Saturday, January 14, 2006

CEOs and Work/Life Balance


One of the prime reasons that upcoming executives do not want to be CEO is the lack of work/life balance. When you look at the coverage of work/life balance in major global news and business publications, there has been an increase of 262% from 2001 to 2005. No surprise then that rising execs have this on their minds. For the younger generation, having a life in addition to work does not escape them either. For the first time, a Universum study among university students cited "balancing work with personal life" as the most important career goal. A large 54 percent put this goal as their top ambition.

The focus on a balanced life has not escaped marketers. In Fast Company, two campaigns are cited that focus on having a life. Ikea's campaign -- www.lifeoutsidework.co.uk -- features a Work-Life-Balance'O'Meter and Beringer's -- Living5to9.com -- has a time-to-go-home alarm. Blackberry would do us all a favor by locking down at a reasonable hour. However, I guess that would defeat its purpose.

I was thinking about work/life balance today (as I was working) when I received an e-mail from Aaron Kwitten who led the North American region and largest unit of Euro RSCG PR Worldwide. He left to start Kwitten & Company, an "intelligent" (their positioning) pr firm (www.kwitco.com or www.kwittkenandcompany.com).

In his e-mail announcing the new firm, Kwittken remarked that his "firm is rooted in seven non-negotiable principles," one of which is "Family/life balance obligations always come first, always." Interesting commitment for a pr firm and one that is probably on the cusp of something very important.

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