Helping the Chronically Overworked Find Life Balance

Marissa Mayer’s Quest To Change Yahoo’s Culture

Chapter 10: Embrace People First Part 7

If you have been reading Busting Your Corporate Idol, you might expect me to be against Marissa Mayer’s decision to end telecommuting.  I’m not, and here’s why: I expect a good business leader to make strategic decisions that are best for the business, and not to consider a larger social movement or the impact on individuals. It’s the reality of the corporate world that strategies change, and benefits change even faster. My advice is to embrace reality, and plan your life accordingly.

From her first weeks at Yahoo, Meyer has worked to change the culture, to become a place where people work with energy to create synergy for innovation.  One part of the strategy was free lunches, to encourage employees to stay in the office. (See this post for a discussion of the downside of the free lunch culture.)

At the same time, Mayer has made no secret that she wants to upgrade the talent at Yahoo. In September, the Business Insider reported that Mayer was reviewing every hire at Yahoo to make sure high level talent was coming in. An internal source at Yahoo explained that

“one of Yahoo’s biggest problems over the past couple years has been “B-players” hiring “C-players” who were not “fired up to come to work” and were “tolerated too long.  I mean nobody gave a s— to come to Yahoo.”

So from a company perspective, anyone who leaves because of the telecommuting ban is another chance to hire an A player. And this policy change is a shot across the bow to send a message that anyone can be replaced; sacred cows of the old order will not be tolerated.

In the next post, I’ll explain why busting sacred cows at Yahoo offers opportunities for a better life.

And in the post after I’ll offer some perspective for people who feel let down by Marissa Mayer.

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  1. […] busted a sacred cow when it discontinued it’s current work from home policy. (See the last post for more.) Frankly, compared to IBM’s changes to its pension program in the early 90’s, this is small […]