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From Big Think: Paul Zak is the founding director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies and professor of economics, psychology and management at Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Zak has degrees in mathematics and economics from San Diego State University, a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and post-doctoral training in neuroimaging from Harvard University.
From Knowledge@Wharton: Swarthmore professor Barry Schwartz says rules and incentives are an “insurance policy against disaster, but [they don’t] produce excellence.” In his recent book, Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing, Schwartz and co-author Kenneth Sharpe, also a Swarthmore professor, say that what is needed is not more bureaucracy. Instead, society needs the Aristotelian ideal that trumps all others — practical wisdom. Knowledge@Wharton recently discussed with Schwartz why individuals fail to do the right thing, what practical wisdom looks like in practice and what organizations can do to regain people’s trust.
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From Dan Hill at ChangeThis: Ever since the Enlightenment, Western civilization has been on the wrong track. Eager to put the superstitions of the Dark Ages behind him, the French philosopher Rene Descartes famously declared, “I think, therefore I am.” But the truth is that over the past 25 years, the breakthroughs in brain science have systematically documented the greater reality that thought and emotion can’t be artificially separated and that, in fact, the capacity for emotion proceeded thought in evolutionary terms and continues to do so with every deliberation and act an employee makes. There is no such thing as objectivity. … Trust is a feeling. Hope is a feeling. Loyalty is a feeling. As companies struggle to emerge from the Great Recession, now is not the time for half-measures like polite (but empty) focus groups, or for the fear that executives may have regarding exposure to the honest feelings of their employees that serves as justification for not pursuing progress. Executives who exhort employees to accept change and sacrifice their own comfort zones must surely be ready to do so themselves.
From FastCompany: Evidence points to information from trusted sources getting a better hold on our brains than the noise from everything else. So it’s no surprise that companies want to capitalize on those feelings.
From TED: What drives our desire to behave morally? Neuroeconomist Paul Zak shows why he believes oxytocin (he calls it “the moral molecule”) is responsible for trust, empathy and other feelings that help build a stable society. · Watch video →
From Dr. Judith Bardwick at ChangeThis: “When trust levels are high, so is the quality and performance of business—and the reverse is also true. These facts are demonstrated dramatically when we look at the financial outcomes of companies that are among the best to work for and their peer companies that aren’t.
Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For have roughly double the rates of return, income, return on assets, profits, stock market returns and employee and customer retention rates compared to peer companies.”
Why don’t companies investing in knowledge-transfer software see more of an improvement in their information flow? One big reason, according to this paper, is that some employees simply won’t share what they know. Often, they balk because they don’t trust their colleagues and they want to protect their own interests or those of their company. Other times, the motivation is more personal: Employees want to undermine or retaliate against a co-worker.