Strike Winners & Losers, Disney's ABC Decision, and Guest Benyamin Cohen

    enSeptember 19, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Collaboration and Teamwork in BusinessEffective teamwork and collaboration lead to faster market speed and better outcomes. Unconventional approaches can also help build relationships and engage constituents.

      Effective teamwork and collaboration are essential for achieving amazing outcomes in organizations. Companies that look across their teams and departments, rather than up and down the hierarchy, tend to have the fastest speed to market. Atlassian, a company that provides software solutions like Confluence, Jira, and Loom, can help maximize teamwork and productivity. Meanwhile, Pendo improves digital experiences for both customers and employees, enabling teams to build better software and deliver more value. During the podcast discussion, Kara Swisher shared an amusing anecdote about Lauren Boebert, a controversial political figure. While some may view her actions as inappropriate, others argue that they could potentially help her campaign by making her more relatable and authentic to her constituents. Ultimately, the impact on her campaign remains to be seen. In summary, the key takeaway is the importance of collaboration and effective teamwork in achieving success, as well as the potential benefits of unconventional approaches to building relationships and engaging with constituents.

    • Politics and Controversial Behavior: Lauren Boebert and Elon MuskRecent political events and interviews highlight the complexities and controversies surrounding influential figures, sparking debates about their actions and public perception.

      The recent political events surrounding Lauren Boebert and her opponents in Colorado have provided entertaining content for social media users, but the boob grabbing incident may not sit well with her core constituency. Walter Isaacson's interview about his biography of Elon Musk was a hot topic at a recent book party, with attendees sharing their opinions on Musk's controversial behavior and Isaacson's portrayal of him. Isaacson defended his approach, viewing Musk as a complex character despite his controversial actions. However, some critics argue that excusing Musk's behavior due to his wealth and innovation is problematic. Isaacson acknowledged some of the criticisms but remained committed to his interpretation of Musk as a Shakespearean character. Musk himself added fuel to the fire with a controversial tweet about George Soros just before the interview was released.

    • Musk's Complex Image: Champion of Free Speech or Silencer of Critics?Isaacson's book on Musk presents a nuanced perspective, allowing readers to form their own opinions, despite the author's critical stance. Musk's behavior is questioned, with skepticism towards his justifications for cruelty and a call for fact-checking.

      That Walter Isaacson, in his book about Elon Musk, allows readers to come to their own conclusions about Musk's behavior and motivations, despite presenting his own critical perspective. Musk, according to Isaacson, wants to be seen as both a champion of free speech and someone who silences critics. Musk's justification for his cruelty and hurtful actions towards others, as presented in the book, is excused by his childhood trauma. However, Isaacson expresses skepticism towards this narrative and calls for fact-checking and verification of certain details in the book. Furthermore, Isaacson argues that Musk's behavior is not excusable, especially given his immense success and power. In contrast, Isaacson points to Steve Case as an example of someone who has had a significant impact without being an "asshole." Ultimately, the discussion highlights the importance of factual accuracy and nuanced perspectives in biographical writing.

    • Society's selective focus on successes of influential figuresRecognize and celebrate diverse voices and experiences to avoid overlooking flaws and biases in influential figures' narratives

      Society often elevates the successes and downplays the flaws of wealthy and influential figures, particularly those in the tech industry. This was discussed in relation to Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs. Additionally, there was criticism towards Jan Wenner, co-founder of Rolling Stone Magazine, for his lack of diversity in his book featuring interviews with rock stars, and his dismissive comments regarding women and people of color. These instances highlight the importance of acknowledging and celebrating a diverse range of voices and experiences.

    • The importance of constant feedback for young professionalsRegular feedback is essential for young professionals to grow and improve, but replacing old-fashioned methods with feedforward might hinder their progress. Young professionals need constant guidance and constructive criticism to advance in their careers.

      Feedback, whether it's constructive criticism or positive reinforcement, is crucial for the growth and development of young professionals. The removal of old-fashioned feedback methods like anonymous peer comments and replacing them with feedforward might seem like a step towards less anxiety-inducing corporate lingo, but it could potentially hinder the progress of younger employees. The importance of constant feedback was emphasized by sharing personal experiences of staying late at work and receiving both positive and negative feedback from managers. Young professionals need regular watering, meaning they require constant feedback to help them grow and improve. While it's essential to be gentle and positive in the beginning, it's also important to give it to them straight as they gain experience and maturity. The absence of regular feedback, especially in a remote work setting, can be detrimental to their career advancement.

    • Labor strikes and their impact on young people's careersDespite the rise in labor strikes, the speaker expresses concerns about their potential negative effects on young people's career development and resilience. He questions the effectiveness of unions and expresses skepticism about the ongoing UAW strike against the big 3 automakers.

      The current economic climate has led to an increase in labor strikes, with workers demanding better wages and working conditions despite the lowest union membership rates in decades. The speaker expresses concerns about the potential negative effects of excessive support and protection on young people's career development and resilience. He also shares his perspective on the ongoing UAW strike against the big 3 automakers and the broader context of the labor market. Despite the popular narrative of a union resurgence, the speaker argues that unions are not working for the majority and questions their effectiveness. He also expresses skepticism about the length and outcome of the UAW strike, as negotiations are ongoing.

    • UAW vs CELANTIS: Wage Dispute with Strategic StrikesThe UAW's strategic strikes and demands for a 40% pay increase over four years contrast with CELANTIS' offer of 20%. The dispute highlights the need for fair compensation for workers and the ongoing bifurcated system in the industry.

      The ongoing labor dispute between the UAW and automakers, specifically CELANTIS, is a complex issue with significant differences in compensation demands. The UAW is currently seeking a 40% pay increase over four years, while companies like CELANTIS have offered 20%. The UAW's use of strategic stand-up strikes and targeting critical leverage points demonstrates their strategic approach to negotiations. The starting pay for UAW workers in 2008 was $19, but due to inflation and economic downturns, it has not kept pace with inflation. The UAW's demands are seen as reasonable considering the significant increase in compensation for CEOs and the lower hourly compensation rates in the auto industry compared to non-union companies like Tesla. The speaker believes the dispute will be settled within 30 days due to the UAW's strategic approach and reasonable demands. However, the larger issue at hand is the bifurcated system where some companies are worth more than others due to their non-union status, and the need for unions to remain effective in ensuring fair compensation for workers.

    • Increasing minimum wage to $25 an hour could help solve various social issuesIncreasing minimum wage to $25 an hour could improve social issues, make American auto manufacturers competitive, and reinvest in the middle class through a progressive tax structure.

      Increasing the minimum wage to $25 an hour could help solve various social issues like depression, obesity, and homelessness, without increasing the deficit. This solution would also make American automobile manufacturers more competitive as most foreign manufacturers and companies like Tesla are likely to pay similar wages. However, the current high corporate profits and low wages for workers have led to exorbitant CEO compensation. To address this issue, a progressive tax structure with higher taxes for millionaires and billionaires could help reinvest in the middle class and innovation.

    • SAG-AFTRA Strike May End as Studios Realize Netflix Outmaneuvered ThemStudios may concede to SAG-AFTRA's demands following economic evidence and high-profile delays, ending the strike within weeks.

      The ongoing SAG-AFTRA rider strike may end soon as the studios have realized they've been outmaneuvered by Netflix, and the majority of actors, who make up the vast majority of SAG-AFTRA members, have little leverage due to their low earnings and high numbers. The economic impact of raising minimum wages for lower-income households, as seen in states like Washington, California, and New York, has been found to stimulate the economy rather than harm it. Meanwhile, Bill Maher and Drew Barrymore's decisions to delay their show returns have effectively ended the strike, and the negotiations are expected to conclude within the next few weeks. The studios, excluding Netflix, have woken up to the fact that they've been playing a losing hand and are now prepared to make concessions. The writers, who are the most influential voices in the industry, have also expressed their frustration with the way the strike has been handled.

    • Media Landscape Shifts: Advertisers Focus on Streaming and Social MediaAdvertisers shift budgets towards streaming and social media platforms to reach younger demographics, with TikTok attracting more viewers than traditional cable and streaming. California lawmakers propose legislation to provide unemployment benefits to striking workers, potentially impacting ongoing labor disputes in industries undergoing change.

      The media landscape is evolving rapidly, with companies like Disney exploring potential sales of their linear TV businesses as streaming platforms and social media continue to gain popularity among audiences, particularly younger demographics. This shift is driven by the fact that advertisers are increasingly focusing their budgets on reaching consumers on these newer platforms, where they can find the coveted demographic of young consumers. For instance, TikTok now attracts more viewers, especially younger ones, than traditional cable and streaming combined. Meanwhile, California lawmakers' proposed legislation could impact ongoing labor disputes, potentially providing unemployment benefits to striking workers. This legislation, if enacted, could provide a safety net for workers in industries undergoing significant change, such as media and entertainment. Additionally, organizations and teams that prioritize modern work practices, focusing on collaboration and effective communication, are more likely to thrive in this rapidly changing landscape.

    • Media companies divesting cable assetsMedia companies like Time Warner, Viacom, and Disney are considering selling their cable assets to private equity firms for potential stock price increases and cost savings. Potential buyers include Nexstar, and the sales could impact media brands and partnerships.

      Media companies like Time Warner, Viacom, and Disney, which have been relying heavily on their cable assets, are considering divesting them due to declining revenues. These companies, such as Disney with its parks, Disney+, and other growth initiatives, could see a potential increase in stock prices if they sell their cable assets. Private equity firms are seen as potential buyers, with Nexstar being a notable mention. These firms plan to adopt cost-cutting measures and consolidate operations to make substantial profits from these still-profitable but declining businesses. Chris Cuomo, a talented anchor at NewsNation, is one notable figure who could potentially benefit from such a shift. Despite the potential changes, there is uncertainty about how the sale of cable assets could impact companies' media brands and existing partnerships, such as Disney's ties to Hulu and FX.

    • Consolidating declining media assets for cash flowInvesting in consolidating declining media assets for cash flow could be a successful strategy, allowing for a private equity mindset and limiting declines while generating substantial revenue.

      Consolidating declining but profitable media assets under one corporate structure and managing them for cash flow, rather than trying to revive their growth, could be a successful strategy for investors. This is due to the economic stress and structural decline experienced by many media companies leading to talent departures and instability. The speaker suggests that ViacomCBS could be a likely candidate for this approach, given its significant decline in value over the past five years. Additionally, the speaker expresses interest in being involved in such a business venture. The consolidation of these assets would allow for a private equity mindset and potentially limit declines while generating substantial revenue. This trend may impact companies like CBS, ABC, and possibly NBC, as the media landscape continues to evolve.

    • Maintaining the Legacy of Albert Einstein on Social MediaSocial media platforms are used to share relatable and relevant content about historical figures like Albert Einstein, emphasizing not just their scientific achievements but also their humanitarian values, combating disinformation, and inspiring empathy and compassion.

      The social media presence of historical figures like Albert Einstein continues to be important in 2023, especially for reaching younger generations. Ben Finio, who runs Einstein's official Twitter account, explained that it's not just about his scientific achievements but also his humanitarian values, which are more relevant than ever in today's world. Finio uses the platform to share articles that show how Einstein's theories have impacted our daily lives, such as GPS technology. He also emphasized the importance of combating disinformation, which Einstein himself faced during his time. Finio shared a memorable encounter with Ivanka Trump over a misquoted Einstein quote and highlighted how propaganda and fake news have been dangerous threats for a long time. By sharing relatable and relevant content, Finio aims to keep Einstein's legacy alive and inspire empathy and compassion in today's society.

    • Einstein: More Than a Brilliant ScientistEinstein's fame extended beyond science, inspiring generations through his image, quotes, and values of solitude, humor, and simplicity.

      Albert Einstein was more than just a brilliant scientist; he was a relatable and authentic celebrity who used his fame for good. Despite common misconceptions, Einstein was approachable and compassionate, and his genius extended beyond his groundbreaking discoveries. He valued solitude, humor, and simplicity, and these practices have inspired many to adopt an "Einstein aesthetic" in their own lives. Posthumously, Einstein's legacy continues to thrive as a global brand, inspiring generations through his image, quotes, and the many ways his discoveries have shaped modern science and culture.

    • Einstein's Enduring Influence and Controversial LegacyEinstein's charisma and scientific brilliance made him a wealthy dead celebrity, with his estate bringing in billions. Despite regrets over his role in creating the atomic bomb, his brain is preserved and continues to inspire.

      Albert Einstein, despite being a brilliant scientist, understood the power of celebrity and would have thrived in today's social media age. His estate, handled by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has brought in billions of dollars through his copyrights and royalties, making him one of the highest-earning dead celebrities. Einstein's charisma and playful personality made him a mythical figure, striking at the moment when modern media was in full swing. His most significant regret was the use of his e=mc² equation in creating the atomic bomb. A lesser-known fact is that the pathologist who performed Einstein's autopsy in 1955 stole his brain, which was later discovered and is now preserved in various mason jars. Einstein's brain, the last physical vestige of the great scientist, continues to fascinate and inspire.

    • A profound moment with Albert Einstein's brain and its impact on the speaker's bookThe speaker shares their admiration for Albert Einstein, discusses the importance of making the most of vacations, and makes a prediction about the ongoing UAW strike

      The experience of holding Albert Einstein's brain was a profoundly inspiring moment for the speaker during the writing of a book about Einstein's impact on modern life. The book, titled "The Einstein Effect," is a fun and interesting read, and can be found on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook under the name "Albert Einstein." During the conversation, the speaker also mentioned their admiration for Albert Einstein and shared a personal story about their youngest son dressing up as Einstein for Halloween. They also discussed the importance of making the most of vacations by using Viator to book guided tours, activities, and excursions. Another topic touched upon was the ongoing UAW strike and the speaker's prediction that it would be resolved within the next 30 days. They also expressed their belief that the unions involved were in danger of losing their jobs and the potential collapse of the union if they didn't come to an agreement soon. The speaker acknowledged that unions can have a sell-by date and that it's important to have an honest conversation about their impact. Overall, the conversation covered a range of topics including books, travel, and labor unions, and provided some interesting insights and predictions.

    • Union issues and the American working classThe current union system isn't effectively helping the average American worker, with concerns of corruption and disorganization. A suggested minimum wage of $25 as a starting point for negotiations.

      While the intentions of unions are noble, their current construct is not effectively helping the American working class. The speaker, who has experience with unionized public companies, shares concerns about corruption and disorganization within unions. They suggest a minimum wage of $25 as a base line, and hope that unions can then negotiate for more. However, the current system is not working for the average American worker. Despite criticisms, the speaker expresses admiration for Representative Lauren Boebert, acknowledging her ability to provoke strong reactions. The show concludes with a reminder to submit questions for the podcast and thanks to the production team. Atlassian is also thanked for their sponsorship and promoting "maximum flow" across teams through their software.

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    Adjustments in the Workplace


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of Americans working remotely more than doubled from around 30 percent to 60 percent in March 2020, and organizations began embracing new collaboration platforms such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom as part of the adjustment process as a result of this increase. 


    At the start of 2020, few people would be familiar with the names of even one of these tools, much alone all of them. Several of us are now working remotely as a consequence of COVID-19, and Zoom has been so widely used that it has become a verb: to "Zoom" means to communicate using video conferencing technology.


    When businesses were forced to close and employees were required to wear masks, just a few businesses were allowed to continue operations as usual. The vast majority of people were entirely unprepared for the enormous changes that were about to take place in their lives. When it came to internal communication, they continued to rely on email as well as on typical corporate processes and attitudes.


    A New Age of Productivity


    To cope with COVID-19’s repercussions on corporate organizations, employers, human resource managers, and consultants were obliged to think creatively about how they might implement a remote work strategy. Businesses had an urgent need to alter these barriers in dealing with the international economic instability caused by the virus.


    If a shift to a new system is the path moving forward, what possible methods can businesses use to better utilize the tools that we currently have in this day and age?


    Phil Simon suggests that companies should start embracing the Hub-Spoke model of collaboration. This model is a technique of distribution wherein a centralized "hub" operates. From the hub, products are sent outward to smaller groups known as spokes for further storage and delivery.


    With this model, it aims to help firms significantly increase staff productivity, simplify current business procedures, and provide the basis for subsequent machine-learning and artificial intelligence advances.


    The hub may be thought of as a meta-organization that functions in parallel to established innovation laboratories. Employees at the innovation-hub can connect informally over the web and work freely on innovation to bolster the firm's performance.


    Out with the Old, In the New?


    Efficiency should not be dependent on one factor alone. While the hub-spokes model creates a more systematic approach in revamping business models to fit the current situation, it is best to have it hand-in-hand with tried and tested organizational techniques.


    By adopting particular initiatives and establishing a culture that supports their virtual workforce, executives may boost their teams' performance output and engagement. They must build and sustain a culture of trust, as well as modernize leadership communication methods and procedures in order to properly educate virtual personnel. 


    Additionally, team members must be encouraged to share leadership. Finally, executives must establish and conduct frequent alignment checks to ensure that virtual workers adhere to the organization's cultural values, including their commitment to its goals.


    All of these procedures begin with the realization that team formation will be significantly different with remote members, demanding the creation of new leadership strategies, communication routines, and tools.


    Final Thoughts


    In a world where social distancing and remote work has become the new normal, it is now more important than ever to make good use of the current technologies we have to be just as productive as before the pandemic hit the globe.In Simon’s concluding statements, he deems it important that for a collaborative system to work, employees must be willing to commit to the shift fully. Problems will surely arise when employees refuse to use certain technologies because they either find it too complicated or too time-consuming to actually learn new things instead of going the more traditional route of working.


    The willingness to change is always the first step towards growth. Just as the world has changed, we must also be willing to adapt to this change. Resistance will always be a hindrance to progress, just as the refusal to learn denies a person the chance to be more efficient and productive.


    It is part of TARTLE’s vision to create a world where knowledge is shared and problems are solved through a collective and collaborative effort. We believe that teamwork is power, and collaboration is the key to progress. The power is back in your hands.


    What’s your data worth? www.tartle.co


    TCAST is brought to you by TARTLE. A global personal data marketplace that allows users to sell their personal information anonymously when they want to, while allowing buyers to access clean ready to analyze data sets on digital identities from all across the globe.


    The show is hosted by Co-Founder and Source Data Pioneer Alexander McCaig and Head of Conscious Marketing Jason Rigby.


    What's your data worth?


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