Does Philosophy have a place in today’s Business World?

Nowadays, it has become a common joke that a philosophy graduate’s most frequently used phrase is “Would you like some fries and a Coke with that?”, but is this an actual representation of the real world? Surprisingly, a study made by CNN has shown that only 5% of the people who recently got their philosophy diploma are facing problems in finding a job. On top of that, many renowned entrepreneurs like Reid Hoffman, Peter Thiel and Carly Fiorina are attributing their overall success to their education in philosophy.

All of this happens due to a huge shift in the business world: the abilities optimised for the globalist consumption and safe approaches of the past decade have been almost completely replaced by those required to thrive in this new uncertain and individualised business world. Therefore, abilities such as truly understanding the world, identifying the causal factors of day-to-day events, while also being able to make optimal decisions in new and unfamiliar situations have become the new  standards of performance.

How does studying philosophy develop those abilities? Well, the better question would be how could it not? Anyone who takes a peek into the area of modern philosophy would observe one common misconception: the falsehood of the fact that it’s all about wild speculation and realise that, actually, it focuses on well-structured arguments and counter-arguments. Apart from knowing and understanding what X philosopher said about Z problem – which, to some, might not seem particularly useful from a pragmatic point of view – you will also learn to identify, all by yourself, the weak spots of each and every argument. This process will conspicuously lead, in the end, to fully developed critical thinking skills. Whoever is lucky enough to have acquired this particular skillset will have no problems whatsoever in identifying and solving even the most complex organisational challenges.

Furthermore, during the process of studying philosophy, one will inevitably change their own fundamental system of beliefs about all the aspects of reality. This leads to the general mental state of constantly rechecking and analysing the truth and validity of every case in which your deductive line of reasoning could lead you to the wrong conclusions. That little amount of skepticism generates another essential byproduct: the ability to safely avoid the tendency towards rigidness of thought – a common feature of most managers in today’s world of business.

What more could this new business environment require of a potential entrepreneur or employee?

So, next time someone mentions the joke about philosophy majors, rather than getting angry, you could raise some doubts about the causal relationship between studying philosophy and earning minimum wage; maybe there are some underlying (psychological?!) causes that led them to this fallacious deductive reasoning.

 

Sources:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/295699

https://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/artsci/philosophy/academic-programs/undergrad/ourgraduates1.html

http://bigthink.com/experts-corner/why-future-business-leaders-need-philosophy

http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/29/news/economy/recent-college-graduates-job-new-york-federal-reserve/

How Transparent an Organisation Ought to Be?

One of the most important aspects of any business nowadays revolves around customer service. It is still difficult to identify the exact moment a customer or a business decides to work with your company, but everyone can agree that in that moment the client has decided to trust your brand. In the age of social media and the added need for assurance; transparency and sincerity are critical to a good customer service. If this service is in tip-top shape, every company can expect long-term partnerships with their clients, and who doesn’t want that? In order to achieve such a good relationship with your customers, your company and employees must be adequately equipped to offer the best treatment to all clients. How can employees have this desire for great customer service? Here a few tips into how you can achieve this.

Transparency within the organisation

The culture that is within your company will greatly reflect on how your coworkers will interact with clients. It is very important managers and leaders instill transparency within teams in the organisation. In order for this to work, employees should find themselves in a work environment where part of the daily routine is to share information and knowledge valuable for the company’s activity. Doing so will create a good atmosphere and will lead to business growth, while also helping employees learn how to cooperate effectively in dealing with distributors, possible coworkers and most importantly, clients.

A great business is characterised by great customer service

Everyone enjoys a brand where they come back for the same top quality products or services over and over again. Loyalty can be easily won when the company manages to meet or even exceed clients’ expectations through an integrated system of customer service, with the option of personalisation. It makes the customer feel special and not just a number. An example of going the extra mile is remembering a client’s birthday and giving them a call, or sending them a small gesture of your appreciation for their business with you.

Customer feedback – best source for insight

Whether we are talking about a startup or a multinational company, direct customer feedback is quintessential for business development. It shows that the company listened to their suggestions and acted accordingly. Actively listening to the feedback you receive could represent the company’s competitive advantage, especially in an industry where the competition offers a product or service similar or slightly better than yours. The difference is in the little details; being the best just doesn’t cut it anymore. Companies that are able to listen to their customers are the ones that manage to expand on a global scale.

Although many companies claim transparency is part of their culture, in the majority of circumstances that is not the case. It is quite difficult to put this process into fruition straight away. People need to know that transparency represents the glue that keeps them together through good and bad times. Facilitating a transparent communication, not only with the clients, but also internally, leads to critical thinking in solving even the most difficult issues.

Clearly stated job functions and responsibilities

 Something that helps transparency in the beginning is having an established order in the workplace where everyone knows what their responsibilities are. Automatically, this will lead to a better and more direct communication process between workers. Awareness will also see a rise in numbers, due to the fact that employees know who to talk to in order to ensure tasks and deadlines are being completed on time. Just to be clear, transparency doesn’t mean every member of the staff requires information about everything the company does. Some examples in this area are: performance reviews, salaries, marital status and so on. Employees need information in order to perform to the best of their abilities, too much transparency and information may damage internal affairs.

Hiring the right people

Every manager and entrepreneur around the world knows that hiring people in accordance with the company’s culture is pretty much the Holy Grail. It is recommended that recruiters ask candidates early in the interview whether they resonate with open communication and transparency. If the candidate is right for the company he or she will become even more willing to join your ranks. A proper company mission and culture is imperative to attract talented candidates, besides the product or service the company offers to the general public.

The Great People Inside employee assessment solutions and technology can be tailored to your company’s specific needs and organisational culture and can help you to boost the levels of job-fit and skill-use in your employees, generating job satisfaction, improved motivation, health and happiness, and boost employee retention.

Try out our assessment in order to measure the level of wellbeing in your organisation and find out the best approach to improve it.

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Sources:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246567

http://fortune.com/2016/05/21/trust-employees-corporate-culture/

https://wavelength.asana.com/workstyle-transparency/#close

Excessive Collaboration leads to Mediocrity

Collaboration has always been sought out in order to resolve problems, improve efficiency and even raise the office’s level of engagement. It is often seen like the perfect ingredient which transforms a group of people into a team. Collaboration offers people the possibility to explore various ideas and perspectives and share their views and experiences with the others. Nonetheless, besides all these obvious benefits, there are also downsides to over-collaborating. It usually leads to all the work being completed by the more productive workers. And a study conducted by Applied Psychology has come to aid this idea.

A work environment where there is a whole lot of collaboration will make your top performers, innovators and hard-workers who will undoubtedly feel used, miserable and socially isolated. The vast majority of average employees do not regard top performers as mentors or role models, but perceive them as threats, because they feel that they might be replaced by them or that they are the reason why their work might not be appreciated. Instead of focusing on their own efficiency, mediocre employees may also start spreading hurtful rumours about top performers, try and sabotage them, or even attempt at stealing their work and get credit for it.

Social isolation is one of the most used techniques that occur at the workplace. It is especially hard for introverted top performers who operate in open-plan environment. Given this situation, introverts are better off working from home, deepening the gap between themselves and their colleagues. Naturally, this leads to more backstabbing and gossip. Obviously, this represents the number 1 reason for top talents leaving companies. They simply cannot accept an organisation which embraces mediocrity.

This shouldn’t be considered as a jab taken towards teamwork; complex projects require a team in order for it to be a success. But for teams to be successful, they require a leader, a leader who can thwart any attempt of separating and slandering a top performer. More often than not, teams require formally ranked leadership rather than more collaboration opportunities. And maybe it is time for more private spaces to appear in order to encourage better social interaction.

There are a few tell-tale signs that reveal that your coworkers are over-collaborating. Here are the most important signs you should keep an eye on:

 

  1. Consensus is achieved but time-loss is immense

This is one of the most common problems when people are over-collaborating. Every important decision requires too much input and buy-in, meaning it takes way too long to happen, and even longer to implement. The size of the team can depend, but there are some areas of the project that must have rules that are intangible. People understand that some rules or ideas cannot be changed and if they have a certain degree of input on a few ideas, automatically they will feel ownership.

  1. Compromising as a solution

This represents the single most tremendous problem with excessive collaboration. When too many people are involved, this situation could potentially lead to the feeling that everyone at the table should have their opinions included in the decision making process and afterwards reach a consensus. The conclusion of collaboration is to reach the best possible outcome. People tend to compromise that outcome when too many ideas and opinions are being introduced in order to make people feel that their opinion is being valued. Managers need to realise that the majority of people crave to be heard and validated and that is not the target of collaboration. In this scenario, managers have to listen and offer a concrete reason why people’s opinions won’t be part of outcome.

  1. Involving people in every possible decision

This represents another problem that arises from excessive collaboration. When managers are involving too many people in absolutely every single decision, the final outcome will suffer due to the fact that if people are not involved in the decision making process they feel cheated and underappreciated. The truth is: not every decision requires the entire be department be present for debate. Some decisions are urgent and crucial, and collaboration would just take too long. Some decisions cannot include other members of staff because they do not possess the necessary information, due to confidentiality agreements, lack of resources or experience.

Ideally, people should start understanding the fact that collaboration is useful, but the world we live is far from perfect. Decisions need to be made, but collaboration will still be useful where the situation affords it. This is what people need to understand…

Great People Inside provides easy-to-use tools and processes to attract, assess, match, select, onboard, manage, develop, benchmark and maintain workforces anywhere in the world.

We help you find the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. The GR8 Productivity Gap tool is excellent at showcasing the evolution of any given employee over time. By contrasting two assessments made before and after training, it allows you to analyse both your employees’ development and their involvement in the process as well.

Sources:

https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/collaboration-creates-mediocrity-not-excellence-according-to-science.html?cid=hmmore

http://hr.toolbox.com/blogs/performance/three-signs-youre-collaborating-too-much-74191

 

Entrepreneurial Potential all over the World

 

People who are naturally drawn towards entrepreneurship have a different mind-set altogether. These are people are willing to break the established business models and transform the way we do business through futuristic and a more enhanced approach to commerce. This type of ethos leads to relentless energy in being creative, taking risks and stimulating more critical analyses of the situations at hand.

But before starting up as an entrepreneur, there should be entrepreneurial potential whether we talk about innovation within a company or in a community. And this requires people with potential.

It is a well-known fact that every country and culture around the world has a specific set of skills and abilities that make them stand out from the crowd. So, which country has the highest number of potential entrepreneurs? It may come as a surprise to everyone that it is not the United States, but rather Vietnam. They rank the highest from 45 countries in the Amway Entrepreneurial Spirit Index (AESI). Other examples include U.S. in 12th and Japan in 45th. AESI have based their rankings on 3 factors in order to determine the entrepreneurial spirit:

  • Desire to start a business
  • Willingness to engage in sustained effort
  • The social impact of friends and family in discouraging them to participate in the business.

These rankings are just a small fraction of the many incredible discoveries the 2016 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report has made. Their annual survey is designed for the sole purpose of identifying the various entrepreneurial attitudes and potential the participating countries have. Being in its 7th year, this report now comprises of approximately 51,000 people spanned across 45 countries. The responses given have been arranged through numerous demographic factors such as education, gender and age.

Attitude and positiveness

Nearly 77% of the people interviewed have given a positive outlook about entrepreneurship. The percentage is relatively higher than the one in 2015 (76%) and 2014 (74%), underlining the fact that this trend is going to grow even more in the future. The top 3 countries in positive attitudes are: Norway (96%), Vietnam (95%) and Denmark (94%). Why is Vietnam so high up in entrepreneurial spirit? According to Amway’s research, both men and women in Vietnam wish to start their own business due to their desire of self-fulfilment. Vietnamese are also confident in their skills of acquiring customers adding, of course, to their desire to branch out on their own.

Although many people will agree with the idea that change is not easy, there is a general tendency towards positive attitudes when referring to new ideas and concepts. This concept is closely related to age given the fact that 82% of people under 35 share this positive outlook, in comparison to 70% of respondents over 50. The other factor taken into account is the level of education. 84% of university graduates have a positive view on entrepreneurship, but also people without a college degree (74%) are pretty positive themselves. Last but not least, gender is not a defining factor, 78% of men and 76% of women display the same positive attitude.

Entrepreneurial potential

As mentioned above, there are 45 countries that have participated in Amway’s survey. Among the countries with a high score in entrepreneurial potential include: Colombia (80%), Mexico (73%) and Thailand (70%). The potential was measured based on the participants’ responses to the statement: “I can imagine starting my own business.” Interestingly enough, older respondents felt less inclined to start their own company with people 50 or over having a potential of just 33% in contrast with 35 or under who had a potential of 52%.

Gender also constitutes a determining factor of the willingness to start a business. Across the globe, 48% of men are more willing to start a business in comparison to 38% of women, the widest gap is present in North America: 56% men – 39% women. In the number one ranked country, Vietnam, women have the same positive approach as men towards entrepreneurship: 95% and 96%, respectively – this seems to be the primary reason why Vietnam shows such good statistics when it comes to entrepreneurship.

Another interesting  fact discovered in Amway’s survey is that the economic context, whether it’s local or global, does not have an impact on entrepreneurial desire. This comes from the ambition of people being their own bosses and having the independence that comes along with it. Entrepreneurship is on a rising trend all around the world. The desire, innovation and eagerness of people offer a positive sign to many economies which are looking to continue their development.

We help you find the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. The GR8 360° tool is excellent at developing managerial competencies, skills and behaviours. When using this assessment, you will find over 50 dimensions that come along with suggestions for future improvement and development. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

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Sources:

Forbes.com

Inc.com