(Not) Getting away with buzzwords

How do you link complexity, innovation, diversity and creating effective teams without becoming to buzz-wordy? I’ve been attending two trainings, idenpendenly of each other. One in German, by the German Association of Psychologists called “Widerstände im Change-Prozess” (~Resistance in change processes) and one in Swedish by Psykologifabriken, Innovation360, Broryd Industrier och The Social Few called “Att leda i osäkerhet” (~ Leading in times of uncertainty). In this post, I’ll give it a try to combine the best of two worlds in one post – in English.

Read More »

On cognitive dissonance and social identity – big bosses, talent for people and sapiens.

I only realised how excited I am about social psychology when I stumbled upon some well-known concepts and theories in a couple of books I’ve been reading lately. That made me reflect on what I actually know about social psychology and I even went back to my course books and materials to do a semi-propper fact check. This time it’s about how individuals create their identity, or their self-concepts, in relation to their employer and how cognitive dissonance may (or may not) account for certain behaviours. Identity has been central in for example Kajsa Asplund’s “Talang för människor” or a bit more subtle in Palm’s & Alsgren’s “The Big Boss” alongside cognitive dissonance which also plays a role in Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. Join me on a journey through three almost randomly selected books and what they can tell us about how psychological concepts are used in popular literature.

Read More »

Objective champions & compassionate enthusiasts – Gendered wording in job ads

A larger Swedish consulting company recently claimed that “A simple change in recruitment ads significantly increased women applicants”.

“Wow”, I thought, “that’s so 2017”. I remember the first wave of claims like this when I was working at a larger German automotive supplier. We had a job advertisement “scanner” in our diversity tool box – rumors had it that the scanner would highlight male words so that you could change them to something more female. Which in turn was supposed to make more women apply. Even today, some companies offer paid services on improving your ads, other tools are readily available online or you can just check out the original word list here.

I got exited about the claim by the Swedish consulting company – especially since they wrote in there press release that there were “a number of studies […] [showing that] the presence of masculine gendered words discourages women from applying to male-dominated roles, as they can make women feel they don’t belong in that work environment.” 

Maybe that actually was true. Maybe much has changed since 2017 and new research had been published to find a causal link between carefully gendered job ads and higher application numbers of female candidates.

Spoiler alert – nothing had changed.

Read More »