Posts in category: Human Nature

Emotional obstacles

“Most situations are simple – many are just emotionally difficult to act upon.” — Timothy Ferriss. Doesn’t this just hit the nail on the head?! How often have we procrastinated not because the task at hand was hard, but because we were somehow emotionally...
Dehydrating complex situations

Dehydrating complex situations

(Image from www.hungryharps.com) I love how simple hot water can instantly turn a dusty pile of crumbs and crinkled shreds into yummy miso soup. It is quite amazing how a complex mixture of ingredients, flavours and textures can be reduced into the essence of soup by...

What price for business success

Most of us share an innate sense of right and wrong, empathy with, and consideration for others. These are the fundamental traits we have evolved to engender stable, cohesive societies. We also tend to act more humanely as individuals than we do as a group, especially...

Beliefs and care factor

Our beliefs about a group of people, like our customers for example, can enhance or retard our ability to understand and empathise with them, and consequently how we value and treat them. Unquestioned beliefs silently become unconscious behaviours. Shared beliefs can...
Spotting truth amongst the lies

Spotting truth amongst the lies

This blog post is inspired by Thorin Klosowski’s Lifehacker article: How to Spot Truth in the Sea of Lies, Rumors, and Myths on the Internet. “The internet is full of crap … Separating truth from fiction is equal parts a mental battle and diligent...

Copyright and innovation

If copyright is dead, will people still make cool stuff? Why do we do anything anyway? Is this just a question of reward –(copyright being a means to better secure potential rewards)? Reasons I would do something: Intrinsic satisfaction. Tangible rewards like money or...
Businesses as people

Businesses as people

(Image from Cheezburger.com) If businesses want to be treated as people, then they must also be accountable as people. A person who engages in sociopathic or illegal activities is accountable to society for those behaviours, and may be subject to medical treatments or...

The myth of trying to change people

One of the recurring sources of frustration in life seems to be our desire to change other people, and the futility of all such attempts. Changing people when they don’t want to change is like herding cats. Everyone involved ends up being frustrated (and sometimes...

Social drives evolution from within

Social connectivity (enabled by social media and 21st century global communications) disrupts silos and hierarchies. Social nets are woven through specialisation silos, over org charts, across geographically and socio-economically dispersed people. It is the mechanism...

Give people control, and they make better decisions

Having control “protects a person from spotting false patterns that aren’t there, from believing in conspiracies and from developing superstitions.” Identifying “coherent and meaningful relationships between things we observe” helps us parse the past and predict the...

Creativity and useless feedback

The Angry Aussie had an interesting post on Unsolicited Advice. The two points that stood out for me were: Creativity is innate. It is personal and driven from within. “It is extremely rare that any worthwhile act of creation is triggered by someone telling you what...
Spot and stop mistakes

Spot and stop mistakes

Many of us would have come across this cringe-inducing Mr Bean-esque news item by now: “an octogenarian neighbor of the church, who, noticing the damage to the painting, took it upon herself to restore the painting “with good intentions” but “without...

Doubt and advocacy

A “Northwestern University [study has] found that when people’s confidence in their beliefs is shaken, they become stronger advocates for those beliefs.” In other words, the more we challenge someone’s beliefs (even with observable and provable facts to the contrary),...
On the continuum of Rational and Intuitive

On the continuum of Rational and Intuitive

Consider the following continuum: (A)s rely primarily on logic (sometimes black and white thinking) and precedence to drive their decision making. They may leverage some level of intuition occasionally, but prefer to fall back on (or retrospectively create) a...

Agreement vs alignment

On consensus and collective decision making, Dale Hunter in her book The Art of Facilitation said: “voting, majority or otherwise, is not a recommended way of reaching a decision in a facilitated group. A more potent version of agreement is alignment…” The difference...
Good intention; not-quite-there execution

Good intention; not-quite-there execution

“Wouldn’t it be great for our customers to know more about our staff as real people?” said the boss of a funeral parlour. “Yes!” said everyone else. They began collecting stories. They spent weeks extracting and fine-tuning the most interesting line or two about...

The more we can see, the less we choose to see

We are experiencing a never-before-seen disconnect at the moment; between our ability to simultaneously access vast amounts of information and cocoon ourselves within limited bubbles of realities. Far from ushering an era of mass enlightenment and awareness, the...

Control in the hands of the few

Henry Kissinger once said: Who controls the food supplycontrols the people; who controls the energycan control whole continents; who controls the moneycan control the world. We know that business has a trend towards consolidation over time. Corporations absorb each...

The Internet is not self-explanatory

“The Internet is not self-explanatory, even for young people.” Andrew McLemore wrote in Wanted: 21st Century Knowledge about how college students did not know where their teacher got multimedia content like “a TED video, a multimedia presentation on...
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