Changing where you sit at work shown to boost creativity and innovation

New research at Carnegie Mellon University suggests a game of musical chairs.

Employees work at a Truck Alliance Inc. office in Chengdu, China, on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Carnegie Mellon assistant professor, Sunkee Lee, found that rearranging workstations led to higher profits and better communication.
  • Companies that only focus on short-term profits instead of long-term goals are less likely to innovate and grow.
  • Opening up new dialogues between workers resulted in greater problem solving and fewer problems.
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Technology & Innovation

The biggest change to manhood? Equal parenting.

Being a successful caregiver is part of today's definition of manhood.

  • The biggest example of a change in men's gendered behavior in recent years is the transformation of fatherhood. Nowadays, the definition of manhood has increasingly included being a present, and good caregiver.
  • Women have historically been burdened with childcare and housework. So much so that they usually longer off time off for parental leave. Also, they're the ones tending to take off work if their kid is sick. Because of this heavy role in parenting, many women have not been able to advance far in the workforce.
  • By men doing half of the care work, it's boosted women's empowerment. It's also great for children's emotional development and well-being. It's also great for men, too, because, as a result of being a successful caregiver, men are more likely to build up a sense of empathy, which can help them in leadership positions.
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Big Think is evolving. Learn habits of mind from the world’s greatest thinkers.

At Big Think, we capture the thoughts of the world's most brilliant thinkers.

  • At Big Think, significance, relevance, and actionability are our editorial guide stars. They are the principles that we consider in every case when we say, "Is this worth our time? Is this worth our attention or is it not?"
  • Big Think Edge is the next step. We've created the single most valuable library of mentorship-rich, insight-driven applied learning that has ever been created.
  • Big Think Edge is an online learning platform that lets you stream short, actionable videos lessons taught by the world's top thinkers. Want to become smarter, faster? Join now, or learn more.
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Why the 'alpha male' stereotype is wrong

Big and strong? That's not what makes an alpha male, says primatolgist Frans de Waal.

  • The cultural notion of an alpha male as a strong, mean aggressor is rampant but wrong. The reality is more complex.
  • Frans de Waal notes two types of alpha males: Bullies and leaders. In chimpanzee society, the former terrorizes the group while the latter mediates conflict.
  • The reign of alpha male bullies usually ends poorly in the wild. Chimpanzee bullies get expelled or even killed by their group, while leader alphas are somewhat democratically kept in power, sometimes for as long as 12 years.
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Jordan Peterson’s guide to leadership

Here's what it means to be a good leader—no buzzwords, no bullsh*t.

  • The psychology of leadership is a mess, says Jordan Peterson, because it's clouded by "management idiot speak." One example? A leader's job isn't to motivate people; it's to tap into people's sense of purpose. Motivation is the byproduct.
  • Lead your team like a free society, not a dictatorship. Based on developmental psychologist Jean Piaget's observations, Peterson emphasizes the importance of an equilibrated state, which is "a situation that's set up by two or more people where everyone is participating in the state voluntarily."
  • Authoritarian-style leadership ("Do this or else") is a terrible way to run a team. Good leadership means finding people who want to contribute. Otherwise, says Peterson, "the enforcement costs are so high that the free society will outcompete the authoritarian society across time."
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