COVID Has Been Hard on my Friend: Jim, The Shoe Addict...

I'm back with updates on work clothes. As a primer, I'm the same guy who was unafraid to bring you uncomfortable fashion classics like the following:

BEST PRACTICES IN BLUE BLAZERS FOR THE CONTEMPORARY WHITE PROFESSIONAL CLASS MALE

BEYOND BLUE BLAZERS - THE PANTS CHOICES OF PROFESSIONAL WHITE MEN IN AMERICA

If you don't remember these classics, go take a look. There's nothing more fun than busting on how white guys dress. Shoes

But I'm back with an update that goes beyond gender and race. Let's talk about the dopamine hit we all get when we find a great deal on clothes, especially for work. I think it's safe to say that there have been some deals out there as retailers got roughed up by the pandemic-caused recession.

One friend of mine has a long history as a complete shoe addict. To prove this affliction knows no gender, this friend of mine with the shoe jones is a guy.

I'll call this friend, "Jim". The pandemic recession hit Jim's addiction hard. Cole Haan, his long primary source of shoe style, starting pumping emails touting 75% off from late March on. Jim couldn't resist. He kept ordering and stockpiling shoes and his closet looks like what you would expect from a hoarder, with probably 10 boxes of shoes, never worn, waiting for action.

His wife would walk by him at home and he'd hustle to another browser window - BECAUSE OF THE SHAME. He kept going back to the crack pipe of shoes that is Cole Haan, and they were happy to use Jim to relieve themselves of fixed inventory costs.

Jim's addiction seems innocent enough. But of course, addictions impact everyone around the addict. He kept forwarding me emails with sales. I ordered a couple of pairs of dress sneakers in early April - at the time I thought, "I'm going to be totally set up when this pandemic is over."

Flash forward to late June. As I look at the two unopened boxes of work shoes in my closet, I'm like, "####, when am I actually going to wear those shoes?"

Great sales on work clothes don't mean a thing right now. If you know someone like Jim, get into their browser history and run an intervention if necessary.

I'm still Jim's friend. I'm boxing up 2 pairs of Sketchers I got for nothing at an outlet mall to send to him. A shoe addict can't break the cycle on his own. I'm hoping the boxes of cheap Sketchers will be like Methadone on his road to recovery.

Good luck Jim. 


HR Book Review: The Office (The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History)...

On my summer reading list is The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History. I originally grabbed the book because it presented an opportunity to connect with my youngest son, who like a lot of kids, has consumed the entire series 3+ times on Netflix. It quickly became a primer on team-based creative process, where ideas have to come in volume, then be culled down quickly to the point that only the best idea makes it, and everyone on the team is OK with that.

One example of lessons from this book is how the writer room was structured and how they blended ownership of ideas from individual to team. Here's the explanation from Office Aaron Shure, co-executive producer and writer for The Office:

"During my tenure [seasons five, six, seven, and eight] we had around fifteen writers, usually three rooms going, and we had inherited the Greg Daniels style of idea generation, which focused on manifesting and externalizing ideas in a physical way, usually in the form of three-by-five cards that came to festoon the walls of the writers’ room if they were worthy enough by Paul and Jen’s estimation. We also had a process called “blitzing” where the writers would hunker down in their offices for an hour or two and come up with as many ideas as we could on a given topic. For instance, a few blitz topics I have in my notes: “Obstacles to Erin and Andy dating.” “Ways Andy and Kelly can try to subvert Gabe.” “What happens with Hay Place?” We’d come back with as many ideas on those topics as we could, read them aloud, and put the promising ones on the wall.

Out of those ideas a few would be selected to move closer to a storyboard. It was a big bubble-sort played out on the walls. While writers would campaign for and champion various cards, it was hard for there to be specific ownership of any given idea, with plenty of duplication and accidental repitching. Similarly, stories were broken in rooms with five or so writers all working on the beats. We’d come back to the room and pitch those boards. There’s a lot of working in a writers’ room that’s similar to improv, where it’s like “Yes, and . . .” You want to be able to keep your mind incredibly open and think of all the possibilities.

Greg actually called it “blue-skying.” Let’s take an example: “Michael is being broken up with and he’s going to handle it like a fourteen-year-old boy because he’s at the emotional level of one. What does he do to process it? How does he deal with something like that?” Sometimes there’s a tendency to just go for the first good idea, but we would spend a lot of time trying to find the best version of something. We would send people off to think and say, “Let’s keep in the blue-sky zone. Don’t put restrictions on yourself. How would a person deal with that?” And every once in a while, something just brilliant would come”

Translation - traditional brainstorming followed by team activity to further develop ideas not only lead to a strong creative process, but it removes the sting of your idea not being chosen - you have ample opportunity to contribute to other idea streams, and when the whole thing is done it's hard to remember the originator of the idea in question.

Recommended book if you liked/loved the office and need a summer read.

PS: The Office probably couldn't be made in 2020.


You Think Your Work Enemy Has Declared War: She Just Thinks It's Thursday...

"Some men just want to watch the world burn."

-Michael Caine in "The Dark Knight"

--------------------------

Intent is a funny thing.  You're in the workplace, and the workplace has established norms: Some men

--We talk to each other before we make decisions or take meaningful action

--We give people a heads up before we announce something that won't feel good to them

--We try to play nice and if confronted, we try to make the person confronting us feel good about our intent.

Of course, those are norms - guidelines if you will, not hard rules.  Every once in a while, you run into someone that does not give two ****s about your norms.  They do what they want, when they want and generally don't give you heads up that it's coming or make you feel better if you ask them about it after the fact.

You know, ass####s.  We're pretty quick to assign full villain status to people who don't play by the rules.

What's interesting about the people like this you think are enemies in the workplace is the following:

You think they're out to get you based on chaos they cause.  They probably think it's Thursday.

They aren't even thinking about you.  Tearing shit up is just what they do.  In the age of Trump, we're likely to cast them as villains and think they're out to get us. That might be true, but in my experience, people who cause chaos can be factored into 3 categories when it impacts you:

1--They're out to get you.  It's what you thought.  They hate your guts, you're in the way and it's takedown time. 10% of the time, this is the reality.

2--They have a plan and a place they want to be unrelated to you.  They have a POA (plan of action) that's bigger than their relationship with you. You're taking it personally, but the "tearing shit up" and chaos impacts multiple people, not just you.  They're not even thinking about you, Skippy. 70% of the time, this is the reality.

3--They don't have a plan but love to keep everyone off balance as part of their managerial DNA.  Again, it's not about you.  Their business is chaos and by the way, the more positional power they have, the better that business is. 20% of the time, this is the reality.

Unless you're experiencing flavor #1 above, your best strategy is to keep an eye on it but ignore it.  Go about your business.  You do you, let them do them and save your emotional reaction and gun powder for when it really matters.  

If you're high sensitivity, this is going to be hard.  They're going to wear you out.  You think it's the workplace version of Normandy.

It's actually Thursday.  What's for lunch?


THE HR FAMOUS PODCAST: e15 - Is Your Company Ready for RTW?

In episode 15 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Jessica Lee and Kris Dunn come together to discuss Tim’s extravagant Southern Utah adventure, return to work plans, Twitter’s WFH forever proclamation, and Microsoft Teams. The team discusses the different return to work plans and ideas, new office norms, and a potential boom in the workplace real estate market.

Listen below (email subscribers click through if you don’t see the player) or click here for a direct link. Be sure to and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review via iTunesSpotify and Google Play.

Show Highlights:

1:00 - No Tim on this episode! Are we sad or happy? Stay tuned to find out ;)

2:00 - Is JLee still a kid? Sound off in the comments

3:30 - Tim Sackett is a jerk!!!! His Instagram is making the HR Famous crew jealous with his Southern Utah golfing, jeep trips, and luxurious escapades. Safe travels Timmy!

4:30 - Today’s topic: return to work! Some companies have their plans ready to go but all companies are going to have to get ready for “the new normal”. What is that going to look like? Are you ready?

7:00 - RTW = return to work

7:30 - Jlee sounds off on the differences of work returns there can be and the potential anxiety employees could bring with them. Will there be a major fear from workers?

8:45 - KD is taking the approach of surveying his employees on how they want to return to work. Who wants to stay home? Who wants to return to the office? Who is unsure and has concerns? 

9:40 - One size fits all? Not for RTW plans.

11:15 - KD fills us in on how Kinetix is facing RTW: Branded face masks: check! How do you feel about the decorative/branded face masks?

13:15 - Sexy brand check! Jack Dorsey has announced that all Twitter employees can work remote forever. What really is forever? Jlee thinks it’s a cool idea but may be too early to make this call. Only a diamond is forever ;)

16:00 - Will there be an increased need for real estate for workspace? Due to physical distancing needs, there may need more space needed to ensure employee safety. 

18:00 - Have you ever had an employee sit on the floor in your office during a meeting? Jlee hasn’t but she thinks that cramped small office meetings are on the way out and virtual meetings are here to stay.

20:30 - KD and Jlee are turning this into a Microsoft ad! Microsoft Teams chat is the new norm for Jlee but may be NSFW because of their raunchy gifs.

22:30 - KD thinks that Eric Schmitt’s perception of a workspace real estate boom is a little tone deaf. With more WFH employees and financial troubles, there may not be a real estate boom especially in spaces made for small to mid-sized businesses. 

24:00 - Should we be celebrating companies and CEOs who pledge not to lay off employees? The crew thinks it’s unrealistic to raise the expectation that companies should not lay off some workers in this pandemic, especially in service industries. 

26:10 - “Up your sunscreen game” - KD to Tim Sackett. 


Pro Baseball's Return to Work: A Plan HR & Youth Baseball Moms Can Love...

And now comes Major League Baseball with a 67-page Return to Work (RTW) plan, which includes details about how pro baseball will handle their workplace in a RTW, including testing, travel, workplace details (on the field, in the dugouts), protocol for the road and contact with nuclear family as well as friends.

The plan, which was reported by The Athletic (subscription site, I pay) basically summarizes a day in the life of a pro baseball player as this:

No exchanges of lineup cards. New baseballs any time a ball is put in play and touched by multiple players. Players wearing masks except while on the field, standing six feet apart during the singing of the national anthem and “God Bless America,” sitting six feet apart in the dugout and, if necessary, even in the stands.

These are just some of the proposed protocols in a 67-page document concerning health and safety that Major League Baseball delivered to the Major League Baseball Players Association on Friday night. The procedures outlined in the document are subject to union approval and thus could change.

But my favorite are the diagrams that show how the dugouts are going to be handled. Some of you have been volunteers in youth baseball, and if you've every had a bad day trying to make 5 and 6 year olds keep their hands off each other, you may have tried a plan like MLB is pondering for Post-COVID baseball.

Highlights:

--Assigned seats 6 ft apart in dugout.

--Assigned places for water bottles and gloves.

--Banishing some players to areas outside of dugouts.

--No spitting or smokeless tobacco.

--No standing in entrance to dugout.

This plan is straight from the Baseball Mom handbook for 5 year-olds. 

"If you can't keep your hands off each other, I'll fix it."

See diagrams below for dugout details in 67-page guide (email subscribers click through for images):

MLB1

MLB2

Of Course, HR pros will love this method of brining order to a dugout. Whether it's MLB, a 5-year old dugout or your office break room, you're going to have to tell them what to do and where to go for awhile.

Or no juice boxes after we're done.


BEST HIRE EVER PODCAST - Liz Desio, NYC HR Pro Impacted by COVID...

Hi Gang - ramping up a new podcast called BEST HIRE EVER, where I'll be talking about hiring top Liz talent with undeniably talented corporate leaders, recruiters and candidates. Today's guest is EPIC as
I talk to Liz Desio, a resident of NYC and HR Pro. Great talk about Liz’s personal experience with a COVID-19 lay-off, writing, and HR.

Liz's story makes this a must listen - use the show highlights below to spin to what interests you most, but Liz's story about heading to NYC and hustling to be a journalist before landing in the world of Recruiting/HR is a doozy. Talented lady that you should figure out if you can hire 100%. Enjoy the pod and don't forget to subscribe, rate and review (if you love it) on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Play.


Show Highlights:

1:08: KD introduces Liz, HR Pro and Candidate! KD gives some backstory on how they were introduced and why she’s on BHE

4:45: Liz takes us through her career. UVA grad, move to Brooklyn, hustling, getting hired in first HR job (hard knock life), getting out, getting a really good job in HR and then hitting COVID.

14:33: Liz’s take on being a new manager and the challenges she faced dealing with imposter’s syndrome.

16:05: KD asks Liz to share the story of getting laid off during Covid – You can check out her article here: https://medium.com/@lizdesio/making-peace-with-getting-laid-off-9bead164c43a

25:33: KD then pivots to reflective Liz, the one that wrote the post comparing herself to an early character on The Wire who gets killed off in season 1 - https://medium.com/@lizdesio/when-trying-to-switch-career-fields-makes-you-feel-like-dangelo-from-the-wire-4102c0bded99

33:48: KD and Liz discuss his take that recruiting prepares you to be an HR Generalist better than most.

40:15: KD asks Liz what your dream job is in HR. They discuss.

Kinetix

The HR Capitalist

Fistful of Talent

Boss Leadership Training Series

Kris Dunn on LinkedIn

Kris Dunn on Twitter

Kris Dunn on Instagram

KD's Book - The 9 Faces of HR

Liz Desio on Medium

Liz Desio on LinkedIn


There Are Six "Manager of People" Brands - Which One Are You?

Any manager of people has a lot on their plate. After all, a general pre-requisite to getting your first manager job is being a great individual contributor. Then, at some point in your first month in your new manager role, you realize the reality – you still have a bunch to do on your own as well as managing your new team.

Just because you're a manager doesn’t mean you stop cranking out individual contributor Proposalgreatness. You’re expected to that PLUS lead a group of people to team greatness, individual success and career fulfillment.

Inside all of us there’s a preset – a type of manager we’re most likely to be based on our behavioral DNA, the folks who have managed us in the past, etc.  Who you are and how you were raised in corporate America has a lot to do with how you manage.

What type of manager are you?  What’s your brand as a manager?

To dig into this topic, I reached out to my good friend and BOSS Leadership facilitator Dawn Burke to record an episode of my new podcast - BEST BOSS EVER - and talk about the "6 Manager of People Brands" I have identified - Doer & Individual Contributor, The Friend/Pushover, The Control Freak/Authoritarian, Trend Spotter/Reader of the Best Seller, Performance Based Driver, and The Career Agent.

Take a listen and be sure to subscribe via the links below as well!

-------------------------

Welcome to Best Boss Ever, the podcast dedicated to helping you develop managers who build great teams. In this episode Kris Dunn talks with colleague and friend Dawn Burke, facilitator for BOSS Leadership and senior consultant at Recruiting Toolbox, about managing people and the six types of manager brands.

Don't forget to subscribe, rate and review wherever you get your podcasts - Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Play.

Show Highlights:

4:00: KD brings in the topic, what is your manager brand? Dawn claims a lot of managers don’t know what their brand is, it even took her some time to figure out her brand.

6:22: A Manager’s brand is based on their behavioral DNA and how they were raised. Dawn says that’s a classic case of nature vs. nurture. Both play a part into a manager’s brand, and a lot of times we fall back on our nature but it’s important to focus on the qualities of leaders we admire and seek training and guidance to form a brand.

8:45: KD and Dawn run down the list of the 6 manager brands: The Doer & Individual Contributor, The Friend/Pushover, The Control Freak/Authoritarian, Trend Spotter/Reader of the Best Seller, Performance Based Driver, and The Career Agent.

11:09: “The Doer.” The first-time manager brand. Dawn talks about her personal retail experience with her first manager roles and the struggles first time manager. KD says: don’t change too much – it’s okay if this is your brand to an extent. Be a doer – but you need to grow your people, too. You can’t do it all yourself. Find training and learn to delegate and lead.

15:38: “The Friend/Pushover”. KD talks about how this brand showing up in a lot of former teammates that become managers. It’s also in folks who have high levels of empathy in their DNA. Dawn says you can make the best of the past team relationships by keeping the trust throughout your working relationship. She also asks “How much are you complaining about working together?” It might effect your credibility.

18:50: Dawn says “The Friend” also applies to managers who come in, and is a manager who tries to be friends, which isn’t inherently bad, but if you’re relying too much on the friendship, you’re heading in the wrong direction. KD says past friends especially have trouble as new managers if they are low on the assertive scale, Dawn says you can mitigate this with a 1:1 reset with those friends, acknowledging the new structure in the team and what it means. KD says you’ll have to be assertive to do that, which is why training from other managers is good to have!

21:22: “The Control Freak” introduction. KD talks about a recent WWII watch that was riddled with authoritative manager brands. Dawn says she’s seen this in new managers, too. When they become a manager they are thinking about their past managers and maybe more old school managers. She claims this brand doesn’t work anymore, even though it still exists in certain work places.

26:52: “The Trend Spotter” KD says reading and growing is good, but you can’t change up your brand every time you read a new book. Dawn says this has good intention but it’s gone off the rails. You can be a life long learner, that’s a sign of a good leader, but you take the best of what you’ve learned or read and build your own style/brand – you can’t copy and paste.

29:59: “The Performance Driver.” This brand is all about the performance, they aren’t hesitant to ask their team to reach those organizational goals. Dawn says every manager’s brand should include a little bit of the Performance Driver. KD says sometimes you can be a little detached with your humanity here – just driving for results is okay, but it’s not growing your employees and as a result, over time it can fall flat.

32:22: “The Career Agent” KD claims this is the fully-evolved manager. The Career Agent is approaching their team to get the results through the lens of the employee. It benefits the company and the employee. Overall, Dawn agrees this is the fully-evolved manager. KD says part of being a career agent is investing, developing, and helping people grow and approaching every conversation from the view of the employee – what’s in it for them?.

37:50: KD runs us down the six brands again and the team closes it out.

Resources:

Boss Leadership Training Series

Kinetix

The HR Capitalist

Fistful of Talent

Dawn Burke on LinkedIn

Recruiting Toolbox

Kris Dunn on LinkedIn

KD's Book - The 9 Faces of HR


THE HR FAMOUS PODCAST: E13 - Fat Fingered Americans + Airbnb Pays New Grads Not to Show Up Until 2021...

In episode 13 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Jessica Lee, Tim Sackett, and Kris Dunn try to defeat boredom and come together to talk about quarantine listening habits, Airbnb’s hiring practices, unpaid internships, and Netflix doc American Factory. The team discusses their feelings and thoughts on Airbnb’s postponed hiring, unpaid internships and other working experiences, and the documentary American Factory.

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!

Show Highlights:

2:30 - The team starts out sharing with us their favorite quarantine comfort music playlists full of music. Turns out the group has some different tastes: Tim likes basic Spotify playlists, Jlee likes Nick Jonas, and KD likes grunge. This also features a brief discussion of Post Malone’s tattoos. 

8:00 - Onto the rundown for the episode. Airbnb has postponed post-grad hires to 2021 and the crew talks about investment they have made for their own PR. Tim weighs in on the workforce needs for Airbnb and other tech companies and how they will continue going forward. 

11:45 - KD sees through Airbnb’s “publicity stunt” and calls them out for being unfair for postponing post-grad hires until August 2021. Tim discusses some potential writing on the wall that may have led to this decision. Maybe they’re being forward thinking? KD seems skeptical. 

15:00 - Bro trip! KD talks about the last Airbnb he stayed in with Tim in Orlando. The pictures sure weren’t telling the whole truth….

16:20 - Marriott plug from Jlee! #notsponsored

17:00 - Topic change: internships! Lots of internships have been cancelled for summer 2020 leaving soon to be grads and recent grads in a bind. Also, Hipster Sackett is the best Tim Sackett

20:30 - Tim discusses the evolution of unpaid internships. He believes young adults need to use unpaid internships to build relationships, have experiences, and find mentors to advocate for them. Do you believe in unpaid internships? Should all interns be paid?

23:15 - Who can afford unpaid internships (especially in this economy)? Jlee discusses the need to look at capabilities and skills rather than experiences for new grads in order to level the playing field. 

25:30 - KD discusses the addiction to doing internships with huge brands. He advocates for looking locally to gain experiences instead of going for the big guys. 

26:45 - “Interns have zero value” - Tim Sackett. What is the real point of internships? Recruiting. (Just saying an intern is writing this right now so no value???)

28:00 - Should companies be allowed to advertise unpaid internships? KD says no but thinks that unpaid experiences should be allowed in order to benefit the person looking for a resume booster. 

29:45 - Jlee predicts Tim’s Glassdoor ratings will be plummeting. 

30:30 - American Factory time! KD challenged Jlee and Tim to watch the 2020 Academy Award winning documentary about a Chinese company who took over a GM plant in Toledo, Ohio. The team discusses their likes and dislikes. 

35:05 - Jlee weighs in on the depiction of Chinese culture in the documentary. Although she came in skeptical, she was pleasantly surprised by the reception of the workers in the movie. 

36:10 - Motor City native Tim discusses fat-fingered Americans and the camaraderie and commitment of the Chinese company. 

40:00 - The crew ends on their favorite scene. Tim likes the chairman’s frankness about unions and Jlee agrees. She especially likes the interpretation from Chinese to English. KD likes the cut between the Chinese company energy to the Toledo break room. 

43:30 - Watch American Factory!


3 Hard A** Photos About Change During the COVID Lockdown...

You see it every day - change is a given during the COVID Lockdown. 

With that in mind, I present 3 photos (with links as appropriate) from the last week that made me go hmmmm - and make me wonder where we are headed when we get to the new normal.

(email subscribers click through if you don't see the images below)

PHOTO ONE - The Vampires have come for the restaurant industry, and was unrelated to COVID, happening before the pandemic. But the lockdown period gave the Vampires the equivalent of performance enhancing drugs. This photo is a summary of the net proceeds a restaurant received from 40+ orders:

Grubhub

Yeah, that's right. This pizza place in Chicago netted 37% of the order when using Grubhub. While the economics of delivery services were difficult for eateries before COVID, if the pandemic accelerated the delivery trend, it's going to be hard to be the next Bobby Flay. Turns out you are only helping you neighborhood Italian place survive if you go pick it up and just wipe down, which let's face it, isn't that big of deal unless you live in one of the 4 hotspots.

PHOTO TWO - If Wall Street Doesn't need to go in, who in white collar America does?  This photo and accompanying article on Wall Street brokers doing just fine working from home feels a bit like a canary in the coal mine.  As Lenin once said, there are decades where nothing happens and weeks where decades happen - feels like a bad time to be in the commercial real estate business.

Wallstreet

PHOTO THREE - A Toyota Engine factory in Hurstville is getting back to work, and this break room photo tells you everything you need to know. 4 person tables are now two, there's a big plexiglass divider to ensure you don't spittle on someone as you talk, and in case you missed it, the big red things on the floor instruct you not to sit "there".  We all knew this was coming, but this was the first one I saw. Awesome for the introverts.

Toyota

Stay healthy, my friends!!


COVID Lockdown Netflix Recommendation - "American Factory"

I know, you're burned out on streaming. You've worked through a bunch of things during the COVID lockdown - you whipped through Joe Exotic, Ozark and Bosch - and you found yourself working through a 3rd tier series like Last Chance U.

I see you America. That's why I'm here with a Netflix Recommendation that only a professional manager or HR person could get excited about. American factory

AMERICAN FACTORY.

Let's get started with the description of this two-hour documentary from Wikipedia:

American Factory (美国工厂美國工廠) is a 2019 American documentary film directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, about Chinese company Fuyao's factory in Moraine, a city near Dayton, Ohio, that occupies Moraine Assembly, a shuttered General Motors plant. The film had its festival premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. It is distributed by Netflix and is the first film produced by Barack and Michelle Obama's production company, Higher Ground Productions. It won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Filmed from February 2015 until the end of 2017, Reichert and Bognar were granted filming access by Fuyao at both their Ohio and Chinese plant locations. They were inspired to make this film as the events they aimed to depict were taking place in the same Moraine Assembly plant once occupied by General Motors, which was the central topic of their 2009 Oscar-nominated documentary short The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant.

I know what you're expecting: China bad, plight of the American blue collar worker miserable.

Turns out, it's more complicated than that.

GM closing the plant follows this script.  But then a Chinese company, Fuyao Glass America, shows up to reopen it. Chinese companies buy American companies all the time. Big deal, right? But Fuyao let the filmmakers film everything.

And so American Factory isn't 100% about the plight of American industry or the workers it left behind as globalization occurred . The part that is astonishing about American Factory is that it shows it all through the eyes of Chinese factory workers and managers arriving to reopen and restaff a plant in the rust belt - as well as through the eyes of the Americans. 

You'll be rocked when the crew travels to China for company celebrations and you see the attitudes of the Chinese workers and the whiplash cutaways to the American plant and team (spoiler alert - the USA team has about 20% of the urgency of the Chinese team).  The Chinese team doing the same work as the Americans are standing on marks for quick team meetings before the start of their shift. They're celebrating the company through skits, song and other group activities that would make 99% of Americans cringe.

You'll also be rocked as you see young Chinese managers and Chinese workers in the Toledo plant (brought over to help launch the plant) come to grips with the limitations of the American workforce they've hired.

If you haven't had great exposure to globalization yet in your career, I can't recommend American Factory enough. 10 out of 10. As a manager of people or an HR pro, you'll find the contrast between cultures fascinating and the HR and management issues in this culture mashup fascinating.

Globalization is full of gray. I'm 100% on team USA, but American Factory keep you honest about what it takes to compete in global economy. 

Trailer below (email subscribers click through to view):