The Pelorus – July 2019

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Welcome to July’s edition of The Pelorus: a selection of content and research Openside have discovered in the last month – which you may not have seen – which we hope will give you actionable insights that you can use in your own firm. We have written a summary of each article with a link to the full article if you want to read more.

Higher Intelligence And An Analytical Thinking Style Offer No Protection Against “The Illusory Truth Effect” – Our Tendency To Believe Repeated Claims Are True – British Psychological Society

The “illusory truth effect” has long been exploited by politicians – repeat a false statement often enough, and people will start believing that it’s true. Matthew Warren’s article points towards recent research which suggests that even those with higher intelligence or those who adopt a more analytical approach to thinking are prone to believing statements if they are repeated or seen enough times. Consultants and professional advisors who are engaged by clients for their critical thinking ability should make sure they don’t fall for this judgmental bias.

How Consultants Project Expertise and Learn at the Same Time – Harvard Business Review

The challenge with effective consulting is that it depends on in-depth situational knowledge that consultants simply can’t have when they start an assignment, so consultants have to rapidly and discreetly gain knowledge about the client’s business while at the same time giving an impression of competence and self-confidence. Alaric Bourgoin and Jean-Francois Harvey outline how consultants can overcome this learning-credibility tension by putting on a ‘performance’, crafting relevance to seem competent while learning, resonance by recycling insider knowledge and substance by creating knowledge objects.

Why living your values work – Strategy+Business

In this article, Elizabeth Doty explores why ‘bounded ethicality’ can stop leaders from putting their firm’s values into action. Indeed, they behave in a way that directly contradicts their firm’s values and can severely damage their trust and credibility. The article suggests three ways in which leaders can apply the concept of bounded ethicality to help them truly live their values and shape their company’s culture for the better: Doty suggests that once we realise that we all have blind spots, then living our values – individually or as a company – becomes a life’s work.

How prioritizing my passion outside of my work made me a better colleague and leader – Fast Company

The ‘always-on’ culture of professional services is something we have previously written about at length and it appears that the tech sector is a high pressure, always-on, stressful corporate environment. In this heartening article, Cai GoGwilt, a CTO and founder of a tech company outlines how he escapes the corporate environment through music. As he says: “When you give art (or your respective passion) a space in your busy life, you become a better employee or manager, and of course less susceptible to burnout. A must read for many of our Pelorus subscribers.

Skills shift: Automation and the future of the workforce – McKinsey Global Institute

By 2030, demand for technological, social, emotional, and higher cognitive skills will rise significantly. Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will mark an acceleration over the shifts of even the recent past. These changes will require workers everywhere to deepen their existing skill sets or acquire new ones and companies will need to rethink how work is organized. This four-part briefing by the McKinsey Global Institute investigates how workers and organisations will adapt to this impending skills shift, quantifying time spent on 25 core workplace skills, today and in the future, for five European countries and the United States.

We hope you find these articles thought-provoking and that, where necessary, they have implications on the way you work within your firm. Please share this email with any of your clients or colleagues whom you think may benefit – there is a link to subscribe to ‘The Pelorus’ below.

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