James Fisher - Aug 23, 2018

The Expend Digest: Leadership

A round up of what’s been piquing curiosity, prompting questions and provoking debate among the Expend team this week.

In this edition: The first round is on us! With an Expend guide to alternative leadership.

In the last digest we found that deliberately reducing your focus can increase creativity. This time we’ve found yet more evidence of this link - and an altogether more satisfying way to exploit it. Alcohol! Specifically regarding afternoon performance after imbibing during lunch. The video is worth the watch if only for the delivery of the line: “this backed up the idea that being mildly sloshed makes you more creative because it dulls the ability to focus.”

However, the real question is, how does one volunteer for such groundbreaking & societally beneficial studies? We’re not afraid of limited evidence because, as everyone knows, the plural of anecdote is data. So how many groundbreakingly creative teetotal people do you know?

Yeah, us either.

The drawback? Studies that suggest people are deemed less intelligent by merely holding an alcoholic beverage in their hand - a phenomenon known as ‘Imbibing idiot bias’. This may also remove some of the gravitas surrounding your creative breakthroughs. (Something to remember at the next networking event, perhaps. Are we all being set up to fail?) We’ll console ourselves with findings that moderate drinking lowers the rate of certain kinds of heart attacks. We patiently await the day a scientific link is established between the consumption of alcohol and improved presentation quality.

Unfortunately for the leaders among you, alcohol induced creativity is not included on the list of things you should ‘show up’ with every day. Effective leadership is not all fun and games, it seems. Which could explain why this Northwestern College study found older entrepreneurs are twice as likely to be successful as younger ones. A study that will no doubt resonate with our founders who are, shall we say, young at heart.

Founder? Manager? Leader? If you’d like to reduce the strongest creative temptations amongst your staff you could always switch your organisation to a 4-day work week. Not only would such a bold leadership decision eliminate the most tempting day for a proper working lunch, studies show it would also increase productivity, loyalty and reduce adverse health effects.

The alternative route, of course, is embedding microchips in your employees.

Which, as a motivational tool, we find a little close to the Orwellian end of extreme - hence it’s omission from our previous discussion. Perhaps try a nice smile first? It works for advertising! Leader or not, we’d highly recommend showing up with one of those anyway.

Perhaps that and the sense of adventure that will increase your luck.

Written by James Fisher