Why Employees At Apple And Google Are More Productive

Direction: After a short greeting, read the following article out loud with your tutor. Go over highlighted vocab/expression to make sure you understand everything. 

[Business ★★★★] Why Employees At Apple And Google Are More Productive

PHOTO: FLICKR USER ROGER SCHULTZ

(P1) Companies like Apple, Netflix, Google, and Dell are 40% more productive than the average company, according to research from the leadership consulting firm Bain & Company. You might think that it’s because these companies attract top-tier employees–high performers who are naturally gifted at productivity–but that’s not the case, says Bain & Company partner Michael Mankins.

(P2) “Our research found that these companies have 16% star players, while other companies have 15%,” he says. “They start with about the same mix of star players, but they are able to produce dramatically more output.”

(P3) It’s what they do with these high performers. Executives from large companies across 12 industry sectors worldwide said three components of human capital impact productivity more than anything else: time, talent, and energy. And the top quartile organized its business processes in a way that they’re 40% more productive than the rest and consequently have profit margins that are 30%-50% higher than industry averages.

(P4) They get more done by 10 a.m. Thursday morning than the others do in a week, but they don’t stop working,” says Mankins. “This difference compounds every year; over a decade, they can produce 30 times more than the rest, with the same number of employees.”

(P5) Mankins explores their methods and mindsets in his new book TIME | TALENT | ENERGY: Overcome Organizational Drag and Unleash Your Team’s Productive Power. Here’s what he found:

GROUPING A PLAYERS
(P6) The average company follows a method of unintentional egalitarianism, spreading star talent across all of the roles, says Mankins. Companies like Google and Apple, however, follow an intentionally nonegalitarian method. “They select a handful of roles that are business critical, affecting the success of the company’s strategy and execution, and they fill 95% of these roles with A-level quality,” says Mankins. “The rest of the roles have fewer star players.”

(P7) An example of how this can play out is Apple and Microsoft in early 2000s, says Mankins. “It took 600 Apple engineers fewer than two years to develop, debug, and deploy iOS 10,” he says. “Contrast that with 10,000 engineers at Microsoft that took more than five years to develop, debut, and ultimately retract Vista. The difference is in the way these companies chose to construct their teams.”

(P8) Apple used all-star teams because iOS 10 was a mission critical initiative. In addition, rewards were applied to team performance; no one person on the team could receive an exceptional performance appraisal unless the entire team did. On the other hand, Microsoft used a stacked ranking where 20% of every team got an exceptional review, and compensation was entirely based on individual performance. Microsoft eventually abolished stacked ranking, says Mankins.

(P9) “For every member of the team that is not a star player, productivity declines,” he says. “If 100% of the team is star players, productivity is extremely high.”

ELIMINATING ORGANIZATIONAL DRAG
(P10) The average company loses more than 25% of its productive power to organizational drag, processes that waste time and prevent people from getting things done, says Mankins. This often happens as a company grows, as the tendency is to put processes in place to replace judgment. Research published in Harvard Business Review found that organizational drag costs the economy more than $3 trillion each year in lost output.

(P11) The most common processes relate to expense management, says Mankins. “At most companies, there are spending limits and audits, and employees are tracked,” he says. “At Netflix, however, there is no expense policy. The only policy is, ‘Act in the best interest of Netflix.’ The company is telling employees, ‘We assume you are not here to rip off the company, and we’re not going to put in place processes that consume human capital, waste time, and zap energy.’ They tell employees to assume their best judgment, and they can be more productive if they’re not held back.”

INSPIRING LEADERS
(P12) An engaged employee is 44% more productive than a satisfied worker, but an employee who feels inspired at work is nearly 125% more productive than a satisfied one, says Mankins. The companies that inspire more employees perform better than the rest.

(P13) “We’ve been taught that you’re either a General Patton and can inspire others or you’re not, but this is not true,” he says. “Inspirational leadership can be taught. Companies that recognize that and invest in making it happen create meaningful impact on the productivity of their company.”

(P14) Dell Technologies recognized the productivity difference between inspired and average teams, says Mankins. “Sales teams led by an inspiring leader are 6% more productive than those that have an average leader. If you extrapolate that 6% it accounts for an extra $1 billion in annual revenue. Consider what [poor leadership] is costing your company.”

(P15) Individual talent is great, but it can’t turn companies into stars, Mankins says. “We could try everything we want to emulate the habits of highly effective individuals, but it doesn’t matter what we do individually if it runs counter to how an organization gets work done,” says Mankins. “Top-performing companies focus on collective instead of individual.”

WORDS: 839

SOURCE: https://www.fastcompany.com/3068771/work-smart/how-employees-at-apple-and-google-are-more-productive

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. What are some things that the high-performing companies are doing differently from the average?
  3. Does your company/organization have management policies or processes that are meant to encourage more productivity? How effective is it?
  4. Explain the time when you were feeling very productive. What were you doing, and what are some of the components that contributed to high productivity? Share your thoughts with your Cambly tutor!

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Week122

[People ★] Prince Harry in Africa

[World News ★] Putin Friend to the USA

[Language & Science ★★] Language barriers holding back global science

[Business ★★] Ford Kills $1.6B Mexico Plant, Cites, but Doesn’t Credit, Trump

[Culture ★★] Chinese New Year

[Technology & Health ★★★] IBM Working on Bot to Help Elderly Age at Home

[Sports ★★★] After Bizarre Scene, Rwandan Soccer Bans Witchcraft

[Science ★★★] White Rainbows Frequent Only 2 Places in the World

[World News ★★★★] Woman busted smuggling teen refugee inside suitcase

[Travel ★★★★] The 10 Rules of Packing

The 10 Rules of Packing

[Travel ★★★★]

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(P1) When you’ve spent more than a decade on the road, you get asked some pretty interesting questions. The one query I get most, though, is about packing: what to take, what to leave, where to put it. I’ve taken a boatload of trips, but every time I get back, I know I could have gone even lighter. Let’s save you some trouble and start with the basics of my lessons learned.

The 10 Rules of Packing

  1. The Golden Rule: Take half of the clothes you were planning to bring and twice the money. I cannot stress how true this is.
  1. Take only what you can fit in a carry on. We’ve all lost luggage before, and it’s a pain. But when it’s 3 degrees in Poland and you’re rocking those horrible sweats you insist on wearing on long flights, hearing “as soon as we find your bag, we’ll send it to you” can really put a damper on your first day. And, no offense to the Polish, but having to buy an entire wardrobe in Warsaw might not be exactly how you want to spend your travel pennies. This also means you’ll have luggage with wheels, which is worth its weight in gold.
  1. If you simply must check luggage, ask them to put a “Fragile” sticker on it, which helps ensure your bags will be put on top of the pile and be first off the plane. Also, yours is not the only black suitcase, so slap a sticker or red ribbon on it — anything that will help you pick it out in the crowd. Think airport security is scary these days? Try making it through customs with someone else’s bag.
  1. Mix and match. Bring three shirts and three “bottoms.” That’s 9 outfits.
  1. Books are sexy. So are vinyl records. But save yourself the extra pounds and fill your Kindle with every book/country guide you need and stick to your iPod.
  1. Don’t be a diva. If you’re the type who has to travel with your own hair dryer (and won’t use the hotel’s), then I might suggest a weekend in the Smokies over the Alps.
  1. Jackets and sweaters take up a lot of precious bag space and weigh you down. Unless you’re going to Russia in winter, layers work just as well.
  1. If you can bear it, stay away from jeans. This is huge and I should have moved it up to number 2. They absorb dirt (and odors), are bulky and take days to air dry. Cotton and khaki are the way to go.
  1. If it’s important and can’t fit into your daypack, leave it at home. Stuff gets stolen no matter where you go. As big as a pain as it is, I am constantly carrying my computer, cameras, etc. on my back and in crowded places, as ridiculous as it looks, in front of me.
  2. Every country I’ve ever visited sells soap, shampoo, socks, and t-shirts. I.e. What you forget, you can buy.

(P2) One last thing: those plastic gardening shoes that somehow made it into the acceptable mainstream of fashion footwear? Do your country a favor and don’t take them.

WORDS: 532

SOURCE: http://intelligenttravel.nationalgeographic.com/2012/02/24/the-10-rules-of-packing/

VOCABULARY: query, boatload, golden rule, damper, diva, mainstream

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Which of these travel tips do you currently do when packing your suitcase?
  3. Which of these travel tips will you start to do the next time you travel? Why?
  4. Do you have any travel tips to share?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. The author of the article states that the number one thing to remember when packing is to pack fewer clothes and take more money. (T or F)
  2. If you have to check in a suitcase, ask for a ___________________ so it is loaded on the top and will be one of the first pieces of luggage unloaded.
  3. The author suggests to wear _________________ of clothes instead of taking heavy and bulky coats.
  4. What types of pants does the author suggest to take?
  5. When it comes to shoes, the author suggests not taking those so-called fashionable ______________________.

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • rocking those horrible sweats (#2)
  • spend your travel pennies (#2)
  • worth its weight in gold (#2)
  • mix and match (#4)
  • if you can bear it (#8)

Cambly Practice ButtonImage source: by Photo: Cyndi DiMicco/My Shot http://intelligenttravel.nationalgeographic.com/2012/02/24/the-10-rules-of-packing/

Woman busted smuggling teen refugee inside suitcase

[World News ★★★★]

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(P1) A young woman has been caught trying to smuggle a teenage African migrant hidden in her suitcase into Spanish territory.

(P2) Authorities stopped the 22-year old woman last week at a border crossing into Ceuta, one of two Spanish enclaves in North Africa, from neighboring Morocco.

(P3) A 19-year old migrant from Gabon was found concealed inside. The man was immediately offered medical attention due to the lack of oxygen inside the compact travel bag, Spain’s Civil Guard said in a statement.

(P4) Border control had become suspicious of the woman after they noticed she was carrying her luggage on top of a trolley, authorities added.

(P5) Spanish officials said the woman showed an “evasive attitude while going through the established controls and nervousness” while speaking to agents.

(P6) Ceuta along with the province of Melilla to the east, are Europe’s only land borders in Africa. Both enclaves have long been popular transit points for hundreds of sub-Saharan African migrants trying to cross the sea at the narrow point south of Spain.

(P7) This creative but dangerous method of concealment is one of several desperate approaches to illegal smuggling that the Spanish Civil Guard has faced in the past week on the Ceuta border.

(P8) Two migrants, a man and a woman from Guinea, were also rescued Monday after authorities discovered them hidden inside the dashboard and the backseat of a car, according to the Spanish Civil Guard.

(P9) The migrants were 20 and 24 years old, according to officials. The Moroccan man driving the vehicle, a Volkswagen, Golf, was arrested. The car had been stolen in Barcelona in 2015 and had fake Moroccan plates and registration documents, the statement added.

(P10) Meanwhile, at least 800 African migrants tried to storm a border fence into Ceuta from Morocco on New Year’s Day, according to the Spanish and Moroccan governments, Reuters reported.

(P11) Most of the migrants were prevented from entering Spanish territory. A handful of migrants scaled the six-meter high barbed wire fence, but were eventually helped down by cranes, Reuters reported. Dozens of Moroccan security forces were injured in the incident, along with five Spanish police officers.

WORDS: 348

SOURCE: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/03/europe/ceuta-morocco-refugee-suitcase/index.html

VOCABULARY: enclaves, trolley, evasive, dashboard, scaled, cranes

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. In your opinion, why do you think people go to extreme measures to migrate to another country illegally?
  3. Describe what you think it would be like concealed in a suitcase.
  4. Do you think it would be worth risking your life to be smuggled into another country? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. The young man who was concealed in the suitcase was given medical attention because he was unconscious. (T or F)
  2. The authorities at the border, where the woman was trying to cross, notice irregular behavior from the woman because of the suitcases on the ____________.
  3. A male and female from __________ were saved from a _____________ car. They were hidden in the ____________ and ______________.
  4. What’s the name of the city where 800 or maybe more people tried physically enter from Morocco?
  5. How many security guards were injured in the attempt to illegally cross over into Ceuta?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • while going through the established controls (P5)
  • had fake Moroccan plates (P9)
  • tried to storm a border fence (P10)
  • dozens of Moroccan security guards (P11)

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Image source: Spanish Civil Guard http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/03/europe/ceuta-morocco-refugee-suitcase/index.html

White Rainbows Frequent Only 2 Places in the World

[Science ★★★]

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(P1) Waterfalls are among the most reliable places to catch a rainbow, but only two on the planet offers up a regular display of its close cousin, the moonbow: Cumberland Falls in Kentucky and Victoria Falls on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border. Also called a white rainbow, a moonbow appears when moonlight (which is sunlight reflected off the moon) in the days just before, during, and after a full moon hits the mist generated by the falls. Because we can’t see colors well in low light, a moonbow appears white, reports BBC Travel, though photographers can use long exposures to capture its actual colors. Moonbows are occasionally, but not regularly, seen elsewhere in the world, including at Yosemite Falls in California.

(P2) What makes Cumberland Falls and Victoria Falls so unique is that they boast just the right amount of splash along a wide enough (rather than deep and narrow) gorge so that moonlight can reach down and across the mist. CNN notes that because sunlight is much stronger than moonlight, moonbows are rainbow’s fainter cousin. They’re temperamental in other ways: Cloudy nights can prevent the bow from forming, and Niagara Falls on the US-Canada border has lost its moonbow thanks to light pollution. Bustle reports on one photographer who in November caught a similar fogbow, which forms in the fog, arching over a solitary tree in Scotland; it went viral on Instagram and Twitter.

WORDS: 231

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/236138/white-rainbows-frequent-only-2-places-in-the-world.html

VOCABULARY: mist, boast, splash, gorge, fainter, temperamental,  arching

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Have you ever seen a moonbow? If yes, describe it. If not, would you like to see one? Why or why not?
  3. Are there any beautiful waterfalls in your country? If so, where?
  4. Is light pollution a problem in the city or town you live in? If yes, how can the light pollution be reduced?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Where is one of the most dependable places to see a rainbow?
  2. The moonbow is paler than a rainbow and appears _________ in color.
  3. Who can catch the true colors of a moonbow?
  4. Which is more powerful, sunlight or moonlight?
  5. What was captured in Scotland that went viral on social media?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • catch a rainbow (P1)
  • offer up (P1)
  • which is sunlight reflected off the moon (P1)
  • across the mist (P2)
  • caught a similar fogbow (P2)

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Image source: by Ian Glendinning via AP http://www.newser.com/story/236138/white-rainbows-frequent-only-2-places-in-the-world.html

After Bizarre Scene, Rwandan Soccer Bans Witchcraft

[Sports ★★★]

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(P1) Rwandan soccer officials have added a new rule to the game: no witchcraft. The move comes after a bizarre turn of events at a match between teams Mukura Victory and Rayon Sports on Dec. 16. After hitting the crossbar, Rayon’s Moussa Camara can be seen in video footage dashing to one of the goalposts and grabbing an object, one that had been placed there by the goalie as a bit of “juju” to help him protect the net. The goalkeeper then chases him before both receive yellow cards, notes Fox Sports. The even weirder part: After the disruption, Camara scored his team’s tying goal in the match, which ended 1-1.

(P2) Under the new rules, players and coaches found to be using witchcraft to try to gain an advantage face fines and penalties, reports the Rwanda New Times. The Washington Post notes that “juju” has long played a role in African soccer. In fact, the Confederation of African Football previously banned witchcraft after Rwanda’s national team was accused of burying a doll behind its net in a 2003 match against Uganda. But a soccer official in the country says the traditional practice gives the nation a bad image. Hence, the new penalties. “Since there is no scientific way to prove the use of witchcraft, these measures will be based upon reports from match officials and anything that is deemed to incite witchcraft will be put under consideration,” he says.

WORDS: 238

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/236178/after-bizarre-scene-rwandan-soccer-bans-witchcraft.html

VOCABULARY: witchcraft, bizarre, crossbar, confederation, hence, deemed, incite

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you believe in witchcraft? Why or why not?
  3. What are some symbols of good luck in your country?
  4. Are there any traditional practices in your country when playing sports? If yes, describe them.

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. The witchcraft rule was an old rule that officials decided to re-establish. (T or F)
  2. Why did the goalie place an object at the goalpost?
  3. The new rule states that players and coaches can receive _______ and _________ if they use witchcraft.
  4. In 2003 a _________ was buried behind the goal.
  5. According to the article, witchcraft can be proven by using Science. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • turn of events (P1)
  • face fines (P2)
  • long played a role in African soccer (P2)
  • will be put under consideration (P2)

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Image source:  by “unknown” (YouTube)

IBM Working on Bot to Help Elderly Age at Home

[Technology & Health ★★★]

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(P1) Assisted living facilities and personal nurses aren’t exactly cheap. And as the Baby Boomer generation ages, finding an affordable means of helping people age in the comfort of their own home could be good not just for seniors, but for their wallets, too. So IBM is working on a prototype bot that could become what Consumerist describes as a “robotic roommate.” Built with sensors that can detect anything from a change in motion to sounds and scents, the so-called IBM Multi-Purpose Eldercare Robot Assistant (MERA) could help track whether stove burners are on or the person has fallen. IBM has been developing the sensors alongside Rice University out of its Aging in Place lab in Austin, Texas, reports Business Insider.

(P2) While a senior technologist says there’s a lot of work ahead before the robot will be brought to market, including sorting out how to customize a bot’s knowledge of a person’s home environment, health issues, and more, “in the near-term, it would be more of the ambient sensors in the home starting to gather all of this data.” The prototype is already capable of reading facial expressions, capturing vital signs, and recognizing speech. Obvious markets include the US, which is home to more 100-year-olds (75,000) than any other country, and Japan, which is a third the size of the US but has 65,000 people over 100 and, as Business Insider reported earlier this fall, has broken its own record of most centenarians per capita for 46 years in a row.

WORDS: 250

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/236122/ibm-working-on-bot-to-help-elderly-age-at-home.html

VOCABULARY: prototype, so-called, sorting out, ambient, centenarians

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. In your opinion, do you think IBM will be successful with the MERA prototype? Why or why not?
  3. What are some jobs you can see robots replacing humans in the future? Why?
  4. Do you know any centenarians? If yes, describe one of them. If no, what do you think it would be like to be 100 plus years?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. According to the article what two things aren’t really affordable for the elderly?
  2. What acronym is mentioned for the bot?
  3. Who is IBM working with to develop this “robotic roommate”?
  4. The prototype bot is already programmed to ____________________, _________________________, and ________________________.
  5. What two countries are mentioned in the article as clear targets for marketing?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • but for their wallets, too (P1)
  • could help track (P1)
  • brought to market (P2)
  • capturing vital signs (P2)

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Image source: by  IBM Research/Flickr