Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On Brian Lehrer, FCR's Gilmartin reports on CEO Sleep Experiment

After co-winning the Municipal Art Society's highest honor, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis medal, along with her boss Bruce Ratner, Forest City Ratner CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin yesterday appeared on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show, The CEO Sleep Experiment:
After WNYC's "Clock Your Sleep" project, four CEOs launched an experiment to encourage their employees to rest more during the day, get better sleep, and stay away from email after work. Laura Walker, President and CEO of New York Public Radio, Arianna Huffington, chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, Herb Scannell, President of BBC Worldwide America, and MaryAnne Gilmartin, CEO at Forest City Ratner Companies, check in on what they learned and what permanent changes might work for them.
Gilmartin is charismatic and engaging when in a chummy situation like this, though chillier in more charged settings.

At about 5:29, she joked that she applied the agreement--a nap time and/or yoga after lunch at least 2 times a week, an email embargo after 9 pm and before 7 am--to a sample set of 22 people in an "organization that, I like to say, functions through dysfunction and chaos..

"Is it too restrictive," asked Lehrer, who said, "I have a little bit of a night owl in me."

"As the reigning champion of late night email, I couldn't agree more," replied Gilmartin, who described her compromise: draft but not send emails after 11 pm, "and just fire them off at 6:01 in the morning."

"Weren't you doing this while trying to close a deal in China?" asked Leher, who otherwise hasn't dug into the deal with the Greenland Group.

"We had this mega transaction for this two-week period," said Gilmartin, who said there were only minor infractions.

How to measure success--did employees get more sleep?

Gilmartin returned at about 13:28, saying each of the participants felt regeneration from the afternoon rest and the company-sponsored yoga, which will be continued. They got positive feedback: 61 percent of participants reported it was easier to get to sleep and to stay asleep.

Some posted criticism

Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights:
How ironic can you get? MaryAnne Gilmartin of Forest City Ratner is on a segment about how people can get more sleep? After Forest City Ratner abuses its "Atlantic Yards" welcome and rights to construct and drive piles, doing construction in the middle of the night, and keeps on extraordinarily harsh and bright lights that disturb the neighbors?
Furthermore, wouldn't we all sleep better at night if we could rest assured that Forest City Ratner wasn't colluding with our elected officials to take our home via eminent domain under pretext of "blight? Not to mention robbing the public fisc blind with monopolistic theft of subsidies.
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights:
Maybe MaryAnne Gilmartin isn't supposed to be getting a good nights' sleep. There are some things, Atlantic Yards being one of them, about which people are supposed to have the kind of guilty consciousness that keeps you awake at night.
Another commenter, JamesD, challenged another guest. 
If Ariana Huffington started actually paying the unpaid contributors to Huffington Post who made very rich, and plagiarizing the work of others (yes, there was a court case) she would doubtless give lots of writers better nights' sleep.

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