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Leadership and 70 000 Books

October 16, 2017

There are 70 000 books in the British Museum with the word “Leadership” in the title.  There are a large number of books, articles, blogs, podcasts, jargon, ideas and the “next big thing” released onto the market relating to leadership, management and workplace behaviours. Often there are promises of remarkable change, amazing improvements and dramatic increases in performance. 

How are we meant to make sense of all this information?  How can we decide what is genuinely new and evidence based as opposed to a hyperbolic claim that is well marketed?

I recall seeing a promotional flyer recently about the MSCEIT and Emotional Intelligence. The MSCEIT is a psychometric tool that measures Emotional Intelligence. The flyer implied the MSCEIT was new and the application of it in the workplace would yield amazing results. There was a catch of course, and that was you needed to do an accreditation course before you could use it.

The reality is that the MSCEIT has been around for many years and the research into the construct of emotional intelligence and its role in the workplace is equivocal, i.e., the jury is out.

Thus, back to the original question – how do we make sense of the constant stream of  information about workplace performance?

One solution is to have a paradigm or framework from which to evaluate information, such as evidence based science.  Part of that approach is to ensure the information is sourced from credible people and institutions. It is also necessary to be widely read and to remain up to date. This can be difficult in this busy era of trying to achieve some sort of balance between work, family and having a meaningful social life. 

The other solution is to engage the services of a People and Culture Consultant who is widely read and up to date with the current evidence based research. 

Fermion prides itself on being such a consultancy, one that specialises in leadership and management development.