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Combining two effortful tasks is harder than completing them separately. Switching tasks increases cognitive load. Most of what we call multi-tasking is actually the prefrontal cortex - a region toward the front of our brain - acting as a policeman directing traffic at a busy intersection, switching between the various neural networks required for the flow of processes associated with each task.

Multi-tasking eats 40% of your day. Here’s how to fight back

We are accelerating into the age of "connected everything". There are almost three million apps in one of the world’s leading app stores, many of us check our smart-phones once every 6 minutes and most of us carry our digital devices for 22 hours per day

In its mildest form, identification with the aggressor can be seen as a healthy defence mechanism and may serve an evolutionary purpose. It allows people to adjust to situations perceived as threatening. However, as illustrated in the opening example, chronic identification with the aggressor can lead victims to become aggressors themselves. In particular, children who have been exposed to highly dysfunctional childhood practices are in adulthood more likely to adopt the same negative behaviour patterns as a survival strategy.

The bad influence of aggressive bosses

Identifying with an aggressor is a basic strategy for human survival. It’s time to call it out in the workplace

Thinking in real terms is convenient, but what happens if inflation turns out to be 5 percent per annum instead of 2 percent? Inflation plays a key role as it is the link between salary (and hence saving capacity), asset market returns and valuations, the value of other assets (like property) and perhaps most importantly, spending in retirement. In short, it is so integral to the problem of retirement that it needs to be carefully modelled – and very clearly explained. Failing to adequately address it may render the advice misleading at best, leaving the user to reach retirement woefully underfunded.

The role of digital in financial planning

Retirement planning, riddled with uncertainty and consumer biases as it is, may be best handled with a mix of digital and face-to-face advice

While in external negotiations there are times that if you do not reach a deal, you can just move on to your alternative or best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA),but in internal negotiations this is a much harder thing to do. Your organisation is unlikely to have two departments responsible for the same resource so that if you are denied that resource, there is nowhere left to turn. This lack of alternatives increases the internal negotiation tension and causes mini-monopolies to emerge inside a firm. Not only do such monopolies have a higher temptation to use their power, because the counterparty cannot walk away, they also have rules and regulations that diminish the incentives to find creative solutions. It is important not to act like a monopoly but to lead by example.

Four reasons why internal negotiations are harder than external ones

Jessica thought it would be easy to borrow two members of David’s team for a four-month project she’d been asked to undertake on behalf of the board

Once the implicit assumptions are out in the open, ask your team to reflect on whether they’re helping your company or hindering it. For example, in our consulting with a newly merged, international telecoms company, we conducted a simple exercise to help the newly merged entities to describe their cultural norms and those of the other parties. It quickly generated truths and myths that could be discussed and used to iron out blockages as they rolled out their distribution and cable network – the key to capturing subscribers and business operational success.

Tools for leaders to leverage organisational politics

Many CEOs enter organisations with ambitious plans to change strategies or processes. But they often find themselves up against organisational politics. Historical divisions and entrenched power structures can quickly hobble change

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