Curated Content for Alumni

Articles, podcasts and thought pieces relevant to Cranlana alumni and Fellows.

Vice Dressed As Virtue

By definition, concepts of morality and cruelty appear as mutually exclusive. How, otherwise, could one call himself moral or virtuous while inflicting pain and suffering on another? But as Paul Russell, author and professor of philosophy at Lund University in Sweden and University of British Columbia in Canada, asks, what happens when the two combine?

Via Aeon, 22 May 2020

How Do You Know?

In an article for Aeon, Nate Sheff, a writer and adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut, takes a deep dive into epistemology – the philosophical study of knowledge, belief and evidence – to ask how we decide whether something is worth believing. As Nate describes, unfortunately correct information doesn’t always come with its own bright halo of truth, so we each look for signs to sort the good beliefs and opinions from the bad.

Via Aeon, 2 November 2021

Good Leadership Is About Asking Good Questions

Leaders often assume that people look to them for advice, and while this may be true, conveying vulnerability builds trust and solicits others’ help. In fact, research has shown that asking for help is a strong signal to others that you’re trusting and therefore are more likely to be trusted in return. Asking questions allows you to build connections with others and sparks innovative thinking. John Hagel III, an executive and advisor in Silicon Valley, shares with Harvard Business Review the need for leaders to ask more questions.

Via Harvard Business Review, John Hagel III, 8 January 2021

Here’s Why Glass Ceiling May Remain Intact Despite Female Leadership

Does having women in leadership make it easier for other women to follow in their footsteps? According to research by Francesca Manzi and Madeline Heilman, not necessarily. In summarising their research, Kim Elsesser explains that the story is often more complicated than that.
Via Forbes, 14 December 2020

Lessons From French Philosophers Applied

Tasked with applying lessons from French philosophy at Web In Travel’s (WiT) Virtual Around the World Summit, D’EDGE’s CEO Pierre Charles Grob highlighted the importance of education, team work and collaboration.

Via Web in Travel, 22 July 2020

Boo to the Boo-Hurrahs: how four Oxford women transformed philosophy

In 1945, Philippa Foot, a young Oxford philosophy student, encountered for the first time a newsreel film featuring graphic footage of the emaciated bodies and piled up corpses of the Nazi concentration camps. Horrified by what she had seen, Foot believed these to be acts of pure, undeniable evil. However, the moral philosophy taught at Oxford at the time claimed that ethical statements are subjective rather than objective – in other words, there is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’, only feeling – a theory now better known as emotivism.

Via Prospect, 2 November 2021

Is Virtue-Signalling A Perversion Of Morality?

Since the rise of social media – and in particular, social media activism – the term ‘virtue-signalling’ has been used to dismiss those who make moral claims in public as little more than self-righteous hypocrites, more concerned with their own image than the cause they so vocally espouse. But should we be so quick to dismiss the virtue-signaller?

Via Aeon, 29 November, 2019

When Do We Really Need Face-toFace Interactions?

While work will likely never go back to our pre-pandemic status quo, the future will be a blended one that leverages the best of what both virtual and face-to-face experiences can offer. Collaboration, innovation, acculturation, and dedication are difficult to replicate virtually and sustain without some face-to-face interaction.

via HBR, 4 January 2021

Organisational Ethics

Many organisations include ‘ethics’ in their vision and mission statements and policies without truly understanding what it means to be an ethical organisation. Outside a few countries in the West, the concept of Organisational Ethics is largely unknown. The authors of this article in Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper are members of the Bioethics Group, Aga Khan University, and make the case for the importance of OE, particularly in healthcare.

via Dawn, 15 March 2021

Too Hard Basket

Every Friday on Radio National’s Life Matters guests are challenged with a listener’s dilemma – to discuss, unravel, and maybe even help solve. Recently it was the turn of Dr Matt Beard, Vincent Fairfax Fellowship Program Director, and Monica Dullard, librarian and comedian, to think through a dilemma.

via Life Matters, Radio National, 15 October 2021

How to Know Who’s Trustworthy

Knotty problems call for sound advice. How do you find the intellectually dependable amid the frauds and egotists? This guide lists five of the virtues of intellectually dependable people.

via Psyche, 4 November 2020

Cultivating Everyday Courage

What is the right way to speak truth to power? Stories about workplace courage often talk about the people fighting for positive change ending up ostracised, or losing their jobs. However, most acts of courage don’t come from whistle-blowers or organisational martyrs. They come from respected insiders at all levels who take action because they believe it’s the right thing to do. And in doing so, they may in fact see their status rise.

Harvard Business Review Magazine, Nov–Dec 2018

People Who Speak More Are More Likely To Be Considered Leaders

If you want to be a leader, start talking. It doesn’t even particularly matter what you say, according to a study testing the appropriately-named “babble hypothesis”. US scientists found that quantity, rather than quality, of speaking determined who was perceived as a leader in small groups.

World Economic Forum, 9 August, 2021

A Line In The Water

A fateful stand-off in August 2001 saw Australia’s treatment of boat arrivals shift from deterrence by example to deterrence by force

Inside Story, 28 August 2021

Don’t encourage employees to speak up if you’re not ready to listen

For an employee to feel invested, they must feel invested in. “Speak-up culture” puts the onus for incident and issue reporting exclusively on employees. “Listen-up culture” brings in the responsibilities of management and senior staff.

NAVEX Global, 29 November, 2019

The Three Challenges For Leadership Teams And The Types Of Intelligence Required

90% of investors say the quality of the leadership team is the most important non-financial factor when evaluating an IPO. So how do you ensure you have an effective leadership team which can articulate a strategy, co-ordinate delivery of plans, and create a strong culture in the organisation?

HRD the HR Director, 2 August 2021

DEI is not an initiative; it is a reflection of your leadership

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs are a top priority for more companies than ever before, with corporations and organisations spending billions of dollars annually on them. Unfortunately, many of these efforts do not have a lasting impact, and some could even end up leading to more division in the organisation.

Forbes, 2 August 2021


Power Causes Brain Damage

How leaders lose mental capacities—most notably for reading other people—that were essential to their rise. Studies show that being in a position of power has side effects like loss of empathy and contact with reality, recklessness and incompetence. Is that necessarily bad? And if it is, how can it be addressed?

via The Atlantic, July/August 2017