CEBMa Newsletter Spring 2016

Dear reader

Welcome to our Spring 2016 newsletter. It has been far too long since the last newsletter - for which our apologies - but it it seems like evidence-based management is slowly catching on, so we have been extremely busy. In this issue our regular column-writers take you to the fascinating world of Absenteeism and Customer Ratings. In addition, we have two interviews, a workshop report, and a CAT of the month.

And, hey, we have a new membership model!

Happy reading!

Eric Barends, Managing Director

Denise Rousseau, Chair, Academic Board

Join our workshop: Talent Management – What’s the Evidence?

Join our workshop at the Irish Management Institute. In this workshop, Rob Briner and Eric Barends put talent management under the microscope. They challenge some of the traditional thinking behind talent management shaped almost 20 years ago by The War for Talent – including the idea that potential can readily be identified in complex roles and that the best organisations have the best people.

Where: IMI Conference Centre, Dublin, Ireland

When: 28th April 2016 - 3pm to 5pm

Read more here >>

A Chat With EBMgt Pioneer Tony Kovner

Tony Kovner, professor at NYU Wagner and founding member of CEBMa, was one of the first to apply the principles of EBP to management. He is currently working on a second edition of his best selling book 'Evidence-Based Management in Healthcare'.

Tony, how did you get involved in evidence-based practice?

I was an early admirer of Sackett who introduced  evidence-based medicine in the early 90s. This combined with my study and practice in non-profit hospital governance, moved me to conclude that decisions in non-profit hospitals must be made in a better way.

Together with Jeff Elton and John Billings, I published an advocacy piece in summer 2000. We concluded that “Healthcare providers generally underinvest in management support, both in evaluating best practices within the organization and in learning from past strategic interventions." We suggested that evidence-based management cooperatives might be a means to change this trend.

Read the full interview with Tony here >>

CEBMa Has A New Membership Model

As CEBMa’s activities and outreach continue to expand, we have revised our membership model and now have created several tiers of membership. These new tiers promote the development of EBMgt competencies and recognize those who have made a contribution to EBMgt practice. 


Read more about our new membership model here >>

First Evidence-Based Banking Forum at the London School of Economics

With the support of CEBMa the first Evidence-Based Banking Forum was held at the London School of Economics. Attendees from banks including Credit Suisse, Santander, Banco do Brasil, HSBC and BNP Paribas, gathered to learn more about Evidence-Based Management, to share their experiences and to discuss how to make the Banks work better.

The event was kicked off by CEBMa's Rob Briner and Eric Barends. Rob and Eric gave a captivating talk on the origins and the principles of Evidence-Based Management which lead to a great many “light bulb moments” for attendees new to the subject.

Jyotsna Chandrani (a senior change manager at HSBC) provided an thoughtful but passionate talk on the need for an evidence-based approach in the banks. This struck a chord with everyone attending including bankers, consultants and academics.

Read the full report here >>

    New Publication

The Role of Scientific Findings

in Evidence-Based HR

by Rob Briner and Eric Barends

People & Strategy, 2016, Vol 39 (2), p16-20

Download the paper here

CEBMa Congratulates New Group of Professional Members

In February a group of 13 NYU students have completed the course "Evidence Based Management". This course aims to develop skills such as critical thinking and reasoning; gathering of the best available evidence; critical appraisal of evidence; and applying evidence of different forms to decision-making. By successfully completing the course they meet the requirements for a professional membership of CEBMa.

Lisa, William, Alicia, Carl, Daaim, Anu, Evan, Jacob, Laura, PJ, Claire, Paulina and Rachel, on behalf of all of us at CEBMa: congratulations!

Join our EBMgt Masterclass at the ANU Research School of Management

When: June 7th, 9:00am - 4:30pm

Where: Allan Barton Forum, ANU College of Business and Economics, Canberra, Australia


Read more here  >>

What's the Evidence For ... Absence Management?

According to the latest CIPD Absence Management Survey Report, most organizations have a written absence management policy. Return-to-work interviews and trigger mechanisms to review attendance are the most widely used methods of managing absence. But how evidence-based are these interventions? Read Rob Briner's column to find out...

When it comes to managing absence data isn't enough. We also need to know why people are absent

You can only solve problems if there is a real and specific problem to solve. As with many obvious things it remains hidden in plain sight and is thus routinely ignored. Costly and time-consuming HR initiatives are rolled out with great gusto long before we have clear evidence of the nature and importance of the problem we are trying to fix. This approach produces a cookbook full of recipes for failure.

At first sight absence appears to be simple to measure, understand and manage. Dig a bit deeper and it gets rather more complicated.

Continue reading Rob's column here >>


CEBMa Welcomes Two New Academic Board Members

CEBMa is happy (and proud!) to announce two new members of its academic board: Amy Edmondson, Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard University Business School, and Hannah Rothstein, Professor at Baruch College and Editor in Chief of Research Synthesis Methods.

An 'Evidence-Based' Lean Start Up.

In the autumn of 2015, CEBMa was approached by Manhad Narula and James Harringman, two young entrepreneurs who had a business idea for a mobile application to alleviate employees’ financial stress. They asked CEBMa to undertake a rapid evidence assessment (REA) to understand what is known in the scientific literature about the relationship between financial distress and employee performance. We had an interview with both entrepreneurs to find out why they took this rather unconventional approach. 

Manhad and James, could you briefly explain what your business idea is?

Our hypothesis was that employees who are worried about money are less productive and more likely to miss a day of work. There is a large group of low income employees who have limited access to financial services offered by banks, and therefore turn to loan sharks and pawnbrokers for a loan. By providing this group credit through a personalized financial tool that is funded by their employer, it will have an indirect positive effect on absenteeism, performance and other key metrics. 

Why did you take an evidence-based approach to test your hypothesis?

We are a start up in a very new industry. Traditional measures of success have yet to be realized, so there is not much ‘experiential’ evidence on the effect of financial tools on business outcomes such as absenteeism and performance. Therefore, we turned to an evidence based approach to get a sense of what, if any, research existed in this area.



CEBMa now has a page on LinkedIn?

 You can have a look here >>

Leaders Lunch: Getting Started With Evidence Based HR

Big data, evidence-based, predictive analytics, today these terms are all over the place. Although an increasing group of managers and business leaders rely on scientific evidence, critical thinking and data analyses to make decisions, evidence-based management is still perceived by many as too time-consuming, narrow or impractical.

For this reason CEBMa fellow Edward Vanhoutte from Balance HR came up with the idea to organize a Leaders Lunch where evidence-based HR experts such as Cedric Velghe and Rob Briner and a group of HR leaders get together to discuss how to getting started with evidence-based HR. 

The lunch was held on February 9th in a Brussels' jazz club, and was attended by more then 60 HR leaders. You can find the photo's and presentations here.

Given this succes CEBMa decided to organize a similar event in collaboration with the Leadership and Talent Institute at Dublin City University Business School. This event will be held on 

Thursday, 28th April 2016 at 6:30pm, DCU Business School in Dublin

 You can find out more and register here >>

Sorry, Uber: Customer service ratings cannot replace managers. 

In his Fortune column Jeffrey Pfeffer, founding member of CEBMa’s, takes an evidence-based look at customer service ratings. His conclusion: Real managers can do things that ratings cannot.

The so-called “gig” economy is mostly filled with companies that have few to no employees who actually provide the companies’ primary services. Full-time employees at companies such as Uber, Airbnb, Postmates, Taskrabbit, and Doordash provide public relations and legal services, marketing, and of course the technical development and maintenance of the software platforms that make the in-home chefs, rides, or renting accommodations possible.

These platform-as-business-model enterprises raise an interesting question: If the people who provide the core services are independent contractors, and if these independent contractors have no supervisors or bosses, how are they managed so the companies can deliver the high quality service necessary to build a good reputation and strong customer retention? 

Continue reading Jeff's column here >>

CAT Of The Month: Do people who smile more in interviews have better chances of getting hired? 

A CAT (Critically Appraised Topic) question can be very simple and straightforward, but nevertheless important. For instance, interviews and who got what job how, is the most talked about subject on many campuses right now. Large number of students are getting ready to either get internships or full time jobs this summer. It is widely believed giving your best smile during a job interview increases your chances of getting hired? NYU student Anu Sharma had a look at the scientific evidence for this assumption.

You can download Anu's CAT here >> 

Missed a past newsletter? Find it here >>


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