Posts in category: Human Nature

Society slow to respond to threats

Society slow to respond to threats

These are three topical sustainability issues at the moment: Coffee pods Bottled (tap) water Plastic carrier bags There’s been frequent articles about how much indestructible waste the consumption of these items generate. Gosh even celebrities are getting...
Millennials lack social skills

Millennials lack social skills

I have often heard this assertion. Always from an older person. And across cultural and professional strata. This easy dismissal may seem like an immediately obvious truism. This may however, be judgement from a position of ignorance; with a dash of change anxiety. We...
Ideals vs perfectionism

Ideals vs perfectionism

I have on a few occasions heard this said with derision and disdain: “Ideals (and values) just hold us back.” I think a lot of the time this is because they have confused Ideals with Perfectionism. Ideals give us a grand vision to strive towards. There is no illusion...
Inclusiveness and mental dexterity

Inclusiveness and mental dexterity

Practising inclusiveness keeps our brains flexible and supple; ready to meet new challenges more effectively and constructively. Inclusiveness requires that we maintain: A temporary suspension of immediate judgement and categorisation. We give ourselves the permission...
Indicating and (maybe) not turning

Indicating and (maybe) not turning

If you drive, you would be familiar with the practice of waiting for a driver indicating to change lanes or turn to actually execute the move. We wait because sometimes, an indicating driver doesn’t make the move in spite of the indicator. People don’t always do what...
On-trend is myopic

On-trend is myopic

Being on-trend may be cool and helps us to fit in. But it does limit our outlook. The nature of being trendy is to be exclusionary. Being on-trend means we are into the stuff that is popular right now, and not be into everything else. If we are not careful (ie not...
No one succeeds on their own

No one succeeds on their own

We (and the media) often celebrate a loud and charismatic leader as The One championing a movement. We forget the masses of behind-the-scenes individuals that enable this one leader’s success. We as a society have an unhealthy obsession with the idea of The One. We...
Optimal anxiety

Optimal anxiety

I found this in one of my notebooks recently. Basically, a level of anxiety is needed for us to perform at our best. Hence “Optimal Anxiety.” Too much comfort will keep us stuck. Too much anxiety — ie abject terror — will trigger our fight or flight...
Stop nagging already

Stop nagging already

Nagging has probably existed since humans developed speech. It is unpleasant and never productive. Being essentially a one-sided activity, it does nothing for relationship building. In some cases it can be actively counter-productive. SO why is Microsoft doing it?...
Leadership fishtanks

Leadership fishtanks

A poor leader is like this fishtank design. It is all about surface showy bits designed to draw attention to the tank itself, detracting from the content within. A good leader is like this design. Strong, simple, and unadorned. The focus is on the content of the tank,...
Social media is not advertising

Social media is not advertising

Buying/selling/using social media engagement is not the same as buying/selling/using advertising. Here are seven ways the two are different: Social media takes a longer period of time to attract interest and attention. People have to encounter a social media campaign...

Empathy in customer service

Expressing genuine concern and empathy for the customer’s predicament helps. It does not take much to say “That sounds really unpleasant. I’m sorry you had to experience that.” When we express empathy, most people’s gut reaction (at least...
Get Sh*t Done!

Get Sh*t Done!

Read Niall Harbison’s Get Sh*t Done!: From Spare Room to Boardroom in 1,000 Days Bought it late one night, fell asleep reading it. Highly readable. Full of wisdom and insights from real hands-on experience. One key takeaway: We are crippled by the fear of...
Let them win

Let them win

Some people just need to win. They are defensive, touchy, fearful, controlling. They need to justify everything in their favour; to make everyone else wrong. And to make sure that everyone knows they are right. You know what? Most of the time, it is ok to just let...
If we were our own client

If we were our own client

Do you treat others better than you treat yourself? Do you forgive others more easily, even as you demand more from yourself? Do you put off doing something that needed doing because you didn’t feel like it?But if your clients were to request the same thing...
What drives a closed mind?

What drives a closed mind?

What would compel someone to be so rigid, inflexible and exclusive with their thinking that they end up disrupting discussions and alienating themselves from groups? I noticed these unhelpful and disruptive behaviours from someone in a group ideation session recently...
Sparse info; more weight?

Sparse info; more weight?

Hypothesis: the less information we have about a place for example, the more weight we may tend to give it that information. In other words, do we tend to place more value on sparse information? When I was leaving Berlin for Vienna recently, a “helpful” and friendly...
Viennese traffic lights

Viennese traffic lights

I love these fun pedestrian traffic lights in Vienna. There are many opportunities to add whimsy and fun to our everyday environment – virtual or real – without compromising usability or stomping on the user experience. These small touches add richness to...
Un-extraordinary Vertu

Un-extraordinary Vertu

Vertu may be for extraordinary people but this ad of theirs at Berlin Tegel airport was definitely sub-ordinary. Actually rather poor. The composition is amateurish. The layout looks like it had been assembled last-minute with elements spread mechanically, evenly and...
Live your dream: a tableau

Live your dream: a tableau

This shop window in Oslo caught my eye one evening in Oslo. (The “Live Your Dream” text was actually stencilled on the shutter.) “Live your dreams” is so easy to say it has become a meaningless insipid throwaway. It is even more hollow and fake...
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