Behavioural Economics in Action: ScootBiz Case Study

As some of my readers may be aware, I recently relocated from Australia to Singapore for work. While not the main reason for my relocation, a big benefit of my new home is its proximity to the rest of Southeast Asia and (relatively speaking) the rest of the world. This proximity opens up a whole host of new and exciting travel opportunities to help me capitalise on my weekends and holidays – a… Read Article →

How Passive Leadership is Destroying Your Culture

Note: This post was originally published as part of the Deloitte Australia Diversity and Inclusion monthly newsletter, and can be accessed in full here. One of the more pervasive theories of leadership is that of ‘Transformational Leadership,’ which describes a spectrum of leadership and management behaviours in terms of two distinct leadership styles: Transformational Leadership: Leadership characterised by inspirational motivation, role modelling, challenging and stretching of staff, and driving staff to achieve new… Read Article →

The People Dimension of Strategy Execution

When preparing for change, business leaders devote significant time, money and resources to developing a comprehensive strategy execution plan. However, despite their best efforts, seven out of ten change programs will fail. More often than not, people challenges such as resistance to change and inadequate executive sponsorship are the reason behind failed strategy execution. Not surprisingly then, identifying how to inspire commitment and garner support for change is a key… Read Article →

How to Create Habits That Really Stick

Voluntary behaviour can be through of in terms of a three-way relationship between stimulus, response and consequences. Edward Thorndike referred to this relationship as the ‘law of effect’ whereby the connection between a stimulus and a response is strengthened by a reward or reinforcement. According to the law of effect, through reinforcement, the connection between a stimulus and behaviour continues to be strengthened over time, to the point where the behaviour becomes… Read Article →

When Workplace Deviance Is a Good Thing

Social Norms (or norms for short), are the unwritten laws that govern behaviour in a group environment. As Cristina Bicchieri puts it, norms are like: ‘ the grammar of society…like a grammar, a system of norms specifies what is acceptable and what is not in a social group.’

How to Choose a Survey Sample Size That’s Representative

In my work, which often involves running surveys for my clients, I often get asked – “how do we choose a survey sample size,” and “what response rate do we need to get a statistically significant sample?” While on face value these seem like a reasonable questions, they are in fact confusing two distinct questions:  How many people (and who) do we need to survey to be confident that we have a… Read Article →

The True Cost of Meetings and Tardiness

One of the most defining features of the modern workplace is the humble meeting. Now the default mechanism for communication, coordination and collaboration in organisations, meetings are a familiar, if onerous undertaking for almost all workers. According to some researchers there are as many as 11 million meetings held every day in the United States, with employees in the UK, US and Australia spending nearly 6 hours in meetings every… Read Article →

Frame of Reference: Why Perspective Matters

An implicit assumption underlying the use of personality tests in organisations (and most surveys for that matter) is that individuals will respond to items as they see themselves generally in life, across all situations – in other words, that their frame of reference is the same. Questions in these types of tests are typically non-contextualised, for example asking respondents to rate how much they agree with the statement ‘I pay attention to details’ in… Read Article →

The Myth of Multitasking: It’s Not As Simple As We Think

The need to balance and prioritise multiple tasks on the fly is arguably one of the core competencies of the 21st century worker. Reading an email while talking to a colleague on the phone, finishing off a slide while attending a meeting – we have all experienced the competing demands vying for our attention in the modern workplace. Indeed, many of us would consider ourselves proficient multitaskers for simply managing to… Read Article →

Brain Teasers in Interviews Are Dead

To my great interest I read recently that Google has this year abandoned the abstract brain-teaser type interview questions which have help earn them a reputation as one of most difficult companies to interview for worldwide. For those unfamiliar with the topic, previous interview questions include such gems as: How many golf balls can fit in a school bus? How many piano tuners are there in the entire world? How… Read Article →