Jeffrey Schwartz, Josie Thomson, Art Kleiner

The dynamics of any large organization — indeed, any complex human endeavor — are rife with unacknowledged interpersonal tensions, seemingly arbitrary restrictions, and murky priorities. As a young manager, you may find it hard to be heard or be taken seriously. Later, you may be given opportunities to solve problems, but without the authority (over staff and budget, for example) that the task would demand. Eventually, … [ Read more ]

The Seven Stages of Strategic Leadership

How to build the mental habits that enable you to make a living while making a better world.

Editor’s Note: I don’t think the material presented in this article really relates to leadership but rather is in the realm of self-management and emotional intelligence as well as decision making.

Maud Lindley, Jeffrey Schwartz, and Malcolm Thompson

Why should organizations care about groupthink? Why not just let the prevailing point of view stand? That may be an expedient solution, but it can cause problems in the long run. An innovative enterprise needs employees who feel that they can contribute freely and bring their whole selves to work. If people are expected to rise above the status quo and challenge their competitors, they … [ Read more ]

Maud Lindley, Jeffrey Schwartz, and Malcolm Thompson

If you’re a leader taking a stand on values in your enterprise, you have a seemingly Herculean task: to engage all your employees, regardless of their attitudes and backgrounds. It’s not possible to achieve your goal by excluding the people who disagree with the prevailing corporate point of view. Nor can you avoid values altogether these days; some topics, including diversity and inclusion, LGBT identity, … [ Read more ]

When Cultural Values Lead to Groupthink, the Company Loses

As a business shapes its public reputation, hidden conflicts can undermine its effectiveness.

Jeffrey Schwartz, Josie Thomson, Art Kleiner, Adam Smith

The 18th-century economic philosopher Adam Smith, best known for his foundational book The Wealth of Nations, spent his last two decades considering the problem of virtue in capitalism. The vitality of the industrializing world was based on the good faith of energetic, creative people, acting individually. But no human society had ever resisted the temptations of corruption and exploitation. How would capitalism survive? Smith said … [ Read more ]

Jeffrey Schwartz, Pablo Gaito, and Doug Lennick

Most brain activities don’t systematically distinguish between an activity and the avoidance of that activity. When someone repeatedly thinks, “I should not break this rule,” they are activating and strengthening neural patterns related to breaking the rule.

Therefore, to engender change among people in an organization, it’s important to keep attention focused on the desired end state, not on avoiding problems. This goal-directed positive reinforcement must … [ Read more ]

Jeffrey Schwartz, Pablo Gaito, and Doug Lennick

People may have only limited free will, but they have powerful “free won’t.” In organizations, when a strong impulse reflects “the way we do things around here,” there is always the option to veto the action, especially if people have practiced this ability.

The Neuroscience of Leadership

Breakthroughs in brain research explain how to make organizational transformation succeed.

Editor’s Note: very interesting concepts…a highly recommended read.