Leaders

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    Alienated, under pressure and target driven: Why we need to make friends at work

Alienated, under pressure and target driven: Why we need to make friends at work

Support, by Ondřej Lipár, under a CC-BY-SA-2.0 licence

“Attachment is a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and space”  (John Bowlby, Attachment & Loss 1969)

The book Intelligent Kindness describes workplace dysfunction when it interrogates the consequence of alienated, highly pressurised and target-driven workers. The book was concerned with the evasion of political, moral and ethical […]

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    In business, as in government, direct democracy is not possible

In business, as in government, direct democracy is not possible

Photo by David Shankbone, own work, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons
One of the mad ideas that seems to have been unchallenged during the recent referendum is that a referendum is democratic. The recent referendum demonstrates that the pressure from his own party to take a lead on Europe was too much for Mr Cameron, who passed the decision back to […]

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    How industry influences public opinion about the Internet of Things

How industry influences public opinion about the Internet of Things

Internet of things, by jefferrb, under a CCO licence
Any device with an on-and-off switch can (and should) be connected to the Internet. This is the basic idea of the industrial internet, also referred to as the ‘internet of things’ (IoT). Forecasts indicate that around 6.4 billion connected devices will be in use worldwide by the end of 2016, up […]

The focus on exam grades is failing the next generation

High-school pupils in Szczecin, Poland, waiting to write a matura exam, 2005, by Marcin Otorowski and Oskar Błaszkowski, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons
The end of August, and the results for the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) are out. Over the sound of nervous heartbeats and tearing envelopes we hear that these are the worst results in 25 years, […]

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    Hinkley Point C nuclear station: an expensive solution to a cheap problem

Hinkley Point C nuclear station: an expensive solution to a cheap problem

Colour Scheme, by Mark Robinson, under a CC-BY-NC- 2.0 licence
The UK will soon break ground on its first new nuclear power plant in more than 20 years now that PM Teresa May has signed off on Hinkley. While clearly a political decision, given the involvement of both French and Chinese companies, my colleagues and I at Bloomberg New Energy Finance […]

Cash is an emotional topic

“Cash”, by Ted Van Pelt, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
In The Curse of Cash, I make a serious case for phasing out the bulk of paper currency, particularly large denomination notes. Since pre-publication copies started floating around just a few weeks ago, a number of engaging, thoughtful reviews have published (for example, here, here, here, here and here). But mere rumors […]

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    If you do not have a unique insight, you do not have a strategy  

If you do not have a unique insight, you do not have a strategy  

008/366 – Einsichten / Insights, by Boris Thaser, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
A famous philosopher once said that if you do not know who the patsy is at a poker table, you are the patsy.  In card games, relying on maximising your winnings when you are dealt good hands and limiting your losses when you are dealt bad ones serves […]

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    An entrepreneur’s quest to build an EdTech product out of her invention

An entrepreneur’s quest to build an EdTech product out of her invention

Children eating lunch at school, by USDA, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
The purpose of education is to produce happy, healthy, impactful lives, and let society reap the benefits. At first glance, this may not seem controversial, but taken to its radical extreme, this purpose statement — the core tenet of my company, Socos — leads to a fundamentally different approach […]

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    Nigeria in recession: the devaluation came a day late, a dollar short

Nigeria in recession: the devaluation came a day late, a dollar short

Nigeria – Five Naira (₦5), (cropped), by Shardayyy, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
In January 2016, I tabled a prognosis for Nigeria anchored on the premise of an economy set to tread a tight rope between soaring inflation and deceleration of its growth momentum. Seven months later, inflation had inched to a high of 17.1 per cent and the economy had […]

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    Untied to economic fluctuations, insurers are less likely to generate systemic risks

Untied to economic fluctuations, insurers are less likely to generate systemic risks

In a nutshell, macroprudential regulation is made up of two building blocks: surveillance and supervision. Surveillance is concerned with identifying, assessing and monitoring the build-up of systemic risks, i.e., those regarding the financial stability of a country or region. Supervision is aimed at preventing, mitigating and managing systemic risks.

A key lesson from the recent global financial crisis is that […]

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    Shareholder committees can restore responsible company ownership

Shareholder committees can restore responsible company ownership

For capitalism to work, the holders of capital (i.e. shareholders) need to exercise a measure of control and oversight over the companies they own. Without this, directors may simply run corporations in their own interests. For example, Shareholders today often merely rubber stamp recommendations for Director nominations and have a very limited formal role in setting executive pay. Symptoms of […]

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    Are the days of leadership as command and control by white men numbered?

Are the days of leadership as command and control by white men numbered?

As my train rolls through the stunning Swiss landscape, I find myself distracted by three young women talking animatedly about coding, where they might do their PhDs and whether they might prefer to work in academia, banking or high tech. They’re on their way to a Nanobiotech conference while I’m on my way to an event on how men […]

The commodity price rout and Africa’s unusual electoral cycle

The ongoing electoral cycle in Sub-Saharan Africa is turning out to be somewhat unusual. In the Nigeria March 2015 poll, the People’s Democratic Party suffered its first loss since the end of military rule in 1999, whilst in South Africa’s August 2016 municipal election the ruling Africa National Congress (ANC) registered its worst performance since the end of apartheid […]

Success isn’t just about salary and title

The way social mobility is currently understood is leading us down an economic and social cul-de-sac. New research released by Professor John Goldthorpe showed that social mobility in this country stalled in the latter part of the 20th century and earlier part of the 21st. This builds on work released this year by the Sutton Trust showing unequal access […]

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    Euro zone crisis and climate change: Addressing two targets with one instrument

Euro zone crisis and climate change: Addressing two targets with one instrument

The threat of climate change requires a transition of society away from fossil fuels towards renewable energies. Such transition cannot be achieved in a context of economic stagnation. The deplorable state of the European economy is the direct consequence not of the financial crisis of 2008/09, but of the seemingly unsolvable euro zone crisis. This places the long-term challenge […]

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    Businesses can no longer ignore social media sentiment analysis

Businesses can no longer ignore social media sentiment analysis

In February 2015, Bridgewater Associates, a $165 billion hedge fund founded by billionaire investor Ray Dalio, contacted a number of artificial intelligence (AI) programmers. He offered them an opportunity to join David Ferrucci, who came to Bridgewater at the end of 2012 after leading the Semantic Analysis and Integration Department at IBM’s T.J. Watson’s Research Center for a number […]

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    Traditional targets and bonuses often don’t improve performance in an organisation

Traditional targets and bonuses often don’t improve performance in an organisation

Why do leadership seminars only use the colours blue, black, and grey? Why do business people walk around in darkly coloured suits and ties? Why do all management book covers look so bland and depressing?

Where is the pink in management?

I have managed organizations for 20 years. In the beginning, I had no clue how to do this. I was […]

How demography influences monetary policy

There are three main longer term factors that determine how our economy performs. These are:

Population trends (demography);
Technical know-how (innovations);
How we manage ourselves (governance and education).

There is debate whether innovation is currently slowing or accelerating, and governance questions are always with us. But this blog is primarily about demography, and its influence on monetary policy, largely taken from a joint paper  […]

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    Five reasons for small businesses to stay positive about Brexit

Five reasons for small businesses to stay positive about Brexit

Waking up early on June 24th, I was surprised to learn the outcome of the UK referendum on EU membership: the majority of voters had opted for Brexit. Similar to the General Election just over a year before, this had caught the pollsters and bookmakers by surprise. The markets too were spooked, with the value of sterling falling sharply, […]

Are you ‘covering’ your identity at work?

Look around at your desk. Do you have a picture of your partner, your children, or your pet? Does it tell your colleagues a little about you and your life outside work or is it a neutral, blank canvas?

While there is much talk about ‘bringing your whole self to work’, what does it really mean? For many, it’s not […]