The 2007-09 global financial crisis was in large part caused by a “profit-at-all-costs” culture that promoted high-risk home lending to people who couldn’t afford it. The well-being of society relies on financial services, such as payments and basic forms of credit and insurance, in comparable ways that it relies on health care, electricity, and clean water. The development of financial services and their regulation should be based on scientific evidence and supplied under a set of professional standards monitored by an independent standards-setting body, similar to the processes and institutions used in the health system.
Our View: Cross-disciplinary insights can spark innovation. Find ways to promote cross-collaboration throughout the different functions in your business. Increasing your ability to organize, communicate, and clarify complex situations will facilitate cross-functional work. Maintain your bird’s eye perspective, but don’t be afraid to get into the weeds of providing individual attention that encourages hard work and team-oriented thinking. Paying attention to individuals in your cross-functional team illuminates the different skill sets available, and you become better able to set clear expectations that leverage people’s strengths. Further Reading
Hurricane Florence has advanced to a major Category 4 hurricane. Virginia has declared a state of emergency, and North Carolina and South Carolina have delivered mandatory evacuation orders for parts of the Outer Banks and coastal counties.
Our View: The names and labels you use to categorize things sends a message about their importance. When you give a project a name, it creates a narrative around the associated tasks that can embolden your team to succeed. Choose a name that is inspiring, motivating, clear, and compelling to rally your team around the project. Further Reading
Discovered in the mid-1980s, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a vortex of garbage shaped by an ocean gyre in the central North Pacific halfway between Hawaii and California. The nonprofit called Ocean Cleanup is working to clean up the 1.8 trillion pieces of floating trash with a recently deployed floating boom system that is estimated to clean up half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within the first five years. The nonprofit even aims to reuse and recycle the ocean plastic. The solution does not come without risks: the hope is that the boom will collect trash and not fish, but it still needs to be evaluated in the open ocean as the search continues to find more efficient and less disruptive ways to clean the ocean.
Our View: Any given solution rarely provides one overarching sustainable answer to the challenge at hand. More often than not, the best solutions are temporary ones. When you help people think of solutions as temporary, they become easier and faster to implement, and that type of thinking also prods people to continually seek improvements. Further Reading
In 2017, about 258 million people were living outside of their country of birth. To put that into perspective, that is about one person in every 30 and is the highest level of displacement on record. The latest projection for 2050 is that there will be 405 million international migrants. Globally, at least 66 million people are experiencing forced displacement.
Our View: As workers are also becoming increasingly transient, leaders need to think differently about how to inspire the best work from their employees. The new generation of workers is placing increasing importance on values like purpose, passion, and fulfillment. When leaders listen to their employees and invest in what they value, they are more likely to attract and retain talent. Further Reading
According to recent research, girls who know another woman who works in STEM (which stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are more likely to feel empowered about engaging in STEM activities (61%) than girls who don’t have such a role model (4%). Actor Danica McKellar, who played the character of Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years, is fighting stereotypes and working to share the importance of STEM in school curriculums. McKellar graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Mathematics from UCLA, helping prove the Chayes-McKellar-Winn mathematical theorem. McKellar described her initial challenge to pursue a STEM career by saying “despite all the encouragement I received growing up, the stereotypes imbued in our culture still got through.”
Our View: Be a vocal advocate for what you believe in. Leaders have a moral obligation to use their positional power to help others. Asking yourself not only what you believe in but also how you can demonstrate your beliefs to inspire others is key. Ranking in the top 10% in your peer group on just the attribute of “centeredness” alone nearly doubles your chance of being seen as inspirational. Leaders who remain calm under stress and listen deeply set a prime example for others. Further Reading
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