March 2020
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TD Magazine


Monday, March 2, 2020

Taking its name from the titular disgruntled employee in Herman Melville's classic short story Bartleby, the Scrivener, this column from The Economist is a must-read for professionals of all walks. Introduced in 2018, it brings the renowned publication's perspective to the worlds of management and work, focusing especially on helping leaders understand what motivates employees without them losing sight of other business issues.

A good article to begin with is "Interviews from Hell: A Woman's Complaint About a Job Interview Goes Viral." The article takes one job interview horror story and uses it to open discussion around a bigger topic: persistent bias in traditional job interview processes. In typical Economist fashion, it ends with a combination of tongue-in-cheek remarks and a helpful suggestion. In this case, that's implementing structured interviews centered on technical questions, which tend to be much more useful than traditional ones.


The main drawback of Bartleby is that you must have a subscription to The Economist to read the column (12 weeks for $12). It may not be worthwhile if that's the only reason you purchase the subscription. However, if you like the magazine's other content, Bartleby is an entertaining and valuable source of management advice.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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