arrow-right cart chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up close menu minus play plus search share user email pinterest facebook instagram snapchat tumblr twitter vimeo youtube subscribe dogecoin dwolla forbrugsforeningen litecoin amazon_payments american_express bitcoin cirrus discover fancy interac jcb master paypal stripe visa diners_club dankort maestro trash
Inspiration for Action
The Newsletter / Edition 003
From Sylvain Labs, this is Progress Report.
In our monthly Off-White Papers, we provide practical guidance on how to respond to our rapidly-changing world. This weekly newsletter explores those topics in real-time, with information and action steps on how to make progress now. 

In today’s newsletter…
An announcement about the latest addendum to our first Off-White Paper. Also:
  1. What tech like Teams and Slack can and cannot do from Joey
  2. Calls for corporate change in strikes for Black lives from Osei
  3. The underestimated might of teen activists from Steven
The Latest Off-White Papers
A Heads Up
We just released a free addendum to our first Off-White Paper!

In OWP No.1, "Distributed, Not Divided: The Urgency in Building Cohesion at Work," we explored the importance of building cohesion irrespective of proximity, providing business leaders with tools and insight to build cohesion across four domains: environment, culture, technology, and rhythm.

The new OWP No.1.5, "Distributed, Not Divided: Creating Cohesion in Activist Movements," shows that while cohesion in a business setting is focused on increasing productivity, social movements also require cohesion to align and rally people as a unified force. Ultimately, cohesion clarifies, amplifies, and legitimizes activists’ demands and enables their thorough implementation.
Get the Off-White Papers
From the Field

01 / Slacking On Cohesion

From Joey Camire
Ben Thompson at Stratechery wrote a piece a few weeks ago about the massive growth of Microsoft Teams in a category that has been dominated, even if only in thought, by Slack. Ultimately, he points to integration of services being the key driver of Microsoft, and in turn Teams’, complete dusting of slack.
Why It Matters
By all accounts, Slack is a better product for what it does than Microsoft Teams. However, the benefit of cross-product integration (MS Office, Outlook, Teams, etc.) makes the experience of doing your job as a whole, and cohesively with a team, easier. This orientation towards cohesion matters: Slack’s push for Slack Connect won’t answer for what Teams does well, but it will allow for cross-organization cohesion which can’t be overlooked. 
One Thing You Can Do Right Now
Adopt team technology using a cohesive “stack” view, not a product view.
When Slack launched, there was a drive to adopt it largely for the massive improvements to the chat and communication UI/UX. However, “The Slacklash” soon followed. Much of the concern was about how Slack solved a problem with UX, that many companies didn’t have in effective daily communication. Distributed work is calling for new technological tools. As you adopt, consider the idea that worse individual products may actually be better integrated solutions.

02 / Do You Want Justice With That? 

From Osei Kwakye
Essential workers across the country engaged in a series of demonstrations on Monday, demanding racial and economic justice as part of a nationwide “Strike for Black Lives.” Organized by a coalition of more than 60 unions and advocacy groups, their demands called for legislators and corporations to use their power to dismantle systemic racism, white supremacy, and economic exploitation so that Black people can thrive.
Why It Matters
While political leaders and brands alike have issued social and economic commitments to progress on these issues, the people most impacted by their decisions haven’t felt that progress and do not take their word at face value. The low-wage, unskilled segment of the workforce that has traditionally been viewed as “dispensable” has now become “essential” and is demanding a seat at the table.
One Thing You Can Do Right Now
Invite workers at all levels to participate in the governance of your team or organization.
While workers don’t have the economic power of shareholders, they are certainly core stakeholders, keeping organizations afloat during this crisis. As organizations reimagine their purpose in an uncertain future, some models that have shown promise in sharing equity, such as worker cooperatives.  A sense of agency is not only vital for worker well-being, but essential for running a successful modern business.

03 / The Teenagers at the End of the World

From Steven Ebert
The NYTimes Magazine profiled the teen activists behind Zero Hour, a distributed organization across the US committed to fighting climate change. The group uses the same digital tools we’ve come to rely on—Slack, Zoom, G-Suite, and the like—to organize cross-country demonstrations and build a cohesive coalition of activists.
Why It Matters
The profile includes a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Washington Post that found that, though teenagers report feeling “fear” above all else, they are less likely than adults to feel “helpless.” This lack of perceived helpness, combined with the familiarity and comfort with which Gen-Z occupies social platforms, helps teenage activists cohesive work toward a common goal.
One Thing You Can Do Right Now
Engage with the concerns of youth-driven activism, and aid cohesion where possible. 
While teenagers participating in activism isn’t new, what is new is that they are leading these movements. Look no further than Malala, Greta, or the teens of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. It’s easy to slip into a fawning (and inadvertently patronizing) response to teenage activists, celebrating their character rather than engaging with their concerns. As the leader of Zero Hour mentions in her interview, “The story shouldn’t be, ‘Oh, isn’t it cute that these kids are standing up for something.’ It should be, ‘What are they standing up for?’”
Your Move
How successful do you feel your company has been in addressing today’s social issues?
— We are not making change quickly enough.
— We are doing our best, but we could do more.
— We are making some pretty impressive commitments to change.

Shopping Cart