Something that ought not to be missed. In the Business901 Podcast last week, Joe asked Sarah Lewis, who is the Managing Director of Appreciating Change, a psychological change consultancy the following question that is relevant for many startups:

Joe:  If you had three pieces of advice for leaders for achieving fast, effective, sustainable change what would they be?

Sarah:  I think one would be you don’t have to do it all alone. Draw on the collective intelligence of your organization. They want to survive as much as you do, they want to help. There may be some issues in the way they’ve been treated in the past but it’s as important to them as it is to you that this organization continues to do well. One would be don’t feel you have to do it all alone. The second would be, humans have evolved in such a way that they need more carrot than stick to be at their best. Because we over?weigh negative things and under?weigh positive things, we actually need three times as many good experiences as negative experiences to start to enter the enchanted place of creativity, connectivity, generativity, synchronicity and all the good things that help organizations to move much faster and much more efficiently.

Yes, you need to obviously keep a minimum line on things. But what most organizations need a lot more of is the good stuff pumped into them, so that positivity thing.

I think the third piece of advice, which is a much more generic one, is it’s becoming increasingly clear that the leaders who are able to have the most positive impact in their organizations, whatever their style may be, the key thing is this thing about authentic leadership. Part of authentic leadership is being open and transparent in ?? that’s the other thing ?? a managed way.

I remember some of the London Business School people said that after all their analysis, the art of leadership boiled downed to five words, which was, “Be yourself more with skill.” All of those words are important.

So things like doing difficult things and asking for forgiveness, being humble about the fact that this is not doing it on your own. Everybody here has contributed to what we’ve achieved this year. Those old?fashioned in a way is being grateful.

Everybody who comes to your organization helps to create it, does something that moves it forward. There’s something about allowing that side of yourself to come through to people, because people do respond and emotions are very contagious, virtuous circles.

If we see people being heroic, we’re more inclined to be a little bit more heroic ourselves the next time the opportunity arises. If someone is helpful, we see someone being helpful or someone is helpful to us, we’re more likely to do it to somebody else.

You can set off these virtuous circles of very positive interactions, which just have not escalating, but the virtuous circle gets bigger and bigger benefits in terms of performance and productivity in the end.”

an excerpt from the Business901 podcast. see more. 

Recently Published

In the fast-paced world of cryptocurrency, vast sums of money can be made or lost in the blink of an eye. In early November 2022, the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, was valued at more than US$30 billion. By Nov. 14, FTX was in bankruptcy proceedings along with more than 100 companies connected to it. D. Brian Blank and Brandy Hadley are […]
Key Takeaways: The phenomenon of some fireflies’ flash synchrony has puzzled scientists for over a century. The phenomenon piqued the curiosity of many, including mathematicians Daniel Abrams and Steven Strogatz, who named it “chimera” In Greek mythology, the Chimera was a hybrid monster made of parts of incongruous animals – so a fitting name for […]

Top Picks

Key Takeaways: Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity has been remarkably successful in describing the gravity of stars and planets. However, gaps in our understanding start to appear when we try to apply it to extremely small distances, where the laws of quantum mechanics operate. A new study, published in Nature Astronomy, has now tested […]
Key Takeaways: Digital money is a form of currency that uses computer networks to make payments. It is not the digital nature of cryptocurrencies that differentiate them from digital money, but how they ensure the ownership of digital property that mark them as transformational. The Counter Currency Laboratory, a new initiative based in the Department […]
Key Takeaways: For many people, Buddhism appears to be uniquely compatible with modern lifestyles and world views. Buddhist mindfulness has influenced many schools of contemporary psychology. Buddhist philosophy embraces constant change and the inherent impermanence of all things. The 19th century Burmese monk Ledi Sayadawtravelled the nation teaching meditation and founding study groups. The forms […]


I highly recommend reading the McKinsey Global Institute’s new report, “Reskilling China: Transforming The World’s Largest Workforce Into Lifelong Learners”, which focuses on the country’s biggest employment challenge, re-training its workforce and the adoption of practices such as lifelong learning to address the growing digital transformation of its productive fabric. How to transform the country […]

Join our Newsletter

Get our monthly recap with the latest news, articles and resources.

Latest Titles


Welcome to Empirics

We are glad you have decided to join our mission of gathering the collective knowledge of Asia!
Join Empirics