Tuesday, January 13, 2015

9 must-read stories about gender

By Ceri Parker https://agenda.weforum.org/2015/01/9-must-read-stories-about-gender-2/

This week’s digest of stories about how the gender gap plays out around the world – in business, health, education and politics. Subscribe here to receive this by email.
A bottomless pit of mentors. Do women suffer from a surfeit of support? (New York Times)
Croatia elects its first female president. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, a conservative populist, ousts the centre-left encumbent. (Al Jazeera)
And India gets its first transgender mayor. Madhu Kinnar is from the lowest caste and beat her opponent by 4,500 votes. (Times of India)
Women take charge at GDF Suez. French energy utility set to hand its two top jobs to women. (Wall Street Journal)
Stereotypes, violence and victim-blaming.  A disconcerting study finds teenagers often believe assault is the woman’s fault. (World Economic Forum)
Women call for Women’s Science Congress to be scrapped.India’s female scientists want an equal playing field, not special support. (Scroll.in)
Orthodox Israeli women rebel against male-only ballots. “We are doing everything. We are the providers. We should have a bigger say.” (Bloomberg)
“I present myself as a secretary so no one realises I’m a bodyguard.” Meet the women who defend China’s millionaires. (Vice)
How pregnancy tinkers with the structure of the brain. Becoming a parent looks a lot like falling in love. (The Atlantic)
Statistic of the Week
Women wrote 17% of 2014’s top 250 grossing films, from Guardians of the Galaxy to Gone Girl.
That’s an improvement from 2013, when women accounted for 10% of the writers working on the top 250 films.
Quote of the Week
“It’s time to step up and do more.”
Amid criticism over Silicon Valley’s gender imbalance, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich pledged $300 million over five years to make his workforce more diverse.
Author: Ceri Parker, Associate Director, Forum Agenda.
Image: A woman walks in Madrid’s business district Paseo de la Castellana March 23, 2010. REUTERS/Andrea Comas

How to improve decision making

By Daniel Kahneman

In this World Economic Forum video, Daniel Kahneman, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Princeton University, describes how using a two-step approach can help organizations reduce risk and improve decision making.
Kahneman, a Nobel Laureate in economics, urges organisations to spend more time thinking about how they make decisions. He suggests attending to the ‘quality’ of decision making, and gives advice on how to tap into the energy of groups and prevent paralysis.

Click on this video https://agenda.weforum.org/2015/01/video-how-to-improve-decision-making/ for the full interview, or read key quotes below.
On Judgement and Decision making
I use Systems 1 and 2 as a metaphor. I use System 1 to describe automatic thinking. You’re almost the spectator of the way those thoughts come to mind. I use System 2 to describe more deliberate thinking. I feel I’m the author of my actions and my thoughts when they come from System 2, much more than System 1. System 1 provides suggestions, when endorsed by System 2 they become the beliefs that we have, the decisions that we make and the actions that we take.
If there is something that you really want to do, then you are probably overly optimistic about it. Optimism is the source of everything that’s good, but it’s also the source of a great many failures. The worst danger for many organisations is that towards the end when it becomes very critical to check on a decision, everybody has to be on board. So how to manage dissent without paralysis is the name of the game. My key advice is to keep track of the process… and querying the sources of information is well worth doing.
On Enabling Dissent
One suggestion for conducting meetings is to start by asking people to jot down their opinion on a slip of paper. It protects dissent, because if there is a minority view it’s going to be expressed. Whereas somebody who hears that everybody else is thinking another way, may actually not do it. It’s essential to tap the knowledge and the energy of the group.
An experienced decision maker will know not to narrow decision making prematurely. My key recommendation is to view decisions as a product that gets manufactured in a certain way in an organisation. And viewing it as a product, you want to question the manufacturing process.

Why you need emotional intelligence to succeed

By Travis Bradberry

When emotional intelligence first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding: people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time. This anomaly threw a massive wrench into what many people had always assumed was the sole source of success—IQ. Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack.
Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results. Emotional intelligence is made up of four core skills that pair up under two primary competencies: personal competence and social competence.

Personal competence comprises your self-awareness and self-management skills, which focus more on you individually than on your interactions with other people. Personal competence is your ability to stay aware of your emotions and manage your behavior and tendencies.
  • Self-Awareness is your ability to accurately perceive your emotions and stay aware of them as they happen.
  • Self-Management is your ability to use awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and positively direct your behavior.
Social competence is made up of your social awareness and relationship management skills; social competence is your ability to understand other people’s moods, behavior, and motives in order to respond effectively and improve the quality of your relationships.
  • Social Awareness is your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and understand what is really going on.
  • Relationship Management is your ability to use awareness of your emotions and the others’ emotions to manage interactions successfully.
Emotional Intelligence, IQ, and Personality Are Different
Emotional intelligence taps into a fundamental element of human behavior that is distinct from your intellect. There is no known connection between IQ and emotional intelligence; you simply can’t predict emotional intelligence based on how smart someone is. Intelligence is your ability to learn, and it’s the same at age 15 as it is at age 50. Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, is a flexible set of skills that can be acquired and improved with practice. Although some people are naturally more emotionally intelligent than others, you can develop high emotional intelligence even if you aren’t born with it.

Personality is the final piece of the puzzle. It’s the stable “style” that defines each of us. Personality is the result of hard-wired preferences, such as the inclination toward introversion or extroversion. However, like IQ, personality can’t be used to predict emotional intelligence. Also like IQ, personality is stable over a lifetime and doesn’t change. IQ, emotional intelligence, and personality each cover unique ground and help to explain what makes a person tick.
Emotional Intelligence Predicts Performance
How much of an impact does emotional intelligence have on your professional success? The short answer is: a lot! It’s a powerful way to focus your energy in one direction with a tremendous result. TalentSmart tested emotional intelligence alongside 33 other important workplace skills, and found that emotional intelligence is the strongest predictor of performance, explaining a full 58% of success in all types of jobs.
Your emotional intelligence is the foundation for a host of critical skills—it impacts most everything you do and say each day.

Of all the people we’ve studied at work, we’ve found that 90% of top performers are also high in emotional intelligence. On the flip side, just 20% of bottom performers are high in emotional intelligence. You can be a top performer without emotional intelligence, but the chances are slim.
Naturally, people with a high degree of emotional intelligence make more money—an average of $29,000 more per year than people with a low degree of emotional intelligence. The link between emotional intelligence and earnings is so direct that every point increase in emotional intelligence adds $1,300 to an annual salary. These findings hold true for people in all industries, at all levels, in every region of the world. We haven’t yet been able to find a job in which performance and pay aren’t tied closely to emotional intelligence.
You Can Increase Your Emotional Intelligence

The communication between your emotional and rational “brains” is the physical source of emotional intelligence. The pathway for emotional intelligence starts in the brain, at the spinal cord. Your primary senses enter here and must travel to the front of your brain before you can think rationally about your experience. However, first they travel through the limbic system, the place where emotions are generated. So, we have an emotional reaction to events before our rational mind is able to engage. Emotional intelligence requires effective communication between the rational and emotional centers of the brain.

Plasticity is the term neurologists use to describe the brain’s ability to change. As you discover and practice new emotional intelligence skills, the billions of microscopic neurons lining the road between the rational and emotional centers of your brain branch off small “arms” (much like a tree) to reach out to the other cells. A single cell can grow 15,000 connections with its neighbors. This chain reaction of growth ensures it’s easier to kick a new behavior into action in the future.
As you train your brain by repeatedly practicing new emotionally intelligent behaviors, your brain builds the pathways needed to make them into habits. Before long, you begin responding to your surroundings with emotional intelligence without even having to think about it. And just as your brain reinforces the use of new behaviors, the connections supporting old, destructive behaviors will die off as you learn to limit your use of them.

This article is published in collaboration with LinkedIn. Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.

What is on the programme for Davos 2015?

In this fast-paced, interconnected world, a number of key transformations are in play in the spheres of technology, society, demography and politics. Each has profound economic consequences, and each raises significant challenges for business, government and civil society.
At the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2015, more than 280 sessions will address these global challenges, to see how they are reshaping our world, and how we can navigate them.
To achieve this, we have designed the meeting along four main themes:
  • Growth and stability
  • Crisis and cooperation
  • Society and security
  • Innovation and industry
Key challenges arise across and within these thematic tracks. They raise questions that resonate with the Forum’s commitment to act as a catalyst for global public-private cooperation, and to improve the state of the world.
The Forum has committed to providing a neutral space for discussion of the major challenges dominating the global agenda today.
Among these challenges are:
The future of the internet: which structures and systems will ensure a thriving cyber economy?
Skills, employment and human capital: what jobs will we need as the future unfolds?
How can we continue to close the gender gap?
And what is the opportunity that diversity offers those organizations that truly embrace it?
Other questions arise around the nexus between climate change, development and growth. In particular, what’s next on the development agenda, as the Millennium Development Goals reach their conclusion?
Finally, on the question of long-term investment and infrastructure, how do we prioritize investment to support infrastructure – an absolute essential foundation for the future of economies?
The role of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2015 is to bring together leaders from all walks of life, from across our many communities, to make sense of this new global context – to make sense of the drivers and trends reshaping the world, and to share insights and innovations that will help us navigate the future.
To watch this interview in full, click on the video at the top of this page https://agenda.weforum.org/2015/01/video-what-is-on-the-programme-for-davos-2015/
Author: Emma Loades, Senior Director, Programme Development team, World Economic Forum
Image: Impression of the Logo of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Copyright by World Economic Forum
Posted by Emma Loades - All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.