The Lead: Behavioral Biometrics, US-Mexico Trade Deal, Domhnall Gleeson

The Lead, AchieveForum’s weekly brief of leadership news and insights, provides quick clarity into relevant headlines and straight-forward analysis for applying effective leadership tools and techniques.

Tracking Behavioral Biometrics

Banks and retailers keep track of your online movements, including how you type, scroll, swipe, and tap. Tracking your unique movements and collecting these behavioral biometrics can help fight fraud and help prove whether a digital user is the person he claims to be. The fact that few companies disclose to users when and how their movements are being tracked concerns privacy advocates. Most countries don’t have laws to govern the collection and use of biometric behavioral data, and even Europe’s tough new data law (the General Data Protection Regulation or G.D.P.R.) has exemptions for security and fraud prevention.

Our View: In this digital age, people face countless situations where they need to make decisions regarding the information they give out and the value they receive in return. When business leaders are transparent about their practices and policies, everyone can make more informed decisions about when they provide their information and the trade-offs they are inevitably making between technology, data, privacy, and time. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum content: Dilemma Management

U.S.-Mexico Trade Deal

The United States and Mexico recently agreed to a trade deal that pressures Canada to comply with new terms on autos trade, dispute settlement, and agriculture to keep NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement). The new deal requires 75 percent (instead of the original NAFTA threshold of 62.5 percent) of the value of a vehicle to be produced in the U.S. or Mexico. The United States and Mexico agreed to a 16-year lifespan for NAFTA that is to be reviewed every six years with the opportunity to extend the accord for another 16 years.

Our View: A pact between more than two parties often requires more than one leader so that all sides are represented and another leader to spearhead the multiparty agreement. These leaders must facilitate the exploration of creative and nonbinding ideas. One way to accomplish this is by postponing criticism. Paying close attention to everyone’s needs and interests can help everyone suggest proposals that incorporate valuable tradeoffs. Finally, while it’s likely impossible to always agree on every solution, make sure the parties can at least agree on problem-solving procedures. When everyone agrees on process, a mutually-beneficial outcome becomes easier to reach. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum content: Guiding Collaborative Discussions, Making Collaborative Decisions

Domhnall Gleeson’s Eclectic Acting Career

From acting as the character Bill Weasley in Harry Potter to playing General Hux in Star Wars, Domhnall Gleeson’s acting career is chock full of eclectic experiences. His unique combination of roles highlights his versatility, and he says “I’ve just always tried much harder for the stuff that excited me, so there was a higher chance I would get it.”

Our View: Follow your passion. While not every task you perform can be the most exciting, go after projects and pursue work that fulfills your inner values. Passion creates an energy that drives vision, ignites followers, and raises influence. When a leader is passionate about what they do, they get closer to achieving their full potential and inspire others to as well. Further Reading

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Robots for Rehabilitation

As patients’ rates of survival after diseases with severe functional deficits increases, so does the need for effective medical rehabilitation. Socially assistive robots (SARs) are already being used in rehabilitation, and neuroscientists are working to improve SARs to be even more technically valuable and trustworthy assistants for medical therapies. Neuroscientists are finding that a SAR’s ability to recognize the aims and motives of a patient is a critical requirement if cooperation is to be successful.

Our View: Leaders who establish shared goals are better at motivating their team than those who do not. Shared goals can range from immediate or short term goals to a vision or ultimate purpose for positive change in the long term. Achieve strong buy-in and cultivate shared goals by actively involving your team in the goal-setting process. Further Reading

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Omnichannel Retail Requires More Than Return to Store Traffic

RetailNext found that offering omnichannel retail options (such as click and collect, ship from store, or return to physical store after buying online) may do little to increase store traffic or sales per square foot. RetailNext publishes a monthly report on the state of retail store traffic, and they are able to tie traffic to intent to some degree and can indicate trends. While they don’t offer absolute values in order to protect the proprietary data of their customers, they show year-over-year comparisons.

Our View: A unified message is critical for omnichannel retail and more generally, for omnichannel leadership. When leaders prioritize the consistency of information across channels, they are better able to build a powerful brand. Make your messaging consistent across all platforms where you interact with shareholders, customers, and other stakeholders. Further Reading