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Psychology. Leaders & Teams.

Cultural fit matters. But maybe it’s time to call it cultural add.

The other day, a friend of mine told me about a new employee at her office. The woman on first glance was just another twenty-something new hire with what my friend called “appropriate business look”. Apparently the woman had an unremarkable hairstyle in a natural-looking colour (“no streaks of purple or green”), simple jewelry (“only her ears were pierced”), and a tailored, silk blouse. At the meeting, she was articulate and well-informed on the subject matter, with insightful questions and useful ideas. Then, when she raised her hand to make a point . . .she revealed a sleeve

Smells Like Team Spirit: How to Unify a Diverse Team in the Workplace

Smells Like Team Spirit: How to Unify a Diverse Team in the Workplace

I’ve been asked more and more frequently how managers can be sure they are being sensitive and inclusive. In almost all cases, I get the question from well-meaning, but fairly stressed executives, often men, usually in their late 40s to early 50s. They have teams that include women, LGBT members, and international employees. ‘

While they all appreciate and actively look for diversity, they recognize their own limitations in being able to identify opportunities to celebrate and unify a diverse team with such different backgrounds and experiences. While more than 70% of executives are white men, the increasing diversity of

Finding Middle Ground in a Divided Workplace

Finding Middle Ground in a Divided Workplace

I was recently asked to give advice to a professional that was really struggling with the best way to succeed in a divided workplace. She asked:  “At my job, you can tell that employees are divided in many ways. I’m not the type of person to fall into groups because it’s what everyone expects or it’s how you get things done. So, how can I get ahead, as an individual, without compromising my character?”

A divided workplace is tricky business – here’s how to use your head and keep your soul:

It’s totally understandable why you’d like to be a grown-up and

X Marks the Top – How Gen X is Driving Change in Organisations

Jeff Bezos is, at the time of this writing, the wealthiest person in the world. Born in 1964, Bezos is on the cusp of Baby Boomers and Gen X. Some say Gen X started a year or two later, so you can find whichever definition you want to claim him or not. But you can’t deny the changes Amazon has brought to consumers and businesses, and Bezos aside, you can’t deny that Gen X is driving change in organisations more generally. The founders of Google were both born in 1973. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, was born in 1969. Jack

How to Keep the X Factor — Five Skills Gen X Employees Need

How to Keep the X Factor — Five Skills Gen X Employees Need

If you were born between roughly 1965 and 1980, then you have a lot of great skill sets, but some have become rarely needed (reading a map) to rarely used (reading cursive) to downright quaint (writing cursive). What’s not debatable is that certain skills Gen X employees need are paramount to remaining competitive. As of 2018, Xers were expected to be 60% of the workforce. But you don’t want to just be in the game, you want to be at the top of it.

Here are skills Gen X employees need:

Leverage: inter-generational collaboration. In one study, Gen X employees scored highest

“Press”ure Points: The Bias in Media Coverage of Women CEOs

An article in 2016 about then-Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer focused on a sample version of Mayer’s CV, put together by resume-creation company, enhancv. In other words, this was not Mayer’s own actual CV as written by her; this was a promotional product made by an organisation in the business of selling resume-writing services. Nonetheless, the article went on to point out statements in “her CV” as flaws or warnings about Mayer’s less successful professional decisions.

The article then used a quote from Mayer from eight years prior — about her cupcake baking — as early

It’s Lonely At The Top — Why Women CEOs Face More Shareholder Activism

It’s been widely reported that among the FTSE 100, there are more CEOs named David (nine), than CEOs who are women (seven). The problem, of course, is not David (any of them), but Goliath – in this case, not one massive adversary but a number of challenges faced only, or disproportionally, by female CEOs. For example, women CEOs face more shareholder activism than their male counterparts according to an article in the Journal of Applied Psychology. But why?

Shareholder activism is usually a sign of lack of confidence in management, and management’s ultimate leader, the CEO. Assuming shareholders are

X Marks the Spot: Why You Need to Recruit and Retain Gen X

Generation X has always had a PR problem. Hint number one is having no name – the “X” symbolises the marker historically used in lieu of a signature by those who can’t read or write. Given that Generation X is the most educated cohort in America, someone probably should have put up a bit of a fight.

But Xers, also known as the “slacker” generation, were thought to have no real cause, no strong belief system or other unifying identity. And so, like someone who can’t sign their name, their presence has been noted in only the most limited ways.

Recruiting Responsibly: How Tech Companies Are Using CSR to Increase Gender Diversity

Often when we talk about tech companies, we envision cool, fun places — foosball tables, standing desks, and canteens stocked with fair trade coffee. The stereotype of Silicon Valley might be young, irreverent and international . . . but it’s also very male. Maybe that’s because only 19% of computer science graduates in the U.S. are women.

In an effort to increase female employment, some tech companies are using CSR to increase gender diversity. This might not be an obvious solution. What is the relationship between corporate social responsibility and hiring more women?

Get Prepared for Gen Z — By Going Back, to the Future

Get Prepared for Gen Z — By Going Back, to the Future

As we round out the second decade of the 21st century, employers are pretty confident that they are finally comfortable with The Millennial Employee. More or less. Like the Y2K fears that entered corporate corridors just before them, they seemed a uniquely turn-of-the-century phenomenon that we only knew we could not fully prepare for.

It turned out that our systems were much more forward compatible than their humans – when’s the last time you heard about the Y2K bug? – who have struggled for over a decade to fully understand and integrate Millennial employees.

To be fair, accommodating three such distinct generations brought unprecedented challenges. So, let’s try four. Because Gen Z has started entering the workforce — and is coming to an interview near you. Are you prepared for Gen Z employees?