The idea of choice affects how we see wealth

One of the biggest issues today is the wealth disparity between the very wealthy and the very poor in all countries. Why is it then that people often are against redistributive policies—even when they might benefit? Research published today says that the answer may lie in the concept of choice.… [read more]

Is it Influencers or Contagion which spreads the message?

Ever since Malcolm Gladwell’s book Tipping Point, it has become fashionable to assume that ideas and products are spread or marketed by reaching a tipping point of a number of influencers who would then spread the word. Against this was the theory that the ideas or products were spread by ‘contagion’ regardless of the number of influencers.… [read more]

Humans naturally gossip—even in emails

A new study from Georgia Tech finds that 15% of all emails are gossip. In a sense, that is good because the purpose of gossip is to establish commonality, cement relationships and exchange information. A bit worryingly the researchers found that the majority of email gossip was negative which indicates that the level of digital dialogue was pretty low.… [read more]

Diagnosis of a disaster

In an award-winning paper published in the journal Organization the author analyzed the behavior of bankers, politicians and economists up to and including the GFC. His diagnosis: collective mania where these people showed symptomatic behaviors such as  denial, omnipotence and triumphalism.… [read more]

Cool ain’t what it was

Another confirmation of our prime adage ‘never assume.’ James Dean and the young Marlon Brando were the epitome of cool: rebellious, dark, emotionally controlled and thrill-seeking. I and most of the boomer/GenX crowd  assumed that this was still the case. So did the author of a study by a Rochester University researcher who set out to confirm that cool was still what it was.… [read more]

Innovation and X-Teams

For some time we have been determinedly preaching to businesses about the importance not just of high performance teams but also of what we call  ‘externally-focused teams.’ We have also been showing organizations how to create and support  X-Teams. These teams are not only the highest performing but they are also the prime innovators.… [read more]

Defacto segregation

A new study from the University of Washington on racial preferences in housing has implications for business. The study shows that, in the US, white people, when they move, move to predominantly white neighborhoods and black people to predominantly black neighborhoods.… [read more]

Breaking off employee engagement

We have always said that any relationship—and that includes employer/employee relationships—is, by definition, a mutual satisfaction of need. A study from Florida State University highlights this by looking at the relationship between engaged employees and their employer. As the author of the study rightly points out this relationship can quickly go sour if the engaged employee believes that his or her needs—for time, for resources, for recognition—are not met.… [read more]

Morality is contextual not absolute

People like to think they have a sense of right or wrong. And they do, according to research from the University of Oregon. However that moral sense, they find, is highly contextual—in other words humans find one thing wrong when they are in one job—say an engineer or a lawyer—and morally OK when the same person is a CEO or a managing partner.… [read more]

Imitation is as important as innovation

We are ever more frequently called into organizations to help them create a culture of innovation. Over the last few months these have included a major bank, a retirement home operator and a leading law firm. Innovation is important to survival for firms and corporations fighting to survive in today’s highly competitive environment.… [read more]