Yes… size matters!


Christopher M. Janney:

Reading articles like this one really place the world where business and Psychology intersect squarely in our face and in our lives. It is totally reasonable to expect that the manipulations taking place with consumers are similar to the ones taking place with employees as well. However it seems that while it would be reasonable to expect this, the reality is that the science and related actions amount to what I and some colleagues from years ago call “manipulation with integrity”. Essentially this means that yes, we do engage in some form of manipulation in changing and influencing the workforce through organizational development, change management, learning programs, and incentive and performance management programs. The difference is we try to make sure we do it with the best interest of the employees, as balanced with the best interest of the company and workplace. We try to create a win-win. Unfortunately when we look at consumer psychology and marketing psychology, it appears that far too often it is based around a win for the company. What are your thoughts? How do you feel about any of the points here?

Originally posted on The Time Traveller's Dog:

sizecartoonA long time ago, when I was doing research for a fashion retailer, I did a lot of accompanied shopping.  Great research method, a chance to see consumers buying clothes, not just reading about it in a survey or listening to accounts in an interview.  Much higher levels of validity, in my view.

 One effect that intrigued me during these observations, however, concerned the issue of sizing and how consumers respond when accompanied.  From a sample of 32 shoppers, 4 openly admitted to buying garments one size smaller if they were shopping with friends than if alone, an effect I witnessed myself along with the subsequent return and exchange the following day!

These days, consumer psychologists tend to refer to this as “vanity sizing”, whereby individuals deliberately either buy a size smaller than they need for the sake of appearances or, alternatively, shop in a retailer they know has differences in its sizing…

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The Best Leaders Are Humble Leaders


Harvard Business Review:

Following up with my last post on failure as a catalyst for innovation, we have new reseach showing a connection between humility and innovation. Humility as a leader, especially knowing how to be a good follower is so important, but most leaders want to, well, lead. This is not the first article taking a deeper stab at this topic, and I think more leaders would do well to dive in the deep end of this topic and applying it as they learn more. The results are drastic. Letting go of the reins every now and then is actually healthy, you just need to know how and when. Happy working!

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

In a global marketplace where problems are increasingly complex, no one person will ever have all the answers. That’s why Google’s SVP of People Operations, Lazlo Bock, says humility is one of the traits he’s looking for in new hires. “Your end goal,” explained Bock, “is what can we do together to problem-solve. I’ve contributed my piece, and then I step back.” And it is not just humility in creating space for others to contribute, says Bock—it’s “intellectual humility. Without humility, you are unable to learn.”

A recent Catalyst study backs this up, showing that humility is one of four critical leadership factors for creating an environment where employees from different demographic backgrounds feel included. In a survey of more than 1500 workers from Australia, China, Germany, India, Mexico, and the U.S., we found that when employees observed altruistic or selfless behavior in their managers — a style…

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The Uncomfortable Catalyst of Innovation: Getting comfortable with failure in a world focused on removing failure.


In a world of Lean Six Sigma, TQM, and other error and failure removal and reduction systems we need to understand a new perspective: Failure is okay. Understanding that failure is a part of innovation is critical. Many of the systems we use every day around the globe in some of the most important organizations require removing failure, but the key is understanding at what point this should take place. When we review performance in any organization, there are stages of the life of business products, services, and processes we need to be aware of. The first stage is Creation & Innovation. The second stage is Growth and Maturation. The third stage is Retirement and Reincarnation. While these are individual stages as I see them, they are not mutually exclusive. They work together, and often work in cycle. Very few systems today work in a purely linear fashion. Therefore we see the Retirement and Reincarnation stage being driven by the Creation & Innovation stage, or we see the cycling back through the stages. You notice that at no time is there a stagnant period of simple maintenance; there is constant motion. Maintenance in today’s market is equal to death for most products and services. So what do each of these look like?

Creation & Innovation

In this stage, we see the birth of ideas and hopefully the beginning of an innovation, or something that is not only creative but useful. The important component of this particular phase that is only recently being picked up by even some of the largest and ostensibly most important organizations out there, is the concept of failure. During this phase we need to be comfortable with failure, and actually encourage it. Of course, this does not mean just any failure, this means successful failure. Failure that provides lessons and helps us achieve the next big success. If we make mistakes and learn nothing, this is truly failure. Which means we need to create an environment that encourages failure, measures for it, rewards it, and provides room for improvement from it.

Growth and Maturation

During this phase, the focus is on taking the product, process, or service from the beginning idea to a thriving money maker. It means also continuing to grow and evolve, while being able to provide it at an even more efficient and effective pace and quality. During this phase is where the focus on removing errors and mistakes comes in. However, part of the key is that we have an established thing that we are focusing on improving through error and mistake reduction.

Retirement and Reincarnation

At some point we need to be aware of the need to revitalize and reincarnate what we are doing. Is the product or service still necessary? Is it still viable? Is it still competitive? Does the process still work, or do we need something new? These are questions that keep us moving forward and help determine whether it is time to retire a particular product or service, or if we can revitalize and reincarnate it as something new. Again, during this time we see a need for the creativity and innovation from the first phase, which is where we actually begin to cycle back to the beginning and start over.

While this process seems simplistic, it really seems to me that this is the way business today can best be summed up. Most important throughout the phases is understanding that sometimes we need failure and sometimes we need to reduce failure. Take a look at your own organization, and please leave your comments and thoughts below!

Leading Through Mistakes | Lead Change Group


Leading Through Mistakes | Lead Change Group.

I love articles like this.  I love that they speak to what we all inherently know and feel and understand to be true and right in the world.  And I love that in this case it provides insights from those in places that do this well, as it gives hope that we can all achieve the same.

I also struggle with them, as not only someone who studies and practices in this field but also as a worker who experiences the alternative.  We read articles and research and the myriad other pieces of information that confirm our core beliefs in the way we should treat others and be treated, but often when that bubble bursts we are standing or sitting in an environment that is exactly the opposite.  So what do we do?

I am a firm believer in demonstrating what we want to see in others.  Admit when you make mistakes, and mean it.  It definitely isn’t always easy and it certainly can make you more vulnerable,  but if all of can continually present our mistakes to others and own them, others may feel more willing to do the same.  This helps remove the stigma and hopefully help to influence the culture around you, no matter whether you are have positional authority or not.

We can also attempt to provide feedback and suggestions to those around us on using the many methods of using mistakes for good, not evil.  We can suggest articles, books, papers, and more that have information and would be “some interesting reading” in a friendly and caring attempt to help others to see some new ways they could do things.  But we cannot always get through, and need to know when to back off.

It can be easy to be positive when we talk about what we should do, or what we know is true, but the reality is that many workplaces out there do not have cultures that support this mentality.  Even worse, there are many organizations that do, but some of the managers do not support the same.  In these cases, if you have exhausted every avenue, there may be no other choice but to leave the team, group, department, or even the company.  Being in an environment that burns you down for mistakes, or having a manager that refuses to admit their own while ensuring that any of your own are glaring, pointed, and clearly spotlighted will suck the very life from you and all work you do.  I firmly believe that change can happen, and that the things we know about the interactions between engagement and motivation, leadership, communication, and behaviors is true and important.  The catch is that we have to know when the environment and/or people are open to that change.

For leaders,  think for a moment on not what your perspective is, but what is the perspective of those that you are in charge of?  Do they feel like you are supportive?  Do they feel like they can make a mistake?  How do you help them?  How would you view or treat your employees differently if they were your friends instead of employees?

What do you think?  Have you been in a situation like this, as an employee and/or as a leader, and what was it?  How did you handle it?  What would your recommend to others?

Getting yelled at in church…REALLY???


Christopher M. Janney:

I would like to chime in from a different perspective. I was a Southern Baptist for many years, eventually walking away from the church because of just such hypocrisy between teachings and behaviors. I studied religion throughout my childhood and adolescence because it really fascinated me, and has carried over to adulthood. After leaving the church for about 6 years I began practicing meditation, and eventually practiced as a Buddhist for about 3 years, but there were still components of the philosophy that were lacking.
Other life situations and challenges, including a divorce, came along further developing perspectives and thoughts on things. Eventually I met an amazing woman and her family and learned about a reformist sect of Islam called Ahmadiyya. After months of attending events, asking questions, and learning more about it I felt drawn to the teachings of peace and the motto “Love for All, Hatred for None.” I have become heavily involved in the community and find it to be one of the most loving and accepting communities, and we are constantly attempting to clear and dispel the myth and falsehood surrounding Islam. There are many who practice Islam in the same manner this article speaks about Christianity, but this is so far from the way that Islam is meant to be.
In Islam, we believe that there is no compulsion in religion. You should do what you do for God, no other reason. Killing or hurting others is only advocated under extreme circumstances, such as when they are attempting to keep you from being able to worship God and get rid of Islam. In our community, however, even under these types of circumstances we do not advocate violence. Just read “The Wrong Kind of Muslim” by Qasim Rashid to see the kinds of things our community suffers in Pakistan. Further, the Holy Qur’an clearly states that if you kill even one person, of any faith, it is the same as killing the entirety of humanity.
Just as Christianity gets a bad rap by many for being too hardline, or too rigid, Islam does the same. There will always be extremists or those that twist the words and ways of any faith. One of the critical components of Islam is the belief in all of God’s Prophets, which includes Jesus, Abraham, Moses, and many others. Why would you want to kill people who believe in the same people as you? We all believe in one God, that is the most important thing.
As a convert, I make many mistakes or missteps, from both cultural and religions perspectives, but I am learning. Some of the cultural components I respect, but also respectfully decline to partake in as my focus is on Islam as the practice and not the multitude of cultural components that alter that.
There will always be those things that get twisted by human beings, but our goal as Ahmadis is to keep Islam in it’s true form as God intended it, through critical thinking and analysis and academic understanding of the religions before and the teachings provided in context of when they happened.

Originally posted on The Culture Monk:

getting yelled at in church

By Kenneth Justice

~

I was in church on Saturday for a funeral and I got yelled at by a dude 20 years younger than me” said my mid-50ish friend

Yesterday I was having coffee with a good friend of mine who recently returned from the funeral of a pastor-friend of his. The pastor had served the church for nearly 50 years and my friend went to the funeral on Saturday to pay his respects.

Kenneth, the temperature on Saturday morning when I got to the church was like 8 degrees. So I had my winter coat on, a scarf, gloves, and a hat. I had just come through the door of the church and I was hobbling up the stairs (my friend is disabled) which led to the main lobby, and as I’m slowly making it up the stairs, this usher, who was in…

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Do You Have These 4 Requirements for BOLD Leadership?


Christopher M. Janney:

I agree with other comments on this article, being other focused, and vulnerable are highly underrated. The scientific literature in the field of leadership is only really beginning to explore what followership means, what the importance is, and more importantly what it means to leaders to be good followers. We too often think that if we are a leader, we have been exalted to a position that puts us above many others, and then allow that to separate us from following as an example to others. Instead, we hear leaders in many cases talk about how they are forced to follow their leaders, and that decisions are out of their hands. Instead, I would love to see the conversation change at every level so that we can all understand that we all have something to contribute and that we all make mistakes.

Originally posted on :

Rock ClimberWhen you think of bold leadership, what comes to mind?

If you’re like most people, the idea of bold leadership conjures up images of big, charismatic, larger than life personalities. Most of us think of bold leaders as being driven, visionary, and having a take-no-prisoners approach to accomplishing their goals. In the world of sports we think of bold players being the ones who want the ball when the game is on the line. They want to take the last second shot that will win or lose the game. In business, it’s the leaders who are willing to make the multi-million dollar decisions that will propel their organizations forward or put people out of jobs.

If bold leadership is limited to the popular definition I just described, then you and I don’t have much of a chance to be bold, do we? I mean, face it, most of us won’t…

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12 Ways to Maximize Collisions of Perspective | Leadership Freak


12 Ways to Maximize Collisions of Perspective | Leadership Freak.

I am a firm believer in the fact that conflict can be healthy and does not have to be negative, but the key is to be able to disagree in a healthy manner.  As always, the Leadership Freak hits it dead on!  Don’t run from conflict, but embrace it with clear boundaries and rules and it can become one of the greatest business tools you have at your disposal!  I think we often forget that many inventions and innovations happened when someone was told that they couldn’t, or shouldn’t, or wouldn’t, or it would never work.  Conflict, though not always comfortable, is often the catalyst for great things!