Dr Lianne Taylor is a Chartered psychologist, author and researcher. Her business Rootbind uses psychology, entrepreneurship and organizational research in understanding business issues.
Lianne’s research interest is the interplay between differences in cognition which affect decision-making, and the impact that has on business growth. This blog reflects her positivity that now is the time to showcase women, their multiple roles as leaders and their significant contribution to change through the Impact Women’s Network.
It is a time of global shifts. Brexit and the election of Trump demonstrated that people’s voices are having an impact all around the world as they vote for change. A Rubik’s Cube of ideas and words demonstrate that unconventional views can have a significant impact. Impact Women’s Network (IWN) captures the zeitgeist by showing the impact of women in the workplace and provides a different type of platform for women who are changing lives and business. This is an exciting time to be a female leader because there are several different types of leadership being currently defined. The state of flux we face today means that individual differences are being desired and minority voices amplified. Dominant masculine models of leadership are changing and merging with distinctly individual, Eastern, feminine qualities which include collaboration, intuition and empathy – though not exclusively.
The possibilities are endless whether petitioning for a cause, leading from the front in an organization or building a business. IWN aims to ’flood’ the ether with definitions and examples of female leadership that are mainly still currently absent in mainstream media and research. Women have been leading, inventing and creating with impact throughout the generations, but with little or zero recognition because of dominant patriarchal perspectives. IWN is building a community around each other to drive women’s success with creativity, critical thinking, communication and interaction. Being highly skilled in a successful business or professional career is a given, but good leaders are defined by identifying one’s own driving force and understanding people. Members in the Network are taking advantage of the reality that today there is a reduced rulebook (yes there are still rules and always will be) in how to be a great leader which is not gender specific. It is time for our collective voice to be stronger, purposefully working with each other and our male colleagues and partners. Women are being uplifted and the timing for a network like IWN has never been better.
The need and willingness today to accept different leadership styles reflects the many theories around situation leadership which is context specific and accepted in business and management teaching. Alternative forms, beyond command-and-control approaches are being supplemented by Sun Tzu’s ‘Art of War’ in which we can integrate our unique selves into work and the strategies we adopt. This is visible across the IWN network in which women are transferring their influencing, negotiating and strategic skills to drive their careers forward through unique collaborations and diverse partnerships. In some cases, individuals are “simmering”, and using the network to have dynamic conversations regarding their next steps.
Gender patterns exist because preconceptions make the world easier to navigate neurologically, thus freeing up space for more innovative thinking. At IWN there is powerful debate which allows these thinking patterns to be deconstructed where necessary and new ones formed. It is not about being the toughest or hardest to achieve goals, but the smartest using individual and dual decision-making styles to win clients and promotions. The Network consists of individuals with their own type of power being recognized, are connecting with a broader number of stakeholders, becoming board members and using their reputations to build their brand.
IWN was born out of the desire to increase the visibility of incredible women who are making an impact and changing communities and industries, influencing policy makers along the way. People are transforming their lives, affiliating with organizations like IWN that reflect and augment their need to balance work and family life in an unprecedented way. IWN is aligned with millennials when it comes to striving towards this balance, opting for fewer binary choices and ‘taking the whole person into work’. Using social networking, workshops and key note speakers, the Network champions business activities and individual successes in combined efforts to amplify successful female stories. Join us at @ImpactWN www.impactwomensnetwork.com
Our first Real World Impact blog has been published! A huge thank you and well done to Dr. Lianne Taylor, Founder of Rootbind who wrote about the Impact Women’s Network in light of emergent theory. Her blog post is entitled “Female Success – norm not anomaly” and in it she writes:
“Impact Women’s Network (IWN) captures the zeitgeist by showing the impact of women in the workplace and provides a different type of platform for women who are changing lives and business. This is an exciting time to be a female leader because there are several different types of leadership being currently defined. The state of flux we face today means that individual differences are being desired and minority voices amplified. Dominant masculine models of leadership are changing and merging with distinctly individual, Eastern, feminine qualities which include collaboration, intuition and empathy – though not exclusively.” Read the full blog
Could you be our next Real Impact blog contributor at emeraldrealimpact.com?
If you want to make a real contribution to the real impact debate, we’d like to hear from you!
Contact Dr. Lianne Taylor
Our partnership with Emerald Publishing on the ‘Real Impact’ blog is designed to help bridge the gap between academic research and its application in the real world, covers all elements of the real impact debate. It an opportunity for Impact Women to add their voices to global debates instead of being spoken for.
Impact Wednesday as part of Intensifying Impact 3rd October
Creating Impact Through Investment ++
Impact Wednesdays are held the first Wednesday of every month. For this month only, Impact Wednesday will be part of our anniversary conference Intensifying Impact and will included facilitated networking followed by lunch. Details of speakers, venue and times via the ‘Book’ button below.
If you are not joining us to celebrate in person, please take the time to reflect on our potential impact. We’re now a network of over 110 impactful women. Think of all the things we can do to drive positive change! Do let us know your thoughts on the sorts of impact that we could (should?) be driving in 2019. Let firstname.lastname@example.org know what you’re passionate about, committed to changing, your visions of a ‘better’ world. We always want to hear what’s on your mind!
The Impact Women’s Network: Harnessing the power of enterprising women to drive positive change. Know someone who shares our vision and passion for driving change? Share this note and the button below with them!
This article purposefully shifts the narrative that disadvantages female entrepreneurs to a focus on entrepreneurial differences in thinking, traits and behaviour of successful business leaders. It provides insight and suggestions from research to encourage a more inclusive approach to starting and building a business that both genders can adopt in order to play with their strengths.
20th Century thinking that focuses on entrepreneurial gender differences have been changing. However, the latest 2017/18 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor research report stated that female entrepreneurship is up by only 6% globally and that males are still more likely to start businesses than women. The reasons for this difference is dominated by social economic positioning, however female entrepreneurs still face two pervasive ‘false truths’. Firstly, the most persistent challenge female entrepreneurs encounter is the narrative that they have wholly different characteristics to their male counterparts. The notion that men take risks, prefer direct conflict and confrontation and women don’t, is flawed with little empirical evidence. Secondly, are the ‘male-normative’ definitions of overconfident, aggressive risk takers that dominate research and populous media while female entrepreneurs battle to shift the paradigms that judge them against this group. The gap in higher male and lower female business start-up is due to these ingrained perceptions rather than lower female entrepreneurial orientation. Entrepreneurial men and women need to build an ecosystem that breaks across gendered business practices by considering cross gendered strengths and weaknesses for start-up and business growth.
The latest 2017/18 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor research report stated that female entrepreneurship is up by only 6% globally and that males are still more likely to start businesses than women.
Is there a consistent entrepreneurial profile?
Both genders can benefit from the fact that research on a consistent entrepreneurial profile does not exist. Research identified three categories that lead to the failure of studies to reach a consensus on the individual entrepreneurial traits. These three distinctive camps are:
• Inadequate methodologies focusing only on personality;
• Economic explanations of entrepreneurial behaviour;
• Cognitive causes of entrepreneurial behaviour.
Mitchell et al.1 (2007) argued that any entrepreneurial perception and thinking processes should take place within a context, because an entrepreneur is constantly communicating and interacting with the business. Instead of categorising the study, individual entrepreneurs should focus on the interactive relationship with their work context. In this way, the social-economic aspects for women, such as child care, affect their decision-making.
Entrepreneurs tend to have an internal locus of control, and search for answers within themselves while other professional groups are more likely to consider the outside world first to support their decisions.
There is enough psychological evidence that personality is stable throughout life, while behaviour and thinking processes can change. Thankfully, one can choose to act as an extrovert or introvert, irrespective of gender. You might be asking yourself: ‘If the business agenda was not historically set by men, would attributes regarded as ‘male-only’ still be valued, visible and identifiable?’ Many of these attributes assigned to males are context specific in decision-making and is critical to this debate.
Transitioning from gendered specific dialogue to understanding ourselves – strengths and weaknesses, fears and ambitions – will lead to a more successful integration between self and strategy; and risk and reward. Successful start-up and healthy business growth requires a strategy and a mindful approach to what you attribute those successes to. What is your business philosophy – does winning at business involve fighting or victory? Chu2 (2007) argued that most people prefer a win-win. In order to understand what drives your own decision-making, ask yourself the following questions:
• Cognition – what does success look like to you?
• What do you attribute that success to?
• When you are successful, what thoughts need to be changed or sustained?
By going through this process, the psychological concepts of locus of control will build confidence by reinforcing accurate reasons behind your actions and avoid biases. Entrepreneurs tend to have an internal locus of control, and search for answers within themselves while other professional groups are more likely to consider the outside world first to support their decisions. Entrepreneurial success is defined by your interrelationships and interactions which can be developed by all individuals.
On the 15th March, we’re delighted to host Dr. Lianne Taylor for an interactive discussion on how your skills as a research scientist are useful in business and entrepreneurship.
Dr Lianne Taylor will present her own entrepreneurial research, practical experience and academic benchmarking to help your own decision-making, risk awareness, biases and opportunity recognition as you consider the next steps with your ideas and innovations.
The talk will be followed by a networking session with food and drinks.
Dr Lianne Taylor is Chartered Organizational psychologist, business founder, author and Academic. Her experience and research expertise includes organizational behaviour, entrepreneurship and enterprise, cognition, systems thinking, succession, organizational plasticity and growth. Lianne ran her own organic beauty product business with international distribution and manufacturing. She later worked as a Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director (Centre for Enterprise Development and Research), Course leader MBA Qatar and MSc Entrepreneurial Management. Lord Ashcroft International Business School, Cambridge. Presently, she is undertaking research on Entrepreneurial Capital and Succession for a technology company based in Cambridge and is Academic Supervisor for The Judge Business School on their PG Diploma in Entrepreneurship. Lianne’s current business is a global think tank called www.Rootbind.com
Dr. Lianne Taylor will be co-delivering a talk entitled “Creating a Culture of Innovation and Enterprise” with Claire Johnsen, St John’s Innovation Centre, for the Chinese Guangdong Provincial Committee Organization Department Green, Circular, and Low-carbon Development, on the 1st August.
Lianne Taylor will be speaking at the Anglia Ruskin Learning and Teaching Conference with Claire Johnsen from the St John’s Innovation Centre on 27th June entitled “Students and Lecturers as Co-Creators of Enterprise in the Race Against Job Automation”.
Female entrepreneurs and the curse of ‘male-only’ business attributes
In theory, the world of entrepreneurship should be gender-blind. Start-up businesses are judged on whether they survive or die, and you might have thought that the same stark definition was applied to entrepreneurs themselves. But the discussion around how business people operate in this bruising arena has struggled to detach itself from broader stereotyping around sex – and it is starting to wear thin.
Camels, tigers and unicorns – a panel debate at St Johns Innovation Centre, Cambridge
A book title with animals conjures up immediate perceptions of characteristics that business must reflect in order to be categorised as one of these. At the event held at St John’s Innovation Centre this week, the authors explained the rationale behind it in the context of investment and commercialisation of technology. Uday Phadke and Shailendra Vyakarnam introduced their theoretical framework based on empirical data on Chasm I, II and III. They identified Chasm one as transitioning from product or service to working prototype, Chasm II the transition to fully functional product or service with a sustainable business model and Chasm III the move from early adopters to upscaling with a larger number of customers.
After introductions, the floor was swiftly opened for questions from entrepreneurs, researchers and interested parties. There were several key questions that the panel, Chaired by David Gill, and consisting of the authors; Bryan Amesbury (Co-Founder & COO, SwiftServe); Clifford Dive (Strategic Technical Innovation Consultant) and Dr Lianne Taylor, (Rootbind), attempted to answer stimulating an enjoyable debate:
• Why is talent and leadership considered less important in Chasm I?
• How does one analyse what happened in previous Chasms when the business has moved into the next?
• How does a business work out which Chasm they are in?
• All that data is fine but how do academics engage with businesses to transfer this knowledge?
Six key messages to draw out from the panel discussion are:
• Identifying the Chasm for your business will help to reduce uncertainty;
• Moving to the next Chasm is not a linear process – business do not move neatly through different stages of growth, they iterate and assess constantly;
• Depending on the technology and external circumstances, regression into previous Chasms is possible;
Growth definitions are not restricted to sales numbers, the quality and smaller numbers providing higher value are significant;
• That academics can do better at engaging with business, and events like this contribute to real knowledge transfer;
• That assessing which Chasm a business is in can be challenging, but engaging in debate and getting external help is available. Where the business gets the most valuable help from is dependant on its growth stage and size.
Many important issues related to entrepreneurial business growth in science and technology led businesses were not covered due to lack of time. Crucially, the debate highlighted the massive ‘Chasm’ that exists, and the important nature of bridging the gap between academic research and entrepreneurs, through use of accessible discourse and business led needs.
Coming up 6th May – Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.
Delivering a talk on ‘Entrepreneurial versus Managerial Mindset’ for Enterprise WISE programme.
Blog & Press
- Entrepreneur and researcher mindset 8th October 2018
- Impact Women’s Network – Female successes – norm not anomaly 8th October 2018
- Real World Impact – Spark the Conversation 8th October 2018
- Shifting the Gender Gap to an ‘All Differences Matter’ Narrative 19th July 2018
- EPOC: How your skills as a research scientist are useful in business 7th March 2018