Behavioural science


Engaging people to profit

Engaging people to profit

For all the talk of diversity and the monitoring of pay gaps between men and women, many people remain unsure of the benefits of greater inclusion beyond equality of opportunity. What really are the benefits of diversity and inclusion? What attributes of diversity actually translate into better organisational performance? And if the benefits are real, what is impeding a quicker transition to a more diverse...

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Want a pay rise? Don't sweat it

Want a pay rise? Don’t sweat it.

Do you want a pay rise but are too afraid to ask? It doesn’t need to be this way. Indeed, it can be a relaxed and rewarding process. Here’s some tips from experience to make it a positive experience. Competing pressures on wages We find ourselves in a time of contradictions. Company profit shares, for example, are at an all-time high. But, we have a...

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Gas industry needs behavioural science

Gas industry needs another science to make progress

Australia’s energy prices are soaring, in part due to the limited domestic supply of gas. While most states ban coal seam gas development the federal government counters with regulatory and fiscal threats to reduce gas exports and lift the bans. While some limited short-term benefits might accrue, the gas companies are really in control. But do they know it, and can they exercise that control...

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Problem solving

Smart people doing dumb things – are you one of them?

Humans are amazing. We’re capable of orchestrating moving music, creating beautiful structures and deconstructing the human genome. Why then, when we possess such constructive capabilities, do governments find themselves grasping for answers, businesses struggling to grow, and communities feeling insecure and mistrustful of public and private sector leaders alike? In May, I worked with senior government executives from Australia and New Zealand to build their...

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Engineering practical energy

Engineering a politically-practical energy plan

Practical engineering solutions may be the key to transcending the political gridlock that confounds the energy-climate crisis. Several days ago, Matthew Warren, chief executive of the Australian Energy Council, warned “We now risk rolling into a second decade of energy policy uncertainty. This could be catastrophic for the cost and reliability of energy in Australia… yet there is no respite in sight” [1]. It’s a...

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Man in crisis

Crisis – a leader’s friend in disguise

“How did I get here?” asked the reluctantly departing CEO. “How did we get here?” question citizens in a Brexit-Trump world. “What now?” is their coupled question. A growing suite of societal crises threaten to fracture governments, businesses and communities. Yet perhaps this is a natural part of our collective evolution which, with wise leadership, can unleash a new and productive phase of individual, corporate...

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Your organising stories

Leading change? You’ll need shared, organising stories.

From infancy we’ve learnt values, ideas and social rules through stories. This schooling has occurred for millennia. Today, some of these stories are being questioned. Leaders need to understand this dynamic and just how important stories are to sustaining success. In 2011, history professor Yuval Noah Harari published his book Sapiens – A brief history of human kind. It promptly became an international best seller....

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Mind-sets create infrastructure investment blind spots

Mind-sets thwarting infrastructure investment

More money won’t address the shortfall of good infrastructure projects. Better planning and governance arrangements will help, but a shift in mind-sets is the key. Many people in the infrastructure ‘community’ are captured in a false narrative and mind-set. Better approaches are being overlooked as effort goes into solving the wrong problems. It’s possible to create lower risk, lower cost infrastructure that delights customers and...

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Infrastructure leader fitness

Infrastructure leaders not mentally ‘fit’ for their game

Executives in the infrastructure sector can literally design their way to success. But their language and actions reveal that they don’t believe this to be true. This is despite real evidence to the contrary. Until they display the humility to test their basic assumptions, many millions of dollars will continue to be squandered. Investors must be attuned to this situation to avoid the associated risks...

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Tools that transform

Tools that Transform

A statement often attributed to Albert Einstein is “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” It’s a statement that many people will know to be true through their own life and professional experience, and now modern psychology and neuroscience is providing the evidence base to back it up. Whether in corporate life or public service, people need tools to...

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