Psychology

How Behavioral Economics is Killing Innovation

When my daughter Maya was in middle school, she decided to repeat a behavioral economics experiment featured in Dan Ariely’s book Predictably Irrational for her science project. In her experiment, she offered participants from the control group two options. Facebook access, she suggested, was going to cost money. It would cost $5 a month to access Facebook through your phone only, and ...

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We Overvalue Knowledge and Undervalue Ignorance

We value knowledge and certainty, and disdain ignorance and doubt. Ignorant is an adjective of derision. Perhaps we over-value knowledge and underestimate the power of ignorance; or should I say the awareness of ignorance. Why is this? Because knowledge can breed certainty, hubris and closed minds. We need to be open-minded and even doubtful about our knowledge because what was ...

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Cognitive Bias is an Innovation Killer

I recently wrote about Cognitive Diversity, and today I reflect on Cognitive Bias, the other side of the same coin. I think (subconsciously biased) therefore I am (subconsciously biased). Psychologists generally agree that 90% of our decision making is driven by the subconscious. In other words, only 10% of the time are we actively (consciously) making decisions. The subconscious mind ...

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Reduce Fear to Release Potential

Fear is a bigger factor in organizational life than we like to admit, and it works against many of the best-practices that are espoused by leaders and their gurus. Reduce fear, and a lot of good things can happen. To start with, I’ve found that senior people often have no idea how intimidated they make people feel (I’m not talking ...

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Are other peoples’ fears the cause of your frustration?

I was working with a pharmaceutical distribution business that needed to innovate, and fast. Drugs were coming off-patent, and industry forces were going to change who made money and how. The MD was worried. He was also frustrated that his senior managers, who he described as excellent operations people, were failing to come up with innovative responses to the new ...

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Cognitive Diversity is the DNA of Innovation

Katrina Sherrerd, CEO of Research Affiliates, poses an interesting challenge, “Achieving cognitive diversity is easier said than done. We all have a neurobiological preference for comfort and familiarity over discomfort and the unknown. Human nature inclines us toward people and ideas that confirm and reflect our views. Only when we resist and suppress our instincts can we build teams of ...

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Creating a Movement that Drives Transformational Change

Recently I had the opportunity to interview Greg Satell, author of the new book Cascades: How to Create a Movement that Drives Transformational Change. Greg Satell is a bestselling author, speaker and adviser, who frequently contributes to Innovation Excellence, Harvard Business Review, Inc. and other A-list publications. His first book, MAPPING INNOVATION, was chosen as one of the best business ...

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Why Early Google and Facebook Employees Are Rallying to Protect Kids from Social Media

Algorithms are driving behaviors that may very well be inadvertently targeting society’s most vulnerable, and the Social Media obsession may be harming children in ways that we are just beginning to understand. Social media is one of those topics that divides people. Some see it as oxygen–they can’t live without it–and others see it as Sarin gas–not wanting to get ...

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