Note: some of the linked articles below require an FT subscription to read
Hard conversations about gender bias
While HR is preoccupied by Brexit, companies continue to fall short when it comes to supporting their female talent. Sarah Gordon, the FT’s Business Editor interviews Dame Helen Alexander about how to increase the number of women on boards, and Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice-president, EMEA, about handling difficult conversations and overcoming workplace gender bias.
Present and correct
'Presenteeism'—the tendency for staff to go to work even when ill—impacts employees’ health, engagement, productivity and more. As this FT special report on health at work notes, the issue has many causes and potential solutions, and executives must handle it sensitively. Another delicate talent issue is the apparent disloyalty of millenials always on the lookout for their next job. The FT’s Michael Skapinker argues that employers should be proud to give talented workers their first opportunities and wave them on. In fact, the FT is ready with advice on creating an online CV.
US banking giant Wells Fargo stands accused of creating millions of fake accounts in customers’ names in order to meet sales targets. The scandal holds many lessons for corporate executives at all levels. First and foremost is how much responsibility chief executive John Stumpf should take for such egregious misconduct—U.S. lawmakers say he should be ‘criminally investigated’. The broader lessons, highlighted here by FT’s management writer Andrew Hill, looks at how firms can set sales targets and incentives without corrupting the process.
Three FT stories illustrate the disruptive potential of technology trends. Israeli tech start-ups are already redefining an automotive sector that relies increasingly on computers. Meanwhile, the dangers of artificial intelligence, led by today’s big tech companies and how to regulate it, are explained here. Cyber-security, once the domain of IT departments, are now a top priority in company boardrooms, as this interview at the FT’s recent cyber security summit explains, urging companies to work together.
Protectionist threats to global growth
Is globalisation under threat? It’s a serious concern for corporate leaders trying to assess the world economy’s longer-term trading and growth outlook. This FT article on G-20 discussions identifies issues such as protectionism, taxation and inequality that are dividing countries and fuelling anti-globalisation anger among voters. What might lie ahead? This video provides an entertaining glimpse of the future. Meanwhile, the FT’s chief economics commentator Martin Wolf, argues that we need more political co-operation to deal with stagnating international trade and investment, and keep reaping the benefits of global integration. For the more studious executives, there are also many new books on these subjects.
Slaves to the new
One question has long troubled executives, from HR to R&D: how should staff interact with new technology? Here are some answers. In his new book Overcomplicated author Samuel Arbesman writes that technology has grown so complex it has an unexpected life of its own. FT technology writer Jonathan Margolis notes how we happily use outdated technologies, while investment banking correspondent, Laura Noonan, considers Deutsche Bank’s innovative use of “matchmaking” tests to hire graduates. Requires FT subscription to read.
The EU, Apple and ad blocking
Boss worship and how to avoid it
The narcissistic boss is hardly a new phenomenon - consider the US presidential election. But how should companies recognise the danger signs, and what can be done to avoid idealising managers or craving the worship of underlings? A psychotherapist advises.
London's financial future
This analysis of London’s financial future considers the City’s post-Brexit potential over the next 30 years. L&D professionals might find discussion on the impact of technology and millennials especially relevant.
In a hole?
Policymakers will meet at the US mountain resort of Jackson Hole amid concerns about the limits of central banks’ recession-fighting firepower. This FT analysis will be vital for C-Suite decision makers, especially CFOs, in projecting future global growth prospects. L&D professionals might also watch this video for more on the Fed’s thinking, as well as important discussion among EU leaders about the future shape of a post-Brexit European Union.