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posted by hubie on Monday July 08, @04:12AM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

About a year ago, Sami Packard, an Accenture consultant living in the San Francisco area, hit a rough spot in her marriage when she and her husband couldn't agree on where to live. So she organized a two-day off-site retreat complete with a detailed agenda to work on the relationship, with Packard assuming the role of both attendee and facilitator.

The tools the couple used during the retreat were the standard corporate fare ranging from vision boards to bar charts to writing exercises.

When she returned, Packard documented their results in a Google Slides deck and published her story on Medium and her LinkedIn account.

Fast forward one year and Packard is convinced she is on to something. Since last year, she has run several offsites for other couples and has come to the conclusion that relationship work was something she wanted to pursue full time.

Packard has launched a company called Coupledom, which offers both DIY offsite retreat packages as well as consulting.

According to the San Francisco Standard, which recently chronicled her journey, Packard represents an emerging trend, Packard represents an emerging trend: tech tools and, more interestingly, venture capital funding aimed at optimizing relationships.

[...] If this is a new trend, though, it is a slow-forming one, littered with some failures along the way.

There is no online sign that the Dating Group VC is still in operation, for example. And these apps, which are trying to make a buck as they help people, also have to contend with the DIY crowd in this space, where such efforts can gain a huge following on social media. Earlier this year, for example, investor Benjamin Lang posted his marriage-management Notion template to X, where it received 4.6 million views and led to a New York Times story.


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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Monday July 08, @04:23AM (2 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Monday July 08, @04:23AM (#1363418)

    is if there was a Powerpoint involved in all this.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by MostCynical on Monday July 08, @05:03AM

      by MostCynical (2589) on Monday July 08, @05:03AM (#1363421) Journal

      well, performance bonuses could be tied to KPIs, based on such things as 'partner satisfaction surveys' at the end of the workshop, one month and six months later, with payment in the form of additional indulgences (to be agreed at a separate workshop, with an independent moderator).

      Failure to meet KPIs for two consecutive surveys will have the subject counselled to explore alternative habitation opportunities.

      --
      "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by canopic jug on Monday July 08, @05:54AM

      by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 08, @05:54AM (#1363424) Journal

      Well, Accenture is an infamous m$ booster.

      --
      Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by evilcam on Monday July 08, @06:48AM (5 children)

    by evilcam (3239) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 08, @06:48AM (#1363425)

    After reading about Agile Dating [substack.com] recently, I can confidently say I have no desire to include my own career (ITSM Process optimisation) into my interpersonal relationships. This is just another example of Silicon Valley Techbro(ette) invents thing that has existed for a very long time, in this case, communication.

    Maybe I should just be grateful it's not in a pod.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08, @10:15AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08, @10:15AM (#1363431)

      Hmmmm... I guess Agile Dating may work if the partners can sustain nightly stand(up)s and avoid being involved in actual org.... errr, I mean scrums.
      The projects chance of success increase dramatically if the body language is used for coding

      • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Monday July 08, @06:11PM (2 children)

        by PiMuNu (3823) on Monday July 08, @06:11PM (#1363466)

        IIRC my agile training, nightly stand-ups are supposed to last 5 minutes?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08, @10:39PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08, @10:39PM (#1363499)

          That's what she said.

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday July 09, @02:07AM

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 09, @02:07AM (#1363514) Journal

          nightly stand-ups are supposed to last 5 minutes?

          I reckon that's for the daily stand-ups. You know? They are supposed to be a quickie, in contrast with the "one night stand(-up)". Or so they say.

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday July 08, @11:25AM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday July 08, @11:25AM (#1363435)

      Just like in the professional space, if you have two willing (and able) parties genuinely attempting to communicate, it usually works pretty well.

      Thing about the personal space is that it's two principals that need to make it work, possibly plus children and extended family, if one or more of the principals has decided those are important to the core relationship.

      Powerpoints, mind maps, white boards, weighted decision tools and all the rest should be overkill for a 1:1 relationship - of any lasting potential, at least. Those are tools for engaging larger groups of people of varying commitment to the work side of their work-life balance, people with many distractions who may need reminding what their professional duties are.

      If you are in a 1:1 relationship that could benefit from these tools, you should seriously consider whether it is a 1:1 relationship worth committing to long term.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
  • (Score: 4, Funny) by looorg on Monday July 08, @08:44AM

    by looorg (578) on Monday July 08, @08:44AM (#1363430)

    Techies Are Managing Their Marriages the Same Way They Run Their Careers

    I would assume that the old tech (wife/husband) wouldn't approve of the constant updating and interfacing with the latest and greatest things available on the market. It is a constant source of security issues. But then apparently so is doing nothing unless you decide to go offgrid ...

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Gaaark on Monday July 08, @10:41AM (2 children)

    by Gaaark (41) on Monday July 08, @10:41AM (#1363432) Journal

    My wife and i just try talking to each other and being honest and has worked for 38 years. Stupid us.

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08, @10:50AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08, @10:50AM (#1363433)

      Lemme guess, the communication protocol evolved towards the maximum efficiency:
      - from she talks, you listen, then she talks and you listen
      - to she talks and you redirected to /dev/null as the default a long time ago

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08, @10:42PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08, @10:42PM (#1363500)

        /dev/ears -> /dev/null

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Monday July 08, @12:33PM (4 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Monday July 08, @12:33PM (#1363436)

    Sami Packard, an Accenture consultant living in the San Francisco area, hit a rough spot in her marriage when she and her husband couldn't agree on where to live. So she organized a two-day off-site retreat complete with a detailed agenda to work on the relationship, with Packard assuming the role of both attendee and facilitator.

    Without reading the article, it sounds like she had reached the conclusion that the problem in her marriage was that hubby had an opinion that mattered, and instead of trying to understand him and his interests she instead decided to torture him for 2 days with corporate nonsense until he agreed to do what she said.

    I mean, if that's a consensual D/s thing, fine, but otherwise my advice to hubby involves leaving this person.

    --
    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08, @12:59PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08, @12:59PM (#1363437)

      she instead decided to torture him for 2 days with corporate nonsense until he agreed to do what she said embrace his submissive nature

      FTFY.
      This wasn't an one-off agreement, one year after "Packard is convinced she is on to something".

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08, @01:53PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08, @01:53PM (#1363442)

      History repeats? (at a much smaller scale!) From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accenture#Split_from_Arthur_Andersen [wikipedia.org]

      In 1989, Arthur Andersen and Andersen Consulting became separate units of Andersen Worldwide Société Coopérative (AWSC). Throughout the 1990s, there was increasing tension between Andersen Consulting and Arthur Andersen. Andersen Consulting was paying Arthur Andersen up to 15% of its profits each year (a provision of the 1989 split was that the more profitable unit – whether AA or AC, pay the other the 15 percent), while at the same time Arthur Andersen was competing with Andersen Consulting through its own newly established business consulting service line called Arthur Andersen Business Consulting. This dispute came to a head in 1998, when Andersen Consulting put the 15% transfer payment for that year and future years into escrow and issued a claim for breach of contract against AWSC and Arthur Andersen. In August 2000, as a result of the conclusion of arbitration with the International Chamber of Commerce, Andersen Consulting broke all contractual ties with AWSC and Arthur Andersen. As part of the arbitration settlement, Andersen Consulting paid the sum held in escrow (then $1.2 billion) to Arthur Andersen, and was required to change its name, resulting in the entity being renamed Accenture.[13]

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by Thexalon on Monday July 08, @06:10PM (1 child)

        by Thexalon (636) on Monday July 08, @06:10PM (#1363465)

        I got desperate enough at one point that I interviewed at Accenture. By the time that interview was done, I was certain I didn't want to work there, even if I really needed the money:
        1. Techies were officially second-class citizens. If they got approximately 4 promotions, they would be equal to the people who were hired right out of school to be salesmen ... err ... consultants.
        2.You have a set amount of time, I believe 2 years, to get promoted, or you were fired. You had to do this at least 4 times. Your promotion depended on your ranking compared to your teammates, thus incentivizing everybody to throw the people they were supposed to be helping under a bus.
        3. They were very cagey about what I would actually be working on. Possibly something for DoD, but I wasn't allowed to even know the approximate area. You were basically expected to sign up to do whatever you were told with no idea of what you would be told to do.
        4. Coats-and-ties were the expectation. Manageable if I'd had to, but still, not good.
        5. I would have had to move. They didn't care, and were offering nothing in return for that.

        I'm glad I avoided that fate. I was better off working for a very badly run company in the subprime mortgage industry for a few months to get back on my feet.

        --
        The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
        • (Score: 5, Informative) by Mykl on Monday July 08, @10:32PM

          by Mykl (1112) on Monday July 08, @10:32PM (#1363498)

          I worked there for a while in the late 90's and early 00's.

          In my experience, I didn't see your #1 - techies were paid about the same at level, BUT it was much harder for a technical person to get promoted to partner than a business-focused person.

          #2 was the main reason that I left - your colleagues were your competition and there was actually a disincentive to help others (who may end up competing for the promotion at the end of the year). It wasn't overtly demonstrated by too many people, but it was always there bubbling under the surface.

          #3 and #4 were standard for consulting companies - no issues from my perspective. I actually like moving around onto different projects and prefer that to being stuck in the same client/role/skillset. Others will differ.

          #5 - case by case I guess. I needed to move midway through my time there and they helped with that.

          Overall, it was a great place to learn lots of stuff and I had good times there, but I am glad that I got out when I did.

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