While today’s business world is dominated by technology and data analysis, award-winning financial journalist and anthropology PhD Gillian Tett advocates thinking like an anthropologist to better understand consumer behavior, markets, and organizations to address some of society’s most urgent challenges.
Amid severe digital disruption, economic upheaval, and political flux, how can we make sense of the world? Leaders today typically look for answers in economic models, Big Data, or artificial intelligence platforms. Gillian Tett points to anthropology—the study of human culture. Anthropologists learn to get inside the minds of other people, helping them not only to understand other cultures but also to appraise their own environment with fresh perspective as an insider-outsider, gaining lateral vision.
Today, anthropologists are more likely to study Amazon warehouses than remote Amazon tribes; they have done research into institutions and companies such as General Motors, Nestlé, Intel, and more, shedding light on practical questions such as how internet users really define themselves; why corporate projects fail; why bank traders miscalculate losses; how companies sell products like pet food and pensions; why pandemic policies succeed (or not). Anthropology makes the familiar seem unfamiliar and vice versa, giving us badly needed three-dimensional perspective in a world where many executives are plagued by tunnel vision, especially in fields like finance and technology.
“Fascinating and surprising” (Fareed Zararia, CNN), Anthro-Vision offers a revolutionary new way for understanding the behavior of organizations, individuals, and markets in today’s ever-evolving world.
Gillian Tett chairs the editorial board, US, for the Financial Times and writes columns for the world’s leading newspaper covering finance, business, and the political economy. She has been named British Journalist of the Year, Columnist of the Year, and Business Journalist of the Year in the UK and won two Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing awards in the US. She speaks regularly at conferences around the world on finance and global markets and has a PhD in social anthropology from Cambridge University. Tett is the author of Saving the Sun: How Wall Street Mavericks Shook Up Japan’s Financial World and Made Billions, Fool’s Gold: The Inside Story of J.P. Morgan and How Wall St. Greed Corrupted Its Bold Dream and Created a Financial Catastrophe, and The Silo Effect: The Peril of Expertise and the Promise of Breaking Down Barriers.