Personality and Financial Risk Taking

In the wake of global financial scandals such as the manipulation of the Libor, the Lehman Brothers collapse, and the infamous ‘London Whale’, many financial services organisations are experiencing increased public and regulatory scrutiny on their risk management policies and practices. Often, this scrutiny is being directed at failures in organisational governance and culture that can lead to a tolerance for excessive risk-taking that is misaligned with the risk appetite of… Read Article →

Why It Pays to Be Attractive (and Other Cognitive Biases)

Although we’d like to think of ourselves as rational creatures, we are by no means as smart as we think we’d like to think we are – the human brain, though powerful, is flawed. To help us process information quickly, our brains take short-cuts. This is an adaptive outcome of evolution that helps us to make quick decisions in the face of danger, and may help overcome processing limitations in the brain. However, although… Read Article →

The Trouble With Emotional Intelligence Measures

If you were to run an experiment on general awareness of emotional intelligence, you would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t at least heard of the term at some point in their lives. Emotional Intelligence is perhaps the most universally influential psychology theory of the past 20 years, to the extent that the term is now almost completely ubiquitous. Emotional Intelligence first sprang into popularity following the publication… Read Article →

Collective Leadership: Moving From Me to We

When we think about instances of great leadership, it is hard not to think about that individual charismatic leader who has inspired us to action. Such an individual-centric conceptualization of leadership is common to both lay and scientific thought on the topic, with most leadership research traditionally examining the interactions between individuals in leader and follower roles. In reality, however, the pace and technological complexity of the modern work environment… Read Article →

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): More Hype Than Type

Last week, I wrote about the five-factor theory of personality, arguably the closest thing to consensus that has been achieved in personality research. To briefly reiterate my previous comments, the five-factor theory emerged from decades of research under two independent research traditions, which continued to converge on the same set of conclusions. Specifically, these studies continued to find that at its core, personality can be explained by five unique, independent… Read Article →

A Primer on Personality Measurement

The concept of a personality trait is one that is immediately accessible – we all have an extraverted friend, or neurotic colleague. As I’ve talked about previously, the English language is full of words describing personality, and we employ these every day in our discourse whether we know it or not.

Left-Brain, Right-Brain – Actually, It’s Both

The left-brain right-brain metaphor is by far one of the most pervasive and persistent pop-psychology concepts to enter the workplace. The basic premise of the theory is that the two sides of the human brain control different types of thinking, and that every person has a dominant side that determines their personality and cognitive style. In the theory, people who are ‘right-brained’ are said to be intuitive, creative, visual and… Read Article →

A Skeptical Look at Hot-Desking and the Open Plan Office

One of the major trends in workplace design in recent years has been the idea of ‘Activity Based Working’ (ABW). At it’s most basic, ABW can be thought of as an evolution of the hot-desking phenomenon, whereby multiple workers share their physical workstations, checking-in and out as required. Unlike hot-desking, however, ABW goes a step further than just shared desks, moving towards the idea of shared ‘spaces.’ The basic philosophy behind… Read Article →

Recruitment Methods Impact Candidate Quality

Note: This post was originally published as part of the Deloitte Australia Diversity and Inclusion monthly newsletter, and can be accessed here Attracting the best talent during recruitment is a highly competitive endeavour, with organisations investing a lot of time and effort to differentiate themselves from their competitors as an employer of choice in the labour market. This research conducted by Assistant Professor Saartje Cromheecke, Assistant Professor Greet Van Hoye… Read Article →

What Makes an Effective Change Manager?

On a few recent occasions I’ve fielded questions from colleagues and clients regarding frameworks for thinking about change management competency in leaders. In my reading around this topic, I’ve come across a couple of articles by Malcolm Higgs and Deborah Rowland that present a different, but rather compelling way of conceptualising which competencies are most important.