Tag Archives: Organization

The European Unraveling?

By Ana Palacio – The problem for the EU is no longer the indifference that marked the worst elements of President Barack Obama’s approach to Europe. It is outright US hostility. Trump’s praise of Brexit, which emphasized the British people’s “right to self-determination,” and his belittling reference to the EU as “the Consortium” in his appearance with British Prime Minister Theresa May, underscores his hostility.

Europe is now stuck between a US and a Russia that are determined to divide it. What are we Europeans to do?

One option is to pander to Trump. That is the approach May took on her visit to Washington, DC, when she stood by silently as Trump openly declared his support for the use of torture at their joint press conference.

But, for the EU, such appeasement would be counter-productive. It is our values, not our borders, that define us. It makes little sense to abandon them, especially to ingratiate ourselves with a leader who has shown himself to be capricious and utterly untrustworthy.

The third option – and the only viable one for the EU – is self-reliance and self-determination. Only by strengthening its own international positions – increasing its leverage, in today’s jargon – can the EU cope effectively with America’s wavering fidelity to its allies and the values they share. more> https://goo.gl/FRuIrO

Working anytime, anywhere: The effects on the world of work

By Jon Messenger, Oscar Vargas Llave, Lutz Gschwind, Simon Boehmer, Greet Vermeylen and Mathijn Wilkens – New information and communications technologies (ICT) have revolutionized everyday work and life in the 21st century. They enable people to connect with friends and family – as well as with work colleagues and supervisors – at any point in time; however, they also facilitate the encroachment of paid work into the spaces and times normally reserved for personal life.

The uncoupling of paid work from traditional office spaces has been a crucial factor in this development. Today’s office work and, more broadly, knowledge work, is supported by the internet, and can be carried out from practically any location and at any time. This new spatial independence has transformed the role of technology in the work environment, offering both new opportunities and new challenges.

Regarding the positive effects of T/ICTM (telework/ICT-mobile work), workers report a reduction in commuting time, greater working time autonomy leading to more flexibility in terms of working time organization, better overall work–life balance, and higher productivity. Companies benefit from the improvement in work–life balance, which can lead to increased motivation and reduced turnover as well as enhanced productivity and efficiency, and from a reduction in the need for office space and associated costs.

The disadvantages of T/ICTM are the tendency to lead to longer working hours, to create an overlap between paid work and personal life (work–home interference), and to result in work intensification. Home-based teleworkers seem to report better work–life balance, while ‘high-mobile’ workers are more at risk of negative health and well-being outcomes. Partial and occasional forms of T/ICTM appear to result in a more positive balance between the benefits and drawbacks. From a gender perspective, women doing T/ICTM tend to work shorter hours than men, and women seem to achieve slightly better work–life balance effects. more> https://goo.gl/0Oc9fq

The Ten Behaviors of Strong Personal Leadership


The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success, Author: Scott Eblin.

By Scott Eblin – Great leaders practice and exhibit strong personal leadership. They endeavor to live at their best so they can lead at their best. Their lives are structured for continuous improvement.

Here are the ten behaviors of personal leadership:

  1. Self reflection. Great leaders take the time to identify and articulate how they are at their best and then organize their life so they consistently show up with those qualities
  2. Self awareness. Great leaders are aware and intentional
  3. Self care. Great leaders understand that they perform at their best when they take care of their health and well being.
  4. Continuous learning. Great leaders never stop learning.
  5. Listening. Great leaders listen. They ask open-ended questions and pay attention to the answers.
  6. Operating rhythm. Great leaders know and leverage their operating rhythm.
  7. Gear shifting. Great leaders know how to quickly shift gears
  8. Focus. Great leaders focus on who or what is in front of them
  9. Clarity of purpose. Great leaders know what they’re in it for
  10. Gratitude. They recognize, acknowledge the good things in their life
  11. more> https://goo.gl/qXCpL1

The US has been downgraded to a “flawed democracy,” but not just because of Trump

By Eshe Nelson – The US has been “teetering on the brink of becoming a flawed democracy” for years, the report says. Regardless of the result of the 2016 presidential election, the US was due a downgrade.

Trust has been declining in the US for decades, leaving the country’s institutions battling a “legitimacy crisis” and struggling to sustain representative democracy in its current form, the report says.

The decline began in the late 1960s with the Vietnam war, civil rights movement, assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, and the Watergate scandal. Over the past decade, it got worse following wars in the Middle East, a financial crisis, and persistent gridlock in Washington. And along came Trump:

By tapping a deep strain of political disaffection with the functioning of democracy, Mr Trump became a beneficiary of the low esteem in which US voters hold their government, elected representatives and political parties, but he was not responsible for a problem that has had a long gestation.

In total, democracy, as measured by the EIU, declined in 72 countries and increased in 38 countries last year. more> https://goo.gl/4DCag4

How culture Is driving human evolution, domesticating our species, and making us smarter


The Secret of Our Success, Author: Joseph Henrich.
Guns, Germs, and Steel, Author: Jared Diamond.
Culture and the Evolutionary Process, Authors: Robert Boyd and Peter J. Richerson.
Foundations of Social Evolution, Author: Steven A. Frank.

(cartoonstock.com)By Tyler Cowen and Joseph Henrich – For much of human history, people believed in gods that were weak and whimsical, not very powerful. There was no notion of afterlife.

If we look at the earliest human societies, the first time you see monumental architecture, it’s always religious. It’s always a temple or a tomb. This seems to help consolidate power and expand this fear of reliable social interactions.

If we look at the smallest-scale human societies, hunter-gatherers, they still rely on all kinds of social norms and beliefs to cooperate even when they’re cooperating in relatively small bands.

Psychologists have now shown when you cooperate, when you participate in communal rituals, you become more cooperative and you have greater social solidarity with other members of your group. Even the smallest-scale human societies are already using all these tricks of cultural evolution to make them more social.

The simplest and clearest one is this idea that I call the collective brain. This is simply the idea because we’re so dependent on learning from each other in order to do innovations and to construct increasingly fancy technologies, larger and more interconnected populations tend to have fancier tools and technologies.

Culture changes our biology and causes us to think differently.

War in some cases can foster cooperation, especially over the longer haul.

The trick the West pulled off is to manage to make individuals so that information could freely flow among individuals. more> https://goo.gl/YnVnsU

Updates from Chicago Booth

Our favorite charts of 2016: Do banks give credit where credit’s needed?

During the Great Recession, low interest rates and stimulus programs were supposed to get credit to people who would rev up the economy. But research by Sumit Agarwal of the National University of Singapore, Souphala Chomsisengphet of the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Chicago Booth’s Neale Mahoney, and Johannes Stroebel of NYU suggests most of the additional credit went to people who needed it least, and for whom it had the smallest impact on spending. Data visualization by Soren Messner-Zidell. more> https://goo.gl/SiFayO


A guide to rebuilding the Democratic Party, from the ground up

By Theda Skocpol – For 2016, Democrats put all their chips on a bet that demographic destiny would sweep Hillary Clinton into the White House on the backs of the “rising” Obama coalition of young, minority, and female voters. This gamble came up just short — in a narrow Electoral College loss with huge consequences for the country.

Some on the left regard the Democratic Party as inherently corrupt and call for proliferating protests and changes in rules that would enable non-party actors to dismantle or take over the remaining shell. But weakening Democratic Party organizations is the last thing that should happen at this critical juncture, when there is a strong possibility of a long-term authoritarian right turn in US politics.

Anti-institutional tendencies in today’s culture make the idea of dismantling the existing order attractive to many people. But social science research has long shown that majorities need strong organizations to prevail against wealthy conservative interests in democracies.

The real problem in US politics today is hardly too much unified organizational heft on the center left; it is too little. Unless the Democratic Party becomes stronger and more effective, a radicalized Republican-conservative juggernaut is likely to take over for decades. more> https://goo.gl/OwwChv

Creating a Sense of Purpose at Work

By Art Petty – Too many people I encounter have given up striving to move beyond what they characterize as the daily grind. Instead of creating and building, they are surviving. And while some cultures seem adept at sucking the souls out of their employees, I believe you choose your attitude, and you can frame your work in terms that give it meaning or words that make it mundane.

Most of us have encountered the story of the two stone masons busy cutting stones. One described himself as simply a stonecutter The other described himself as a mason and announced triumphantly, “And I am building a great cathedral.”

Which one are you? more> https://goo.gl/h5OrTb

What would a rational criminal justice system look like?


Creating Freedom, Author: Raoul Martinez.

By Raoul Martinez – The effectiveness of punishment as a deterrent is often misunderstood. Those who fill our prisons are clearly undeterred by society’s punishments. The fact that rates of recidivism in the UK and US hover between 60 and 65 per cent only underscores the point that incarceration routinely fails to deter repeat offending. It might seem that more severe punishments would be more effective deterrents, but often the opposite is true.

And it’s telling that Europe’s lowest reoffending rate is in Norway’s humane prison island of Bastoy. Contrary to popular intuitions, what matters most in deterring criminal behaviour is not so much the severity of punishment but the likelihood of getting caught.

If people aren’t ultimately responsible for their actions, then there is no justification for retribution.

Broadly speaking, on finding someone guilty of a crime, we have three ways of responding: punishment to deter; rehabilitation to heal; or incarceration to protect. These responses are not mutually exclusive and often overlap.

For each, there are two questions to answer: will it be effective and can it be ethically justified? The answers depend on whom we’re talking about – each brain is unique. A ‘one size fits all’ approach is inefficient and unethical. more> https://goo.gl/4Kwy3G

The Top Reason Digital Transformations Fail

By Barry Libert and Megan Beck – Most digital transformations fail, and there are many explanations why.

Many firms today have realized that digital transformation is essential to their success. Strong technology, both internal and external, is as important as any other good business practice. Further, the market has shown how much more it values digital firms.

Despite awareness of the importance of digital technology and business models, we continue to see that most leaders don’t know how to lead a digital transformation. Many work to enable others in their organizations, but this often results disjointed, independent, tactical initiatives, which are costly and go nowhere, creating bad blood inside and outside the organization.

To be successful, digital platforms need to be unified across the organization, spanning every division, product, service and supplier. Doing this takes real leadership and board support.

Even with the right leadership, many firms will fail at digital transformation. Forrester’s Nigel Fenwick asserts that by 2020 all companies will be either digital predator or digital prey. However, getting the CEO and board aligned, involved, and willing to reallocate capital is the essential first step to success. more> https://goo.gl/b5xAiY