Chris Weller

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Chris Weller

Senior Science Editor NeuroLeadership Institute

As a senior science editor at the NeuroLeadership Institute, Chris Weller creates a broad range of content to showcase how neuroleadership is transforming the ways leaders strengthen their organization’s culture, drive performance, and promote diversity and inclusion. He also manages the company blog, Your Brain At Work, and generates NLI thought leadership pieces for outlets such as Harvard Business Review, Strategy+Business, Quartz, and Fast Company. He is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, an avid triathlete, and a crossword puzzle aficionado.

Latest Research

Blog

Use This 3-Step Culture Change Framework to Transform D&I

Last week, in an open letter, more than 200 CEOs from America’s largest companies made explicit demands that President Trump enact nationwide police reform by August. These…
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A Simple Strategy to Build Inclusion in Diverse Teams

Research knows that diverse teams are smarter than more homogenous teams. The friction of differing sets of experiences, ideas, and philosophies may feel uncomfortable in the moment.…
Blog

3 Big Ideas to Create a More Inclusive Culture

As Khalil Smith, our Vice President of Consulting and Practices, has written, even though diversity often comes first in the coupling Diversity & Inclusion, leaders may…
Blog

Inclusion Isn’t Just About ‘Having a Seat at the Table’

As D&I continues to become a wider priority in organizations—not just an HR issue—leaders may find it tough to understand what actually goes into the work…
Blog

How to Convince Your CEO Your Organization Needs Growth Mindset

At NLI, we don’t subscribe to the idea that all employees need to think the same in order to stay united. In fact, homogenous teams tend…
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Here’s What Growth Mindset Can Really Do for Organizations

In our quest to better understand and apply growth mindset to make organizations more human, the NeuroLeadership Institute has conducted wide-ranging research of organizations around…
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Here’s Why Inclusion Unlocks the Power Of Diversity

Diversity in the workplace isn’t just a “nice-to-have” — executed properly, it’s a proven driver of better performance. The key phrase there is “executed properly.” “Diversity without…
Blog

The Brain-Based Case for 4-Day Workweeks

Organizations around the world are figuring out how to leverage this moment to build a better normal. They want to sustain the practices that enrich and…
Bias

A Bias Goes Viral

If the flu causes tens of thousands of deaths every year, and the coronavirus has only recently emerged as a global health concern, why are…
Blog

3 Big Ideas to Create a More Inclusive Culture

As Khalil Smith, our Vice President of Consulting, has written, even though diversity often comes first in the coupling Diversity & Inclusion, leaders may actually find…
Bias

Want to Prioritize Better? Mitigating This Cognitive Bias Can Help

Emails pile up. Meetings fill your calendar. Project deadlines loom. Modern work offers no shortage of challenges when it comes to what to prioritize. Thankfully,…
Bias

NLI Names ‘Regenerative Leadership’ a Top Trend for 2020

To get a sense of where 2020 is heading, it might help to go back several months, to August 2019. Last summer, we wrote about Patagonia’s…
Bias

3 Big Ideas to Raise Quiet Voices at Work

Speaking up is essential to share ideas, question decisions, and challenge behaviors. But the challenge of raising quiet voices is one leaders often struggle with. How…
Blog

Which Should Come First, Diversity or Inclusion?

Creating a D&I initiative at your organization is a bit like the chicken and the egg problem: Which comes first, diversity or inclusion? On the…
Blog

Designing a Leadership Model? The Science of Motivation Can Help

In our previous blog post about designing effective leadership models, we spoke on the value of “stickiness.” That is, people can use the model because they…
Blog

Net Promoter Score Isn’t Helping You — Here’s What to Track Instead

When it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of a learning solution, most people’s go-to number is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). It’s a number between…
Bias

5 Growth Mindset Blog Posts to Start the New Year Right

A new year means new resolutions. New chances to learn the skills that have eluded you. New opportunities to stretch, improve, and grow. We only…
Bias

Is Your Leadership Model ‘Sticky’ in People’s Minds?

Why is it that you can remember certain people’s names and not others? Or all seven dwarves in Snow White and all eight of Santa’s reindeer, but…
Bias

The Surprising Science of Finding (and Living) Your Organization’s Purpose

It’s no revelation to say that leaders want to act with purpose, rather than on impulse. But if you’ve ever tried to implement systems that…
Bias

6 Words That Have Transformed Leadership at Microsoft

Create clarity. Generate energy. Deliver success. At Microsoft, those six words aren’t just a pithy catch phrase, or a hollow mantra. Because of CEO Satya Nadella’s…
Bias

IDEA REPORT: Building Brain-Friendly Leadership Models

In 2016, Microsoft came to a profound realization about its leadership model. Built on over 100 skills and competencies, which Microsoft expected all leaders to uphold,…
Bias

3 Science-Backed Ways Leaders Can Become Better Storytellers

Stories are an incredible tool. They have the power to move us, transfix us, transform us. They can compel us to change our views of…
Bias

How to Create More Empathetic Workplaces

The core theme of this year’s NeuroLeadership Summit, held in Mid-November in New York City, was creating more human organizations. For many leaders, that boils down…
Bias

The Mental Shift That Unlocks Organizational Performance

At Microsoft, Nokia, HP, and many more global organizations, growth mindset is unlocking performance across thousands of employees. It’s helping people not just see their challenges as opportunities,…
Bias

How Cigna Uses Growth Mindset to Boost Agility

As we’ve written before, growth mindset doesn’t mean companies should pursue boundless expansion. In fact, growth mindset refers to a reasonable set of expectations for how someone can stretch…
Bias

What to Expect on Day 2 of the 2019 NeuroLeadership Summit

NEW YORK, NY — Onward and upwards at the 2019 NeuroLeadership Summit, as Day 2 kicks off following an insight-filled Day 1, where we introduced the…
Bias

What Does a More Human Organization Look Like?

NEW YORK, NY — As our working lives become more digital and technological, we may take for granted all the processes still run by us…
Bias

New Microsoft Report Celebrates Diversity and Inclusion Progress

In a new report released on Tuesday, Microsoft revealed to the world that growth doesn’t have to come at the expense of inclusion. In fact,…
Bias

Arianna Huffington On the Importance of ‘Thrive Time’

Don’t call it “down time,” says Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global. Call it “thrive time.” As Arianna shared with us on the most…
Bias

A Peek Inside Microsoft’s Growth-Mindset Evolution

For a few years now, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has grown fond of a particular mantra. Maybe you’ve heard it before. Don’t be a know-it-all, Nadella says. Be a…
Bias

Diversity Without Inclusion Creates a Revolving Door of Talent

So you want your teams to be diverse. You want employees to hail from different backgrounds and offer different sets of experiences and expertise. You…
Bias

Inclusion as a Remedy to the Negative Effects of Power

We often turn to those in power for their ability to lead fearlessly and inspire growth through difficult times. However, the NeuroLeadership Institute’s review of…
Bias

A Psychologist’s Advice for Leaders Who Want to Raise Quiet Voices

Dr. Mona Weiss has made a career out of studying why some people speak up at work, and why others keep quiet. Across industries such as…
Bias

A 160-Year-Old Telecoms Giant Proves Adaptation Knows No Limits

Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Someone with a fixed mindset, most likely. As we detail in our recent white paper,…
Bias

Busting the Biggest Myth About Diversity

Conversations about diversity are some of the most difficult ones we have at work, in part because of how they’re framed. Rather than emphasize the proven benefits…
Bias

3 Big Ideas to Revolutionize Performance Conversations

It’s a bit of an understatement to say work has gotten more complex over the past century. In fact, nearly everything has changed. Modern work…
Bias

Mastercard’s CIO Explains How to Talk About Diversity and Inclusion

Randall Tucker possesses a rare kind of superpower: He knows how to talk about diversity and inclusion so that people will listen. Tucker, the Chief Inclusion Officer…
Bias

4 Growth Mindset Case Studies Reveal the Power of Continuous Improvement

We could go on and on about the studied benefits of using a growth mindset (and we’d have a great time doing it). But we also want…
Blog

3 Big Ideas to Build Your Organizational Growth Mindset

Growth mindset is everywhere these days. The trouble is, as our research has found, leaders don’t always know where to start to implement an organizational growth mindset.…
Bias

How Microsoft Cracked the Code on Feedback

Three years into its journey with the NeuroLeadership Institute, Microsoft has done what many organizations deem impossible: make feedback work. On the latest episode of the Your Brain…
Bias

2019 NEUROLEADERSHIP SUMMIT: Meet the Scientists

If you’ve attended the NeuroLeadership Summit before, you know firsthand the value of hearing from today’s top academics in science and business. If this Summit will…
Blog

What Exactly Is a Growth Mindset, Anyway?

Maybe you read about it in an article one day, or heard about it on a podcast. Or maybe your coworker has talked about it around…
Blog

A Simple Strategy to Build Inclusion in Diverse Teams

Research knows that diverse teams are smarter than more homogenous teams. The friction of differing sets of experiences, ideas, and philosophies may feel uncomfortable in the moment.…
Blog

IBM’s CLO Says Skills Could Be the Currency of the AI Revolution

When you think about skills, where does your mind wander? Maybe you imagine cooking lessons, or changing a tire. Or maybe you think about more…
Blog

Patagonia and the Regenerative Approach to Performance Management

Dean Carter thinks about agriculture a lot these days. Not to grow crops, necessarily, but as a metaphor for cultivating a happy, productive workforce. Dean…
Blog

Inclusion Isn’t Just About ‘Having a Seat at the Table’

As D&I continues to become a wider priority in organizations — not just an HR issue — leaders may find it tough to understand what actually goes…
Blog

Welcome to NLI’s New Podcast!

It’s official: The “Your Brain at Work” podcast is live! One of our favorite things about the annual NeuroLeadership Summit is the chance we get to mix the wisdom…
Blog

Why It’s so Hard to Speak up at Work — and What to Do About It

Every organization needs people to find their voice. Whether it’s to elevate good ideas, call out problematic decision-making, or flag questionable behavior, speaking up is how…
Blog

How to Receive Feedback with a Growth Mindset

People may appreciate feedback, but typically nobody likes hearing where they fell short or could have done better. At NLI, our approach to feedback focuses on making…
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2019 NEUROLEADERSHIP SUMMIT: Scientists and Sessions

Each year, NLI convenes scientists and business leaders for the NeuroLeadership Summit. The goal is simple: cultivate insights. We want as many people as possible…
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2019 NEUROLEADERSHIP SUMMIT: Common Currency of Social Interaction

Just 34% of employees are currently engaged at work, according to recent data, leaving many leaders scratching their heads in confusion. They, like you, may ask themselves: What’s…
Blog

New NLI Poll Hints at Telling Mismatch in Performance Management

There’s a popular saying among forward-thinking (and empirically minded) management experts, which is that there’s a mismatch between what science knows and what business does. It refers to the…
Blog

How to Scale Learning at Organizations of Any Size

Upskilling employees is no doubt crucial for keeping organizations at the cutting edge. But with so many options at their disposal — coaching, workshops, virtual…
Blog

6 Benefits of Creating More Inclusive Workplaces

Leaders may assume that inclusion matters simply because it creates stronger teams, but increased collaboration doesn’t quite tell the whole story. A wealth of research also shows…
Blog

2019 NEUROLEADERSHIP SUMMIT: Douglas Rushkoff on Keeping Teams Human

Efficiency is the name of the game in many organizations. They ask themselves: How can we create the strongest bottom line with the least friction…
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2019 NEUROLEADERSHIP SUMMIT: A More Human Organization

Leaps in technology are accelerating faster than ever. What we considered high-tech just a few years ago may already be dusty and outdated. For leaders,…
Blog

2019 NEUROLEADERSHIP SUMMIT: A More Human Organization

Leaps in technology are accelerating faster than ever. What we considered high-tech just a few years ago may already be dusty and outdated. For leaders,…
Bias

The 3 Key Components of Behavior Change

Leadership gurus have taken great pains to define organizational culture. But we think it’s pretty simple. How everyone acts on a daily basis — whether…
Blog

Do You Have a Culture of Development or a Culture of Genius?

Growth mindset is instrumental for creating the right performance management, as it builds resilience in people and helps them embrace challenges.
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To Accelerate Change, Microsoft Goes ‘Simple,’ but Not ‘Simplistic’

Microsoft's culture change journey has been marked by a persistent focus on going simple and establishing its essential leadership principles.
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4 Ways Leaders Can Help People Have More Breakthrough Ideas

When leaders create the "conditions for insight," as NLI calls them, they're able to unlock the greatest creative potential from their teams.
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The Key Habits Leaders Need to Promote Speaking Up

There are two key habits leaders can build in their cultures to promote speaking up: minimizing a threat state in speakers and those being spoken to.
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3 Essential Habits All Leaders Should Focus On

Leadership models tend to be exhaustive, rather than essential, which makes them harder to put to use. Research suggests three key habits to focus on.
Culture

Think Change is Scary? Try Asking Yourself a Different Question

Reframing a common question around transformation may help leaders reduce the sense of threat often provoked by major change.
Bias

The Secret Ingredient for Reducing Bias in Performance Management: Quality Conversations

Leaders who talk to their people about performance on a regular basis, not just once a year, do themselves the biggest favor in being unbiased.
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Yes, Even Highly Structured Organizations Can Revamp Performance Management

In many organizations, performance management conversations happen maybe four times a year. NLI knows how to make them a regular part of work life.
Blog

The 4 Active Ingredients for Long-Term Learning

The AGES Model helps organizations take a new approach to learning efforts, turning mandatory events into meaningful experiences.
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Here’s Why ‘Change’ Isn’t a Dirty Word

Humans may instinctively resist change, since it threatens our current stability, but research suggests there are ways to reframe change as a positive.
Blog

5 Ways to Spark (or Destroy) Your Employees’ Motivation

The SCARF® Model is a handy, science-backed way for leaders to increase their employees' intrinsic motivation and engagement at work.
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The 3 Core Habits of Every Business Transformation

Transformation is on just about every leader's mind, but not every organization is equipped to handle major change. Science can help.
Bias

The 5 Biggest Biases That Affect Decision-Making

If you have a brain, you're biased. The SEEDS Model® organizes five kinds of unconscious bias that affect decision-making the most.
Blog

The 3 Traits All Quality Conversations Have in Common

Scientific research suggests there are three key habits around quality conversations that leaders can build to improve employee engagement and retention.
Blog

Modern Distractions Could Be Preventing Your Employees’ Next Big Idea

Emails, texts, chats, and spur-of-the-moment conversations are all common distractions at work. Research suggests it's hurting organizations' bottom lines.
Bias

Here’s Why Bias and Inclusion Are Fundamentally Different

Bias and inclusion may appear together in D&I conversations, but from a scientific standpoint, they are undeniably different.
Blog

Having More Eureka Moments Is About What You Don’t Do

Insights, those eureka moments where you suddenly see the world totally different, don’t happen when most people may expect them.
Blog

4 Reasons Why Identity Diversity Matters

A great deal of research makes it clear that identity diversity matters just as much as cognitive diversity in creating effective teams.
Blog

Transformation Isn’t What You Think It Is

Conventional wisdom says leaders must prepare for specific change events. The reality is change is constant, so adaptability is key.
Blog

How Quiet Voices Help Defeat Groupthink

Groupthink bubbles up when dissenting voices keep quiet. Leaders can improve group decision-making when they work to raise those quiet voices.
Blog

Here’s What Growth Mindset Can Really Do for Organizations

NLI's research has identified three key business reasons for organizations to start seriously trying to adopt a growth mindset.
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3 Ways to Know If You’re Being Doomed by Groupthink

Groupthink isn't invisible. If leaders know how to spot groupthink in their team meetings, they can take concrete steps to make sure it doesn't crop up.
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CASE STUDY: HP Embraces Growth Mindset and Kickstarts Culture Change

With a continued focus on growth and key leadership principles, HP has managed to dominate its market and see huge gains in engagement.
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Every Meeting Starts With an Unstated Goal — and It Leads to Bad Decisions

What causes groupthink? One major factor is the tendency people have in meetings to rush toward consensus, just so the meeting can end earlier.
Blog

How Microsoft Changed Its Culture by Going Simple

Exhaustive lists of leadership principles burden the brain, making them hard to remember and nearly impossible to weave into the larger culture.
Blog

Why Do Smart, Well-Meaning Teams Make Bad Decisions? Groupthink

Groupthink is what happens when team members stop thinking independently, don't speak up, and race toward consensus. But leaders can still avoid it.
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How to Get Your Employees Speaking Up More

Whether someone speaks up at work or keeps quiet often comes down to their sense of social threat or reward, which leaders play a crucial role in creating.
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CASE STUDY: Nokia Turns Two Cultures into One

A focus on growth mindset and building unity through conversations and bias mitigation have helped Nokia create lasting culture change.
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So You Want Psychological Safety — to Do What?

Organizations can use psychological safety to solve any number of problems, but it won’t solve them on its own. Instead, leaders need to get specific.
Blog

There’s a Scientific Reason Thinking About the Future Is So Hard

Our brains crave certainty and loathe uncertainty, both of which make thinking about even the near future extremely difficult.
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The Science of Learning Explains the Missteps of Growth Mindset

Research shows some leaders take growth mindset and run in all sorts of directions with it. To understand why, we can look to the science of learning.
Blog

CASE STUDY: Splunk, a Global Tech Company, Learns to ‘Break Bias’

At NLI, we like to say “If you have a brain, you’re biased.” Ever since November 2017, the technology company Splunk has taken that insight to heart.
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Culture Change Isn’t a Mystery If Leaders Follow the Science

Changing a culture can feel like just about the toughest job a leader has. It’s hard enough getting yourself to act differently — how could…
Blog

Why Growth Mindset Is Crucial to Inclusion

Leaders typically think of growth mindset in terms of performance, personal growth, career development, and skills improvement. But the concept also can be crucial to…
Blog

How to Use Growth Mindset So Progress and Results Can Coexist

Across all of our industry research into growth mindset, one question keeps popping up for leaders: If we’re so focused on growth, can we still…
Blog

NLI GUIDE DOWNLOAD: “How Culture Change Really Happens”

Leaders are constantly wondering how to create or strengthen their culture. So as part of its ongoing NLI Guide series, the NeuroLeadership Institute has released…
Blog

Want to Reduce Harassment? Make Employees Better Bystanders

The key to addressing toxic behavior might be the third person in the room. A new study of more than 6,000 college students suggests a…
Blog

How to Implement Growth Mindset Still Mystifies Leaders, New Survey Reveals

Just because leaders have made growth a near universal priority, doesn’t mean that they necessarily know how to implement growth mindset. New data from the…
Blog

How Microsoft Overhauled Its Approach to Growth Mindset

As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has put it, leaders should be striving for an organization full of "learn-it-alls," not "know-it-alls."
Blog

If You Want Employees to Speak Up, Start by Minimizing Threat

If leaders can make their organization a psychologically safe place to speak up, they can tap into a wellspring of new ideas from otherwise quiet folks.
Blog

Growth Mindset Is Essential If Leaders Hope to Adapt to the AI Revolution

Growth mindset, the research indicates, can help leaders adapt to the automation of labor and other forms of the AI revolution.
Diversity and Inclusion

Build Efficient Teams by Practicing ‘Thoughtful Exclusion’

Jam-packed meetings and overflowing project teams don’t do anyone any favors. They cause delays, create confusion, and generally make organizations less effective. At the NeuroLeadership…
Blog

The Truth Is No One ‘Has’ a Fixed or Growth Mindset

It’s easy to get overly conclusive when talking about growth mindset, or the belief that abilities can be improved over time. We may say, “Oh,…
Blog

The 6 Business Reasons Organizations Look to Adopt Growth Mindset

Change is the only constant, the old adage goes, which might explain why today’s organizations are so focused on adaptation. After spending several months interviewing…
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4 Science-Backed Management Habits That Can Improve Performance

Becoming a manager — or moving up the management ranks — can be a daunting task. Industry research indicates that 44% of managers feel unprepared…
Blog

We Talked to 20 Orgs About Growth Mindset — Here Are Our 7 Biggest Findings

In-depth interviews with organizations about growth mindset revealed a fascinating collection of goals, use cases, obstacles, and outcomes.
Culture

You’ve Heard of Growth Mindset, but What Is Growth Mindset Culture?

One of the most well-established psychological concepts, growth mindset, has exploded among leadership. But how do you cultivate growth mindset culture?
Blog

How Social Threats Create Toxic Cultures, and What You Can Do About Them

It’s tempting to blame toxic work cultures on an unknowable set of factors, but often the answer is much simpler. In a recent article for…
Blog

Summit Q&A: NYU Psychologist Batia Wiesenfeld On How Adaptive Thinking Drives Better Decisions

Adaptation requires flexibility, both in mind and behavior. Batia Wiesenfeld knows this firsthand. As the Andre J.L. Koo Professor of Management at NYU’s Stern School…
Blog

The Most Profound Way to Create Growth Mindset

Leaders naturally want their employees to bounce back from failures and strive toward improvement — the hallmarks of a growth mindset. But how to cultivate…
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Leaders May Be Sabotaging Their Performance Reviews and Don’t Even Know It

Due to the effects of bias, managers may be conducting performance reviews in such a way that sets employees on unwanted career paths for years.
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The Data Is In: Your Organization Should Be Asking for Feedback

Think back to your last feedback conversation at work — how did it go? Chances are, you and your partner felt uneasy, maybe even threatened. The…
Blog

The All-Too-Real Dangers of Over-Inclusion

Everyone knows the pain of feeling left out, but fewer discuss the dread of needlessly being left in. This is what we at the NeuroLeadership Institute call over-inclusion,…
Blog

Here’s Why Inclusion Unlocks the Power Of Diversity

Diversity without inclusion can lead to a revolving door of talent, which means leaders should focus on uniting teams around shared goals.
Culture

The Hidden Leverage of Feedback

Feedback is essential for organizational (and organismal) growth, but what’s the best way to give it? Typical feedback conversations are painful and extremely stress-producing. Managers…
Blog

Microsoft GM of Worldwide Learning Says Neuroscience Is the Future in Companies

Chris Pirie isn’t putting the future of organizational learning in the hands of gut feelings. He’s relying on hard brain science. In a recent interview…
Diversity and Inclusion

The Smartest Teams Embrace the ‘Diversity Paradox’

Business leaders can learn a lot about diversity from college kids solving fake murders. It was 2009. Northwestern University researchers had just given groups of…
Culture

What Pilots and Nurses Can Teach Organizations About Decision-Making

If leaders want to make the best decisions possible, it’s critical for their employees to feel confident about voicing opinions that challenge the status quo…
Blog

The Surprising Role of Shared Language in Inclusion

A recent Wall Street Journal article put Google’s diversity struggles on full display: Googlers of all ideologies and political leanings are finding it difficult to…
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