FastCompany Magazine

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A nice boss and strong work ethic can’t protect new parents from employer policies that aren’t held accountable to the greater good.
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A nice boss and strong work ethic can’t protect new parents from employer policies that aren’t held accountable to the greater good.

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Does your morning look like Margaret Thatcher’s, or Ben Franklin’s? These routines might inspire you to create your own.
Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, we all start our day at some point. And we all seem to start it differently.
Some of us hop online to check social media, others dive in to email, still others eat breakfast, exercise, or pack lunches for the kids. There’re a million different ways a morning could go.
Which morning routine might be best?
While there’s probably not an ideal morning routine that fits everyone, we can learn a lot from the morning routines of successful people as well as from the research and inspiration behind starting a morning on the right foot.
I collected a wide range of opinions on how best to start a day, from the scientific to the successful. Here’s the best of what I found—maybe it’ll help you get a little more productivity, creativity, and enjoyment out of your morning.
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Does your morning look like Margaret Thatcher’s, or Ben Franklin’s? These routines might inspire you to create your own.

Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, we all start our day at some point. And we all seem to start it differently.

Some of us hop online to check social media, others dive in to email, still others eat breakfast, exercise, or pack lunches for the kids. There’re a million different ways a morning could go.

Which morning routine might be best?

While there’s probably not an ideal morning routine that fits everyone, we can learn a lot from the morning routines of successful people as well as from the research and inspiration behind starting a morning on the right foot.

I collected a wide range of opinions on how best to start a day, from the scientific to the successful. Here’s the best of what I found—maybe it’ll help you get a little more productivity, creativity, and enjoyment out of your morning.

Read More>

These companies adapt to the needs of women, so employees aren’t required to lean in too far.
Jane Park, CEO of the Seattle-based cosmetics company Julep, is fired up about the recent Hobby Lobby ruling.
I can tell it’s on her mind because one minute we’re talking about the design of nail polish bottles and a second later, she shifts gears, taking us in an unexpectedly political direction. “Last month, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that companies are people but I really don’t think that’s true,” Park says, out of the blue. “A company is not one human being; if anything, it’s a mini-society. There are many ways that rules of a company impact our lives more than the rules of a government.”
Park has spent decades thinking about the policies that affect women’s lives—it was the focus on her public policy degree at Princeton and her law degree at Yale—and today, as a businesswoman, it remains one of her biggest concerns. “As a head of a company, I see a huge opportunity to create the kind of society we want,” she tells me.
Her timing is great—we’re in a moment when company heads such as Sophie Amoruso of the online retailer Nasty Gal are proving that strong female leadership can be good for both morale and the bottom line.
It’s been a little over a year since Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In hit bookstore shelves, sparking a nationwide discussion about gender in the workplace. While many praised the book, calling it an invaluable manual for women keen to assert themselves at work, critics argued that Sandberg was urging women to adapt to a broken system rather than demanding that corporate America adapt to women’s needs. The good news for Sandberg detractors is that business leaders across the country are busy building a feminist workplace that allows women to thrive in their careers without having to lean in too far.
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These companies adapt to the needs of women, so employees aren’t required to lean in too far.

Jane Park, CEO of the Seattle-based cosmetics company Julep, is fired up about the recent Hobby Lobby ruling.

I can tell it’s on her mind because one minute we’re talking about the design of nail polish bottles and a second later, she shifts gears, taking us in an unexpectedly political direction. “Last month, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that companies are people but I really don’t think that’s true,” Park says, out of the blue. “A company is not one human being; if anything, it’s a mini-society. There are many ways that rules of a company impact our lives more than the rules of a government.”

Park has spent decades thinking about the policies that affect women’s lives—it was the focus on her public policy degree at Princeton and her law degree at Yale—and today, as a businesswoman, it remains one of her biggest concerns. “As a head of a company, I see a huge opportunity to create the kind of society we want,” she tells me.

Her timing is great—we’re in a moment when company heads such as Sophie Amoruso of the online retailer Nasty Gal are proving that strong female leadership can be good for both morale and the bottom line.

It’s been a little over a year since Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In hit bookstore shelves, sparking a nationwide discussion about gender in the workplace. While many praised the book, calling it an invaluable manual for women keen to assert themselves at work, critics argued that Sandberg was urging women to adapt to a broken system rather than demanding that corporate America adapt to women’s needs. The good news for Sandberg detractors is that business leaders across the country are busy building a feminist workplace that allows women to thrive in their careers without having to lean in too far.

Read More>

The $4 billion gum industry has gone into freefall, with sales down 11% and volume down 20% in the past five years. No type of gum is immune—everything from sugar-free gum to bubble gum is experiencing the drop in sales. What’s going on?
Read More>

The $4 billion gum industry has gone into freefall, with sales down 11% and volume down 20% in the past five years. No type of gum is immune—everything from sugar-free gum to bubble gum is experiencing the drop in sales. What’s going on?

Read More>

We get it! These entrepreneurs overcame the odds, but their stories have been written ad nauseam. It’s time to ditch these business cliches.
One of the more interesting business books available this summer is Roadside MBA: Backroads Lessons for Executives, Entrepreneurs, and Small Business Owners. Written by three economists, it’s a rather corny look at various concepts you’d learn in business school, like barriers to entry, and economies of scale. What’s redeeming about it is that the authors went out and created case studies about dozens of small- and medium-sized businesses that you’ve never heard of. From Arnold Tool in Council Bluffs, Iowa to Key Fire Hose in Dothan, Alabama, most small business owners have a compelling story to tell.
These stories are fresh. Unfortunately in a lot of business literature, many stories, while interesting at one point, have ripened too much over time. Read enough big idea books and articles, and you’ll notice the same examples are used over and over again. There are acceptable reasons for this, but still, here are a few case studies that smart authors should stop using:
Read More>

We get it! These entrepreneurs overcame the odds, but their stories have been written ad nauseam. It’s time to ditch these business cliches.

One of the more interesting business books available this summer is Roadside MBA: Backroads Lessons for Executives, Entrepreneurs, and Small Business Owners. Written by three economists, it’s a rather corny look at various concepts you’d learn in business school, like barriers to entry, and economies of scale. What’s redeeming about it is that the authors went out and created case studies about dozens of small- and medium-sized businesses that you’ve never heard of. From Arnold Tool in Council Bluffs, Iowa to Key Fire Hose in Dothan, Alabama, most small business owners have a compelling story to tell.

These stories are fresh. Unfortunately in a lot of business literature, many stories, while interesting at one point, have ripened too much over time. Read enough big idea books and articles, and you’ll notice the same examples are used over and over again. There are acceptable reasons for this, but still, here are a few case studies that smart authors should stop using:

Read More>

The fastest-growing demographic in the workforce knows a few things about motivating and leading others.
With their widespread entrance into the workplace, millennials are bringing new requirements of employee engagement that include creativity, entrepreneurialism, and accelerated career growth. Research by Deloitte is projecting that millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025. They are supportive of—and engaged with—companies that care about more than a high-profit margin.
Leaders are noticing the change. According to Deloitte, 78% of business leaders rate retention and engagement as urgent or important.
What secrets of employee engagement can you pick up from millennials? It’s not about pay or work-life balance. Here are some ways to increase engagement in your organization:
Read More>

The fastest-growing demographic in the workforce knows a few things about motivating and leading others.

With their widespread entrance into the workplace, millennials are bringing new requirements of employee engagement that include creativity, entrepreneurialism, and accelerated career growth. Research by Deloitte is projecting that millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025. They are supportive of—and engaged with—companies that care about more than a high-profit margin.

Leaders are noticing the change. According to Deloitte, 78% of business leaders rate retention and engagement as urgent or important.

What secrets of employee engagement can you pick up from millennials? It’s not about pay or work-life balance. Here are some ways to increase engagement in your organization:

Read More>