Business Briefs: 2022 Leadership Exodus, Fail Tweeting & Weed Use Meets Business Ideas

Welcome to The Metropreneur’s newest series: Business Briefs. The world of academic publications features fascinating findings from real-world experiments in business and the marketplace. Here are some key takeaways and applicable nuggets of knowledge that may be helpful for your business.

Leadership Exodus

When it comes to research and surveys, Qualtrics is the preeminent application developer. Every once in a while, it does a little research all on its own. Collecting data from 14,000 people, all employed on a full-time basis, Qualtrics has a few predictions for the 2022 workplace.

First, it’s predicting a leadership exodus. As the workplace evolves, and employers hustle to meet employee needs, the demanding environment has taken a toll on leadership teams. The Qualtrics survey showed that intentions to stay in leadership roles dropped significantly across the board, especially for women who serve in senior leadership positions. Last year, 86% intended to stay in place. This year, only 68% of women in senior leadership positions have intentions to stay. 

Additionally, Qualtrics predicts increasing pressures on businesses to create hybrid working environments that foster productivity with technology that supports flexibility. Based on its numbers, productivity appears to be a precursor for employee engagement, as well as the likelihood of an employee recommending their workplace to others.

Other increasingly important issues identified by Qualtrics include a call to creat measurable and actionable DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiatives, and a drive to create a healthy workplace culture that includes clear space to take a sick day, or sign out for a vacation. 

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2022 Employee Experience Trends – Qualtrics

Secret Meaning in Fail Tweets

People share a lot on social media. A. Lot.  

In fact, they’re sharing more than they may think. Putting all those comments out there on the internet provides fodder for researchers to do a little psychological analysis. 

So for example, a team from Trier University published a study based on tweets made by 760 entrepreneurs who experienced failure. To create their Twitter analysis, they looked at, on average, 7,066 words before failure, 675 words during failure, and 5523 words after failure. That’s words-per-entrepreneur.

The resulting analysis holds good news and bad news.  

On the troubling side, the tweets after failure were less future-oriented and used more words associated with death. 

The death issue might not be so ominous, though, as researchers suggest this is a common feature of human communication during grief. After failure, entrepreneurs also tweet more about money, become more achievement-driven and show signs of increased self-assurance. All in, the research team suggests that personal growth has occurred. 

Randomly (and somewhat oddly): After failure, an entrepreneur’s language in tweets also becomes more formal, but uses less punctuation.  

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How Does Entrepreneurial Failure Change an Entrepreneur’s Digital Identity? Evidence from Twitter Data – Christian Fisch & Jörn H. Block, Journal of Business Venturing

Weed Use & Business Ideas

Researchers tested a seemingly intuitive theory about the relationship between pot use and business ideas. To be precise, the theory they tested was “That cannabis users generate new venture ideas that are more original, but less feasible, compared to non-users.”

You may have already entertained the same theory.  

Turns out, there’s measurable evidence that suggests the theory is true and it was published this spring in The Journal of Business Venturing. Using a sample of 254 entrepreneurs, “cannabis users” were defined as entrepreneurs who used the substance at least twice in the past month, and more than five times cumulatively. As an initial result, 120 entrepreneurs were identified as cannabis users. They were compared to134 non-using entrepreneurs. 

The business venture ideas of each entrepreneur were then rated based on originality and feasibility. In general, researchers found that cannabis users had more creative ideas, but those ideas were generally less feasible. In the cannabis-using entrepreneurial community, original-but-impossible ideas abound. 

That said, the researchers also identified some mitigating factors. For example, the impact of extensive entrepreneurship experience in cannabis users tended to moderate the originality of ideas, and increase feasibility. 

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Head in the Clouds? Cannabis Users’ Creativity in New Venture Ideation Depends on Their Entrepreneurial Passion and Experience – Benjamin J. Warnick, Alexander S. Kier, Emily M. LaFrance, & Carrie Cuttler, The Journal of Business Venturing