Author: leadabove

What Amy Cuddy and Social Science Have REALLY Taught Us…

By now I will boldly assume we’ve all witnessed the rise and fall of @amyjcuddy and her research on power posing. According to the New York Times, “…a replication of her 2010 study [on power posing]…had failed to yield the same results.” In other words, while Cuddy’s research indicated that power posing produced hormonal changes affiliated with a greater sense of power, her findings were not replicated by other researchers. For many, Cuddy’s story represents a classic fall from grace. She’s been criticized and ridiculed by peers, and has quietly left her post at Harvard. The research is faulty. So she’s failed…right? Well, that depends. Have you ever tried power posing before an interview, a talk, a big presentation? Did said pose give you a greater sense of efficacy, control, or influence? If you’ve tried it and it’s yielded you nothing, then maybe don’t waste your time again. And if it did give you a sense of power, then who really cares about the replicability of a study? The real point here is that maybe there are no universal right and wrong answers — indisputable truths — when it comes to social sciences. We’re not talking FDA drug trials here – we’re talking human behavior and success. At my company, we let research be context with our clients, but we focus on designing and delivering solutions that are grounded in the client’s reality. The question shouldn’t be ‘what does the...

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The REAL Problem With Performance Management… and Why We Have it All Wrong

Performance Management as a practice has really been pummeled in recent years. Forced rankings, bell curves, and annual reviews… nearly all of its elements have been demonized, thrown to the curb by myriad premiere organizations. So… has getting rid of performance management solved the problem of managing performance? While this author respects any and all informed opinions, the answer in this case is no. So what have we gotten wrong? Well, possibly everything. And here’s why: Organizations manage performance for the purpose of driving results; anything else would be sadism. Therefore, the practice of performance management rests on an...

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The What, Why, and How of the Hunch

Quick question: the last time you heard an inspirational quote around failure – whether fail forward or fast, learn from failure – did you kind of roll your eyes? It’s OK. You can say yes. I can’t really see you while you’re reading this. As for me – I’ll confess to the old eye roll when I encounter the “failspirational” wisdom, as I now affectionately call it. Why? Because honestly – it’s great on a bumper sticker. But how well does it really play out? I mean – “live every day as if it were your last” sounds like a...

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The Fiery, Five-Alarm, Hate-Fueled Case For Diversity in Business. Now.

I don’t care what your politics are. Not today. Fall where you may fiscally or socially, wherever in the world you call home, today you see hate. You see it empowered, fracturing communities, stealing lives. But that’s just the news – right? Now it’s time to get back to work, and put all that sadness aside. Am I being facetious? I am. But I have a point. When we look at these groups that are perpetuating and acting upon the most vile belief systems, one of their most prominent characteristics is homogeneity. Members of these hate groups, in large...

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What Weight Watchers Wasn’t Watching, and the Lessons We’ve Learned

In 1963, the Beatles invaded America, Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, and women in large part were striving to be thin. The enterprising Jean Nid In 1963, the Beatles invaded America, Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, and women in large part were striving to be thin. The enterprising Jean Nidetch saw and seized upon the great opportunity, and in 1963 Weight Watchers was born. Since that time, we’ve seen tremendous evolution – from music to civil rights, to – frankly – feminism (because even today women still represent the majority of the Weight Watchers customer...

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