A. Alexandra Michel’s new book, “Bullish on Uncertainty: How Organizational Cultures Transform Participants,” explores the case of two major U.S. investment banks – with two differing philosophies on how to structure business processes and organizational strategies.
Her counterintuitive findings: the bank that amplified bankers’ uncertainty produced better overall results than the bank that reduced bankers’ uncertainty. The book’s conclusions have implications for every knowledge-based industry.
“In our society we tend to believe that knowledge workers can better cope with complexity when we decrease their uncertainty and give them the tools they need to become experts,” says Michel who is a faculty member at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. “This research, in contrast, shows that people are often better at complex jobs when they know less. This gives them the incentive to question assumptions and collaborate with others.”
What’s more, Michel’s analysis found several traits that marked the bank that achieve the best results by amplifying uncertainty. [See Michel discussing her research: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBCQQ9K9V3M].
Here are some of the unusual practices that uncertainty-amplifying organizations use:Bubble-Up Strategy
Adopting these management techniques can help create what Michel calls the “insecure overachiever,” a professional who compulsively doubts what he or she knows and by lack of relevant knowledge is forced (not only incentivized!) to collaborate. “These ad-hoc collaborations are more likely to notice the uniqueness of a situation and design the right solution—versus merely apply the same template that has worked in the past,” she says.
James Grant | Newswise Science News
RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index ending 2017 on a positive note
24.01.2018 | RWI – Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung
Uncovering decades of questionable investments
18.01.2018 | University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
20.02.2018 | Life Sciences
20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering
20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy