The rate of change in our culture is increasing—and in order to compete, businesses need to increase their rate of change as well, says management guru John Kotter.
In his Big Think interview, Kotter, the chief innovation officer at Kotter International, says that the two biggest drivers of change right now are technology and globalization. "They produce lots of sub drivers," he says, "like competition in industries and the like, and those two are not going to go away. Globalization is going to bring us closer and closer together across nations and technology you can’t stop. So, the amount of change is going to, I think and the rate is just gong to go up and up and up for I don’t know how long."
Kotter also says it's important for companies to create a high sense of urgency when they want to achieve change. He says that people need to have "a gut level determination" that they want to get up every single day and mobilize people to take advantages that will benefit the company. "If you don’t have enough people with that frame of mind, it's like putting up a tall building and you don’t put in ... the pylons deep enough. They really are the structure that supports everything. That keeps things moving around. That gets people into it in a 'want to,' not a 'have to' frame of mind."
Meanwhile, Charlene Li, the founder of the Altimeter Group, talked to us about the importance of social media for today's businesses, and why companies need to take it more seriously than they have in the past. "The days when you could actually ignore [social media] ... are long gone," says Li. "We’re at that point now where more people are using Facebook than are using Yahoo and Facebook is rapidly catching up to Google in terms of the number of people using it, so I think when it comes to business it is no longer a way to think about this is sort of a nice to have activity that your teenagers are using. This is a place where you can actually build real relationships with real people and in fact, if you don’t do it you are in peril of being overrun by them."
Li thinks social media technology is only in its infancy, and that social networks will continue to evolve. "We are like just at the beginning of this," she says in her Big Think interview. "This is a place that never stands still. ... Things that change relationships fundamentally, that have power shifts involved are the things that you really need to pay attention to because those are the things that matter, things that change that relationship and therefore change the way that you have to run and act in your business."
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A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.
- The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
- The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
- People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
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