Robert Cialdini, Theodore Kinni

We not only assign undue levels of importance to whatever captures our attention at a certain point in time, but also assign causality to it.

Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg

What I notice when I work with […] companies applying those [Six Sigma, TRIZ, 5 Whys, root cause analysis] was those tools tend to make you dig deeper into the first understanding of the problem we have. […] That they kind of get caught by the details. That, in a way, is a bad way to work on problems because it really assumes that there’s … [ Read more ]

Stuart Crainer

People have an urge to overcomplicate and to reinvent. This is especially true in the realm of management thinking, where ideas are perpetually relabeled and recycled.

Albert Einstein

Conventional wisdom is the source of many problems and is ill-suited to solving them.

Michael Lewis

The question is why, having identified these cognitive illusions or whatever you want to call them, they persist. We don’t pay more attention to them. […] It’s very hard for a person to self correct. What you can do, Amos [Tversky] would say, is change your environment in which you make decisions, so people are more likely to point out to you if you’re making … [ Read more ]

Mark Chussil

We narrow our decision-making frame when we believe we know what the future will look like. We implicitly assert that everything is locked in except for what we will do, and so we ask this simple, efficient question: “What should we do?”

Should asks people to spot and advocate the one right decision. It treats decision making as a debate. It drives toward closure. We need … [ Read more ]

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought.

Daniel Kahneman

Intuition is very good — provided that you have [first] gone through the exercise of systematically and independently evaluating, the constituents of the problem. Then when you close your eyes and generate an intuitive, comprehensive image of the case, you will actually add information.

Daniel Kahneman

Much of human error is not even attributable to a systematic cause, but to “noise.” When people think about error, we tend to think about biases. […] But in fact, a lot of the errors that people make is simply noise, in the sense that it’s random, unpredictable, it cannot be explained.

Adam Grant

We have a much better memory for incomplete than complete tasks. The moment I hit send on that draft, it’s out of my mind, whereas when I leave it open, then I’m constantly processing it. I’m seeing new possibilities.

Erin Meyer

At a deep level, no matter where we come from, we are driven by common physiological and psychological needs and motivations. Yet the culture in which we grow up in has a significant bearing on the ways we see communication patterns as effective or undesirable, to find certain arguments persuasive or lacking merit, to consider certain ways of making decisions or measuring time “natural” or … [ Read more ]

Peter Drucker

Psychology tells us that the one sure way to shut off all perception is to flood the senses with stimuli. That’s why the manager with reams of computer output on his desk is hopelessly uninformed. That’s why it’s so important to exploit the computer’s ability to give us only the information we want—nothing else. The question we must ask is not, “How many figures can … [ Read more ]

Peter Drucker

We cannot put on the computer what we cannot quantify. And we cannot quantify what we cannot define. Many of the important things, the subjective things, are in this category. To know something, to really understand something important, one must look at it from 16 different angles. People are perceptually slow, and there is no shortcut to understanding; it takes a great deal of time. … [ Read more ]

James Guszcza, Bryan Richardson, Daniel Kahneman

In Thinking, Fast and Slow, the Nobel Prize-winning founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman … writes of two fictitious mental processes that he calls System 1 (“thinking fast”) and System 2 (“thinking slow”). System 1 mental operations are rapid and automatic; they are biased toward belief and confirmation rather than analysis and skepticism; they tend to jump to conclusions and infer causal relations based on … [ Read more ]

Robert Lawrence Kuhn

Because we self-select sites we visit, the Internet pushes people to reinforce their own preconceived ideas and opinions, such that groups solidify more internally due to the attractive forces of common belief but fragment more externally due to the repulsive forces of opposing belief. This mental malignancy metastasizes in two ways: less diversity within groups and more alienation between groups.

Freek Vermeulen

When something seems too good to be true, it usually is. And management techniques, practices, and strategies are no different. When you read a business book or attend a presentation on a particular management practice, it is a good habit to explicitly ask, “What might it not be good for?” When might it not work; what could be its drawbacks?

[…] There is a second … [ Read more ]

Michael E. Raynor

The next time someone offers you advice, ask yourself these two questions: Can I imagine the opposite ever making sense, and will I know if I’ve acted on it? If the answer to either one is “no,” you’re at grave risk of being led astray.

Michael E. Raynor

Learning something that is both new and true seems to be extraordinarily difficult only when it is extraordinarily important.
In the words of one commentator, our rational mind is a mouse riding, and attempting to steer, the elephant that is our emotions. Since that elephant, even when entirely even-tempered, can wreak havoc with our rational intent, we must—at the risk of getting all new … [ Read more ]

Michael E. Raynor

If deductive reasoning were all it ever took to reach a correct conclusion, there would be far fewer bad decisions. The problem is, far too often the facts are either ambiguous or incomplete in ways we cannot see until it is too late. When we apply reason to unwittingly incorrect or unknowingly under-specified premises, we end up with precise, convincing, and completely wrong conclusions. It’s … [ Read more ]

Pete Hamill

As human beings we love nothing more than being right, and […] when we are right, we are generally making someone else wrong. True humility is, at least in part, being able to see one’s own assessments as assessments, rather than believing them to be truths.