After the emotion of love, regret is the second most common emotion people report feeling. Regret is therefore our single most common negative emotion, and yet an emotion that we can benefit from. In this episode, the celebrated author Daniel H. Pink explains that what we regret also serves as a compass pointing us toward what we value most and want to get right in our lives. What did Pink learn from his global survey that catalogued over 16,000 regrets? That they fit into four categories: connection regrets, boldness regrets, foundation regrets, and moral regrets. Regrets compel us to be better by ideally reflecting on, rather than brooding over, what might have been better and how we can rectify what went wrong. One intriguing take-away from this episode is that you get to hear about Pink’s own Regret Resume, i.e., the two take-away lessons that reflecting on regrets taught him personally.
Daniel H. Pink is the author of the New York Times bestsellers A Whole New Mind, Drive, To Sell Is Human, and When. His books have sold millions of copies and have been translated into 42 languages. His TED talk has been viewed over 38 million times. Daniel hosted the TV series Crowd Control on the National Geographic Channel.
When Milton Friedman published Capitalism and Freedom in 1962, whose freedom was he referring to anyway? When you know the answer is corporations, you begin to understand two things at once: 1) What neoliberalism was all about; and 2) Why today Woke Capitalism may not be so much a harbinger of socialism (as critics contend) as it is a way for the Powers-That-Be to distract from greater economic justice. At least that’s the vantagepoint of Carl Rhodes, whose book explores the plutocracy that America and other democratic countries are at risk of becoming, if they are not already there. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address famously included the pledge that government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” shall not perish. Rhodes is warning, in effect, that the world of George Orwell’s Animal Farm in which some pigs are more equal than others may now be dangerously close to the truth.
Carl Rhodes is Professor of Organization Studies at the University of Technology Sydney. There he researches the ethical and democratic dimensions of business and work. Carl regularly writes for the mainstream and independent press alike, on issues related to ethics, policy, and the economy.
In essence, the distrust that must be overcome in business partnerships involving large companies and startups consists of Will they screw up? versus Will they screw us over? In other words, large companies inevitably harbor concerns about the competency and reliability of their startup partners. In turn, entrepreneurs rightly worry that they will be taken advantage of, with their I.P. being co-opted or outright stolen. To establish trust rather than fear isn’t easy, as Dr. Prashantham acknowledges in this episode. Distrust can only be resolved by establishing how the partnership is a true win-win. At the same time, the person at the “bridge” on the corporation’s side must be at once an advocate, a diplomat, and mentor, spanning boundaries within the corporation to bring multiple business units on-board to ensure the collaboration can succeed. All this and more gets covered in this episode, which concludes by exploring how the answer to the question, “What’s the next China?” may actually be China outside of its largest, showcase cities.
Dr. Shameen Prasantham is Professor of International Business & Strategy and Associate Dean (MBA) at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai, China. His academic specialty is business partnerships that contribute to sustainable development goals.
As Martin Wells explains, to imagine you’re in control, on a golf course or otherwise in life, is downright absurd. It’s not that you “get into the zone”; instead, the zone finds you. In those and other ways, this delightful book and author not only honor golf as a sport, but also offer insights into human nature, emotions and behavior. For example, want to know which emotions may help you putt better? Or why there’s a thin line between humility and humiliation? Want to understand more about Tiger Wood’s psyche? Then this episode is for you. Addition highlights include a discussion of golfer Jean Van de Velde’s epic 1999 British Open Championship meltdown (hint:emotions are at its core), along with the wisdom of Bobby Jones’ observation that “The length of a golf course is five inches—the space between your ears.”
Martin Wells has worked as a psychotherapist in the National Health Services (NHS) for over 30 years. He lives in Bristol, England, and at age 70 is still a single figure handicap golfer. He’s also played senior amateur and semi-professional soccer for nearly 20 years.
“On or around December 1910, human character changed,” Virginia Woolf memorably wrote, citing the rise of Modernism. Take things ahead a century, and now Leonard Mdlodinow says the ability of neuroscientists to trace the connectivity of neurons has led to another striking advancement in intellectual life. From the 1980s until 2010, psychologists and neuroscientists were both appreciating and refining the concept of emotions as inherited from Charles Darwin. Since then, what emotions are and how they operate has undergone a conceptual revolution. In this episode, Mlodinow outlines how scientists today focus on emotions as functional agents, thoroughly enmeshed in how we selectively perceive and adapt to the circumstances we find ourselves in. One tangible example of the revolution: now we know that childhood can literally change our DNA as we react and adjust to emotionally-laden experiences that leave their emotional fingerprint on us all.
Leonard Mlodinow received his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of California, Berkeley, was a fellow at the Max Planck Institute, and has been on the faculty at CalTech. His previous, award-winning books include two written with Stephen Hawking, and another written with Deepak Chopra.
This episode could have just as easily been called “The Democratization of innovation.” After all, the fundamental thrust of this book and our conversation was about moving innovation beyond the “usual suspects,” i.e., the R & D Department, and spreading innovation opportunities across the ranks. Most promising of all for soliciting input might be front-line employees, who know best the frustrations and disappointments of customers. Others to include range from current and potential customers to distributors and other business allies. Where might resistance emerge to such an expansive view of the innovation process? The answer could be middle managers, focused on executing the current business model. To win them over, it may be necessary to combine coaching about the importance and means of innovating with monetary incentives or placing limits on their career growth if they don’t “play ball.” If there’s a regrettable need to play the heavy, at times, it’s because as the saying goes, “It’s not that people see the light so much as they feel the heat.”
Ben Bensaou is a professor and former Dean of Executive Education at INSEA. He’s also been a visiting professor at the Harvard Business School, a research fellow at the Wharton School of Management, and a visiting scholar at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.
Remember the Marlboro Man, who symbolizes rugged individualism? Minal Bopaiah is here to suggest that the idea of the “making it on your own” is and has always been a myth. That’s because there is always, inevitably, a social context that favors one group more than another. It’s not that individual efforts aren’t valid; it’s just that the story is always more complicated, and those in positions of power are eager to camouflage the degree to which the “game” is tilted by factors like gender, race, and of course relative wealth. Beyond corporate life and the usual topics covered when discussing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), this episode also explores the world of non-profits, where “doing good” has aspects to it that should welcome reform. Get ready for a passionate guest. Minal Bopaiah doesn’t deliver “talking points” – “feeling points” is closer to the mark.
Minal Bopaiah is the founder of Brevity & Wit, a strategy and design firm focused on DEI initiatives. She’s written for the Stanford Social Innovation Review and TheHill.com an author, among other activities and career accomplishments.
The statistics are, frankly, exasperating. Gender equality remains a mirage. For instance, the proportion of female CEOs at major companies in America struggles to break 10%. On Fortune 500 boards, only about 20% of the seats are held by women. The problems with achieving gender fairness go on and on. Fortunately, my guest Colleen Ammerman covers solid ways of addressing the injustices still present. Those steps include not tolerating bad behavior from “rainmakers”—even to the point of disallowing severance pay or other benefits if that person gets terminated due to sexual misconduct. Declining invitations to events that don’t prioritize gender diversity among its speakers is another avenue of applying pressure for change. For anybody who wants to witness both structural and cultural changes within companies, this episode is well worth a listen.
Almost all of the new jobs created in America come from small businesses. As Pamela Slim reports, the precise number may be as high as 99%. And those same small businesses also provide over 50% of the nation’s GDP. So why not focus more on these often-unheralded engines of growth? Slim honors small businesses with an expansive focus that includes Native American, Black, Latinx, Asian, disabled, and LGBTQ entrepreneurs. How can these businesses best find their respective niches, then expand them? Who’s their ideal customer? What kind of community partners can best further their mission and goals? Those and other vital topics are raised in this practical-minded episode.
Pamela Slim is an author, community builder, business coach, and former director of Training and Development at Barclays Global Investors. Among her accomplishments is partnering with author Susan Cain to build and launch The Quiet Revolution. Among her books is Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur.
The New York Times columnist David Brooks once joked that, ultimately, the “revolution” promised us by the Baby Boomers amounted to nothing much more than the founding of Whole Foods. What will Millennials bring us? Already it seems that the answer is employees and consumer-citizens for whom the values they want to live by and be known for on social media will be paramount. Why is that the case? As Nathalie Nahai argues, a primary reason is the looming environmental disaster of climate change. The stakes are high, and the result is that nothing can be taken for granted. With trust being the emotion of business, today’s agile, atomized and antagonized workforce wants some measure of justice: for women, for people of color, and in general for everyone who wants to rally around the mantra of “profit with purpose” rather than “profits ahead of people.” From topics ranging from cancel-culture to woke-washing, this is a very timely episode.