Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 07, 2023

The Weekly Pulse is my content curation and my highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, and everything I discovered during the week.
The Weekly Pulse is my content curation and my highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, and everything I discovered during the week.

So, let’s go with some discoveries from the week!

#1 – Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership
#2 – Why Illustrators Are Furious About AI
#3 – What Is the Future of Work?
#4 – The Benefit of One Technology Free Hour Per Day
#5 – Eliminate Strategic Overload


Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis

Summary: New studies of the brain show that leaders can improve group performance by understanding the biology of empathy. The authors share an example of an executive who became socially smarter by embracing a change program that comprised a 360-degree evaluation, intensive coaching by an organizational psychologist, and long-term collaboration with a mentor. The results: stronger relationships with higher-ups and subordinates, better performance of her unit, and a big promotion.

3 Highlights:

“… Perhaps the most stunning recent discovery in behavioral neuroscience is the identification of mirror neurons in widely dispersed areas of the brain. Italian neuroscientists found them by accident while monitoring a particular cell in a monkey’s brain that fired only when the monkey raised its arm…

“… People often ask whether gender differences factor into the social intelligence skills needed for outstanding leadership. The answer is yes and no…

“… To measure an executive’s social intelligence and help him or her develop a plan for improving it, we have a specialist administer our behavioral assessment tool, the Emotional and Social Competency Inventory…” 

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Why Illustrators Are Furious About AI

Source: The Guardian
Author: Sarah Shaffi

Summary: AI art generators may provide five minutes of fun for most users, but the blurring of creative and ethical boundaries is leaving many artists raging against the machine. The biggest players in AI include companies such as MidJourney, Stable Diffusion, and Deep Dream Generator (DDG). They’re free to use, up to a point, making them attractive to those just wanting to try them out. There’s no denying that they’re fun, but a closer examination of the images they produce shows oddities. Beyond creativity, there are deeper issues. An online campaign – #NotoAIArt – has seen artists sharing concerns about the legality of AI image generators, and about how they have the potential to devalue the skill of illustration

3 Highlights:

“… It’s the opposite of art’..“ 

“… The kids who read them expect a great deal, not only from the stories and illustrations but from the people who make them…“ 

“… There’s already a negative bias toward the creative industry. Something like this reinforces an argument that what we do is easy, and we shouldn’t be able to earn the money we command…” 

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What Is the Future of Work?

Source: McKinsey
Author: McKinsey Institutional

Summary: Just like the world at large, the world of work shifts and changes over time. The future of work refers to an informed perspective on what businesses and other organizations need to know about how work could shift (given digitization and other trends), plus how workforces and workplaces can prepare for those changes, big and small.

3 Highlights:

“… Remote work and virtual meetings are likely to continue, although less intensely than at the pandemic’s peak…“ 

“… People are an organization’s most valuable asset, and getting ready for the future will include understanding the workers you have (supply) as well as those you need (demand)…“ 

“… Job growth will be more concentrated in high-skill jobs (for example, in healthcare or science, technology, engineering, and math [STEM] fields), while middle- and low-skill jobs (such as food service, production work, or office support roles) will decline...” 

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The Benefit of One Technology Free Hour Per Day

Source: Unmistakable Creative
Author: Srini Rao

Summary: Our calendars are full, inboxes are overflowing, and news feeds are vying for our attention, which is then sold to the highest bidders. But it’s this whitespace we reclaim our most precious resources: time, attention, and energy. One technology-free hour each day can provide us with a window of non-stimulation, which is critical in a world where information overload is making us stupid, unproductive, and poor

3 Highlights:

“… When you’re struggling to maintain or adopt a habit, James Clear says to reduce the scope but stick to the schedule. If one hour sounds impossible, start with a few minutes each day. Once that becomes easy, readjust the scope and increase the amount of time. Eventually, the habit of one technology-free hour per day will become part of your identity…“ 

“… Because cognitive functions are highest between sunrise and noon, for most people, early morning is best. But If you have to feed an infant, change diapers or drop your kids off at school, you can either get up earlier or schedule this time later in the day. And if you’re a night owl, the best time might be before you go to bed…“ 

“… By disconnecting from the world around us, we reconnect to the world within us…” 

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Eliminate Strategic Overload

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Felix Oberholzer-Gee

Summary: As companies respond to intensifying competitive pressures and challenges, they ask more and more of their employees. But organizations often have very little to show for the efforts of their talented and engaged workers. By selecting fewer initiatives with greater impact, companies can make their strategies more powerful. As companies expand the total amount of value created for their customers, employees, and suppliers, they position themselves for enduring financial success

3 Highlights:

“… It creates value for customers by raising their willingness to pay. As your company finds ways to innovate or to improve existing products, the maximum price people will be willing to pay for the offering rises…“ 

“… It creates value for employees by making work more attractive. Offering better jobs lowers the minimum compensation that you have to offer to attract talent to your business…“ 

“… It creates value for suppliers by reducing their operating costs. As suppliers’ costs go down, the lowest price they would be willing to accept for their goods falls…” 

Access full Weekly Pulse reading here >>


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