Provocation #2
Live with the virus

Might there soon be a medical breakthrough that eradicates COVID-19 from the face of the earth? In that case humankind will declare victory and move on. Or the pandemic might unleash new waves across the world, forcing stricter lockdowns and cratering economies beyond repair. More likely perhaps is that contagion will continue, and the world’s societies resolve to live with the risk in ways they have not considered so far. What will that compromise look like?[…]

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A time for leadership
by Richard Straub

Crisis always shifts people’s attention abruptly to the quality of their leaders. We are seeing this now, as the appalling spread of the COVID-19 virus and the alarming collapse of economicactivity worldwide have people in all quarters looking to leaders for guidance—and often being left far from reassured by what they see.
Why do people give so much more attention to their anointed leaders in such moments?[…]

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Breaking the Collaboration Paradox: A Leadership Requirement for the Next Normal
by Jeff Shuman

There are some things we’ve learned in the past seven months that make sense to carry forward into the next normal. Chief among them is that the amount of partnering among firms occurring to combat the pandemic, the neighborhood tie-ups to support small businesses, and bubble quarantines in learning groups as well as professional sports teams, requires a collaborative leadership style[…]

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Questions Leaders Must Ask
by Joseph Pistrui and Dimo Dimov

A critical function of leadership is to ask questions and not settle for answers. This protects uncertainty as a space for curiosity and imagination. When there are too many answers provided and too few questions asked, things stagnate and the atmosphere stifles. Protecting uncertainty is akin to keeping a window open for light and fresh air, maintaining a sense of opportunity and the ambiguity that keeps the spirit of humanity as a search for meaning[…]

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Beyond the headline race: how the media must lead in a polarized world
by Alexandra Borchardt

When US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg succumbed to cancer recently, the headline race was on once again. Instead of pausing for a moment to honor a great personality for her leadership and stamina in the quest for justice, most of the news media didn’t miss a beat. Who would President Donald Trump nominate as her successor, and how would that reshape American society? Reporting instantly took second place to speculation and opinion, drowning out the announcement of the 87-year-old’s death in a sea of noise[…]

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Forget the Black Swan: focus on the Rhino
by Miriam Meckel

In the midst of the perfect storm, driven by a global pandemic and the concomitant economic crisis, managers have to deal with an abundance of challenges popping up day to day. “No time for strategy and planning” is a frequently overheard claim in executive offices and boardrooms these days. Many leaders like to address the pandemic as a “Black Swan”. A nice try to excuse oneself from thorough and critical thinking[…]

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Covid-19 and the Hazards of Experts
by Rod Collins

One of the most important developments in the field of psychology is the discovery that the workings of human thinking often enable inefficient and sometimes irrational expert judgments. Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky observed that the human brain is a paradox. While it is capable of producing highly developed analytical and creative intelligence, it is also prone to make apparently senseless errors[…]

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