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Maybe Less Productive Employees Just Need a Little Siesta Time

In an effort to boost productivity during the summer months, the city of Seoul is encouraging government workers (paywall) to take a siesta of up to an hour. This might be a good model for the country, which appears to be the most sleep-deprived of the world’s developed economies.

The most recent numbers from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the organization that crunches comparable data on the world’s developed economies, show that South Koreans sleep an average of 469 minutes (7.8 hours) a day. That’s the lowest among the 18 countries for which the OECD gathered data. The OECD average for shuteye is 502 minutes (8.4 hours). The French, who snooze the most among the rich nations, clock 530 minutes (8.8 hours) of sleep a night.

Why such a lack of sleep in Korea? Hard to say for sure, but the Korean propensity to log long work hours likely cuts into workers’ downtime. While that sounds admirable, the Korean workplace culture of rampant overtime and few vacations results in some of the worst levels of worker productivity among the advanced economies.

Reprinted with permission from Quartz. The original story can be ...

More Women Around the Globe Are Networking Over Cocktails

From Shanghai to São Paulo, Moscow to Lagos, the changing role of women in the emerging markets is causing major shifts in alcohol consumption.

According to Harvard Business Review, income growth of women in developing countries reached 8.1% last year. The Grant Thornton International Business Report confirmed that 46% of Russian senior managers are now women and Boston Consulting Group recently reported that women now officially download more content—music and films—than men. With this tech savvy and sophisticated female demographic, companies can no longer depend on cliché marketing adages for women like “shrink and pink it.” This insight is particularly salient in the new ways that professional women around the globe are using alcohol to socialize, network, and assert their independence.

How do we know? We recently ran a cross-cultural, ethnographic study of female empowerment with one of the world’s leading global alcohol and beverage brands. It specifically focused on how women go out, and ultimately how they consume cocktails and drinks. In addition to extensive research and interviews with female entrepreneurs, health, beauty and cultural experts, we also spent a significant amount of time studying a select group of women in emerging market cities ...

Should Teammates Get Equal Pay?

In 1998, the Seattle Mariners won 76 games and traded away their star hitter, Ken Griffey Jr. In 1999, they won 79 games and traded away their star pitcher, Randy Johnson. In 2000, they won 91 games and watched their remaining star, Alex Rodriguez, leave.

Having lost their three best players, the Marines should have crashed in 2001. Instead, they had the best season in franchise history, and one of the greatest ever. They won 116 out of 162 games, tying the record set nearly a century earlier by the Chicago Cubs for the single highest winning percentage in the history of major league baseball. How did the Mariners get better after losing their best players?

It may not be a coincidence that in their record-tying 2001 season, the Mariners had the highest salary equality of any team in baseball.

Research shows that in baseball teams, the higher the equality of salaries, the more games a team wins. Between 1991 and 1997, the teams with the greatest pay equality won approximately nine games more per season than the teams with the most pay imbalance. Teams with high pay inequality score fewer runs and give up more runs.

Mariners slugger Jay ...

Hillary Clinton's Lessons in Executive Diplomacy

A host of memoirs by former Obama administration Cabinet chiefs have been arriving in bookstores, offering valuable management lessons for political appointees and career civil servants. This is the third in a series on the experiences of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (Stress Test), Defense Secretary Robert Gates (Duty), Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Hard Choices), and Defense and intelligence chief Leon Panetta (Worthy Fights).

In Hard Choices, Hillary Clinton chronicles her four years as secretary of State under President Obama, in which she visited 112 countries and traveled nearly 1 million miles. Among insights for government leaders:

Building personal relationships. In Hard Choices, Clinton notes the value of her visits to numerous countries and the importance of developing relationships with foreign leaders. Both Hillary Clinton are well known for cultivating relationships. As secretary of State, Clinton continued to build on the relationships that she developed as first lady and as a New York senator earlier in her career.

Relations between nations are based on shared interests and values, but Clinton notes they are also about personal bonds. “The personal element matters more in international affairs than many would expect, for good or ill,” she writes. Clinton describes her relationship with ...

Assessing Trust in Cross-Agency Networks

“Trust but verify” was President Reagan’s mantra during the Cold War. Today, trust is a key element to creating effective cross-agency networks to get things done. But what, exactly, is trust, and how do you know what to look for?

Addressing public management challenges increasingly requires collaborative networks across a range of agencies and nongovernmental organizations. The Obama administration has designated a series of projects as cross agency priority goals and put networks in place to manage them. A lot of literature and practical experience show that a key element of success in any collaborative effort is the ability to create and sustain trust among stakeholders.

New research by a pair of European academics, Peter Oomsels and Geert Bouckaert, provides an interesting and nuanced assessment framework that can help “boundary spanners”—such as the cross-agency goal leaders at the federal level—to dissect what works in different situations and contexts.

The authors say interorganizational trust is “a very important factor for successful cooperation in networked contexts . . . Trust facilitates, solidifies and increases the performance of interorganizational cooperation in complex decision-making networks.” But what does it mean to trust?

What is Trust?

There is a wide range of definitions of trust ...