The Art of Thinking Independently Together

The Art of Thinking Independently Together

The word "diversity" is thrown around in corporate circles on a regular basis, but like many such common corporate words (like "innovation", "synergy", "culture", or "strategy") the word itself doesn't carry a common meaning and so it loses a great deal of its power. Sometimes people mean diversity in terms of race, heritage, or origin. Sometimes it means diversity in terms of gender. Rarely does it meet the standard of diversity that I think it needs to. The most important fact about American liberty is that it has never been a single idea, but a set of different and even contrary traditions in creative tension with one another. This diversity of libertarian ideas has created a culture of freedom which is more open and expansive than any unitary tradition alone could possibly be. David Hackett Fischer While the quote above is focused on an American concept the foundation of the quote is universal. Diversity is a broad concept that requires leaders to...
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Loss Aversion and the Importance of Changing Your Lens

Loss Aversion and the Importance of Changing Your Lens

There is a concept called Loss Aversion that suggests that we hate losing exactly twice as much as we love winning.  That concept drives our behaviour in predictable ways and is a key driver for our aversion to failure in our work.  For that same reason I think it is twice as important to focus on areas of challenge with the right lens in order to accept our failures early and maximize our potential for success long term. In the late 1970's there was a study done by psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky that demonstrates the loss aversion phenomenon. In the first experiment they asked students to choose between two bets: a bet with 100% chance of winning $3,000 a bet  with an 80% chance of winning $4,000 and a 20% chance of winning nothing In this experiment they found that 80% of the students would choose the $3,000 bet even though the second bet had a higher expected payoff.  (Bet 1 expected payoff...
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This Makes You… Think?

This Makes You… Think?

I came across this graffiti painted on the back wall of a building at Yonge and Greenfield in Toronto and I was drawn to it instantly.  Most tagging mostly makes me angry at the gall of people who violate the property rights of others, but this one was different - it had a message. If you can't read it clearly in the picture, the tag reads: THIS MAKES YOU... (  ) ANGRY (  ) UPSET ($) THINK I've shown this to a few people and I find it interesting the mix of reactions I've received ranging from "Yah so?" to "Wow that's deep", but I wanted to share my thoughts on it as it relates to the business world. So often in our work lives we do things the right way - we do things to be respectful of others opinions, to not rock the boat, to keep our heads down and to hold true to what we think people expect of us. And then one day you'll run across...
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