Work stress may cause dementia

Workplace stress is slated to increase by over 200% over the next few years according to previous studies (it was up by 72% in Australia in the three years prior to 2008) and work-related stressors are the biggest stress factor in modern society.… [read more]

Economic policies alone won’t lead to growth in Europe

A report for the European Commission by University of Southampton researchers suggests that economic policies alone don’t lead to growth. Instead they conclude: “Results have shown that in relation to the economic crisis and creating growth – participatory citizenship, economic competitiveness and social cohesion are interrelated and reinforce each other.” This is very relevant to firms seeking to grow their way out of the current downturn.… [read more]

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]