Tag Archives: Innovation & Change

Leadership & (Em-)Power(-ment)

From our ‘80% Percent is Psychology’ session, Wednesday, January 16th, 2019. Thanks all for the great discussions!

  • Force causes counter-force; and transactional leadership likely results in compliance only; It is transformational leadership based on inspiration and collaboration that increases most follower’s involvement and true commitment.
  • It is not the acquisition of power (whether it be positional or personal), but the mindset through which it is employed which determines the nature and effectiveness of leadership.
  • Agile leaders are able to cope with uncertainty and complex issues. Based on self-awareness, they are willing to ask for help and transfer experiences and values to different areas of the business, which is inspiring and developing others too.
  • Representativeness posits that leaders need to demonstrate how they are similar to their followers and then succeed by representing the values of the group. Leaders themselves may be required to adapt to followers to ensure continued representation.
  • Leadership and follower diversity is an important contributor to organization’s success (DuBrin, 2016). Unfortunately, gender stereotypes still cause a preference for men in ‘power’ roles. •Acceptance of inequality doesn’t stem from a passive stance, but rather an active endorsement that allows to justify and perpetuate the status quo.
  • System Justification Theory (SJT) states that an underlying ideology is motivating the justification of social order in a way that contributes to the often-unconscious belief of inferiority most strongly among individuals of underprivileged groups. Although it is a myth that Western Societies are characterized by equality of opportunity, studies found that a majority’s belief in equality helps to justify a meritocratic ideology, i.e., that it is, given we all start with the same possibilities, fair that individual differences are rewarded. The motive to legitimize economic inequality is further blocking critical thinking capacities with severe consequences for the economic and psychological well-being of marginalized persons (Godfrey & Wolf, 2015).
  • It’s a good description for Authentic Leadership too: “Your true character is most accurately measured by how you treat those who can do ‘nothing’ for you.” – Mother Teresa
Course-2-Session-6-Leadership-Power-and-Influence_v02-compressed

Inspirational Leadership: Allowing the Soul to be Free

1.Inspirational leadership is a less studied, but holistic concept that centers within the presence of a whole mind that is aware of the being and doing of the self and others.

2.As an inspirational leader who gives ideas to others, investing time and effort into self-development is vital. One can only give what’s inside of him/her.

3.The human side of leadership is fundamental for an inspirational interaction between leaders and followers.

4.The most appreciated leadership aspect is the ability to inspire. The capacity to inspire does result in high employee commitment.

5.Inspirational leaders positively influence employee characteristics, such as independent thinking and pro-activeness. These qualities not only foster innovativeness and drive business performance, but also have a positive effect on followers’ happiness at work.

6.The quest for the ‘Why,’ critical thinking, purpose, passion, and caring emotional intelligence all come from within oneself. Self-awareness and autonomy is the foundation for accessing the source of inspiration. Allow your soul to be free.

7.Authenticity is the core of inspirational leadership. Authentic behavior arises when the ‘who you are’ and the ‘what you do’ are aligned. A genuine and ethical leader differentiates between the true needs of his/her inner being as compared to the many and often conflicting demands and conditions of society.

Slides from our 80% is Psychology event, December 12th, 2018 in Tokyo.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [3.21 MB]

Personality and Leadership Styles

 

Slides from our event, December 5th, 2018:

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [3.26 MB]

The leader-follower relationship: Theories and related strategies

1.It is crucial to what role models children are exposed. Babies intuitively follow the eye gaze of their mothers. Little geese adopt the first seen subject after hatching as their caregiver (so-called IMPRINTING). And imprisoned children regard the prison guards as their parents to follow.

2.Followers emulate primarily other followers, not necessarily the leader. A movement is made by courageous followers who show others how to follow too. Therefore it is essential to nurture followers.

3.To form a positive social identity (as everybody seeks to), people use self-categorization. According to SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY, this risks leading to biased social comparison in which people tend to over-favorize one’s own group’s individuals’ positive characteristics while they stereotype and discriminate out-group members having mainly negative traits.

4.PROTOTYPICAL PERCEPTIONS cause people to think that the followers of the group they identify with can be persuaded by information, while out-group followers are mis-perceived as needing to be coerced by force.

5.Individuals who follow a leader against their own moral beliefs or good judgment may do so because they socially identify with the leader and consciously choose to follow his/her MORAL COMPASS.

6.Leaders in a mutually beneficial leader-follower relationship provide public goods to their followership. In return, followers voluntarily pay their costs to the leader in the form of prestige. When leaders gain more relative power, and their high status becomes less dependent on their willingness to pay the costs of benefitting followers, the SERVICE-FOR-PRESTIGE THEORY predicts that leader-follower relations will become more based on leaders’ ability to dominate and exploit.

7.In the phenomena of RECIPROCITY, we should differentiate whether it is about our genuine desire to return favors unconditionally based on feelings of thankfulness, or whether we get trapped into “marketing tricks” that let us act upon feelings of obligation and guilt.

8.A secure ATTACHMENT STYLE helps people trusting in lasting relationships, self-confidentially seeking out and providing social support that empowers themselves and colleagues alike. Insecurely attached people may cause stronger exclusion and exploitation of others.

9.Effective followers as fostered by TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP are those who are not only actively involved, but those who are also critically thinking to influence decision-making and change. Conformist followers who are not challenging the status quo contribute less to innovation and business performance improvement.

10.DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVENESS are vital also from a business perspective because better-connected networks enable more knowledge sharing that is favorable for innovation and improves business performance, which ultimately results in increased profitability.

11.REVERSE MENTORING allows any employees to assume, (informal) leadership roles. Reverse mentoring not only promotes bi-directional knowledge exchange, but it can help isolated older leaders to enter into more egalitarian relationships as well.

12.Utilizing CONSTRUCTIVE HUMOR may be an effective leadership strategy to win trust and commitment from followers as it bridges authority gaps and encourages the both-sided expression of positive emotions even when addressing difficult matters.

 

Slides:

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [2.88 MB]

Leaders are not born, they are made

1.Whether in a formal position, at work or in private, our influence on others is more significant than we think. It may be your today’s courageous example that inspires somebody else even years later to do the right thing as well.

2.To be a leader means to be a continuous learner, and learners are readers.

3.While leadership theories as a relatively young science are becoming ‘smarter,’ there is also ancient and timeless leadership wisdom based on ‘kindness.’

4.Against persistent myths: Leaders are not born, they are made.

5.Do not let you blend by the ‘halo effect’ to conclude that people being good or powerful in one area might be consequently amazing in other areas too.

6.Adapt your leadership style according to the situation and development phase of the people needing direction, coaching, support, or delegation.

7.While transactional leaders make today better by rewarding good performance, transformational leaders are focused on making tomorrow better too.

8.For personal charisma, develop your emotional and social intelligence. As a visionary leader, learn how to visualize an attractive and ideal future that inspires others to follow their heart.

9.A majority of employees is disengaged. Increased participation is required to move beyond consumer behavior. Only with emotional and economic co-ownership will people assume more responsibility/accountability.

10.The administration of existing businesses often leaves little room for leadership that involves the creation of new meaning and change. Differentiate a position-based management career requiring short-term profitability goals versus a self-guided leadership desire to make a difference beyond market considerations in the long-term. You always can be a leader!

11.Always re-evaluate your beliefs in symbols and rules, don’t assume, don’t judge, and listen to people for who they truly are. That’s how you can empower yourself and others to become more free, understanding, and creative.

Slides:

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [2.68 MB]

Human-computer interaction and its implications for learning

mathias-sager-human-computer-interaction-psychoogy

Wireless technologies have not only changed the way we work and live but also how we socially interact (Walker, 2017). Is it possible to substitute real social relationships with technological ones? Harlow’s research found that monkeys need their parents for survival not only from a nurturer perspective. However, the experiments also showed that a surrogate ‘machine-mother’ could, albeit not ideally, provide sufficient love for survival (Vicedo, 2009). Research examining the link between the Internet and offline social contacts remains conflicting, indicates a tendency towards Internet use having a reinforcing effect on antecedent propensities for interaction or isolation (Walker, 2017).

The ability to memorize the structure of interlinked digital information depends on the reader’s visuospatialability (Rouet, Voros, & Pleh, 2012). Indeed, spatial thinking is a key factor for individuals’ scientific performance, and it seems to be possible to develop this capacity through training (Uttal, Miller, & Newcombe, 2013). So-called embodied cognition suggests the benefit of adding motoric (not only visual) feedback to verbal explanations in learning (Yun, Allen, Chaumpanich, & Xiao, 2014). This is in line with the transient learning theory that states that visual information gets “overwritten” by subsequent animated presentations; a fact that should be considered when designing educational technology (Wong, Leahy, Marcus, & Sweller, 2012).

Cybernetics stands for a scientific field about systems whose behavior is influenced by internal and external feedback. It is such continuous feedback that builds the basis for intelligence (Bendele, 2016). Do respectively can human-technology interactions provide such necessary feedback? The cognitive connectionist architecture approach refers to parallel mental processing that is, for example, embracing the concept of artificial neural networks (ANN). ANN poses that information does not lie in neural nodes, but rather in the connections between them (Bendele, 2016). We don’t need to use our long-term memory anymore thanks (or due) to ubiquitous digital information. It would be interesting to study further how theoretically fewer neural nodes would translate into a likewise reduced number of informative neural connections (such research may exist, but was not identified in the context of this limited focus article).

Online learning approaches seem to adapt according to the awareness for improved feedback, why concepts like Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs), Expert Systems, and Case-based Reasoning Systems are used to design feedback-reliant intelligence generation (Bendele, 2016). In that regard, the involvement of emotion in the learning and motivation processes is vital for promoting effective traditional and online technology mediated learning (Chai, Hafeez, Mohamad, & Aamir, 2017). Already Aristotle claimed the importance of emotional communication and combined progress in computer sciences, and psychology is developing emotion sensitive systems from perceptional, interpretational, and expressional perspective (Robinson, 2009). Arguing that we’ll probably never fully understand the human mind, machines will never have a real human emotional capacity. Therefore, blended approaches to social interactions in general and education and learning in specific may balance advantages and risks best and allow for maximum learning success (Conradty& Bogner, 2016).

Photo credit: geralt (pixabay.com)

References

Barrett, M. E., Swan, A. B., Mamikonian, A., Ghajoyan, I., Kramarova, O., & Youmans, R. J. (2014). Technology in Note Taking and Assessment: The Effects of Congruence on Student Performance. International Journal Of Instruction, 7(1), 49-58.

Bendele, M. S. (2016). Artificial intelligence in cognitive psychology. Salem Press Encyclopedia Of Health,

Chai M., T., Hafeez U., A., Mohamad N. M., S., & Aamir S., M. (2017). The Influences of Emotion on Learning and Memory. Frontiers In Psychology, Vol 8 (2017), doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01454/full

Conradty, C., & Bogner, F. X. (2016). Hypertext or Textbook: Effects on Motivation and Gain in Knowledge. Education Sciences, 6

Olofsson, J. K., Niedenthal, S., Ehrndal, M., Zakrzewska, M., Wartel, A., & Larsson, M. (2017). Beyond Smell-O-Vision: Possibilities for Smell-Based Digital Media. Simulation & Gaming, 48(4), 455-479. doi:10.1177/1046878117702184

Robinson, P. (2009). Computation of emotions in man and machines. Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1535), 3441-3447.

Rouet, J., Voros, Z., & Pleh, C. (2012). Incidental Learning of Links during Navigation: The Role of Visuo-Spatial Capacity. Behaviour & Information Technology, 31(1), 71-81.

Uttal, D. H., Miller, D. I., & Newcombe, N. S. (2013). Exploring and Enhancing Spatial Thinking: Links to Achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics?. Current Directions In Psychological Science, 22(5), 367-373.

Vicedo, M. (2009). Mothers, machines, and morals: Harry Harlow’s work on primate love from lab to legend. Journal Of The History Of The Behavioral Sciences, 45(3), 193-218. doi:10.1002/jhbs.20378

Walker, K. (2017). Social Impacts of Wireless Communication. Research Starters: Sociology (Online Edition),

Wong, A., Leahy, W., Marcus, N., & Sweller, J. (2012). Cognitive Load Theory, the Transient Information Effect and E-Learning. Learning And Instruction, 22(6), 449-457.

Yun, Y. H., Allen, P. A., Chaumpanich, K., & Xiao, Y. (2014). Interactive Learning to Stimulate the Brain’s Visual Center and to Enhance Memory Retention.

Nothing Has Changed (Or the Courage to Cease to Insist)

Nothing has changed

Some time ago we did insist on getting privileges
based on the race inherited from our parents

Nothing has changed

Nowadays still we insist on getting privileges
based on the wealth inherited from our parents

Nothing has changed

If in the future we will insist on getting privileges
due to the thinking inherited from our parents

Nothing has changed

Only if today we ceased to insist on getting privileges
through the courage independent of our parents

Something has changed

 


The world produces enough food to feed the planet’s 7 billion-plus people, so why are so many going hungry?* It’s mainly because most hungry people don’t have the resources to grow or buy food.

*1 in 3 people suffer from some form of malnutrition, which means they lack sufficient vitamins and minerals in their diet, which can lead to health issues such as stunted growth in children. Each year, poor nutrition kills 3.1 million children under the age of 5. (http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-global-world-hunger-day-20170528-story.html)

The Tripod Mindset (TM)

mathias-sager-tripod-mindset

Summary

There are individual, organizational, and societal human and technological approaches available today. However, there is little integration of these dimensions into a coherent mindset, educational concept, or cooperative platforms. Therefore, I’ve dedicated the last couple of years to the study of leadership, learning & development, psychology consequently from cross-culturally, multi-disciplinary, and inter-generationally cooperative perspectives. And I’ve performed intensive testing of a, as I think, new discovery of a pattern of the human mind, which I’m calling the ‘Tripod Mindset (TM).’ I have found that three logic matrix-derived socio-temporal conditions put together to a “tripod” mindset would eliminate random, imbalanced, and unconnected ways of traditional and contemporary human thinking in favor of more healthy attitudes and drive for positive human evolution.

Tripod Mindset (TM) Highlights

My background in education sciences, leadership, art, technology, and psychology have equipped me with different perspectives on individual, organizational, and socio-cultural functioning. My navigation between the philosophy of time represented by the past, present, and the future, and the intra-, inter-, and extra-personal dimensions of information and communication (technology) have led me to discover a, as far as I’m aware of, novel and lawful socio-temporal matrix in which our temporal thinking about ourselves, our relationships, and humanity consolidates.

The mapping of thousands of (scientific) resources to the matrix of aforementioned socio-temporal dimensions revealed the striking finding of three coordinates that jointly form a set of mental states that governs human psyche and thriving, which I’m going to call the “Tripod Mindset (TM).” The further study of TM as an interdisciplinary concept shall explicitly consider aspects such as the Internet as a tool for democracy and global citizenship. The time seems to be ripe for leading the way to more distributed and participative approaches including a broader range of stakeholders globally. For example, the TM can be translated into design principles, which would be informing the development of next-generation and more cooperative online platforms that integrate the intra-past, inter-present, and extra-future thought patterns necessary for progressing agile approaches and human flourishing in the virtual and physical world.

Also, the TM could be used to get a balanced view on how sustainable (from an individual and collective point of view) any kind of services and products are. Are they based on a mindset that is backward oriented, protective of the status quo, or facilitating innovation?  What does each of these temporal aspects mean for the individual, the team, and the broader communities’ respectively the human context? The consistent integration of such a coherent “tripod”-stabilized mindset view will guarantee not losing sight of all that is important for true next-generation solutions.

Impact

There are many apt formulations, and rich collections of human qualities proposed to be packaged into so-called mindsets that are deemed to be favorable for individual well-being, organizational performance, or societal functioning. However, looking at worldwide suffering, competitive challenges, and societal issues, there is, apparently, still a lot missing regarding a more holistic, systematically consistent, and continuous awareness that leads to positive human behavior. Technology progress, for example, may enable positive change, but it will not be without a change in human mindset that an improved development and use of technology will occur. The Tripod Mindset (TM) has the potential to inform a new type of guiding principles in sociology/psychology, education, communication, and technology with a disruptive impact on how humanity’s collective mindset, and participative and cooperative policies and economies further develop.

Bringing platform cooperatives to Japan: Q&A with Mathias Sager (https://www.shareable.net/blog/qa-with-mathias-sager-founder-of-platform-cooperative-japan-consortium)

https://www.shareable.net/blog/qa-with-mathias-sager-founder-of-platform-cooperative-japan-consortium

Thanks to all PC(J) friends and Nithin from Shareable!

Hope, Living with Uncertainties, and Tolerance for Ambiguity

Summary. In the light of uncertain future threatening outcomes, present ambiguous information often is interpreted more negatively than it would be the case in a safe context. Black-and-white thinking is hindering positive deciphering of ambiguous information. People educated in open-mindedness and who have learned to tolerate ambiguity can better persevere in their tolerance even in situations of danger. Individuals’ dependencies on hierarchical power can cause closed mental systems that are increasingly unable to tolerate differences, ambiguities, and uncertainties. The promotion of hope might be a useful approach to reduce uncertainty intolerance that leaves more room for thoughtful and empathic decisions. It will be crucial how we instill hope and support our children to live constructively with uncertainties while retaining a high tolerance for ambiguity and open-mindedness as required to find the solutions sought for the benefit of all. What are your learnings from uncertain/ambiguous situations and how did you learn to develop a tolerance for it?

mathias-sager-hope-uncertainty-tolerance-ambiguity


The difference between ‘uncertainty’ and ‘ambiguity’

Intolerance of Uncertainty and Intolerance of Ambiguity often have been confused. Although IU and IA are overlapping concepts, they can be differentiated as follows: Intolerance of uncertainty refers future negative events that cause worries, and intolerance for ambiguity refers to adverse stimuli in the present [3]. Also, intolerance of uncertainty is built on the fact that information on outcomes of a situation is missing while intolerance for ambiguity is characterized by ambivalent or conflicting information available on the situation [5].

The effect of intolerance for uncertainty on tolerance for ambiguity

As per the discussion around the article https://mathias-sager.com/2018/06/12/tolerance-for-ambiguity-as-a-gateway-to-leadership-opportunity/ it became clear to me that tolerance for ambiguity respectively Intolerance for Ambiguity might be dependent a lot on context too. Thanks to all the involved for triggering that further research. While having assumed general business situations in times of relative peace in democratic countries in the last article, individual’s behavior in highly stressful (e.g., military) conditions in threatening environments needs to be looked at specifically, including both the concepts of uncertainty and ambiguity. I hope this article can contribute to that discussion.

Tolerance for ambiguity of an individual can be reduced in the context of threat through uncertainty, and especially when there is increased intolerance of uncertainty. In other words, in the light of uncertain future threatening outcomes, present ambiguous information is interpreted more negatively than it would be the case in a safe context [4]. Besides, not only the threat itself but the possibly stronger propagation of stereotyping (e.g., of enemies) might promote black-and-white thinking that is hindering an open mindset as required to positively decipher ambiguous information. People educated in open-mindedness and who have learned to tolerate ambiguity can better persevere in their tolerance even in situations of danger [7].

We generally have a choice between concern and cruelty. But as the example above showed, sometimes not-so-obvious factors influence our predispositions for one of the options because intolerance for an ambiguous situation, induced by threats of uncertainty, may trigger reactions of self-defense based on uncontrolled prejudices. Interviewing perpetrators in the Rwanda genocide revealed that individuals’ dependencies on hierarchical power caused closed mental systems unable to tolerate differences, ambiguities, and uncertainties [10].

Hope and resilience to endure uncertainty

In our times of continued pervasiveness of populations living in environments of war and disasters, resilience is a further important concept. Hope as related to resilience is enabling individuals to imagine a better future and to endure the present despite the uncertainty for such an achievement [9]. That way, the promotion of hope might be a useful approach to reduce uncertainty intolerance and consequently to increase the tolerance for ambiguity for a more open mindedness that leaves room for thoughtful and empathic decisions.

Growth versus safety orientation

Maslow (1968) made the point that we are oriented toward either growth or safety in our everyday lives and that a growth orientation is more favorable for psychological health and well-being [1]. When self-protection (needs) get reduced, self-awareness can arise and facilitate the appreciation of multiple possibilities in situations, which might be the stage of personal development where tolerance for ambiguity as the capacity to accept paradoxes starts to become feasible [2]. Systems of mass conformity, authoritarianism, and nationalism/racism are offered as a means for safety, unfortunately at the cost of growth possibilities through autonomy, creativity, and the use of reason though. After World War II this became evident and powerful movements toward an open mind of tolerance of ambiguity emerged that could cater to both safety and growth needs [8]. It is a function of societies to prepare the next generation for life, and it will be crucial how we instill hope and support our children to live constructively with uncertainties while retaining a high tolerance for ambiguity and open-mindedness as required to find the solutions sought for the benefit of all [6].

What are your learnings from uncertain/ambiguous situations and how did you learn to develop a tolerance for it?

 

References

[1] Maslow, A. H. (1968). Toward a Psychology of Being. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

[2] Hartman, D., & Zimberoff, D. (2008). Higher Stages of Human Development. Journal Of Heart-Centered Therapies, 11(2), 3-95.

[3] Grenier, S., Barrette, A. M., & Ladouceur, R. (2005). Intolerance of Uncertainty and Intolerance of Ambiguity: Similarities and differences. PERSONALITY AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES, (3). 593.

[4] Neta, M., Cantelon, J., Haga, Z., Mahoney, C. R., Taylor, H. A., & Davis, F. C. (2017). The impact of uncertain threat on affective bias: Individual differences in response to ambiguity. Emotion, 17(8), 1137-1143. doi:10.1037/emo0000349

[5] Kirschner, H., Hilbert, K., Hoyer, J., Lueken, U., & Beesdo-Baum, K. (2016). Psychophsyiological reactivity during uncertainty and ambiguity processing in high and low worriers. Journal Of Behavior Therapy And Experimental Psychiatry, 5097-105. doi:10.1016/j.jbtep.2015.06.001

[6] Einwanger, J. (2014). Wie riskant ist Sicherheit? (German). Pädiatrie & Pädologie, 49(4), 33. doi:10.1007/s00608-014-0152-4

[7] Bright, L. K., & Mahdi, G. S. (2012). U.S./Arab Reflections on Our Tolerance for Ambiguity. Adult Learning, 23(2), 86-89.

[8] Rohde, J. (2015). Review of The open mind: Cold War politics and the sciences of human nature. Journal Of The History Of The Behavioral Sciences, 51(3), 343-345. doi:10.1002/jhbs.21739

[9] Wilson, M. J., & Arvanitakis, J. (2013). The Resilience Complex. M/C Journal, 16(5), 17.

[10] Böhm, T. (2006). Psychoanalytic aspects on perpetrators in genocide: Experiences from Rwanda. Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 29(1), 22-32. doi:10.1080/01062301.2006.10592776

Tolerance for Ambiguity as a Gateway to Leadership Opportunity

mathias-sager-tolerance-for-ambiguity

The necessity for tolerance of ambiguity

Today’s professionals need to succeed in technology-rich environments [1]. Information age organizations are characterized by rapid change and uncertainty [2]. Progressing globalization poses challenges through ambiguities that are caused by ever novel, complex, and changing socio-economical, environmental, technological, and workforce factors [3]. The ability to tolerate ambiguity, therefore, is increasingly vital for successful leaders and employees alike [1].

Definition

“The tolerance for ambiguity (or intolerance for ambiguity) construct relates to a person’s disposition or tendency in addressing uncertain situations” [4, p.1]. The concept is also described in organizational behavior as “a coping mechanism for dealing with organizational change” [5].

Tolerance for ambiguity as a performance driver

Tolerance for ambiguity was found to support organizational performance drivers, such as [2]:

  • Mindfulness
  • Receptive for cross-cultural work and collaboration
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Tolerance for failure
  • Taking risks
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Monitoring self
  • Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial performance, and
  • Managerial performance
  • A firm’s financial and market performance

Importance for (global) leadership

“Dealing with ambiguity is seldom taught, but higher-performing leaders tend to understand that uncertainty can be the gateway to opportunity” (6, p. 30).

Indeed, tolerance (or intolerance) for ambiguity influences one’s behavior and consequently leadership and decision-making style [4]. Studies have found that expatriates high on tolerance for ambiguity adjust and perform better in global work workplaces and cross-cultural environments [3].

Practicing tolerance for ambiguity

Leadership learning and development should adapt to the rapidly evolving business world, for example, by providing innovative learning strategies such as simulations [2]. Potential for improvement and learning progress related to tolerance for ambiguity can be measured with according psychometric assessments and accordingly monitored as a key leadership ability [3].

 

References

[1] Arlitsch, K. (2016). Tolerating Ambiguity: Leadership Lessons from Off-Road Motorcycling. Journal Of Library Administration, 56(1), 74-82. doi:10.1080/01930826.2015.1113063

[2] Brendel, W. )., Hankerson, S. )., Byun, S. )., & Cunningham, B. ). (2016). Cultivating leadership Dharma: Measuring the impact of regular mindfulness practice on creativity, resilience, tolerance for ambiguity, anxiety and stress. Journal Of Management Development, 35(8), 1056-1078. doi:10.1108/JMD-09-2015-0127

[3] Herman, J. L., Stevens, M. J., Bird, A., Mendenhall, M., & Oddou, G. (2010). The tolerance for ambiguity scale: Towards a more refined measure for international management research. International Journal Of Intercultural Relations, 34(1), 58-65. doi:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2009.09.004

[4] Kajs, L. T., & McCollum, D. L. (2009). Examining tolerance for ambiguity in the domain of educational leadership. Academy Of Educational Leadership Journal, 13(2), 1-16.

[5] Judge, T.A., Thoresen, C.J., Pucik, V. and Welbourne, T.M. (1999), “Managerial coping with organizational change: a dispositional perspective”, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 84 No. 1, pp. 107-122, doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.84.1.107.

[6] Shullman, S. L., & White, R. P. (2012). Build Leadership’s Tolerance for Ambiguity. Chief Learning Officer, 11(10), 30-33.

The Benefits of an Internal Locus of Control Personality

mathias-sager-locus-of-control

Summery benefits of an internal locus of control

  • Belief in one’s control over their life
  • Improved information acquisition
  • Better decision-making processes
  • Self-efficacy, job effectiveness, and higher achievement
  • Less risk of burnout
  • Generally increased happiness
  • Increase leadership adaptability

 

Rapidly changing leadership challenges

Leadership education has undergone a substantial shift. Life and working world seem to have become more complex with competing urgencies and over-dynamic developments of issues that challenge the required qualities of the next generation of leaders. Leaders today need to be able to find ever-new solutions and adaptations to challenging situations. This can be traced back, for example, to the growing world population and increased growth expectations in all areas of life and economy that cause growth issues in the following six areas [1]:

  • Space
  • Agricultural yield
  • Natural resource management
  • Energy production and consumption
  • Climate change, and
  • Global health

Organizations keep aspiring to increase profits, acting ethically, and promoting community and environmental sustainability. How will it be possible to optimize all these aspects while not doing it at the cost of others [1]? One answer is that it requires leaders who believe they can respond to these challenges in their own capacity, a concept that is coined as “locus of control.”

Definition of internal vs. external locus of control

Locus of control is about a person’s confidence that he or she can control events in their lives. Individuals with an internal locus of control have a strong sense of self-responsibility and that they have the power to change their lives. Externally-controlled individuals believe that they are not in control of their lives and it is instead chance, opportunities, and other individuals and events (i.e., the circumstances) that determine their destiny [2].

According to research, adverse consequences from an external locus of control are heightened levels of intolerance and anxiety, and finally higher burnout rates [4].

Internal locus of control, on the other hand, is associated with individuals gathering more information [3], which improves their decision-making process, effectiveness, and achievement. That internally-controlled individuals benefit from increased self-efficacy is in line with these results. For example, it was found that teams with individuals of relatively high internal locus of control are able of higher performance in a self-reliant way respectively without a leader [5]. Last but not least, people with an internal locus of control generally enjoy more happiness [4].

Adaptation of leadership style

Locus of control is one aspect of personality. Leaders with an internal locus of control can adapt their leadership style as required to achieve the leadership objectives effectively and efficiently [6].

What’s your locus of control?

LEt’s find out more about ourselves. You can find a couple of free online assessments related to locus of control. The following example structures the result along different dimensions of life, such as achievement, career, relationships, and health. Comparing different tests, you will see soon that it becomes quite clear how to distinguish between internal and external locus of control.

http://psychologia.co/locus-of-control/

psychologica locus of control test

Example result overview

 

References:

[1] Andenoro, A. C., Sowcik, M. J., & Balser, T. C. (2017). Addressing Complex Problems: Using Authentic Audiences and Challenges to Develop Adaptive Leadership and Socially Responsible Agency in Leadership Learners. Journal Of Leadership Education, 16(4), 1-19.

[2] Schultz, D. P., & Schultz, S. E. (2007). History of modern psychology. İstanbul: Kaknüs Psikoloji Yayınları.

[3] Boone, C., Van Olffen, W., & Van Witteloostuijn, A. (2005). Team locus-of-control composition, leadership structure, information acquisition, and financial performance: a business simulation study. Academy Of Management Journal, 48(5), 889-909. doi:10.5465/AMJ.2005.18803929

[4] Tas, I., & Iskender, M. (2018). An Examination of Meaning in Life, Satisfaction with Life, Self-Concept and Locus of Control among Teachers. Journal Of Education And Training Studies, 6(1), 21-31.

[5] Akca, F., Ulutas, E., & Yabanci, C. (2018). Investigation of Teachers’ Self-Efficacy Beliefs, Locus of Control and Intercultural Sensitivities from the Perspective of Individual Differences. Journal Of Education And Learning, 7(3), 219-232.

[6] Dumitriu, C., Timofti, I. C., Nechita, E., & Dumitriu, G. (2014). The Influence of the Locus of Control and Decision-making Capacity upon the Leadership Style. Procedia – Social And Behavioral Sciences, 141(4th World Conference on Learning Teaching and Educational Leadership (WCLTA-2013), 494-499. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.05.086

[7] Cooper, C. (2010). Individual differences and personality (3rd ed.). London: Hodder Education. Retrieved February 3, 2015 from http://cw.tandf.co.uk/psychology//individual-differences- and-personality/

[8] Khan, E. (1998). Carl Rogers, More Relevant Today Than Freud. Retrieved June 6, 2017, from http://adpca.org/publicfiles/library/Carl%20Rogers%2C%20More%20Relevant%20Today%20than%20Freud_Edwin%20Kahn.pdf

[9] Saxena, M. K., & Aggarwal, S. (2010). Developing Emotional Intelligence in Children – Role of Parents. International Journal Of Education & Allied Sciences, 2(2), 45-52.

[10] Banai, B., & Perin, V. (2016). Type of High School Predicts Academic Performance at University Better than Individual Differences. Plos ONE, 11(10), 1-16. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163996

[11] Salgado, J. F., Moscoso, S., & Berges, A. (2013). Conscientiousness, Its Facets, and the Prediction of Job Performance Ratings: Evidence against the narrow measures. International Journal Of Selection & Assessment, 21(1), 74-84. doi:10.1111/ijsa.12018

[12] Bertram, K., Randazzo, J., Alabi, N., Levenson, J., Doucette, J. T., & Barbosa, P. (2016). Strong Correlations between Empathy, Emotional Intelligence, and Personality Traits among Podiatric Medical Students: A Cross-sectional Study. Education For Health: Change In Learning & Practice (Medknow Publications & Media Pvt. Ltd.), 29(3), 186-194. doi:10.4103/1357-6283.204224

[13] Boyle, G. J., Stankov, L., & Cattell, R. B. (1995). Measurement and statistical models in the study of personality and intelligence. In D. H. Saklofske & M. Zeidner (Eds.), International Handbook of Personality and Intelligence (pp. 431–433).

Overcoming Language Barriers

mathias-sager-language-barrier.jpg

Content

  • Language barrier in health care
  • The advantage of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the interpretation of language
  • Overcoming barriers beyond the language barrier

 

Language barrier in health care

A lot of literature seems to focus the challenges of language barriers in the health sector, as, for example, studies that identify language barrier as a significant threat to care quality in hospitals [1]. The adverse effects are related to the various health service processes, such as understanding, quality, and patient and provider satisfaction [2]. In multinational corporations (MNC), non-native speakers were found to tend to communicative withdrawal that is negatively influencing content and relationships [3]. Social isolation subsequently can lead to reinforcing the language and culture boundaries [4].

The advantage of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)

The advantages from bilingualism are manifold; being an asset for (academic) career is one of them [5]. Mobility and employability are further evidenced examples that can be achieved, e.g., by content and language integrated learning (CLIL) to foster not only language, but also communication and interaction skills combined with intercultural awareness [6]. Indeed, it seems that hands-on activities and collaborative communication role-playing [7], or patient-centeredness, to use a health example again [16], even if supported by the native foreign language, are effective in overcoming language barriers [15]. Allowing silence to support communication processing should not be forgotten too [7]. Importantly, all begins with the proper identification of the existence of a language barrier at all [8]. An innovative medical dictionary and tracking application is facilitating the imperative language-related data collection of foreign clients [9].

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the interpretation of language

For the future it is predicted that so-called SATS (Synchronous Automated Translation Systems) or even reality augmenting wearables will take out the hassle of today’s still cumbersome translation applications such as Google [10]. Regarding the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to facilitate translation, women displayed a lower rate of technology use compared to their male colleagues [11]. For technology to be adopted by foreign-speaking users, aids and guides should be developed [12] and diverse learning backgrounds supported. Barriers can also arise due to cultural differences in learning and conceptualization styles. Also, especially in rural context, it should be evaluated whether ICT even contributes to increased awareness of separation with the rest of the world [13]. The presence of organizational codes and trade zones are examples of sub-cultures that can additionally make the interpretation of communication difficult [14].

Overcoming barriers beyond the language barrier

The progress in removing language barriers is for sure a great vision. However, in communication-intensive fields like social sciences (as compared to, e.g., technical engineering) [5], success will require more innovation. From the money-making industries relying on translation and interpretation services, some hesitance in adopting new business models might be expected. Finally, the maintenance of national borders may also use language to protect delimitations [10].

References

[1] Van Rosse, F., de Bruijne, M., Suurmond, J., Essink-Bot, M., & Wagner, C. (2016). Language barriers and patient safety risks in hospital care. A mixed methods study. International Journal Of Nursing Studies, 5445-53. doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2015.03.012

[2] Schwei, R. J., Del Pozo, S., Agger-Gupta, N., Alvarado-Little, W., Bagchi, A., Chen, A. H., & … Jacobs, E. A. (2016). Changes in research on language barriers in health care since 2003: A cross-sectional review study. International Journal Of Nursing Studies, 5436-44. doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2015.03.001

[3] Aichhorn, N., & Puck, J. (2017). “I just don’t feel comfortable speaking English”: Foreign language anxiety as a catalyst for spoken-language barriers in MNCs. International Business Review, 26(4), 749-763.

[4] Challenges in teaching international students: group separation, language barriers and culture differences. (2013).

[5] Lendák-Kabók, K. (2017). The impact of the language barrier on the success of Hungarian minority women in the higher education system of Serbia. Temida, Vol 20, Iss 1, Pp 77-93 (2017), (1), 77. doi:10.2298/TEM1701077L

[6] Yang, W. (2017). Tuning university undergraduates for high mobility and employability under the content and language integrated learning approach. International Journal Of Bilingual Education And Bilingualism, 20(6), 607-624. doi:10.1080/13670050.2015.1061474

[7] Doyle-Moss, A. M., Sor, S., Krupka, S. D., & Potts, A. (2018). Crossing the Language Barrier: A Role-Playing Activity. Nurse Educator, 43(1), 7-8. doi:10.1097/NNE.0000000000000456

[8] Okrainec, K., Booth, G., Hollands, S., & Bell, C. (2017). Language Barriers Among the Foreign-Born in Canada: Agreement of Self-Reported Measures and Persistence Over Time. Journal Of Immigrant & Minority Health, 19(1), 50-56. doi:10.1007/s10903-015-0279-9

[9] Tahir, D. (2015). App breaks down language barriers. Modern Healthcare, 45(4), 27.

[10] Tomáš, S. (2017). No linguistic borders ahead? Looking beyond the knocked-down language barrier. Transcultural, Vol 9, Iss 2, Pp 86-108 (2017), (2), 86. doi:10.21992/T93Q0F

[11] Elega, A. A., & Özad, B. E. (2017). Technologies and Second Language: Nigerian Students’ Adaptive Strategies to Cope with Language Barrier in Northern Cyprus. Journal Of International Students, 7(3), 486-498.

[12] Dunham, E., & Xaviera, F. (2014). Breaking the Language Barrier: Describing Chicano Archives with Bilingual Finding Aids. The American Archivist, (2), 499.

[13] Empowering rural women in Kenya with literacy skills using web 2.0: experiences of language & communication barriers in learning. (2010). ICIA 2010 Proceedings, 100.

[14] Andreas, B., & Oliver, B. (2013). LANGUAGE BARRIERS. Econometrica, (2), 781.

[15] Cyparsade, M., Auckloo, P., Belath, I., Dookhee, H., & Hurreeram, N. (2013). Beating the Language Barrier in Science Education: In-Service Educators’ Coping with Slow Learners in Mauritius. Science Education International, 24(4), 402-415.

[16] Landmark, A. D., Svennevig, J., Gerwing, J., & Gulbrandsen, P. (2017). Research Paper: Patient involvement and language barriers: Problems of agreement or understanding?. Patient Education And Counseling, 1001092-1102. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2016.12.006

dock.io (distributed control over our professional data). Join!

Worth a try as it promises more control over our data! You can join at

https://dock.io?r=mathiassager:aaaaOu60

https://dock.io/how-it-works

Some potential questions/points to discuss, especially for the Platform Cooperativism community:

  • Voting rights according to token value (not one member, one vote). So, it is “only” some participation instead of real cooperation
  • Referral program that is giving (what part exactly?) increasing platform value back to referrers. Possible for voters to determine the algorithm for the economic participation?
  • A good example of how network effect can be used to crowd-source/crowd-fund a platform
  • Openness of the network thanks to public blockchain technology
  • Accurate analysis of the current centralized platform issue. However, how will dock.io avoid becoming a centralized platform on its own?

dock io how it works.png

dock io how it works 2.png

dock io how it works 3.png

dock io how it works 4.png

Reverse Mentoring and its Benefits

mathias-sager-reverse-mentoring copy

Traditional mentoring

Self-improvement can be intimidating, and personal interactions with other, like in a mentoring relationship might be extraordinarily valuable [1]. In today’s fast-changing world the potential for mentoring, especially if creatively employed, might be an increasingly useful type of relationship [2]. Yet relatively few employees got into a company mentoring program [3]. Traditional mentoring generally takes place between a senior and a junior person in a similar career field [4], a relationship that is hierarchical and one-directional in the sense that the mentor in its expert position carries the power while the newcomer mentee is deemed to receive learning [5].

Reverse mentoring for diversity and organizational success

Reverse mentoring, on the other side, can be defined as “pair[ing] younger, junior employees as mentors with older, senior colleagues as mentees to share knowledge” ([6], p. 569). Jack Welch in 1999 made this approach popular when using it in GE [7]. It is the first time that four or five generation with distinct values work in the same workplaces and have to manage related generational tensions ([8]; [9]). Reverse (respectively reciprocal) mentoring may be promising transfer processes to support global expatriate female managers as they were found to receive less monitoring than male and domestic colleagues [10]. Cross-racial reverse mentoring is another example of engaging diversity to increase organizational success [6].

Benefits for the employees

Reverse mentoring was found to benefit older adults with reduced social isolation, improved self-efficacy, and increased technological understanding, and younger colleagues can progress their teaching and communication skills [11]. Intriguingly, by collaboratively fostering the understanding of each generations qualities, inter-generational intelligence can be built [9]. Vitality, enthusiasm, and creativity are predominantly represented by the younger, lower levels of organizations; not surprising when remembering the evidence that toddlers, in general, are creative, compared to the only 2% of 44-year-olds [12]. Reverse mentoring is promising in generating new ideas [13], which is vital in valuing the human capital and use it for innovation and competitiveness as required for learning organizations [14]. Lane (2018) speculates that this effect might be the more pronounced, the bigger and the more global a firm is [7].

HR supported implementation for improved employee retention

In a study in the field of academic medicine, it was found that half of the recipients of unsatisfactory mentoring did genuinely consider quit the firm, while positive mentoring experiences reduced this number to 14% [2]. In another study reverse mentoring predicted increased affective commitment potentially decreasing turnover rates among millennial employees [15]. While informal settings may take pressure away from younger persons mentoring their superiors [16], more formal mentoring provides for clear objectives and plans how to achieve them [17]. It is essential that older leaders get the courage [13] to open up, demonstrate humility, and enter into egalitarian relationships [18]. Ideally, such openness and the diversification of the workforce [19] through reverse mentoring is systematically supported by HR too [20].

References

[1] Bollig, J. (2016). What Company Do You Keep?. Superintendent, 32.

[2] Disch, J. (2018). Rethinking Mentoring. Critical Care Medicine, 46(3), 437-441. doi:10.1097/CCM.0000000000002914

[3] Bergelson, M. (2014). Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders: Innovative Approaches to Mentorship. People & Strategy, 37(2), 18-22.

[4] Ellis, R. (2013). Reverse mentoring: Letting millennials lead the way. T And D, 67(9), 13.

[5] Morris, L. V. (2017). Reverse Mentoring: Untapped Resource in the Academy?. INNOVATIVE HIGHER EDUCATION -NEW YORK-, (4). 285.

[6] Marcinkus, Murphy W. (2012). Reverse mentoring at work: Fostering cross-generational learning and developing millennial leaders. Human Resource Management, 51(4), 549-573. doi:10.1002/hrm.21489

[7] Lane, G. (2018). REVERSE MENTORING. Professional Manager, 7-8.

[8] Stephenson, G. (2014). Breaking traditions with reciprocal mentoring. Nursing Management, 45(6), 10-12. doi:10.1097/01.NUMA.0000449766.91747.77

[9] Meister, J. C. (2017). 4 Ways Companies Are Developing Millennials for the New World Of Work. Communication World, 1-3.

[10] Harvey, M., McIntyre, N., Thompson,  H. J., & Moeller, M. (2009). Mentoring global female managers in the global marketplace: traditional, reverse, and reciprocal mentoring. International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 20(6), 1344-1361. doi:10.1080/09585190902909863

[11] Breck, B., Dennis, C., & Leedahl, S. (2018). Implementing reverse mentoring to address social isolation among older adults. Journal Of Gerontological Social Work, 1-13. doi:10.1080/01634372.2018.1448030

[12] Walton, C. (2018). Lifting the lid on creativity. Training Journal, 24-26.

[13] Gardiner, B. (2015). RBA embraces competition and reverse mentoring to drive innovation. Cio (13284045), 1.

[14] Barrett, B. (2013). Creating Virtual Mentoring Programs for Developing Intellectual Capital. Proceedings Of The International Conference On Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organizational Learning, 47-53.

[15] Catrin, H. (2017). Affective Commitment to Organizations: A Comparison Study of Reverse Mentoring Versus Traditional Mentoring Among Millennials. Binus Business Review, Vol 8, Iss 2, Pp 157-165 (2017), (2), 157. doi:10.21512/bbr.v8i2.3666

[16] Pieters, B. (2011). Reverse Mentoring: Fresh Perspectives from Future Leaders. Profiles In Diversity Journal, 13(6), 68.

[17] Jane, B. (2014). Reverse mentoring becomes a two-way street: case study of a mentoring project for IT competence. Development And Learning In Organizations: An International Journal, (3), 13. doi:10.1108/DLO-01-2014-0001

[18] Thoman, R. (2009). Reverse mentoring: How young leaders can transform the church and why we should let them. Christian Education Journal, 6(2), 432-436.

[19] Holden, L., Rumala, B., Carson, P., & Siegel, E. (2014). Promoting careers in health care for urban youth: What students, parents and educators can teach us. Information Services & Use, 34(3/4), 355-366. doi:10.3233/ISU-140761

[20] Chen, Y. (2013). Effect of Reverse Mentoring on Traditional Mentoring Functions. Leadership & Management In Engineering, 13(3), 199-208. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)LM.1943-5630.0000227

What do younger talents want?

mathias-sager-youth-young-talent-china-employee

Summary. Younger employees around the world tend to prefer more professional freedom, meaningful work, and work-life in their work. Asking only older senior HR managers might not provide sufficient insight into the generation Y’s thinking though. Listening directly to the younger employees is vital to positively influence job satisfaction, engagement, and work performance altogether. The youth’s resourcefulness, e.g., in digital media, could be used for backward/reverse mentoring to engage senior management more. Offering millennials more short-term job and internship opportunities can represent a win-win situation to gain experience from both an organizational and young talent perspective. Some examples from a Chinese perspective are presented. 


Work ethics and quality of life values

Many of the so-called gold-collar workers (GCW) who demonstrate qualities such as high problem-solving abilities in challenging environments but are also used to extraordinary financial compensation, started to quit their positions in prominent Chinese cities to seek improved work-life balance, including, e.g., increased learning and development opportunities [1]. Today’s younger generations in China, while navigating the collectivist society, can also require, even from authorities, more radical openness and honesty, especially in case of perceived unfairness [2]. Researchers found that more professional freedom, meaningful work, and work-life balance constitute job characteristics increasingly crucial as a high-level tendency across different cultures [3]. Varying work values still need to be differentiated between even various countries in East Asia itself. For example, the Chinese tend to be more individualistic, while the Japanese are more risk-averse, and the Koreans are often found somewhat in the middle [4].

Insight-led Global Talent Management (GTM) and backward/reverse mentoring

Best practice Global Talent Management (GTM) in Asia is best led by insight into economic and cultural context [2], including the specific understanding of the youth. When re-assessing HR practices, consulting only with older senior management personnel might not provide sufficient and accurate insight into the thinking of the generation Y employees [5]. A demographic shift also takes place in China where the proportion of the population of over sixty-five years is growing, which is resulting in a shrinking workforce with implication for how to manage the pool of younger talents [6]. Cooperative re-negotiation of employee structures and roles within firms might be needed. The Gallup’s global employee engagement database reveals that two-thirds of Asian CEO’s are not engaged and often feel underdeveloped [7]. Bringing together the younger generations’ digital talent and the older colleagues rich experience in a kind of backward/reverse mentoring would offer an exciting approach [2].

Short and long-term view for win-win situations

Millennials often plan differently for their future, meaning that they seek more short-term employment (i.e., of one to two years length) to gain experience at the beginning of their career [8]. Consequently, talent management practices have to deal with more employee turnover. However, especially when talent acquisition is challenged due to a lack of matching organizational demand and graduate skills, short-term assignments might offer a win-win situation overall. This is the reason why both firms and candidates see internships as an ideal avenue at professional career start [9].

Empowering the youth

For the youth being able to bring their potential to the table, managers self-identified their central role as empowering their talents in furthering self-esteem and self-promotion capability [10]. For GTM, listening to the younger generation and consider their expectations is vital to positively influence job satisfaction, engagement, and work performance altogether [3].

References

[1] Roongrerngsuke, S., & Liefooghe, A. (2013). Attracting Gold-Collar Workers: Comparing Organizational Attractiveness and Work-Related Values across Generations in China, India and Thailand. Asia Pacific Business Review, 19(3), 337-355.

[2] Claire, M. (2011). Lessons from the East: next generation HR in Asia. Strategic HR Review, (4), 11. doi:10.1108/14754391111140954

[3] Walk, M., Handy, F., & Schinnenburg, H. (2013). What do talents want? Work expectations in India, China, and Germany. Zeitschrift Fur Personalforschung, 27(3), 251-278.

[4] Froese, F. J. (2013). Work values of the next generation of business leaders in Shanghai, Tokyo, and Seoul. Asia Pacific Journal Of Management, 30(1), 297-315. doi:10.1007/s10490-011-9271-7

[5] Lynton, N., & Beechler, S. (2012). Using Chinese Managerial Values to Win the War for Talent. Asia Pacific Business Review, 18(4), 567-585.

[6] Jackson, K. (2017). Demographic shift: implications for employment policy development in the Asia-Pacific. Asia Pacific Business Review, 23(5), 738-742. doi:10.1080/13602381.2017.1295558

[7] Ratanjee, V. (2014). Bridging the Leadership Gap in Asia. Gallup Business Journal, 4.

[8] Groden, C. (2016). Five Things You Can Do to Attract Millennial Talent. Fortune International (Asia), 173(4), 182.

[9] Rose, P. (2013). Internships: Tapping into China’s next generation of talent. Asia-Pacific Journal Of Cooperative Education, 14(2), 89-98.

[10] Middleton, J. (2012). secrets to tapping the talent in young Pacific people. Human Resources Magazine, 17(1), 34-35.

Global Talent Management (GTM) in China: Between Globalization and Tradition

China global talent management

Summary. Although multi-national enterprises (MNEs) in China are looking for talents who can balance domestic and international challenges, the evolving education and Global Talent Management (GTM) systems struggle with the timely identification, development, and retention of a workforce that is matching the required demand of new and future skills. Respect for the Chinese culture and access to so-called guanxi business networks shaped by collectivist cultural values are needed to access business opportunities. On the other hand, the opening up of secretive circles and empowering students and employees for more self-determined and problem-based learning could provide avenues to close the gap between theory and practice as well as more equality in talent development, hopefully resulting in increased entrepreneurship and innovation.

Continue reading Global Talent Management (GTM) in China: Between Globalization and Tradition

Global Mindset in Japan: A Critical Evaluation

mathias-sager-global-mindset-japan

Summary. This article critically sheds light on current socio-economic challenges for Japan and the need for developing a global mindset for companies in a globalizing world. With little chance for getting a management position before the age of 40 and confronted with dominating domestic demand for a monolingual male workforce, Japan’s youth gets blamed for being ‘insular’ and individually responsible for the lack of global mindsets. To improve global success, Japanese HR practices’ global talent management programs have to address the need for highly skilled and globally minded talents in Japan and their expatriates. Japan-specific, step-by-step, and creative alternative solutions may be required to make it happen.


 

Japan’s current unclear development of its role in global economy comes from various challenges such as two decades lasting economic stagnation [1] and increased competition from China and India [2]. Salary men sweat devotedly for the big companies and government agencies for the return of stable careers, while their wives take care of raising the next generation guaranteeing the continuation of the system that has become antithetical to fast-paced global changes [2]. A global mindset is needed for many Japanese organization, and there are calls for a related shift in education ([3]; [4]). However, most Japanese companies favor domestic monolingual male workforce [5], which informs higher education in the way that fewer and fewer students in Japan envision to study abroad [6]. The collectivist Japanese culture might emphasize that trend as the unity of family raises expectations for children not to stay away from their family and take care of their parents [7].

Japanese see the development of a global mindset as an individual rather than an organizational burden. Due to seniority-based promotion systems, only 9% of Japanese managers are below the age of 40, compared to 62% in India and 76% in China [1]. Ironically, the lack of talents with global mindsets has not been associated with strict hiring practices, bigoted immigration policies, or with conservative firm cultures but instead the ‘insular’ young people, the so-called ‘uchimuki,’ are blamed for keeping the island inwardly retreated [8].

Japanese HRM practices’ global talent management initiatives have been reported to not being suitable to attract sufficient talent with a global mindset for multinational enterprises [9]. English in Japan is still treated as belonging to the US or UK rather than being a global language [8]. HR brokers until today have mostly focused on low-skilled short-term immigration [10]. Therefore, not surprisingly, Japan ranks last behind all major industrialized nations regarding the percentage of foreign academics and engineers employed [11].

A trend of an increasing number of Japanese self-initiated expatriate entrepreneurs to developing countries in Asia indicates the presence of not only entrepreneurial but also global mindsets as related to social and sustainability missions [12]. Japanese multinationals, however, comparatively have difficulties to go international with their often highly successful local businesses in which the home-country expatriates obviously need to re-assess their globalization abilities [13]. For example, Japanese business men are used to relationship-based marketing [14] and would need to adapt to a more need-based style when selling abroad [7]. Maybe hybrid forms of globalization activities, developed through Japan-based HR training can advance the integration of cultural differences to promote global success [1]. Anti-globalization sentiments after the nuclear plant accident in Fukushima in 2011 and perceptions of unfairly exploitative global businesses may require an alternative kind of globalization as happening in the arts that, e.g., builds on alternative smaller destinations [15]. Step-by-step quick wins could increase confidence in more long-term investment into global mindsets to improve results from globalization [16].

References

[1] Ananthram, S., Pick, D., & Issa, T. (2012). Antecedents of a Global Mindset: A Mixed Method Analysis of Indian, Chinese and Japanese Managers. Contemporary Management Research, 8(4), 305-329.

[2] Ananthram, S., Grainger, R., & Tominaga, H. (2014). Constituents of a global mindset: an empirical study with Japanese managers. Japan Studies Review, 91-114.

[3] Li, S. (2014). The Conversion of Homogeneous State to Global Society: The Changes in Japan from a Higher Education Perspective. Procedia Social And Behavioral Sciences, 140(1), 553.

[4] Danielewicz-Betz, A., & Kawaguchi, T. (2014). Preparing Engineering Students for Global Workplace Communication: Changing the Japanese Mindsets. International Journal Of Engineering Pedagogy, 4(1), 55-68. doi:10.3991/ijep.v4i1.3297

[5] Kobayashi, Y. (2013). Global English Capital and the Domestic Economy: The Case of Japan from the 1970s to early 2012. Journal Of Multilingual And Multicultural Development, 34(1), 1-13.

[6] Normile, D. (2015). Japan looks to instill global mindset in grads. Science, 347(6225), 937.

[7] Michaeli, M., Lazo, A., Thao Phung, N., Moussavi, M., & Steinberg, H. (2017). Global Cultural and Accounting Difference between Japan and the USA. Allied Academies International Conference: Proceedings Of The Academy Of Accounting & Financial Studies (AAFS), 22(1), 22.

[8] Burgess, C. (2015). To Globalise or Not to Globalise? “Inward-Looking Youth” as Scapegoats for Japan’s Failure to Secure and Cultivate “Global Human Resources”. Globalisation, Societies And Education, 13(4), 487-507.

[9] Furusawa, M., & Brewster, C. (2015). The bi-cultural option for global talent management: the Japanese / Brazilian Nikkeijin example. Journal Of World Business, 50(1), 133-143. doi:10.1016/j.jwb.2014.02.005

[10] Conrad, H., & Meyer-Ohle, H. (2018). Brokers and the Organization of Recruitment of ‘Global Talent’ by Japanese Firms–A Migration Perspective. Social Science Japan Journal, 21(1), 67. doi:10.1093/ssjj/jyx032

[11] Oishi, N. (2013). Migration and competitiveness in science and engineering in Japan. Migration Letters, 10(2), 228-244.

[12] Yokoyama, K., & Birchley, S. L. (2018). Mindset and Social Entrepreneurship: Japanese Self-initiated Expatriate Entrepreneurs in Cambodia. Journal Of Entrepreneurship And Innovation In Emerging Economies, 4(1), 68.

[13] Black, J. S., & Morrison, A. J. (2012). The Japanese Global Leadership Challenge: What It Means for the Rest of the World. Asia Pacific Business Review, 18(4), 551-566.

[14] Yang, L., & Peter R.J., T. (2008). The link between cultural value systems and strategic marketing : Unlocking the mindset of Japanese and South Korean managers. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, (1), 62. doi:10.1108/13527600810848836

[15] Mōri, Y. (2015). New collectivism, participation and politics after the East Japan Great Earthquake. World Art, 5(1), 167.

[16] Yamada, K. (2016). Financing Sustainable Development with Enhanced Domestic Resource Mobilization: Transitional Role of International Cooperation. Asia-Pacific Development Journal, 23(2), 61-80.

Job analysis and its role in global talent management (Incl. insights from Japan)

1. The role of job analysis in Global Talent Management

2. Japanese tendencies and the focus on people vs. positions

3. Towards systematic talent identification

mathias-sager-talent-identification.jpg


1. The role of job analysis in Global Talent Management

The identification of talent is a central aspect of Global Talent Management (GTM) practices in multinational enterprises (MNE’s) [1]. Job analysis respectively competency analysis constitutes a required input for talent identification [2]. However, traditional job analysis that has represented a fundamental necessity for many HR activities seems to have become increasingly outdated [3]. Indeed, the number of current articles about job analysis is decreasing, while, in contrast, related fields such as competency modeling and work analysis describing more broadly and evolving organizational roles are trending [4]. The relative popularity of competency models may be explained by its alignment with organizational strategy and related performance goals [3].

The diminishing relevance of the use of job analysis results such as job descriptions, may come from the shift towards recruitment strategies that are led not by vacancies but rather by onboarding talents to be able to fill strategic roles when they arise. Therefore, rather than looking at existing job tasks, companies strategically may look, especially concerning their leadership competency profiles, for visionary talents who are well connected, cross-culturally skilled, and whose values match well with the firm culture [1].

Another essential consideration in evaluating the utility of job analysis in Talent Management is the level of detail that is elaborated to describe job requirements. While more holistic approaches result in more generic and abstract information convince through their cost-efficiency, the gathering of more detailed data is supporting the judgment process of what specifics contribute to the overall ratings of importance [5]. Researchers argue that the psychometric quality of competency models decline when judgments are based on broad job descriptions [3].

2. Japanese tendencies and the focus on people vs. positions

Japanese talent acquisition practices are strongly shaped by domestic approaches [6], which the interview results of this study also confirm. The identification of skills, abilities, knowledge and other characteristics (KSAOs) informs talents identification. Although methods such as, e.g., job analysis [1] focusing on jobs as a starting point for Talent Management are a promoted view [7], Japanese (multinational) companies tend to work the other way around, i.e., starting with people and then figuring out where to go with the workforce.

The concept of lifetime employment is still alive in Japan. When keeping people is an overarching goal of an organization, job descriptions, and missing job descriptions respectively would limit maneuvering room. Line managers’ expectation rather than job requirement and talent assessment documentation is determining who’s considered to be a talent suitable for what position. This relational focus on work, however, is an important aspect of complex job roles in general and everywhere [8]. However, a tendency towards influencing employee behavior subjectively from manager’s perspective versus a more objective reliance on job descriptions [9] was identified a specific feature of Japanese talent management.

While modern talent approaches may shift from input to a more output-oriented view [7], past achievements (e.g., education and type of university), as well as seniority, are decisive for the employee payments and promotions [10]. On the other side, HR positions often get occupied by staff who is rotated, even against their will. The interview repeatedly pointed to the need for more education to address the lack of HR and talent management capabilities as measured against good global practices and evidenced anecdotic by especially young talents who seem to expect more consideration for their career aspirations. As for job analysis, inexperience, in contrast to carelessness, would not necessarily have to result in low quality judgments though [5].

3. Towards systematic talent identification

Job analysis can uncover needs for improvement in work environments [11] and have positive effects on talent management, such as objective and talent-focusing development. Improper job descriptions leaving employees unclear about their duties and competencies can also lead to legal issues [12]. As, for example, Hitachi demonstrated, the implementation of systematic talent identification and evaluation can improve multinational operations [10]. Albeit talent selection by fixed job characteristics might have become an insufficient method [13], the usage of some work profiles to create good matches between individuals and jobs would be advantageous for staff and organizations alike [14]. A better (psychological) understanding of strategic jobs from an organization’s HR perspective would for sure help underline the importance of talent management [15] in achieving the increasingly complex and global organizational goals.

References

[1] Scullion, H., & Collings, D. G. (Eds.). (2011). Global talent management. Abington, UK: Routledge.

[2] Lucie, V., Hana, U., & Helena, S. (2016). Identification and Development of Key Talents through Competency Modelling in Agriculture Companies. Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis, Vol 64, Iss 4, Pp 1409-1419 (2016), (4), 1409. doi:10.11118/actaun201664041409

[3] Stevens, G. W. (2013). A critical review of the science and practice of competency modeling. Human Resource Development Review : HRD Review, 12(1), 86-107.

[4] Sanchez, J. I., & Levine, E. L. (2012). The Rise and Fall of Job Analysis and the Future of Work Analysis. Annual Review Of Psychology, 63(1), 397-425. doi:10.1146/annurev-psych-120710-100401

[5] Morgeson, F. P., Spitzmuller, M., Garza, A. S., & Campion, M. A. (2016). Pay Attention! The Liabilities of Respondent Experience and Carelessness When Making Job Analysis Judgments. Journal Of Management, 42(7), 1904. doi:10.1177/0149206314522298

[6] Conrad, H., & Meyer-Ohle, H. (2017). Overcoming the ethnocentric firm? – foreign fresh university graduate employment in Japan as a new international human resource development method. International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 1-19. doi:10.1080/09585192.2017.1330275

[7] Henry Stewart Talks (Producer) (2012) David Collings: Talent management [Online video]. Retrieved from http://hstalks.com.ezproxy.liv.ac.uk/main/view_talk.php?t=2206&r=587&c=250

[8] Schein, E. H., & Van Maanen, J. (2016). Career anchors and job/role planning: Tools for career and talent management. Organizational Dynamics, 45(3), 165-173. doi:10.1016/j.orgdyn.2016.07.002

[9] Sanchez, J., & Levine, E. (2009). What is (or should be) the difference between competency modelling and traditional job analysis? Human Resource Management Review, 19(2), 53–63.

[10] Yamaguchi, T. (2014). Standardizing HR Practices Around the World. Harvard Business Review, 92(9), 80-81.

[11] Ishihara, I., Yoshimine, T., Horikawa, J., Majima, Y., Kawamoto, R., & Salazar, M. (2004). Defining the roles and functions of occupational health nurses in Japan: results of job analysis. AAOHN Journal, 52(6), 230-241.

[12] Smith, K. J. (2015). Conducting Thorough Job Analyses and Drafting Lawful Job Descriptions. Employment Relations Today (Wiley), 41(4), 95-99. doi:10.1002/ert.21479

[13] Using Rough Set Theory to Recruit and Retain High-Potential Talents for Semiconductor Manufacturing. (2007). IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing, Semiconductor Manufacturing, IEEE Transactions on, IEEE Trans. Semicond. Manufact, (4), 528. doi:10.1109/TSM.2007.907630

[14] Sharp, P. (2011). The LIFE Technique – Creating a Personal Work Profile. Electronic Journal Of Knowledge Management, 9(1), 57-72.

[15] Becker, B. E., & Huselid, M. A. (2010). SHRM and job design: Narrowing the divide. Journal Of Organizational Behavior, 31(2-3), 379-388. doi:10.1002/job.640

Talent (on other than the individual level)

mathias-sager-team-talent.jpg

Some job performances (e.g., the financial results created by investment bankers) is often depending on external factors and is therefore at least difficult to explain and can serve as a reminder that causes of performance often need to be found on other than the individual level alone. This is interesting as it leads to less intuitive notions of talent such as team talent. Also, example conditions under which collective talent may develop best are discussed in this article.

Talent analytics and the search for the ‘why’

Big data analysis can reveal accurate prediction of outcomes, but it often cannot provide meaningful insight into and interpretation of the underlying or antecedent causes. Talent Analytics (TA) is considered a promising use of big data in HR management [1]. Obstacles such as breaking through data silos need to be overcome to harness the full potential of big data analysis. The same might be true for understanding more complex interdependencies that lead to organizational performance. Not only individual performance but the environment in which it occurs is determining results. For example, N’Cho (2017) has found that companies with more audit committee members were able to create higher profits; possibly a non-intuitive fact for many.

Team talent

The most innovative shop doesn’t generate revenues without marketing [2]. From an organizational perspective, team talent as distinctive to individual talent may be an interesting concept in the way that it is a team commonality. Consequently, group incentives have proven to increase the efficiency of collective efforts (e.g., through reduction of so-called free riding), especially in the knowledge economy [3]. Evidence of studies of Major League Baseball teams also supports the concept of team talent. Allocation of profits is closely linked with the distribution of productivity, and it seems that eliminating weak links in favor of a more homogeneous team is significantly driving team improvement [4]. The celebration of stars should not neglect the appreciation of the importance of the supporting B players as they overall contribute far more to a firm’s durable performance [5]. According to the Peter Principle, leaders often remain at positions in which they are overwhelmed, an impression the financial crisis could not correct. From that perspective, it’s not the leaders who matter, but the people who are competently doing their job [6].

Encouraging and competitive environments

There is compelling evidence that trust between managers and staff dramatically increase shareholder return. If employees are not regarded as relatively fixed resources to exploit, but rather as a human potential to develop [7], their performance increases [8]. Talent has become an even more valuable asset than capital itself [9] and needs to be kept free, encouraged, and heard because control is diminishing is potential [10] However, in contrast, on CEO level, competition to control for the risk of misreporting showed to be good advice [11].

Entrepreneurial talent

Entrepreneurial talent that is mainly characterized by a well-connected network around the company founders was identified to account for the organizations’ profitability and financial success [12]. In that sense, entrepreneurial talent provides another example for relationships with factors other than skill-level measures that determine talent and related business performance.

Photo credit: geralt (pixabay.com)

References

[1] N’Cho, J. (2017). Contribution of talent analytics in change management within project management organizations The case of the French aerospace sector. Procedia Computer Science, 121625. doi:10.1016/j.procs.2017.11.082

[2] Loyd, S. (2002). Has talent, needs customers : An engineering lab profits from its first strategy experiments. Strategy & Leadership, (3), 34. doi:10.1108/10878570210427936

[3] Meagher, K., & Prasad, S. (2016). Career concerns and team talent. Journal Of Economic Behavior And Organization, 1291-17. doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2016.05.019

[4] Schmidt, M. B. (2009). The nonlinear behavior of competition: the impact of talent compression on competition. Journal Of Population Economics, 22(1), 57-74. doi:10.1007/s00148-006-0104-9

[5] DeLong, T. J., & Vijayaraghavan, V. (2003). Let’s Hear It for B Players. Harvard Business Review, 81(6), 96-102.

[6] Why Incompetents Will Always Rule the World. (2009). Inc, 31(3), 22.

[7] People principle will reap rewards Why people and strategy are not mutually exclusive. (2002). PERSONNEL TODAY -SUTTON-, 16.

[8] Steenburgh, T., & Ahearne, M. (2012). Motivating Salespeople: What Really Works. Harvard Business Review, 90(7/8), 70-75.

[9] Martin, R. L., & Moldoveanu, M. C. (2003). Capital Versus Talent: The Battle That’s Reshaping Business. HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW, (7). 36.

[10] John Alan, C. (2002). “I Didn’t Know” and “I Was Only Doing My Job”: Has Corporate Governance Careened out of Control? A Case Study of Enron’s Information Myopia. Journal Of Business Ethics, (3), 275.

[11] Marinovic, I., & Povel, P. (2017). Competition for talent under performance manipulation. Journal Of Accounting And Economics, 641-14. doi:10.1016/j.jacceco.2017.04.003

[12] Mayer-Haug, K., Read, S., Brinckmann, J., Dew, N., & Grichnik, D. (2013). Entrepreneurial talent and venture performance: A meta-analytic investigation of SMEs. Research Policy, 421251-1273. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2013.03.001