Sunday, March 31, 2013

Babycenter roundup:Week of March 31st

I have been lazy and haven't posted links to several articles I wrote for Babycenter over the last few weeks. Here is a run down (I do this for my own archival purposes too).

News: Violence, video games, and all the voices

An article on a new study about video game violence and actual violence in children.

News: Should children be forced to exercise?

A reaction piece to an article detailing the trend of parents forcing children to exercise.

Personal: When are you having another?

Lisa gave me the idea for this article. I think you can figure out the topic.

News: Do chores together, stay together?

Reaction article on a study that finds couples that split the same task have better marriages.

Personal: From crib to toddler bed...

Personal story about me converting Ben's crib into a toddler bed and getting the safety gate up around the stairs.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Babycenter: Concussions on my mind

( @babycenter #football #concussions )

Babycenter published my most recent article about sports related concussions. I managed to slip in a shout out to my Uncle Vince Lombardi in the process. Check it out...

Babycenter: Concussions on my mind

Happy Birthday Ben!

( #BabyLombardi )

While I typically keep my son off of this blog, I wanted to wish him a happy birthday. I can't believe it has been a year!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Babycenter: Do you pay the babysitter when you cancel?

( @babycenter #babysitter )

Babycenter published another post I wrote. This time I tackle the ethics of canceling last minute on the sitter and not paying.

Babycenter: Should you pay the sitter when you cancel?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Telecommuting: After Yahoo's decision is it on the decline?

( @yahoo #telecommuting )

Image Credit: MadPrime

A few years ago I wrote a post about the benefits of telecommuting for both employers and employees. Since that time, things have changed for me; I don't work from home very much. My employer hasn't changed anything, in fact, they are even more comfortable with it. I made some life changes that required me to be closer to my office. That being said, I really appreciate the flexibility of remote work and the culture it has created.

If I need to work different hours because of my kid, nobody is complaining if I sign on at home and knock some stuff out when the little guy is asleep. This flexibility allows me to crush deadlines (keeping the bosses happy) and take care of my family (keeping me happy). This is why I was initially shocked to hear that Yahoo and then Best Buy are ending their work from home programs. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has drawn the ire of many working mothers first by coming back to work soon after giving birth and now eliminating remote work.

People are worried that this will become a trend. It won't. Both Yahoo and Best Buy are currently struggling. Something needs to change, and Mayer's "all hands on deck" mentality may be the short term solution that the company needs to get better footing. Most companies are not as agile as Silicon Valley tech firms... telecommuting strategies take time and money. Every trend document I read points to companies investing heavily in remote tools and collaborative technologies in order to reduce real estate costs and pull from a greater talent pool.

Many companies have 3-5 year plans to roll out both technology and HR policies at the same time they reduce their physical footprints to maximize cost savings. Yahoo and Best Buy's policy change will probably do little to impact these long-term decisions. I would also like to point out that considering both companies market positions, signaling the end of a telecommuting program could now be viewed as a sign of desperation and weakness on the street.

Sometimes a company needs to make a major cultural change, which should start with staff. Think about where Mayer comes from. Google is constantly viewed as a great place to work: they give you free food, their campus is awesome, they do your laundry, they have pods where you can take a nap...

Google does all of this awesome stuff because they don't want you to leave the building. They take care of all of the stuff you worry about that distracts you from your job so you keep doing more work for them. It is a brilliant strategy when you employ programmers and other workers who do better in teams and clusters. Will it work for every business model? Probably not.

Working from home isn't going to go anywhere, but Yahoo may go away if Marrisa Mayer can't turn the ship around. Give her some time to see if the changes she is making will work or fail. Most companies don't have the ability to offer the perks both Google and Yahoo (Mayer has been making many Google-like changes on Yahoo's main campus) and they also don't have the unique real estate overhead, so I don't think the benefit of telecommuting is going to disappear for normal healthy organizations any times soon.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The next Pope

( #Pope #Catholics )

Image Credit: Catholic Church of England

The conclave of Catholic Cardinals (say that three times fast) is in the process of picking out the next Pope. Taking my personal feelings about organized religion aside, these Cardinals have the opportunity to make legitimate changes that will improve the survival of the organization. With the departure of Pope Benedict XVI, the church should make a clear statement by picking someone youngish and accessible to mobilize the world's remaining Catholics.

The church needs a dynamic leader who is willing to support thoughtful and forward-thinking change within the organization. I think the abrupt departure of Benedict is telling. I am expecting some unflattering news to emerge about the former Pope within 5 years. The church's reaction to the sex abuse scandals was horrid. The business-as-usual approach will continue to eat away at the organization's more moderate members until only extremists are left.

Choosing old, out of touch, sickly old men is a mistake. It will be interesting to see if the church has learned from their bad decisions, especially their most recent ones.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Babycenter: Hooters looking for women...customers?

( @babycenter @hooters )

Image Credit: Bem Devessa

Babycenter just published an article I wrote about Hooters' attempts at getting more women in the restaurant to eat. Check it out (it is pretty funny).

Babycenter: Hooters hoping to attract more female...customers?

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Babycenter: Baby's first birthday

( @babycenter )

This one is a little late, but Babycenter published an article I came up with on Baby's first birthday. Lots of good comments and feedback.

Check it out: Time to Party?

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Babycenter: Crazy expensive stroller gets owned...Lombardi style

( @babycenter )

Babycenter posted an article I had a little too much fun with. It seems Aston Martin is releasing a $3000 stroller lined with suede. I go off... this is my most "out there" post so far.

Babycenter: Aston Martin reveals insanely expensive stroller