Author Archives: bizcombuzz

Has a New Corporate Ethos Arrived?

For decades, corporate boardrooms worked under the Chicago School of Economics mantra that an organization’s sole mission was to maximize shareholders’ profits. But last August, 181 CEOs from some of the most powerful companies in America decided that Milton Friedman’s guiding principle was no longer acceptable.

At a thinktank called the Business Roundtable, these executives issued a Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, which tossed out the philosophy of profit above all and called for a change of priority in American businesses. In 300 words, the statement rejects profit as the primary goal of an organization and instead embraces a broader purpose—one that creates value for customers, invests in employees, protects the environment, and fosters diversity and inclusion.

This shift away from shareholders as the only (or most important) stakeholder marks a major move toward accepting social responsibility as a core principle guiding business practices. The statement was signed by a cornucopia of America’s most influential executives including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Coca-Cola Company’s James Quincey, and Fox Corporation’s Lachlan Murdoch, to name a few. Only seven members of the Roundtable did not sign the statement due concerns over its potential impact.

But the statement has critics, too. They denounce the notion that companies have an obligation beyond making profits for shareholders and say changes should come from investors, not CEOs.

The statement is not a doctrine; businesses are not being forced to adopt its tenets. But should they?

Discussion

  1. Should the people who invest in a company (stockholders) be the primary focus of a business?
  2. Why do you think the business leaders who signed the statement added a commitment to “all our shareholders,” including suppliers and communities, as well as shareholders?
  3. Do you think all businesses should be accountable to society at large?

 

 

 

Growth Mindset Training Can Help Learning… Use Your Fear and Succeed… And the Most Annoying Office Jargon Is…

Growth Mindset Training Can Help Learning

Students who have received training to help them believe they can improve their abilities through hard work, good strategies, and help from others—a concept called growth mindset, coined by Harvard professor Carol Dweck—perform better than those who do not, according to research published in the journal Nature.

Growth mindset has been circulating in business for years and is the opposite of fixed mindset, or the belief that talent is innate. The recent study, in which 12,500 students underwent online growth mindset training, showed that all students who went through the online training did better on tests, with one exception. In groups where the culture did not value challenge, the training did not work.

Dweck, one of the authors of the study, said “Culture really matters.”

From EdSurge

Use Your Fear and Succeed  

No one likes to fail or feel incapable of performing a task, but failure happens to everyone. Here are some pointers that can help turn fear of failure into success.

Ask for help. No one knows everything, so when you don’t know an answer, ask someone who does. The old adage “two heads are better than one” can come in handy.

Learn from fear. If you’ve ever grabbed a hot iron, you will be less likely (and more afraid) to do it again. We learn from our mistakes, but we don’t have to completely avoid irons forever. Sometimes fear is good.

Listen to your fear. If something is telling you to be afraid, stop and listen to the warning. A little introspection at the right time can be useful.

From payscale.com

And the Most Annoying Office Jargon Is…

Business and industry are full of jargony phrases that can induce eye rolls and sniggers. A recent survey in the UK produced a cringeworthy list of workers’ most hated phrases that that might just annoy workers across the pond, too.

From Statista.com

Choose Skill over Passion… Surviving Rocky Interviews… Are Social Media the Death Knell to Academia?

Choose Skill over Passion

Would you want to be treated by a doctor who had a passion for medicine but who consistently performed poorly in physiology, chemistry, and anatomy? Of course not.

That’s because we are meant to do what we’re good at, not necessarily what we love. If passion and skill happen to mesh, bravo. But often they do not, and that’s not so bad. Society works when people are effective in what they do, so instead of pursuing an unattainable passion, the better route for individuals is to discover what they’re skilled at and do it. The satisfaction of a job well done may not feel like passion, but it’s a lot better than trying to be a diva if one is tone deaf.

From medium.com

Surviving Rocky Interviews

Job interviews are stressful in the best of circumstances. But what to do when the interview is clearly not going well? Below is advice about how to navigate some of the most common causes of an interview that is headed for disaster.

Poor interviewer. If an interviewer is obviously unprepared or uninterested, it’s still up to the applicant to weather the storm with his or her best effort, advises Sarah Johnston, a former recruiter. She suggests showing the interviewer one’s suitability for the position with grace.

Unexpected questions or tests. It’s best to expect the unexpected, so preparation is the only way to push through this situation. However, even if an interviewee bombs an unexpected test or question, a rocky interview can still lead to a good outcome if the rest of the interview has gone smoothly.

Sudden realization the position is wrong. Many people discover in the middle of an interview that they are a poor fit for the position or the organization. In such a situation, the best course of action is continue participating in the interview. One can always turn down an offer.

From Linkedin

Are Social Media the Death Knell to Academia?

“The tinderization of scholarship” may lead to the downfall of academics, writes a contributor to

The Chronicle of Higher Education. Prof. Justin E. H. Smith notes that although he has not yet heard about tenure committees checking academic social media sites such as Academia.edu, he does see that social media are increasingly driving academics to favor “likes” above scrupulous scholarship.

Academia is like many institutions that slavishly follow page views and other metrics instead of measured, tried-and-true research. Especially prone to this new reality are academics who are precariously employed or underemployed.

The “tyranny of metrics” should be mitigated by scholars who are committed to the serious work of research and acquisition of knowledge, Smith writes.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education