Fabian Hirose |  Management Consulting

Business, Industry & Capability Insights

Ideas that generate results

On Fashion & Another Commodity Systems

A blog discussing the amalgamation of boundaries including international law, global economy, geographical positions and communities needs and desires into which the fashion industry is placed.

- A brief reflective enquiry process to support personal and professional development - 

After my 17 years of learning, unlearning and relearning about myself, my relationship with the fashion industry and my place within the system, I can’t start talking about fashion without naming the external elements that allow this industry to exist. Just like any other business, fashion companies provide solutions to specified sectors of global communities answering their needs based on the individual and collective life continuum that the community requires to coexist.

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How Brands Can Stay Relevant in the Digital Age

Branding has become an almost mystical concept. Companies know brands are immensely valuable, but have only a slippery grasp on how they work. This is quite understandable, since the toolbox for measuring brand success has historically been limited to criteria such as sales numbers, brand recognition and brand image, which, while crucial, do not tell the whole story.

Indeed, in today’s digital world, brand relevance is arguably more salient than brand recognition. In the past, it might have been sufficient to implant a brand name in the buyer’s mind so that they chose your product over competitors when browsing a supermarket shelf. Brand loyalty has an altogether different meaning in the new digital ecosystem. A successful brand today is one that springs spontaneously to customers’ lips as they order their weekly groceries through Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant, or to their fingers when googling for information prior to a big purchase. This is where the branding rubber meets the road in the 21st century.

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The Pursuit of Money: A Cautionary Tale

Distorted beliefs about money often have their roots in childhood.

“A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.” - Jonathan Swift

Paulo came from very humble beginnings. Through hard work and luck, he became a fabulously rich executive. Unfortunately, his new wealth changed him, but not for the better. Money seemed to illuminate a kind of arrogant and abusive behaviour that had not surfaced before. Paulo started believing that his wealth gave him the right to do whatever he wanted, which resulted in questionable ethical behaviour.

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The Fine Line Between Stubbornness and Stupidity

One pathway to greatness is the ability to change one’s mind when proven wrong.

Stubbornness isn’t necessarily bad and can in fact be a virtue. Sometimes, as history has shown, people do the right thing by remaining steadfast to their beliefs. Take the Charles de Gaulle. General de Gaulle refused to admit defeat after France was overrun by Nazi Germany during World War II. Against overwhelming odds, he persuaded the French that they would ultimately prevail. His unwavering belief in the greatness of his country helped him turn his vision into reality. After the war,  then President de Gaulle managed to secure a permanent seat for France on the United Nations Security Council. His determination earnt France respect on the global stage.

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Cultivating Happiness

We all want to be happy. The right to pursue happiness is even written into our country’s bill of rights. But how does one do that? Is it even possible to become a happier person? And if so, what’s the best way to go about it? Researchers in the field of positive psychology have been studying these questions and the answers are encouraging. Turns out you can genuinely increase your happiness and overall satisfaction with life—and it doesn’t require a winning lottery ticket or some other drastic change of circumstances. What it takes is an inner change of perspective and attitude. And that’s truly good news, because it’s something that anyone can do.

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The Virtual Work Skills You Need — Even If You Never Work Remotely

Maintaining strong, productive relationships with clients and co-workers can be challenging when you never see the person you’re working with. Yet, it is common to have ongoing work relationships – sometimes lasting years — with people you’ve never met in person.

We often think of “virtual work” as working with someone located outside an office, or in another city or country. This type of work is on the rise: a 2017 Gallup report found 43% of American employees work remotely; in another survey, 48% of respondents reported that a majority of their virtual teamwork involved members from other cultures.

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How HR and Judges Made It Almost Impossible for Victims of Sexual Harassment to Win in Court

Last December, Time magazine gave its award for person of the year to the “the silence breakers,” commemorating a broad societal awakening about the pervasiveness of sexual harassment in the workplace. As the #MeToo movement geared up, and as prominent men resigned or were fired, organizations rushed to create or update anti-harassment policies, complaint procedures, and training programs.

This approach may be misguided. Programs, policies, and training alone do not stop sexual harassment and abuse. My book Working Law — based on surveys of organizations, interviews with HR professionals, and content analyses of both human resources journals and federal court opinions — shows that sexual harassment policies and procedures can comfortably coexist in organizational cultures where women are regularly subjected to demeaning commentary, unwanted physical contact, and even threats or sexual assault. In other words, someone can be sexually harassed without recourse in an organization with plenty of rules on the books.

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Chip Conley of Airbnb: The advice I wish I’d been given at 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50

This summer, I spent a week in Mexico with my two young sons who, on occasion, want to tap into my wisdom. While there, I received an email from a new friend, a generation younger than me, who asked this 57-year-old to give him the kind of advice I wish I’d heard as a 42-year-old. Knowing my advice might be valuable gave me a renewed sense of purpose. But, unfortunately, many of us in our fifties or older feel increasingly invisible as if we don’t have much to offer the world.

When I surveyed nearly 200 middle-aged people about their life and career in preparation for writing my new book, Wisdom@Work: The Making of a Modern Elder, my number one surprise was how often the word “irrelevant” came up in conversations. One person described feeling like an old carton of milk, with an expiration date stamped on their wrinkled forehead. Others felt obsolescent, like an old rusting machine. One paradox of our time is that we enjoy better health than ever later into life, remain vibrant, and stay in the workplace longer.

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4 Ways Busy People Sabotage Themselves

You’ve left an important task undone for weeks. It’s hanging over you, causing daily anxiety. And yet instead of actually doing it, you do a hundred other tasks instead.

Or you’ve been feeling guilty about not replying to an email, even though replying would only take 10 minutes.

Or maybe the last time you needed stamps, you went to the post office to buy a single stamp because you couldn’t find the 100-pack you purchased a few months ago. You know it’s around… somewhere. But you just don’t have the time to clean your desk to find it.

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The Benefits of Play for Adults

How Play Benefits Your Relationships, Job, Bonding, and Mood

In our hectic, modern lives, many of us focus so heavily on work and family commitments that we never seem to have time for pure fun. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we’ve stopped playing. When we carve out some leisure time, we're more likely to zone out in front of the TV or computer than engage in fun, rejuvenating play like we did as children. But just because we’re adults, that doesn't mean we have to take ourselves so seriously and make life all about work. We all need to play.

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To Overcome Your Insecurity, Recognize Where It Really Comes From

Raymond closed down. Sandra snapped. They both had solid records and promising career prospects, and yet they felt that something was not working. Their bosses, colleagues, friends could tell too, but they were equally puzzled. How could someone so talented get so lost, or lose it, in seemingly trivial discussions, for no obvious reason?

The answer is deceptively simple and widespread: insecurity at work. The nagging worry that we are not quite as smart, informed, or competent as we ought to be, or as others might think. The fear that we are not good enough, or simply not enough. The second thoughts about our ideas, observations, and even about our feelings. The constant concern about being judged.

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Influential Fashion Educators: SIMON UNGLESS

“We are setting them up for an industry that doesn’t exist.” Simon Ungless, director of the school of fashion at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, pauses. This may seem off-kilter to admit, especially for a CSM grad taught by the likes of Louise Wilson and Bobby Hillson, but he’s got a point. The fashion education system is at risk of going off topic and Ungless is determined to regroup, or stop it altogether.

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Don’t Try to Be the “Fun Boss” — and Other Lessons in Ethical Leadership

Just becoming a leader is enough to exacerbate some people’s unethical tendencies. But power does not corrupt everyone. Our research suggests that key personality characteristics predict unethical leadership behavior.

We collected personality data and supervisor ratings of ethical behavior (e.g., integrity, accountability) on 3,500 leaders across 30 organizations we had worked with. The organizations included in our study were largely multinational, represented several industries, and varied in size from medium to large. We combined data across these 30 independent studies to examine the relationship between personality and ethical leadership across a range of different settings and situations.

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How Companies Make It Harder for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Employees to Achieve Work-Life Balance

Companies have been paying closer attention to work-family conflict and work-life balance over the last several decades. In many successful organizations, there is a heavy investment in offering programs that give employees more job-related flexibility, time for personal activities, and convenience. By promoting a positive work-family culture, employers are able to maintain a happierhealthier, and more committed workforce, which contributes to the bottom line.

But are companies missing something when it comes to addressing issues of work and family? Our research says that they are, and it could be a big problem from a diversity and inclusion perspective.

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Are you an inclusive leader?

Traditional concepts of leadership are fast becoming out-moded in today’s complex world.  In diverse global environments, where technology is breaking down barriers and revolutionizing the way we work, a new breed of leader is needed.

If organizations are to be able to innovate at speed and keep ahead of the competition, they need leaders who accept that they cannot possibly know all the answers themselves.  Succeeding against a backdrop of economic uncertainty, where customer expectations are greater than ever before, calls for humility, empathy and a high level of self-awareness.

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Sexual misconduct at Universities

Since the Guardian began an investigation into sexual harassment in universities, there has been growing criticism that many institutions remain complacent about the scale of the problem.

In late 2016, we sent Freedom of Information (FoI) requests to more than 100 UK universities asking how many allegations and complaints they had received against staff. We found widespread inconsistencies in the way these incidents were handled and recorded, which reflected claims made by victims and campaigners that universities’ figures underestimate the scope of sexual misconduct.

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#MeToo on campus: Universities investigate sexual assaults themselves

As more women speak up over sexual violence, universities are cracking down on ‘lad culture’

On Katia Baudon’s very first day as a fresher at Kent University in September 2015, she says, she was raped by a fellow student. The experience was so traumatising that she ended up having to retake her first year. Baudon reported the attack to the university authorities in February 2016. They put her in touch with the police. Her case was not prosecuted as the police decided there was insufficient evidence because she had reported it four months after the event.

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Why Sexual Harassment Persists and What Organizations Can Do to Stop It

The sheer volume of sexual harassment allegations against public figures reveals just how entrenched such abuses of power are. They’ve forced us to acknowledge that many men in leadership roles marginalize and intimidate colleagues (usually, but not always, women) of lower status both verbally and physically. Sexual harassment happens everywhere: in the most lucrative industries and in minimum-wage jobs, in glamorous fields as well as the most ordinary.

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It’s Not Always Clear What Constitutes Sexual Harassment

The #MeToo movement started by activist Tarana Burke gained momentum in October of 2017 when actress Alyssa Milano invited women on Twitter to respond “me too” to her tweet if they’d experienced sexual harassment or abuse. Women did so across social media, telling their stories and revealing the extent to which so many had lived in silence.

The Time’s Up movement was founded shortly thereafter to foster fairness, safety, and equity for women in the workplace. Part of its purpose is to alter the power system that favors men and thereby provides a foundation for discrimination and hostility toward women.

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From dark to light: Managing the dark side of personality for effective leadership performance

Report by Dr Nadine,  Dr Sabine Bergner and Stefan Wills for Ashridge Executive Education at Hult International Business School. 

The impact of personality characteristics in the workplace is of great interest to leaders and followers and has thus been studied extensively for many years. Until recently, the focus of this work has been on ‘bright’ personality traits and how these impact organisational behaviour.

Recent incidents, such as the financial crises, however, have led to a change in focus and greater interest in the darker side of personality and its influence on workplace behaviour. Questions such as ‘if the bright traits positively impact leadership performance do the dark traits result in poorer leadership performance?’ or ‘does the dark side of personality accelerate career advancement?’ have become interesting.

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