Saturday 26th November 2022
  • How to Make Your Matrix Organization Really Work

    Much has been written about why matrix organizations are needed and what they look like at a surface level. Far less advice is available about what it takes to make them work. This information gap sets many teams up for disappointment because matrix organizations flourish or fail based on attention to their design and dynamics.

    Consider the case of Juan, a regional supply chain leader in a large health care system who was caught between competing agendas from multiple bosses in his organization. Juan reports to Brenda, his enterprise-level boss in the supply chain organization, but he also has a reporting relationship to Steve, a regional operations executive. (Note: All names have been changed for anonymity.)

    Brenda’s goals for Juan included implementing a new supplier network model with ambitious timelines. Meeting her goals would require a substantial time investment for Juan and his small team. Meanwhile, Steve was grappling with critical materials and staffing shortages and had asked Juan to optimize workforce and supply costs. Steve expected Juan to meet a tight schedule for opening a new clinical facility to help reach regional volume targets.

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  • The rising curiosity behind open relationships

    Dedeker Winston has been in non-monogamous relationships for more than a decade, yet she has never seen such keen interest in open relationships.

    The subject has traditionally been very taboo in many places, including the US, where Winston is based. In 2014, when she started the Multiamory podcast, she and her co-producers had to decide whether to use their real names on the ethnical non-monogamy show. “At that point, there was pretty much only one or two other podcasts actually broaching this subject,” says the dating coach. “And the people who were producing and hosting those podcasts used pseudonyms.” 

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  • Why indecision makes you smarter

    In the TV series The Good Place, the character Chidi Anagonye is defined by his inability to make even the simplest of decisions – from choosing what to eat, to proclaiming love for his soulmate. The very idea of making a choice often results in a serious stomach-ache. He is stuck in continued ‘analysis paralysis’. 

    We meet Chidi in the afterlife, and learn that his indecisiveness was the cause of his death. While standing in the street, endlessly equivocating on which bar to visit with his best friend, an air-conditioning unit from the apartment above falls on his head, killing him instantly. 

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  • The mums who are ambivalent about motherhood

    Even before having her first child, Libby Ward knew what kind of mother she wanted to be. Patient. Loving. Intentional. But her hopes went beyond that, especially when she looked at the mothers in her social circle. She wanted to emulate them in other ways, too: home-made meals, pristine houses, nap schedules.

    When she had her daughter in 2014, Ward found herself, for the most part, able to mother how she had hoped. Two years later, she had her son. They had problems breastfeeding. He didn't sleep for more than two hours in a row. He seemed to be in pain.

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  • How to sleep well and be happy at home

    It's no secret that the spaces we inhabit affect the way we feel. From feng shui to the Scandinavian pursuit of hygge, designing the look and layout of your abode to further a sense of wellbeing is a long-established idea. Yet, environmental psychology – the study of the human relationship to surroundings – was not recognised as an academic field until the late 1960s, and is an even more recent consideration when it comes to domestic interior design.

    "The idea of improving wellness through our indoor spaces is something that has burgeoned," Jean Whitehead, senior lecturer in Interior Design at Falmouth University and author of Creating Interior Atmosphere: Mise-en-scène and Interior Design, tells BBC Culture. "It was already prevalent in healthcare interiors, but now it's crossing over into hospitality and leisure spaces, as well as how we think about our homes."

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  • Suavecito: The love song that became an anthem

    On Cinco de Mayo, 1980, Latino-American singer and songwriter Richard Bean joined Jorge Santana, Carlos Santana's younger brother, on stage at an outdoor concert in Los Angeles. Years before, Bean had written a song called Suavecito, and he never realised how iconic it had become until the two began playing it. As its slow groove flowed over the loudspeakers, the 20,000-person crowd in the city's Lincoln Park erupted in a roar.

    "As I was singing to the crowd, four huge Chicano (Mexican-American) guys marched behind the band on stage and unfurled a giant green, white and red Mexican flag," Bean tells BBC Culture. The flag was so large it took all four men to hold it, he explains. "Get them off the stage," the roadies began shouting, according to Bean. "Get them off." But the four stood proud. "No, not until the song is over," they said. "Not until Suavecito is done." When he looked behind him at the huge flag, and looked out at the all-Latinx audience, Bean began to tear up. It wasn't until that moment, he said, that he knew Suavecito, informally called the "Chicano National Anthem" by some, lived up to that name as a true symbol of America's Mexican-Americans and Latinx people.

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  • Melbourne’s science output will take time to recover from the pandemic

    Daniel Pejic is a research fellow in international urban migration, and a PhD researcher in the Melbourne Centre for Cities at the University of Melbourne.

    Melbourne has an international reputation for food, culture, sport and as a great place to live. The Australian city was ranked 10th in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Index 2022, a list it topped between 2011 and 2017. But perhaps less recognized is its position as one of Asia-Pacific’s leading science cities. According to an analysis of author affiliations in Nature Index, which measures output in 82 high-quality natural-science journals, it has retained its spot as Australia’s highest ranked city for scientific research, ahead of Sydney and Brisbane.

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  • Tackle systemic racism to diversify health care and clinical research

    Health-equity researcher Tung Nguyen guides several anti-racism efforts at the University of California, San Francisco.Credit: Susan Merrell

    Science is steeped in injustice and exploitation. Scientific insights from marginalized people have been erased, natural-history specimens have been taken without consent and genetics data have been manipulated to back eugenics movements. Without acknowledgement and redress of this legacy, many people from minority ethnic groups have little trust in science and certainly don’t feel welcome in academia — an ongoing barrier to the levels of diversity that many universities claim to pursue.

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  • Leading science cities by the numbers

    Beijing and Shanghai have made considerable progress since 2015, gaining on and overtaking some of the United States’ top science cities. Boston, New York and San Francisco have meanwhile fallen slightly in their output of science papers within the Nature Index. Changes to each of the leading five science cities’ adjusted Share since 2015 are shown below, along with a breakdown of the top collaborating institutions within each city. Because large network organizations, such as the Chinese Academy of Sciences, span multiple cities, we have counted their constituent bodies instead when calculating the number of institutions in the top 500 of the Index. All population statistics date from 2020. GDP per capita figures in Chinese cities date from 2021 and in US cities date from 2019. All currency data expressed in US dollars.

    Sources: Nature Index, National Bureau of Statistics of China, Statista, Science Cities (Savills, 2021), US Census Bureau; data analysis: Bo Wu; infographic: Tanner Maxwell, Simon Baker and Benjamin Plackett

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  • A guide to the Nature Index

    The Nature Index is a database of author affiliations and institutional relationships. The index tracks contributions to research articles published in 82 high-quality natural-science journals, chosen by an independent group of researchers.

    The Nature Index provides absolute and fractional counts of article publication at the institutional and national level and, as such, is an indicator of global high-quality research output and collaboration. Data in the Nature Index are updated regularly, with the most recent 12 months made available under a Creative Commons licence at The database is compiled by Nature Portfolio.

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