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Happy April everyone!

This month I am celebrating securing £2 million for The Inclusion Initiative at the London School of Economics to study the link between diversity and productivity, alongside brilliant researchers at LSE, IFS, UCL, Warwick and Sheffield (more information here). I am very excited to see what the next 3 years will bring….

But now back to April. I have fully recovered from surgery, and have pretty much caught up on my to-do list (famous last words!). I also am making good use of timed emails – where I send emails to people timed for a period I am offline so I don’t get caught in ping-pong messaging: one of my own personal time sinkers.

In this newsletter, I cover what else has been occupying me timewise, along with highlighting the thought leadership I put out there which I am most proud of. As always, I hope to earn the privilege of your time with this newsletter, so please send feedback on content you would like to see more of, and also the things that you find too dull.


think big news

I can now confirm I will be talking Think Big at the LSE festival on June 13th at 12pm. Want to know how to future-proof your career? Why not join me virtually there? You can register free here.

Think Big also features in week 8 of my virtual course (register here).

Finally, I am super excited to say that Think Big will launch in China in October. I am in the midst of organising the book launch, so please watch this space ☺


did somebody say thought leadership..?

And here are my picks of the other thought leadership I have been putting out there this month:

  • Moonshot News was one of the outlets that covered the £2million ESRC grant I am PI for on diversity and productivity | Read here

  • Age Gaps: The Relationship Taboo that won’t die: interviewed for BBC | Read here

  • The Great Resignation Must Lead to more inclusive workplace: written for Elite Business | Read here

  • 'I was absolutely quaking': how to ask your boss for a pay rise – and get it: Written for The Telegraph | Read here

books, books, and more books!

I am STILL managing to read MORE than THREE books a week. My public announcement to y’all is working very well as a commitment device. And I am always open to recommendations so please send them.

My first pick was inspired by work by my colleague Teresa Almeida who suggested that we should take humour seriously as a motivator at work. This prompted me to read Humour Seriously by Aaker and Bagdonas which does a pretty awesome job of summarising the evidence on this topic.

There is a rather compelling literature to suggest we are born smiling and laughing, and the amount we do so goes off a cliff when we enter the labour force. Yes, we get very serious when we get a job. And we don’t see substantial increases in laughter, humour, and smiling until we retire. Paradoxically, a light heart and working with humour have been shown to enhance productivity. Right now, the world has serious challenges to reckon with – a post-COVID recovery, fourth industrial revolution, discrimination, populism … it’s important you allow time for levity once in a while. Why not do it on the job?

I have also read this month The Painful Truth by Monty Lyman. This book outlines the science of why we hurt and how we heal. It offers explanations for mysterious back pain, the placebo effect and more. It has motivated me to think about incorporating pain into my work at TII at the LSE. Watch this space.

I have continued with my immersion of fiction written by Matt Haig. This month I became enchanted by The Radleys. I LOVED it and them. Reminded me of being a kid and vampire obsessed. 🧛🏻‍♀️


This month we will be giving away your choice of my three reads over on Instagram. If you want to get in the raffle just follow me @profgracelordan 📱

That’s it for April. As always, I hope I have earned the privilege of your reading time!

Wishing you the happiest of days wherever you are on this beautiful planet,



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