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Graffiti from Tolosa, Spain, 2015 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Corporate Psychopaths: A Menace to Your Organization

Idea posted: February 2017
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

Corporate psychopaths destroy morale, cause the best employees to flee and even commit whole-scale fraud, yet often use blatant lies and cheating to fool their bosses into believing they are valuable assets. 

Idea #644
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Illumination, Barthélemy d'Eyck, C. 1459 (Courtesy: Austrian National Library)

The National Economic Impact of Lack of Sleep

Idea posted: February 2017
  • Learning & Behaviour
Institutions: RAND Europe

The current epidemic of lack of sleep in today’s society is not only unhealthy and unproductive for the individual, but has a real economic impact at national levels.

Idea #643
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Receptionists at DICE in Stockholm, 2008 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

How Mindfulness Helps Service Employees Regulate Their Emotions

Idea posted: January 2017
  • Learning & Behaviour

In order to maintain their poise, interactive service employees often have to squelch their impulses when dealing with emotionally filled interactions. The stress created by the need to ‘surface act’ can be significantly mitigated through the practice of mindfulness.

Idea #642
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Corporate Culture: A Key Drivers of a Firm’s Value

Idea posted: January 2017
  • Strategy
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change

A survey of more than 1300 executives confirms that for most leaders, corporate culture is one of the top five contributors to a firm’s value — and that current CEOs are most responsible for establishing an effective culture.

Idea #641
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Why Customers Put Up With Rude Luxury Shop Assistants

Idea posted: December 2016
  • Marketing

Surprisingly, retail rejection (customers greeted with unfriendly sales staff in luxury stores, for example) can increase brand image in the eyes of ‘rejected’ consumers, thus increasing sales in the short term. In the long term, however, consumers will resent the rejection, and the brand pays the price.

Idea #640
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Tiriel Denouncing his Sons and Daughters, William Blake, 1789 (Source: Detlef W. Dorrbecker, William Blake: The Illuminated Books)

Succession Planning Reduces Turmoil and Economic Impact of Departing CEO

Idea posted: December 2016
  • Leadership & Change

Formal succession plans ensure more careful and efficient CEO turnover decisions, and reduce the economic and organizational disruptions that can undermine a company in the wake of a CEO’s departure.

Idea #639
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Media Multitasking: Unproductive but Gratifying

Media Multitasking: Unproductive but Gratifying

Idea posted: December 2016
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

Media multitasking hurts productivity, but it is also a self-reinforcing habit that makes people feel better: students find studying with the TV on more fun and emotionally satisfying, for example. These habitual and emotional gratifications explain why media multitasking is an ongoing problem making its way into the workplace.

Idea #638
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Agricultural calendar, Le Maître du Boccace de Genève, c.1448-1475 (Courtesy: Musée Condé)

Variety Leads to Happiness — If There’s Enough Time!

Idea posted: December 2016
  • Learning & Behaviour

Does variety in activities make us happy? New research shows that time makes the difference. Variety is welcomed over the course of a day or for longer periods, when we’re trying to stay stimulated; however, it’s unwelcomed within short periods such as an hour, when multiple activities feel unproductive.

Idea #636
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The Well-Stocked Kitchen of Martha and Mary, Joachim Bueckelaer, 1566 (Courtesy: The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam)

Why Buying Green Is Not Considered Ethical if You Are Poor

Idea posted: December 2016
  • CSR & Governance

Ethical purchases (buying organic food, for example) are not always seen as moral purchases, especially if the buyers are on government assistance. How dare they pay for expensive organic food, for example, instead of the better-priced non-organic food? After all, it’s not their money. New research reveals that society views being frugal as more moral than trying to save the world.

Idea #637
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One-man band, 2013 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Multi-tasking: Those Who Do It Poorly Do It More!

Idea posted: November 2016
  • Learning & Behaviour

A new study reveals that the people who multi-task the most are the people who are less skilled at multi-tasking. The problem is that the reasons people multi-task (for example, they are easily bored and easily distracted) are the very reasons multi-tasking doesn’t work well (easily bored and distracted, they can’t stay focused on the two tasks they are trying to do simultaneously).

Idea #635
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Paris Diving Exhibition January 12, 2015

Choosing the Right Innovation Partners

Idea posted: November 2016
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship

New research describes how the most effective collaborative behaviour (i.e. the type of technology partner firms you decide to pursue) can depend on whether your industry emphasizes R&D and innovation — or whether it is more technologically stable. 

Idea #629
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The Money Changer and His Wife, Marinus Claesz van Reymerswaele, 1539 (Courtesy: Prado Museum, Madrid)

Women Do Ask For Raises — But Don’t Get Them

Idea posted: October 2016
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Operations

A new study debunks two claims — that women are afraid to ask for raises and that this reticence is based on a fear of disrupting workplace relationships — which have been used to blame women, in part, for the gender disparity in pay. Women do ask for raises, but are more likely to be refused than men. 

Idea #628
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Source: Unsplash

How The Right Mindset Turns Stress Into a Positive Force

Idea posted: October 2016
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

A stress-is-debilitating mindset is a self-fulfilling prophecy: stress reduces performance and adversely impacts health. However, individuals who have a different mindset and view stress as enhancing rather than debilitating find that stress increases their performance and even health.

Idea #627
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The invention of compass (Polar stone), Annonymous, Gdańsk, 1590 (Courtesy: National Museum Warsaw)

Why Good Ideas Don't See the Light of Day

Idea posted: October 2016
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship

For a novel idea to be accepted and implemented, decision-makers must buy into its future success. Unfortunately, the managers who decide the fate of new ideas are the worst predictors of market success.

Idea #626
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Recensio staff group portrait, Frank R. Snyder (Source: Wikimedia Commons) 

Learning Power: Learners Must Take Control

Idea posted: October 2016
  • Learning & Behaviour

A new model of learning power, based on 15 years of data, emphasizes the responsibility that individuals must take for their own learning. The new model unveils the complex relationships among the learning power dimensions, from mindful agency (self-determination and initiative) to openness to learning to relationship dimensions such as collaboration and belonging. 

Idea #634
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A king (Louis XVI), a clerk and a blade (a guillotine): Nostradamus predicts the French revolution. Illustration in Vaticinia Nostradami,1629.

4 Nextsensing Skills to See What the Future Holds

Idea posted: September 2016
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership & Change
Institutions: IE Business School

Asking, “What’s Next?” has always led humans throughout history to create a better future. But answering, “What’s Next?” is not an easy task in today’s ambiguous and complex world. Four ‘nextsensing’ leadership skills are required to lead in the 21st century. 

Idea #624
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Vertical Leadership Development Explained

Idea posted: September 2016
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

Most leadership development is focused on adding new tools and competencies, what might be called ‘horizontal development.’ However, ‘vertical development’ — developing, updating or changing a leader’s mindset and mental models — is equally important. Vertical leadership development is contingent on three conditions: ‘heat experiences’, ‘colliding perspectives’, ‘elevated sensemaking’.

Idea #623
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Water polo at the 2012 Summer Olympics (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Innovation and the Pros and Cons of Close Personal Relationships

Idea posted: September 2016
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

Not all dimensions of social capital have a clear positive influence on organizational exploration activities. A new study shows that the acquisition of new knowledge, ideas and insight can be both helped and hindered when members of a team have close, trusting relationships.

Idea #621
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Painting at protest against the passing of Proposition 8, West Hollywood, 2008 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Diversity and Inclusion: Key Success Factors for Today’s Companies

Idea posted: September 2016
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

Recognizing the competitive advantage of a diverse workforce in an increasingly diverse marketplace, companies are making an effort to include diversity and inclusion elements in their leadership development programs. 

Idea #625
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The Sleeping Shepherd, Aubry-Lecomte (1787-1858) after a painting by Raymond Monvoisin (Courtesy: Bibliothèque nationale de France)

Why Sleep Matters

Idea posted: September 2016
  • Learning & Behaviour

Sleep deprivation is impacting the professional performance, health, and social and emotional well-being of workers of all ages. Companies must take the issue of poor sleep seriously, rejecting cultures that encourage late night working hours and conveying to their employees the personal and organizational benefits of quality sleep.

Idea #622
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Grand Parade (mosaic) Fernand Léger, 1958, National Gallery of Victoria

Meritocracy at Work: Well-Intention Systems Can Cause the Reverse

Idea posted: August 2016
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

If managers believe, because of formal performance evaluation and compensation systems, that their organization is meritocratic, they are ironically more likely to engage in less meritocratic behaviour. Researcher Emilio J. Castilla of MIT’s Sloan School of management calls this “the paradox of meritocracy.”

Idea #620
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Pedestrians in Toronto, 2013 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Serving a Few Major Customers Vs Many Diverse Customers

Idea posted: August 2016
  • Operations

Contrary to the accepted wisdom, manufacturers with a small number of major customers benefit from collaborative practices that lead to less demand uncertainty and greater inventory efficiencies. Manufacturers with a large number of disparate customers are the ones who must keep higher inventory level for longer periods of time, resulting in more inventory write-downs and reversals.

Idea #619
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Hands with flowers

Collaborate with Suppliers to Ensure Green Practices in the Supply Chain

Idea posted: August 2016
  • CSR & Governance
  • Operations

A new study shows that collaborating with suppliers, rather than just monitoring them, is more effective in ensuring that they are engaging in green and sustainable practices. Internal non-coercive drivers (for example, pressure from top management rather than government regulators) encourage buyer/supplier collaboration. 

Idea #617
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Toyota factory in Ohira, near Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan

Lean Manufacturing More Effective in Collectivist Cultures

Idea posted: August 2016
  • CSR & Governance
  • Operations

Lean manufacturing practices are more effective in countries and companies that have more collectivist or group cultures than individualist cultures. In addition, nation trumps organization: a plant’s collectivist organizational culture will not overcome the individualistic culture of the country in which it is located.

Idea #616
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Beware of Egocentricity Causing Team Members to Overestimate their Value

Idea posted: August 2016
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

A new study confirms that individuals typically (but not intentionally) overestimate their contributions to team projects, especially if the teams are large. Managers trying to gauge the contribution of different team members — for reward or other purposes — should recognize when over-claiming is more likely, and use different strategies to remind individuals of the contributions of others.

Idea #615
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Sugar Factory with clean vapor emission, Minas Gerais, Brazil, 2007 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Meeting Sustainability Priorities in Competitive Operational Strategies

Idea posted: August 2016
  • Strategy
  • CSR & Governance
  • Operations

Environmental and social sustainability priorities can be integrated with traditional priorities to varying degrees. Companies competing on innovation, for example, are more open to environmental and social sustainability than companies competing on price. Yet for all companies, environmental and social sustainability priorities play an increasingly greater role in their success.

Idea #618
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Official U.S. Navy Imagery – a sailor presents his girlfriend with an engagement ring (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Competitive Implications of Customer Expectation

Idea posted: July 2016
  • Strategy
  • Marketing

Past research has shown that products and services that don’t fit specific market categories are more likely to fail in the marketplace. A new study demonstrates that even a product with all the attributes of its category can fail. To truly understand the competitive dynamics of its market, a company needs to look beyond categories, and focus on the customer expectations that underlie those categories. 

Idea #612
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Tada' the Chinese poles, 2004 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Build Ambidextrous Teams to Combine Present and Future Objectives

Idea posted: July 2016
  • Strategy
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

Many companies separate short-term activities focused on the present (e.g. customer service, marketing) from long-term activities focused on the future (e.g. new product development). A new study, however, reveals the power of ‘ambidextrous’ teams, where cohesion overcomes the challenge of pursuing both present and future objectives.

Idea #613
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Ostriches in Qatar (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Learning by Hiring: The Challenge of Teaching Entrenched Incumbents

Idea posted: July 2016
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Learning & Behaviour

New scientists can bring new knowledge and expertise to a research team and improve the output and results of the team. However, companies need to beware of long-tenured incumbents who won’t take kindly to the arrival of these upstarts. Nor will they be welcomed into a non-collaborative environment.

Idea #614
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Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz talks to the media (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

CEOs Can Galvanize Public Opinion – and Help Business

Idea posted: July 2016
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change

More CEOs are speaking out on social issues unrelated to their business. A new study shows that this activism can galvanize public opinion – and doesn’t hurt sales. 

Idea #611
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