Conscientiousness makes work and life run a lot more smoothly: it’s time to value it more.

If you want to be successful at work, there is one trait that you need above all others. It isn’t creativity, or emotional intelligence, or people ski(...)

Stanford University. Its ambitious female MBA students gathered together to have the hard skin rubbed off their heels and their nails painted cerise and blue, while at the same time being told by McKinsey how great it would be to work for the world’s most formidable management consultancy.

At Stanford business school, one of the hardest to get into in the world, the female MBA students are hot property. Everyone wants to hire them. The p(...)

There is a catch to Sir Richard’s plan –  staff will only take time off when they “feel a hundred per cent comfortable that they and their team are up to date on every project”. Photograph: Rob Kim/Getty Images

Imagine working for an employer who treated you like a grown-up and let you take as much holiday time as you liked. Wouldn’t that be lovely?This is th(...)

“In my intake at JPMorgan in the 1980s there was no race to the door by the smartest. Out of a group of 10 the two who quit after the first two years weren’t so much the brightest as the misfits – we were the ones who shouldn’t have been hired in the first place.” Photograph: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

Last week I talked to a graduate who had just started working for one of the most prestigious employers in the world. “How’s it going?” I asked him. H(...)

The two things that people will always be better at than machines are motivating others and coming up with original ideas. Photograph: Getty Images

Will McKinsey exist in 50 years’ time? This question has lodged itself in my mind after reading a piece in the firm’s magazine that tells us what b(...)

Being in the library at opening time is only cool if you’ve been up all night. Photograph: Getty Images

When I arrived at university in 1978 I was driven by my mother in an orange Citroën Dyane with a cardboard trunk containing a few books and my Patti S(...)

A Moleskine notebook: ‘Electronic diaries are slowcoaches compared with the speedy paper version.’ Photograph: Daneil Rodriguez/

Last week I fell in love all over again with my purple Moleskine diary. For a while over the summer I’d joined the modern age and started organising m(...)

As eBay clearly demonstrates, consumers are sometimes irrational. The data show auctions with an opening bid of 99p get buyers so excited they usually end up bidding the price up more than when the starting bid is higher. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Matt is a 17-year-old schoolboy who in the past couple of months has spent more than £600 on tickets to Glastonbury, Reading and assorted other pop fe(...)

Earlier this summer the New York Times carried a front-page story about a speech Barack Obama had given on US foreign policy with a headline referring to his “Cautious Reponse to World Crisis”.

In a recent column about Sheryl Sandberg, I spelt her first name with a C. I have no idea why I did this, but whatever the reason, having written “Che(...)

Emailing when away, I reasoned, is inevitable, mildly useful, and fine so long as you use the drug in moderation, says Lucy Kellaway.

On most things about working life, most people agree. Diversity is good; bankers’ bonuses are bad; creativity is good, box ticking is bad, and so on.B(...)