Zoe Chance is a Yale School of Management professor who studies and teaches persuasion and decision-making through the lens of behavioral economics. Chance’s new book Influence Is Your Superpower shares research-based, practical influence strategies.
Zoe will step on stage at Nordic Business Forum 2022 in September, so we asked her a couple of questions about her upcoming keynote and the event theme of future-focused leadership.
Nordic Business Forum: Can you give us a teaser of what to expect from your Nordic Business Forum 2022 presentation?
Zoe Chance: Influence doesn’t work the way you think, because you don’t think the way you think. In this session, you’ll learn what behavioral economics can teach you about influencing other human beings. You’ll also learn simple strategies that feel comfortable for you and for those you’re trying to influence. These ideas have helped thousands of people be more influential at work, and also raise money for charity, get elected to political office, fund startups, start movements, save lives, find love, negotiate great deals and job offers, and even get along better with their kids. Influence is the key skill of a leader, and essential for bringing any great idea to life.
NBF: The theme of the event is Future-Focused Leadership. What does that mean to you?
ZC: The biggest business lesson we’ve learned in these past few years is that the future will require flexibility and nimbleness. In order for large organizations to survive, they will need to behave more like startups. In order for startups to survive, they will need to be open to radical transformation. But behavioral science shows us people fear uncertainty and hate change. So we cling to the status quo while paying lip service to transformation. How are you going to put flexibility into practice? How are you going to persuade other people to join? How can you protect your organization against the likelihood that you’re really wrong about some really important things?
NBF: What would you highlight as the most important thing(s) for leaders to focus on in the future?
ZC: In the near term, leaders can focus on employee engagement. Work is hard, life is stressful, and the permanent expansion of remote work means turnover will remain high. Unhappy employees make unhappy customers, and unhappy customers make unhappy shareholders. The profit gap between high-engagement companies and their low-engagement competitors, which Gallup calculates at 21%, will increase. (And remember engagement applies to leaders too, including you.) In the medium term, we need to move beyond the market-based incentive systems that force the insatiable pursuit of short-term profits. The fate of our planet depends on it.
At Nordic Business Forum 2022, Zoe will give tips and tools on how to positively influence others. To see Zoe live in September, join the NBF 2022 Helsinki event.