Why knowledge based teams fail

A very interesting Harvard Business School research paper looks at the problem of why knowledge-based teams (ie almost all teams in modern industry) often fail to live up to their promise. The conclusion the researchers came to is that team members and their superiors fail to recognize clearly the expertise levels of the team members.… [read more]

The power of oxytocin: building relationships and trust at work

Alicia and I talk a lot about the power of the neuropeptide oxytocin in creating committed relationships and trust between individuals and within organizations. A study by Swiss and German researchers has shown that the neurochemical has a far greater effect on behavior and emotion than previously thought.… [read more]

Want change? Ask more, talk less

Far too many managers waste time with ineffective coaching, or having rather pointless assessment dialogues with, their reports. A relatively new technique called “motivational interviewing” may be of help.

It includes many of the coaching and assessment dialogue techniques that we teach.… [read more]

When stress can help you make the right decision

There has been a lot of conflicting data on the link between stress and decision making. Most studies have shown that stress is detrimental overall to good decision making. However, there is apparently an exception to this general rule: decisions made under threatening circumstances are more accurate if the decision-maker has elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol.… [read more]

Impact of living alone on workplace well-being

The biggest single work-related specific health threat is depression. Depression costs business billions of dollars a year in lost productivity in all developed countries.

A new study has shown that the biggest risk factor for the disease is living alone and since the percentage of people living alone is increasing steadily in all advanced countries, this trend will bring new challenges to HR and others dealing with employee welfare.… [read more]

Want to motivate your reports?

A new study finds that those primed with words suggesting action (‘start now’, ‘get on with it’ etc) are more likely to make impulsive decisions than those primed with words suggesting they pause, stop or rest. In other words you’ll get them working hard, perhaps, but they may make some pretty stupid decisions while doing so.… [read more]

Want to be promoted? Lower the tone of your voice

We choose our political leaders, or our CEOs, on the basis of their brain power, right? Wrong.

According to a study published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, leaders are largely selected on the basis of the tone of their voice.… [read more]

Our future leaders: Gen M

We’ll all have to cope with the Millennium generation in the workplace very soon. It’s as well to know something about them. The latest study by San Diego State University based on longitudinal data collected by the University of Michigan shows that Gen M is focused principally on fame and money (70% more so than Boomers).… [read more]

So, you think you’re good at decision-making?

Really? A study published today by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory demonstrates that humans have the same decision-making capability as… rats!

The most accurate decisions, the scientists show, are those that involve the use of visual and auditory input and rodents and humans are not that different in these respects.… [read more]