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Welcome to April’s edition of The Pelorus: a selection of content and research Openside have discovered in the last month – which you may not have seen – which we hope you find valuable and relevant to your work. Our aim is to give you insights and perspectives which challenge you to consider working differently to “the way you have always done.” We have written a summary of each article with a link to the full article if you want to read more.


The Psychology Behind Unethical Behaviour – Harvard Business Review 

Are you aware of the psychological conditions that could push people – including yourself – to cross ethical lines in your firm? Would you be able to recognise if you or your team were on the way to an ethical lapse? And if you did see the warning signs, would you be able to stop people from following their wayward moral compass? This article by Merete Wedell-Wedellsborg outlines three key psychological dynamics that lead people to cross ethical lines in the workplace – Omnipotence, Cultural Numbness and Justified Neglect – and provides strategies to counter these dynamics in your organisation.


Getting to the Critical Few Behaviours That Can Drive Cultural Change – strategy + business

In most organisations it has been found that there are a “critical few” behaviours which, when identified and then embodied, will significantly improve the chances of a firm achieving its desired strategic and operational objectives. These core behaviours are patterns of action which are tangible, repeatable, observable and measurable. This article by Kristy Hull of Strategy& outlines a four-stage process for defining and selecting the critical few behaviours that will make the most difference to your firm.


Great Relationships Start With Great Client Selection: Three Filters You Should Use – Andrew Sobel

When you start with the right client, everything is easier – your margins are higher and you are able to make a great business impact. What’s more, your clients value what you do. Unfortunately, if you start working with the wrong client, the opposite is true. In this article, Andrew Sobel outlines three filters you should apply to give yourself the best chance of working with the right clients: Relational Fit, Strategic Fit and Potential Impact.


Why Women Are Still Making So Much Less Than Men – Fast Company

There are several prevailing beliefs about why women continue to earn less than men in the workplace: “Women just don’t negotiate hard enough” or “They take an extended time off to care for children”. The reality is that the reasons behind a gender pay gap are far more complex and these falsehoods do not come close to telling the whole story. This article by Kathleen Davis digs deeper into the reasons why a gender pay gap still pervades and why many people deny its existence because they simply don’t want to believe they are treating people unfairly. This article formed part of a larger series by Fast Company – “Short Changed” – which explored elements of pay inequality through the personal stories of women across industries and career stages.


Smartphone Addiction Is Real And New Research Shows It’s Associated With Impaired Decision-Making – British Psychological Society

Smartphone addiction (SA) is not recognised officially by psychiatry as a formal diagnosis. But many mental health experts argue SA is real and have accumulated evidence to suggest it leads to: a reduction in workplace performance; sleep disorders; depression; loneliness; and a decline in wellbeing. With clear implications for many professional services firms – in which smartphones play a critical role in the pervading ‘Always on‘ culture – new research highlighted in this article by the British Psychological Society has found that SA also leads to poor and impaired decision making. Not good news for firms or for their clients.


We hope you find this month’s selection of articles thought-provoking and of value. Please let us know what you think of our choices and if any articles particularly resonated with you. If you would like to receive The Pelorus by email each month, there is a link to subscribe below.

Why ‘The Pelorus’?

In marine navigation, a pelorus is a reference tool for maintaining bearing of a vessel at sea. It doesn’t have a directive element but has vanes or a telescope to measure the relative bearings of observed points.

The function of a pelorus provides a neat analogy for this update. Our aim is not to be ‘directive’ in telling you how to operate but instead to provide you with a reference tool to help you navigate towards undiscovered content that may expand your horizons, provide you with fresh insight and challenge the way you think, act and work. We hope you find it of value.

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