Leaders

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    Tracking the pesky myths that blame women for the glass ceiling

Tracking the pesky myths that blame women for the glass ceiling

For too long myths about women in the workplace have reigned supreme; and they go something like this. Women aren’t ambitious and they don’t want the top job. Furthermore, women don’t help other women, and they (all women?!) lack confidence; and just need to negotiate.

It’s quite a damning list to label half of the world’s population with, especially when […]

The Chinese have transitioned directly to a mobile-only era

China’s middle class group is already the size of the US population and is expected to double within seven years. In addition to its large population size and significant disposable income, this new middle class is also characterised by its quick adoption of mobile applications in their everyday activities.

According to CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center) data, at the […]

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    Why are so few companies satisfied with their innovations’ results?

Why are so few companies satisfied with their innovations’ results?

What would happen if a CEO publicly declared that he is against innovation and would never invest a dime on it again? He would probably be fired right away, while the company’s stock plunged! Not to mention, his statement would be quoted in B-schools for decades as an example of business myopia or, in more mundane terms, idiocy. Why? […]

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    Debunking the investment myth that high risks yield high returns

Debunking the investment myth that high risks yield high returns

My wife is a surgeon, and her field of medicine has been transformed by the ‘evidence-based’ approach. Every pill she prescribes is extensively tested and empirically validated. You will agree that this makes sense, since it directly affects our physical health.

However, when it comes to our financial health we are not yet that advanced. When somebody makes a profitable […]

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    Multinationals in China: How ‘local’ should management go?

Multinationals in China: How ‘local’ should management go?

Any multinational seeking to build a strong base in China will inevitably confront the question of how ‘local’ an approach to adopt, particularly when it comes to management. Foreign firms active in Asia’s biggest market have pursued a wide variety of strategies, from flying in supervisors from head office for a transition period to train up local staff, to […]

Change starts with a leader’s ability to look inward

Most of us only embark on change if we can travel in ways that reinforce existing patterns. That’s the paradox. We seek a new what by comfortably using the same how.

In my work assisting leaders navigate large complex transition, I define change as the “disturbance of repeating patterns”. Unless leaders can pay as equal attention to the system-changing process […]

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    Will Trump’s strategy repatriate highly-paid manufacturing jobs?

Will Trump’s strategy repatriate highly-paid manufacturing jobs?

Trump has set out a plan to repatriate highly-paid manufacturing jobs to the US. But the idea that manufacturing jobs are better paid than service roles is a myth. Moreover, labour markets are slow to shift between sectors. An aggressive trade policy may create some jobs in manufacturing but will not be a benefit to US citizens in general.

Incoming […]

Social finance: a new frontier for development in Indonesia

Jakarta – Gatot Subroto, by Dino Adyansyah, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
Introduction

It is estimated that Asia Pacific countries face an annual development financing shortfall of about $44 billion. So if development challenges are to be tackled effectively, the slack in finances needs to be picked up by the private sector. This would bring market incentives for financial gain closer to public […]

Redesigning Argentina’s economic landscape

Buenos Aires, la ciudad contada, by Hernán Piñera, under a CC-BY-SA-2.0 licence
Most people know Argentina as the land of tango, Malbec, and some of the greatest soccer players of all times. But Argentina is also famous for being home to some of the most diverse and extreme landscapes of the world—from subtropical rainforests and Iguazu Falls in the north to the […]

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    What industry incumbents need to know about platform models before it’s too late

What industry incumbents need to know about platform models before it’s too late

Portland cab drivers protest, by Aaron Parecki, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
Amazon, Airbnb, Uber, Facebook have been hogging the news. The headline figures are arresting. Amazingly, Uber has already surpassed BMW’s market capitalization. A seven-year old upstart company with a mere 6,700 employees is valued more highly than a hundred-year old company with one of the world’s best known automotive brands […]

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    Sherry Coutu: ‘There’s no such thing as small and medium-sized firms’

Sherry Coutu: ‘There’s no such thing as small and medium-sized firms’

Photo provided by Sherry Coutu
In Sherry Coutu’s world, the word SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) would be abolished, because they offer only a static snapshot of a company’s scale. “You’re either growing or shrinking,” she says. Sherry is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and advisor who founded the Scale Up institute (among many other ventures) to provide support to […]

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    Brexit: prioritise getting a good deal from the EU over getting a speedy one

Brexit: prioritise getting a good deal from the EU over getting a speedy one

New Oxford Street, view from Centre Point Tower (cropped), by Eric Huybrechts, under a CC-BY-SA-2.0 licence

Almost five months on from the EU referendum, politicians are still coming to terms with the complexity of legally disentangling the UK from the European Union. The business community will always try to make the best of any situation, and find opportunities in post-Brexit […]

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    A CEO shows us how promoting diversity is not an exact science

A CEO shows us how promoting diversity is not an exact science

GRAM Family Drop-In Studio, by Steven Depolo, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
I spent the first 10 years of my career in one of the very best, but also perhaps least diverse, organisations around.

The British Army taught me a huge amount about leadership, but those lessons did not include how to handle the conversation with a woman coming back from maternity, or […]

November 15th, 2016|Gender, Ian Rand, Leaders|0 Comments|

Toxic workplaces affect health professionals

Doctor, by unsplash.com, via Pexels, under a CC0 licence
If 2015 was the year of compassion in healthcare, then 2016 has been the year of resilience. In the context of austerity, the only response deemed appropriate is, it appears, to ‘man up’.

It is now mainstream to talk about resilience in the plans for helicopter routes across London and school curricula for five-year […]

Find your own inner power

Woman staring out the window, by Rhoda Baer (photographer) for the US NIH, Public Domain
There are three of them and one of me. They sit across the table, watching me intently, weighing up my best-attempt responses to their relentless line of questioning. Judge, jury and executioner – and me, interview candidate for the umpteenth time in as many months, honest witness […]

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    Counting the self employed as entrepreneurs is a meme that refuses to die

Counting the self employed as entrepreneurs is a meme that refuses to die

Busker at Picadilly Circus tube station, by Editor5807, own work, under a CC BY-SA 3.0 licence, via Wikimedia Commons
As the UK Government opens an inquiry into the realities of the ‘gig economy’, the fiction and spin around self-employment is starting to look like a profound distortion of workplace realities.

One of our workplace fairy stories involves the conflation of entrepreneurship and […]

Internet platforms are transforming global trade

Cardboard box, by bykst, under a CC0 licence
Since 2011, the eBay Public Policy Lab and a team of economists at Sidley Austin LLP have together studied the exporting practices of firms using the online commerce platform. We have uncovered a fundamental transformation within global trade. Global trade has expanded beyond container shipments of one large company’s wares along predetermined […]

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    After the US elections, how do we return to a constructive debate about trade?

After the US elections, how do we return to a constructive debate about trade?

Container, by GREGOR, under a CC0 licence
Trade is hardly ever a prominent US election issue, and yet this year it has become the campaign’s defining economic theme. That’s because politicians on both sides of the political spectrum have decided to blame free trade agreements for what is really a much deeper post-crisis economic malaise, characterised by persistently weak job markets […]

Psychoanalysis can help us make sense of Brexit

Hungary-Serbia border barrier, by Bőr Benedek, under a CC BY 2.0 licence

“It is always possible to bind a number of people in love as long as there are others left over to receive the manifestations of their aggressiveness – the outsider may be different in only minor ways, but this will suffice.”
— Freud, Civilisation and Its Discontents
The Brexit campaign was notable in […]

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    From apartheid to today’s divided politics: a CEO calls for responsive leadership

From apartheid to today’s divided politics: a CEO calls for responsive leadership

Syrian refugees, by Freedom House, Public Domain
In three months’ time, the world’s leaders will gather in Davos and the world’s citizens will ask of us: what have you been doing all these years to make the world a better place? The world is fraying as social and economic inequity increases. It’s no surprise that frustration is mounting. We see this reflected in […]