It’s a great pleasure to welcome back Gillian Tett, who chairs the Editorial Board in the US for Financial Times. She has a regular column at FT, writing about finance, business and the political economy. Gillian’s work is all about looking at the world through different lenses, and moving from tunnel vision to lateral vision. It’s about leveraging diversity, embracing the unknown, and learning from others in non-related fields, cultures, and geographies.
In this interview, we talk about her new book, “Anthro-Vision: A New Way to See in Business and Life,” and we cover a lot of topics from an anthropological perspective. We also talk about controversial topics like Bitcoin and Trumpism, as well as more enduring issues like leadership, and what that looks like in this VUCA world that we live in. So whether you’re a business leader, a policy maker, an investor, or even just a parent worrying about how your kids appear to be over-reliant on technology, I hope you will find this conversation as fascinating and inspirational as I did.
What Is Covered:
- The three principles of the anthropology mindset and what being an anthropologist means in the corporate world
- How the concept of barter and social silences plays out in the world of AgTech and “free” services
- Why teenagers are glued to their cell phones and what kind of needs in physical space the cyberspace is fulfilling
- The concept of fast and slow money, and people’s behaviours around money
- Understanding Trumpism from an anthropological perspective
- How Bitcoin and cryptocurrency tribes are changing the economy and the power structures
Key Takeaways and Learnings:
- Barter trade terms in the world of AgTech need to be reset to make it more equitable, giving a lot more transparency to consumers, giving consumers more control over the duration of the trade, and creating data portability.
- The four skills that anthropology can offer to any leader are the ability to have empathy for difference, to flip the lens and look back at yourself with a sense of humility, the ability to look outside the model, and to recognize that we need to think about people’s human behavior and how culture matters.
- Cultural phenomena like Balinese cockfighting rituals are a good way to make sense of Trumpism, and of what’s happening with Elon Musk and Bitcoin in terms of defining tribal groups, the role of rituals and symbols, and the role the emotions play
Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Anthro-Vision: A New Way to See in Business and Life by Gillian Tett
- Connect with Gillian Tett on LinkedIn and Twitter
- Data & Society
- ReD Associates
- The Interpretation of Cultures by Clifford Geertz
- Why Anthropologists are More Interested in Bitcoin Than Economists, by Mick Morucci
- Who Can You Trust by Rachel Botsman
- The Conversation
- Colliding with the Unexpected with Gillian Tett on OutsideVoices Podcast