What you need to know: September 2019

Fresh ideas, surprising opportunities and valuable insights from across the web: Management Today's picks of the day.

by Management Today staff
Last Updated: 30 Sep 2019


Tesco axes its first discount store

Jack’s was launched last year in response to competition from Aldi and Lidl. Retail Gazette

What are your undiscussables? 

Some topics are off-limits at work, and this can be a serious problem. MIT Sloan Review of Management

"Alexa, help me get a job at McDonald’s"

The fast food chain is letting applicants apply for jobs through Alexa. Quartz at work


The "two tier" future of the office

Hot desking is not all it’s cracked up to be. The Economist

The economics of fake meat

And why the real stuff can’t compete. Unherd

An airline is helping customers avoid sitting next to screaming babies

Can customer service go too far?  BBC


McKinsey to start selling makeup and lingerie

It’s not as strange as it sounds. FT

New leaders should make decisions slowly

Manage the urge to make your mark right away. Harvard Business Review

A brief history of mansplaining

People have been complaining about it for centuries. Quartz at work


Why you should choose technology carefully

And how to stop it displacing your workers. MIT Sloan

How did the world become so dependant on oil?

As oil goes, so goes the economy. BBC

Here are the top 20 business transformations of the last decade

‘Purpose’ is pivotal. Harvard Business Review



The hypocrisy of the ‘humbled’ leader

Watch your words. FT

A multigenerational approach to innovation

A case study. Strategy + Business

The true extent of the City’s toxic culture

One in 10 workers said they witnessed sexual harassment at Lloyds of London. BBC


Have you thought about the environment when talking about AI?

The industrial revolution may not be good for the planet. The Conversation

Menopausal women should get flexible work hours

Say Labour, who also want firms to train managers on the effects of the process on their staff.  BBC

What does a £14 KitKat tell you about consumer trends?

Nestle’s made-to-order version of the popular bar comes in up to 1,500 different flavours. The Guardian


Why "Actually" could be the most insidious word at work

Beware of being "nano aggressive". Strategy + Business

Britain has its first female banking chief

Alison Rose is RBS’s new chief executive. The Guardian

We need to be better at predicting bad outcomes

Performing hypothetical postmortems prior to starting a project could help prevent worst-case scenarios. FT


Businesses can’t do much good if they don’t make any money

Bill Gates says corporate purpose has its limits. Quartz

How the laws of probability can improve your customer service

You can’t afford to please everyone. MIT Sloan Review of Management

Truth? What is truth?

People are increasingly reluctant to trust authorities of any kind. This long read explores why, and what we can do about it. The Guardian


How envy rots culture

It starts with the leader. Harvard Business Review

Blow to ‘Britain’s biggest mining project’ 

The company behind a proposed $2.5bn potash mine in the North Yorkshire Moors has withdrawn its bond issue. Forbes

Apps to build a towering intellect (sort of)

A selection of distraction blockers, guided meditation programmes and other productivity boosters. ONEZERO/Medium


Green van man

UK-based electric van company Arrival builds a factory in Banbury, anticipating "significant sales interest". The Guardian

Everything you need to know about the Saudi oil strikes

The spike in crude prices is unlikely to last - assuming the attacks are a one-off. New York Magazine

For heaven’s sake, pick up the phone

A novel solution to email/messaging app fatigue. The Atlantic


Aldi plans to open a store a week

The discount retailer is investing £1bn in bricks and mortar. BBC

Not enough hours in the day?

Time management is an organisational problem. Mckinsey

Startups are elitist

Companies have been fishing in the same shallow pools that are now running dry. LinkedIn


The career path of a CEO has changed

It also differs between men and women. Quartz

What to say when someone makes a mistake

A future-focused question can change conversations. Harvard Business Review

The true cost of not investing in AI

The UK economy could miss out on billions. UK Tech News


Why instant coffee will no longer cut it at work

Baristas serving rare blends are an increasingly common sight in the company canteen. FT

Should the working week be capped?

Could a French-style approach help to reduce the number of hours staff work? The Guardian 

8 things you do that make your employees quit

Making them leave can be the most expensive mistake you make. Harvard Business Review



Do you know how to protect your corporate secrets?

A lawyer explains how. People Management

Government extends international graduate visa

Foreign students will be allowed to stay in the UK to look for work. Sky News

How to keep working through personal hardship

Sometimes life gives you lemons. Forbes


4 ways to future-proof your workforce

Excelling in a changing business landscape isn’t just about tech. MIT Sloan

Career management advice from Friends

No opportunity is ‘limited’.  Strategy + Business

Business opportunity or dystopian nightmare?

Research into brain implants and neural devices is increasing. The Guardian


A leadership lesson from John Lennon

And it’s not about working like a dog. Ed Newman via Medium

Why you’ll get less chocolate in your tin of Quality Street this year

"Shrinkflation" is becoming a regular phenomenon. The Guardian

Commute length may contribute to the gender pay gap

ONS data suggests that women spend 20 per cent less time travelling to work. People Management


Is your star employee all they’re cracked up to be? 

What makes them indispensable, might be unbearable for others. City AM

When the CEO should keep quiet

Good decisions come from both sides of the tableMcKinsey

A ban to banker’s bonuses?

John McDonnell has a warning for City firms. FT


Why do we not offer more ageism training?

Age discrimination affects everyone in the office. Fast Company

How imagining a world without oil could help you have better ideas

Gamification is boosting creative thinking. The Conversation

What next for the Britain’s PPI millionaires?

The UK has hundreds of "compensation shops." The Telegraph


What do you do when your colleague dies?

Death is still a workplace taboo. BBC

In other major political news…

Sajid Javid delivered his 2019 Spending review. The Guardian

Should there be a C-suite role dedicated to reskilling workers? 

Preparing for the future of work requires  more than a one-off training module. Harvard Business Review


Could ‘Made in China’ become a thing of the past?

China is losing its dominance over the manufacture of electrical goods. Wired

How many hours did history’s great thinkers work?

Not as many as you think. FT

What people hate about being managed by algorithms 

That resentment can cause real harm. Harvard Business Review


The power of playing to sentiments

Social media can make or break a product launch. Strategy + Business

Tesla moves into insurance

Elon Musk wants to bring down the cost of premiums on electric vehicles. FT

There is no magic formula for management success

It’s a matter of judgement. The Economist

Image credit: artisteer/Gettyimages


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What you need to know: August 2019

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