Meet the Skeptic

Meet the skeptic. You’ve probably seen him lurking around the office – the cynic, the conspiracy theorist, the one with the locked desk drawers and 26-character computer password. To him, everyone is suspect – his employees working to undermine him, his colleagues whispering behind his back, his boss is surely a member of some secret society.

Read More »

Q&A with Dr. Hogan: Psychopaths in the C-Suite

Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by disregard for the rights of others, lack of empathy or remorse, and grandiosity. Although the world’s prisons are full of people who fit this description, not all psychopaths are in jail. In fact, a surprising number can be found in the corner office.

Read More »

The Science of Career Success

The current class of college graduates is one of the most educated, technologically advanced, and technically skilled to ever enter the workforce. According to the New York Times, however, 22% are working in jobs that do not require a college degree, and 22.4% aren’t working at all. Read More »

A clear fact in a murky situation: safety was not a concern

  On January 13, 2012, the Costa Concordia luxury cruise liner passed approximately 150 meters off the island of Giglio, striking rocks that would tear a 50 meter gash in its hull. According to the ship’s operator, Costa Cruises, the captain of the ship, Francesco Schettino, made an unauthorized and unapproved maneuver, veering off his pre-approved route and bringing the ship dangerously close to shore. In his defense, Schettino says Costa Cruises ordered him to conduct such a maneuver and it was a common practice used to attract publicity and make passengers happy. Read More »

Driving Engagement in the 80%

In a recent blog for the Harvard Business Review, Ambiga Dhiraj, Head of Talent Management for Chicago-based Mu Sigma, a decision science and analytics services firm, made an interesting observation about her company’s talent management process:

Read More »

In Times of Crisis, Be Careful Who You Follow

A group of young hikers, anxious to explore the treacherous mountain ranges of Alaska, interviewed a number of guides at a remote outpost. "Yep, I'm the best there is," bragged an older, very weathered looking man; "I know every mountain and valley in Alaska – been hiking them for over 50 years.“

Read More »

Can you see what I see?

When people ask me what I do for a living, and I tell them that I am a business psychologist, it is not unusual for me to hear “Gosh, we could really do with a psychologist at work.” Colourful stories concerning people, events and relationships usually follow, almost always describing how someone (a colleague, a boss, a team even) is responsible for making working life impossible.

Read More »

Why Do We Give?

Why is it that we give to others around the holiday season? Do we instinctively feel an innate desire (at the same time every year) to do something nice for them? Are we succumbing to marketing forces and great sales during the season of giving? Do we fear what would happen if we did not give gifts each December? (Tongue-in-cheek, this may be the case for some individuals.) Like a good scientist (Santa, I hope you are listening), I need to see what stories the data tell.

Read More »

Back in My Day

I recently celebrated my 31st birthday, which, in today’s world, qualifies me to begin sentences with the phrase “back in my day.” I admit this begrudgingly; back in my day, it seemed that statement was reserved for an individual well out of his or her 30s. Still, from time to time, I do find myself sounding a bit curmudgeonly. No, I never claim to walk uphill both ways, barefoot in the snow to school, but I do sometimes struggle to grasp the rate at which technology has changed life since I was in school.Over the past decade, technology exploded, and although the changes affected countless areas of our lives, they all had the same common thread: the sharing of information. We are a society saturated with data; individuals are in constant connection with one another, and details on virtually any topic can be obtained in a matter of seconds.Why does that have to do with business? These connections have evolved from innocuous social interaction to business-relevant posting capable of promoting or destroying an organization’s reputation in a matter of minutes. The trend is the wave of the future. In the informed, well-connected prosumer, it has created what can either be a strong ally or an unstoppable adversary. Fortunately, as technology increases, so does its usability. Gone are the days when “I don’t know how” was a viable excuse; the response now will be “well, you’d better Google it.”There are some steps we old folks can take to keep current, and they are steps that will build a foundation on which your organization can effectively evolve:

Read More »