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Photo by Claudia Ramírez on Unsplash

Avoiding Toxic Workers Is More Profitable Than Hiring Superstars

Idea posted: January 2019
  • Leadership & Change

Avoiding a toxic worker enhances performance and costs less than replacing an average worker with a superstar — even if the superstar performs in the top 1% of employees.

Idea #729
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Portrait of artists Jean Baptiste de Champaigne and Nicolas de Plattemontagn (Courtesy: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam)

Why Workplace Conversations Are More Successful than You Believe

Idea posted: November 2018
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

In conversations with new people, most people underestimate how positive of an impression they are making A new study reveals the prevalence of this ‘liking gap’: the fact that most conversation partners like you more than you believe. This liking gap can have implications in the workplace, including the discouragement of collaborative ventures and an additional challenge for new employees.

Idea #720
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Surrounded by Artists and Professors: A Rake's Progress, William Hogarth 1732-5 (Courtesy: Sir John Soane's Museum)

Why Competent Jerks Get Hired

Idea posted: June 2018
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

Despite overwhelming evidence that ‘jerks’ in the workplace undermine the success of a team or organization, they continue to be hired. New research explains why: when one’s money is at stake, decision makers value competence over sociability — which is a long-term mistake.

Idea #710
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The Freezeanalysts, Aris Kalaizis, 1995 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Too Much of a Good Thing: Collaborative Overload

Idea posted: May 2018
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

While the power of collaboration and teamwork is well-documented, the potential dark side of collaboration — for example, the same people in an organization being over-burdened by requests from others because they’ve acquired a reputation as collaborators — is ignored. A team of researchers warn of the dangers of ‘collaborative overload.’

Idea #703
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Photo by Kevin Curtis on Unsplash

Why You Need Diplomats In Your Organization

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

Friendships in the workplace lay the foundation for collaboration and learning. Friendship cliques, however, can also produce fissures that only people with personalities of the diplomats in the organization can span.

Idea #683
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Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

Why Self-Confident Women Have Less Influence than Self-Confident Men

Idea posted: October 2017
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

A new study shows that the appearance of self-confidence resulting from high performance gives men greater influence in their organizations. The same is not true for women, who in addition to appearing self-confident must also demonstrate active concern and support for others. 

Idea #675
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Renaissance chess pieces (Source: Pixabay)

How to Stay Ahead in the Game of Office Politics

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

Despite its negative connotation, office politics is a fact of workplace life. Successful people are politically savvy but also driven by integrity and authenticity. Vlerick Business School offers a guidebook for navigating the landscape of office politics without losing that authenticity.

Idea #678
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Frank Jordan meets with Doug Cuthbertson and other union leaders at City Hall, New York, during the 1994 newspaper strike

Why You Need to Mend Any Poor Relationships With Your Employees

Idea posted: September 2017
  • Leadership & Change

A leading researcher on the issue of management-subordinate conflicts explains why it is important for leaders to mend any poor or strained relationships with their subordinates — and what steps to take. 

 

Idea #674
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Star Trek crew members, 1968, Chekov, Uhura, Scott and Sulu  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Leader–Team Member Relationships 2: Impact Job Satisfaction, Trust and Empowerment

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

In addition to confirming that the quality of relationships between leader and subordinates impacts performance, a new meta-analysis of the research also identifies why these relationships have such an impact: because they affect the role clarity, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, motivation, empowerment and most importantly, trust.

Idea #671
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Elvis Presley and others being sworn into the US Army, 1958 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Leader–Team Member Relationships 1: Impact on Performance

Idea posted: August 2017
  • Leadership & Change

Leaders and managers have different relationships with different members of their teams. Leader-member exchange theory can help leaders understand how these differences in relationships impact the performance of the team as a whole and of individual team members.

Idea #670
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Reading Group Emotions Is Key to Transformational Leadership

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

Transformational leaders can pick up on cues from a group that convey its emotions — a skill that is beyond the individual-based emotional intelligence.656

Idea #656
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The seven dwarfs, Snow White, 1937, produced by Walt Disney Productions (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Motivation Profiles: Pay and Reward Vs Fulfilling Work

Idea posted: June 2016
  • Strategy
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

Building on four types of motivation, a new survey helps identify different profiles of motivation for managers, offering a mix of extrinsic (e.g. salaries) or intrinsic (e.g. fulfilling work) rewards. The profiles reveal how the different motives of managers impact their job attitudes. 

Idea #609
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St Thomas Aquinas, Benozzo Gozzoli, 1468 -1484 (Courtesy: Musée du Louvre, Paris)

We Trust People Who Believe in Absolute Moral Rules

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

Most people live by a set of moral rules that guides their decision-making. For example: killing is never justified. What happens, however, if the death of one person could save the lives of many? Should the rule be ignored in this case? Many people would say yes — the consequences change the situation. A new study, however, shows that in the workplace, these ‘consequentialists’ will be less trusted than those who live by immutable moral rules.

Idea #607
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A Rakes Progress, William Hogarth, 1732-33, in this second painting Tom is at his morning levee (Courtesy: Sir John Soane's Museum, London)

Social Skills Valued Most in Today’s Workplace

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

The most valued jobs and occupations in the labour market are those that require social skills — that is, the ability to work with others — or even better, a combination of social and cognitive (knowledge-based) skills.

Idea #600
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An umpire: Australia v World XI, Sydney Cricket Ground, 2005 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

How People React to the Fairness of Decisions: Trust Makes a Difference

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

Perceived fairness, whether of the outcome or procedural fairness, impacts on how people react to decisions. New research shows that the level of trust in decision makers sets expectations that significantly influence this interaction of outcome and procedural fairness.

Idea #583
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Buddha changing colour (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Mindful Meditation Helps Reduce Racial and Age Bias

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

Most people’s biases are automatic; without thinking, we make biased negative associations about certain categories of people based on previously established associations. Focusing on race and age bias, a new research study shows that mindfulness meditation decreases this type of implicit bias by weakening our automatically activated associations.  

Idea #580
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Male Middle Managers: Linchpins of Gender Parity at Work

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

Gender equality in the workplace can be undermined through everyday organizational practices, from sexually charged remarks to limiting female contributions to meeting discussions or refusing to give women credit for ideas or initiatives. Male middle managers are the key to halting such practices and fostering gender parity in their organizations.

Idea #572
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How Creativity Starts With Respectful Engagement

Idea posted: January 2016
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership & Change

There are a wide variety of methodologies and concepts for developing individual and team creativity in organizations. New research, however, reveals the unexpected foundation of organizational creativity: respectful relationships.

Idea #578
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Painting depicting Parson Weems and his famous story of George Washington and the Cherry Tree. Grant Wood (Courtesy: Amon Carter Museum of American Art)

Does Character Add to the Success of Transformational Leadership?

Idea posted: August 2015
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

Character and transformational leadership do not necessarily overlap. New research shows that positive character traits will increase the level of success obtained by transformational leadership. Negative character traits can reveal the dark side of transformational leadership — a dark side that leads to poor results.

Idea #539
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The Keystone Cops, 'In the Clutches of the Gang, 1914, directed by George Nichols and Mack Sennett (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

How to Avoid Task Conflicts Damaging Team Relationships

Idea posted: June 2015
  • Leadership & Change

The potential performance benefits of task-related conflicts can be jeopardized when those conflicts deteriorate into personal relationship conflicts. Strong team identification can prevent such deterioration — as long as the original conflict is of medium intensity.

Idea #523
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Alice and the Queen of Hearts

Bossy: What’s Gender Got to Do with It?

Idea posted: May 2015
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

Bossy is not a synonym for assertiveness, or other positive executive leadership skills, and women are labelled bossy in the workplace more often than men are. But what lessons can be learned — for both genders — from  this blatant, and damaging, double-standard?

Idea #511
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How Political Correctness Increases Creativity in Mixed-Sex Teams

Idea posted: April 2015
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

Creativity can suffer in mixed-sex teams. Men and women both experience uncertainty when asked to generate ideas as members of a mixed-sex work group: men because they may fear offending the women and women because they fear having their ideas devalued or rejected. Being PC helps men and women become more creative. 

Idea #505
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St Anne, 8th century, from Faras – a city in Lower Nubia, present day Egypt (Courtesy: National Museum of Warsaw)

Encouraging Employees Who Stay Silent to Give Feedback

Idea posted: March 2015
  • Leadership & Change

Employees with a low sense of power are more likely to stay quiet about problems or concerns and less likely to come forward with suggestions or disagreements. Managers who can convince employees that they are genuinely interested in hearing from their employees can overcome their sense of powerlessness.

Idea #496
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Public Sector Leadership: Managing 'Multirational' Organizations

Idea posted: March 2015
  • Leadership & Change
  • Operations

Public sector organizations are hybrid organizations that bring together different rationalities (e.g. political, economic, legal) together under one roof. The role of the public-sector manager is to find a way to enable these different rationalities to collaborate effectively. The key, according to social systems theory, is communication: finding the common language.

Idea #497
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Daniel's Answer to the King, Briton Rivière, Mezotint, 1892 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Overcoming Our Evolutionary Fears to Speak Up to Authority

Idea posted: March 2015
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

Employees are often afraid to speak up even though they may have something to say. New research points to the evolutionary origins of fear-based silence and highlights the productive steps (e.g. developing emotional intelligence and better communication skills) employees can take to overcome these fears.

Idea #498
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How to Resolve Workplace Conflicts by Addressing Conflict Expression

Idea posted: February 2015
  • Leadership & Change

Faced with workplace conflicts, attending to how the different parties express themselves — presenting their positions clearly, calmly and honestly or using aggressive language and loud voices, is just one example — can be the key in reaching a resolution.

Idea #489
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Indian business and education leaders at 'Strings', 2012, an annual kite show by Worlds of Wonder in association with shOObh Welfare Society (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

From Charisma to Autonomy: How India’s Generations Rate Leadership Qualities

Idea posted: February 2015
  • Leadership & Change
  • Marketing

What do the different generations in India expect from their leaders? Charisma, being team-oriented, seeking participation and inclusion, and treating subordinates with humanity are particularly prized, according to a recent cross-generational survey. Of less importance are the old stand-bys of yesterday’s leaders: autonomy and a strict adherence to hierarchy.

Idea #490
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Shakespeare's Prince Hal (Henry iv part 2). The Gower Memorial, Stratford (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Why First-Time Managers Need More Development Support

Idea posted: February 2015
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

First-time managers, according to a recent survey, face a variety of leadership challenges, the most difficult being leading teams effectively, learning to be a better leader, and (mentioned by nearly 60% of respondents) being able to assert your authority over former peers while maintaining positive relationships. Organizations, focused on executive development, need to put more money into leadership development for first-time managers, especially in these three areas.

Idea #487
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Why Leaders Sabotage Their Own Teams

Idea posted: February 2015
  • Leadership & Change

Some leaders, afraid of losing their grip on power, will use whatever means they have to stay in their position. Their favourite strategy is to divide and conquer: they systematically prevent skilled subordinates — the greatest threats to their power — from forming alliances with other subordinates that would help push them to the top. Divide-and-conquer strategies undermine the positive, collaborative relationships that are key success factors for effective groups…but these leaders couldn't care less. 

Idea #482
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Margaret Thatcher, 1925-2013 (Courtesy: Associated Press)

A Lower Voice Can Take You Higher Up the Leadership Ladder

Idea posted: February 2015
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change

When it comes to success in business, a man’s voice can make a difference — especially if he hopes to become CEO. New research reveals that men with deeper voices manage larger companies, make more money and stay in their positions longer. (Women were not included in this research though Margaret Thatcher’s rise to power was supposedly helped by coaching that lowered the pitch of her voice.)

Idea #483
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