are 9 tips to get it right. 1. Emails that are sent on Mondays have the highest open and click-through rates, followed by Tuesdays. The later on in the week you send your email, the lower the open rates. 2. Smaller email lists (under 1,000 recipients) get the best open rates. If you’ve got more than 1,000 on you...
  Catching People at Their Best
by Rebecca Ryan - Jan, 2009
I once got a lovely email from one of my staff members. Her son was sick, and she chose to work from home so that she could look after him. In her email, she thanked me for 'birthing' NGC and making it the kind of place where people can do their work from anywhere. Felt good. Really good. When I saw her that morning, I acknowledged receiving her note. She said, "You thank us all the time, and it occured to me that you prob...
  They Asked if They Could Have 5 Minutes...
by Rebecca Ryan - Jan, 2009
It seemed nonchalant. One of the YPs in the audience came up to me after my presentation and asked, "Could we just have a couple minutes of your time? We'd like to talk to you about something." It had that cryptic, keep-this-on-the-DL tone to it. I was intrigued. We sat down. There were six of them, elbows on the table, learning in like the eager, committed YPs they are. Then it started. "In the last two years, half...
  Letting the Cards Decide
by Rebecca Ryan - Jan, 2009
I was on a flight from Madison to Washington D.C. recently. It’s an hour and forty minute flight, and I’d planned to get some work done…right after I finished my game of solitaire on my iPod. You know how this goes… One game became two. Then three. Then I started negotiating, “If I go in the hole (negative balance), I’ll stop.” When I was down 11 bucks, I renegotiated again. “I’ll stop after I win a game,” I told myself. Th...
  Vote for the Arts
by Rebecca Ryan - Apr, 2004
Last month, I talked about the connection between Noodling and Doodling, that human development is economic development. This week I want to make the case for the arts and the important role they play in the life and death of cities. This year, I have the privilege of helping Milwaukee’s United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) raise over nine million. Piece of cake. Why? Because in Milwaukee, young professionals, entrepreneurs,...
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