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The persuasive power of transparency

By: EBR | Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Cost transparency can be a compelling strategic choice in both marketing and negotiation

The idea of finding a way to embody an overall mission as a more concrete objective is related to an essential insight in management. Management practice often centres on “fluffy” performances such as missions, speeches, goal statements, and quick tours and interactions. None of this fluff helps if it is disconnected from the activities and meaning of all members of the organisation. Mission and goal statements contribute to success if they are oriented toward the embodiment of concrete activities that people can use to choose their own actions and construct meaning.

How great leaders make work meaningful

By: EBR | Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Mired in day-to-day tasks, people easily lose sight of their work’s higher purpose. That’s where great communicators come in

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

By: EBR | Friday, October 6, 2017

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

By: EBR | Monday, October 2, 2017

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

By: EBR | Friday, August 4, 2017

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

By: EBR | Thursday, July 20, 2017

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

By: EBR | Monday, June 26, 2017

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

It is unlikely that the average person is willing to settle for such a sharp drop in their lifestyle. Based on current spending levels, the reality is that Singaporeans’ monthly retirement stipend will need to be closer to US$3,300 to maintain their current living standards. Most Singaporeans will draw US$550 per month from the Singaporean retirement income scheme for the elderly, the Central Provident Fund (CPF) LIFE. Contrary to popular wisdom, household spending does not decline significantly during retirement. This is often referred to as the retirement income puzzle.

Why your financial planner should be a robot

By: EBR | Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Retirement planning requires more data and less human involvement to nudge customers to a more comfortable future

You can also argue that a separate group or task force needs to be set up to examine an issue or bridge silos. It creates a ‘working space’ outside of the habitual structures, norms and routines of the organisation. It’s vital for innovation and change. For instance, a public agency was hampered because of slow structures and formalised steps to stop potential fraud. It meant that millions in tax revenues were not collected at the end of the year. Senior leaders decided to set up a dedicated task force outside of the formal organisational structure to solve the problem.

Tools for leaders to leverage organisational politics

By: EBR | Thursday, June 1, 2017

Navigating four typical domains of organisational politics can help leaders overcome barriers to strategy execution

Keen-eyed observers might point out that people’s extent of foreign experiences is roughly in step with their social class. At first glance, our results might seem to be a rehash of past research showing a higher prevalence of immoral behaviour at the upper reaches of the social scale. But they remained robust even after explicitly controlling for education and income, suggesting that participants’ foreign travel—rather than their social status—was responsible for the increase in immorality.

Watch out for the well-travelled

By: EBR | Monday, May 29, 2017

Sampling a wide array of cultural norms can blur people’s moral vision

Top restaurants’ identities are substantially wedded to their chefs’ in the areas of creativity, innovation and external image. However, the day-to-day customer experience outcome is delivered through a coordinated organisational effort of several individuals in the kitchen and the front-of- house who face many challenges in real time. In customer-facing operations, the connection between the organisation and the customer is crucial. Organisational excellence can be highly impacted by a combination of three main factors: leadership effectiveness, team effectiveness and workplace environment.

How to lead like a top chef

By: EBR | Tuesday, May 2, 2017

World-class chefs confront many leadership challenges shared by corporate leaders and entrepreneurs

We urge the G20 to formally accept the recommendations of the TCFD and send a strong signal that government leaders desire more transparency from business regarding the financial implications of climate change on their short and long-term strategy and operations. We welcome the current TCFD recommendations, and will actively support their successful implementation.

Global CEOs call for greater disclosure of climate risks and opportunities

By: EBR | Friday, April 28, 2017

Global business leaders representing companies with US$4.9 trillion in assets under management and US$700 billion in revenue have joined together to urge G20 governments to formally accept and act on the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures

The irony is that technological progress is only exacerbating this crisis. Historically, society has been able to afford more bullshit jobs precisely because our robots kept getting better. As our farms and factories grew more efficient, they accounted for a shrinking share of our economy. And the more productive agriculture and manufacturing became, the fewer people they employed. Call it the paradox of progress: the richer we become, the more room we have to waste our time. It’s like Brad Pitt says in Fight Club: too often, we’re “working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.”

A growing number of people think their job is useless

By: EBR | Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Time to rethink the meaning of work

My main lesson is that everything happens for a reason, and as long as you work your hardest and have the best intentions (and rarely is this driven by making the most money) the results will follow. It’s never an easy road, and it’ll be full of trials and tribulations, but the satisfaction of bringing your vision to reality is priceless, so enjoy the ride!

3 entrepreneurs share their biggest mistakes – and what they learned from them

By: EBR | Friday, April 7, 2017

When you hear the stories behind some of today’s most successful companies, it can be easy to forget just how hard it is to set up and scale a business

While the firm may lose some value appropriation, and pass on a bigger slice of the value pie to the achieving executive, the extra value gained through successful exploration and the development of new business and knowledge increases the size of the pie overall, and places the organisation in a better position for future growth. Indeed when an organisation gives some of its “ownership” of relationships to individual employees, it can actually benefit.

Rethinking network ties

By: EBR | Thursday, March 23, 2017

Professional service executives who base their professional relationships on individual ties bring more value to the firm

Digitalisation may involve a great many experts, but the ultimate responsibility for digital transformation belongs to all functions within a firm. Successful change also requires cooperation from junior contributors all the way up to the board by linking digital savvy millennials with the business experience and wisdom of senior executives and directors.

11 Leadership guidelines for the Digital Age

By: EBR | Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The old ways of running a company won’t cut it in a digital world

Managers may find that feigning optimism inspires loyalty from employees and faith from higher-ups. Stakeholders who believe these cheerful predictions may be in for a rude awakening, however. Our findings suggest that if you want to filter out the noise, you must provide an almost ostentatious level of anonymity protection. In an atmosphere of maximally reinforced reassurance, you have the best chance of banishing the rose-coloured glasses.

The fine line between optimism and fakery

By: EBR | Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Are humans unrealistically hopeful about the future, or just pretending to be?

A “glass ceiling” is really a set of stereotypes that are in contradiction with one another. That is, the stereotype of the profession “computer scientist” is at odds with the stereotype of the gender “woman” and so some people may vacillate between thinking that women aren’t tough enough to make it as computer scientists . . . and thinking that tough female computer scientists aren’t feminine enough to be acceptable women. We all use stereotypes to make processing the world easier – rather than seeing things anew, we can just group what we see into types that we already have.

Smashing the glass ceiling: 6 Davos leaders explain how they did it

By: EBR | Tuesday, January 17, 2017

When it comes to closing the gender gap, we’ve made an immense amount of progress in a relatively short space of time. But we’re nowhere near where we need to be

Here the good news is that while conventional political engagement has eroded, democratic expression and unconventional political involvement have expanded. Citizens are not losing interest in public affairs. Quite the contrary. The challenge for leaders is therefore to channel this growing interest in the democratic process through the creation of new avenues of participation, co-creation of policies and oversight of leaders’ actions. In our re-politicised societies, successful political representatives will be those capable of transforming mounting distrust into civic virtue.

A 10-point guide to responsible leadership in the age of populism

By: EBR | Sunday, January 15, 2017

In a world characterized by epic political, social and technological transformations, there has never been a greater need for responsive and responsible leaders

Responsible leaders must develop empathy and solidarity with all people they serve, so that they will forge collective benefits that enlarge the pie for everyone. Again, volunteerism and community engagement are crucial. Unfortunately, with social media and an overabundance of choice, people are easily conditioned to only seek out interactions with people they “like” or to “friend” people of similar views or backgrounds. This is the exact opposite of the desired outcome, and can lead to irresponsible leaders with low social capital, and low empathy, who see the world as a fixed pie that must be divided up with the largest slice going to themselves and people like them. The future of the world, particularly the one that the young will inherit, must be defined by what we share, not our superficial differences.

What does leadership really mean?

By: EBR | Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A young person could almost be forgiven for feeling despair and hopelessness today. Everywhere they look, there is escalating inequality and a lack of opportunity

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EU Actually

‘Success of European project is measured by delivering on political ambitions not by the size of the budget’

N. Peter KramerBy: N. Peter Kramer

At the end of this week, 20 and 21 February, the 27 EU leaders are invited by their president, Charles Michel, for an EU Council summit in Brussels, to discuss the EU’s next long-term budget

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Digital package: citizens’ trust, data flows and EU values for AI will be key, say MEPs

Digital package: citizens’ trust, data flows and EU values for AI will be key, say MEPs

The Industry and Internal Market Committees quizzed Commissioner Thierry Breton on the new initiatives in the digital sector on Wednesday

Business

Getting people with disabilities into work requires data

Getting people with disabilities into work requires data

People with disabilities – estimated to be about 15% of the world population – constitute a largely untapped pool of talent in the labour market. And they face a high risk of being marginalized further as the world of work undergoes rapid transformations, including technological developments, climate change and demographic shifts

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