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How to Write an Effective Memo
Permanent availability has led to a permanent flow of information. Where we stuck post-it stickers to someone's monitor or keyboard, or dropped a hand written note on someone's table in the past, we now send short text messages (SMS) or emails. In this chapter we will have a look at how we can create quick and efficient memos.
How Would You Like to Sound? – British or American English?
Does it matter to learn 'Oxford English' or 'American English'? - What influence do accents have on acceptance and appreciation in business and private situations? - We take a closer look on the impact and work on the best strategy.
Personality Assessment Tests
Personality Assessment Tests have become very common in recruiting. We have a look at both sides of it, for the interviewee and the interviewer.
English for Business Executives

Diversity Makes Teams More Innovative

Are diverse companies really more innovative? Rocío Lorenzo and her team surveyed 171 companies to find out — and the answer was a clear yes. In a talk that will help you build a better, more robust company, Lorenzo dives into the data and explains how your company can start producing fresher, more creative ideas by treating diversity as a competitive advantage.

(In case you find the speech difficult to follow, you can activate  subtitles  by locating and clicking on the subtitle icon in the bottom right corner of the video  window. )


Here are some of her statements:

“Now, a fair question to ask is the chicken or the egg question, meaning, are companies really more innovative because they have a more diverse leadership, or the other way around? Which way is it? Now, we do not know how much is correlation versus causation, but what we do know is that clearly, in our sample, companies that are more diverse are more innovative, and that companies that are more innovative have more diverse leadership, too. So it’s fair to assume that it works both ways, diversity driving innovation and innovation driving diversity.“

Our data shows that for gender diversity to have an impact on innovation, you need to have more than 20 percent women in leadership.”

“Achieving more than 20 percent women in leadership seems like a daunting task to many, understandably, given the track record. But it’s doable, and there are many companies today that are making progress there and doing it successfully.”

“So experience shows it’s doable, and at the end of the day, it all boils down to two decisions that are taken every day in every organization by many of us: who to hire and who to develop and promote. Now, nothing against women’s programs, networks, mentoring, trainings. All is good. But it is these two decisions that at the end of the day send the most powerful change signal in any organization.”


What we can learn linguistically from this text 

In earlier discussion we found that many American speakers repeatedly start their sentences with “So, …” and use the word “that” almost exceedingly.

Rocío Lorenzo is from Italy, and though her English is very good, you can clearly hear her accent, and she prefers to start her sentences with “Now, …” which comes from the Italian word “allora”.

  • Does it make her speech any less professional? – No, it doesn’t.
  • Does she appear less competent? – Of course not! –

Neither her accent, nor a slightly different wording has an impact on the message and the quality of the contribution, as long as she is easy to understand and her message is clear.

We had this discussion before, and we touch it again when we will talk about Oxford English vs American English: Don’t worry and don’t be sad about your accent if you have any, and don’t think too much whether you could ever phrase it (say it) like a native speaker. All that matters is understandability and clarity! The rest is just a matter of personal taste. You can work on it, but it won’t be a game changer.


Expressions we can use for our own business and purpose:


a fair question to ask isA good way to show openness to skeptics.
the chicken or the egg questionA classic expression in many languages. Everybody gets immediately what you are referring to.
correlation versus causationA very sophisticated way to describe the question: is A dependent on B or vice versa.
it's fair to assume thatWith using the word "fair" you show openess to other opinions.
it works both waysThere are two ways to use it. A: in the way of "if you do me a favor, I'll do you a favor n return.- B: in the way of "you can start fro both ends, the result will be the same."
our data showsPlease note that it is used in the singular form: data shows
to have an impact ona classic which can be used in so many ways. Whenever you talk about an influence it will fit.
you need to have"need" ist the politest words where you could use "must", "have to" or "need to". In speeches " ... need to ..." is mostly the best pick.
it's doablea very encouraging statement in meetings to bring people behind an idea.
making progressyou can use it in so many ways: "... we are making progress, but ...", "... as long as we are making progress ...", "... making progress can't be the only proviso ..."
experience showsA nice and short way to refer to in this context undocumented supposition, which however, may have solid grounds.
at the end of the dayPlease note: you should use it as "at the end ..." NOT "in the end ..."
it all boils down toif you want to slice up your speech you can use that in the sense of "it all comes down to ...", "the only thing that matters is ...
decisions [that] are taken every daywithout the [that]: "We have to take decisions every day", - With [that]: There are decisions made every day".
nothing againstA short form of "I have nothing against ..."
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