‘You’ve bought it now. The money’s gone.’ That snarky comment made by thousands of parents (mine included) to their reckless child encapsulates the meaning of sunk cost. Once you met the cost, it’s gone: sunk. You’ve sunk it into the investment for good or for ill.
This, then, could be the shortest Big Ideas article yet. Sunk Cost is a familiar and easy concept.
Continue reading Sunk Cost and the Sunk Cost Fallacy
You’re an Entrepreneur. Or you’re a Product Manager charged with launching a new product. But how can you know if your new product or service idea is a good one? How can you minimise the risk of an expensive flop? The answer is to build a Minimum Viable Product – an MVP.
Like some of the best of our Big Ideas, a Minimum Viable Product is exactly what its name suggests. It is the minimum product you could create that is viable in terms of serving its primary purpose. So, let’s put some detail on that minimum viable explanation.
Continue reading Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
It is a cliché to assert that technology is ubiquitous in the workplace. Yesterday’s innovations will eventually become today’s commonplace tools. So, we all live with and easily manage technology our great grandparents would have found strange and maybe alarming. But some of us are comfortable with the very latest creations – those that will only be deeply familiar to the coming generations. And we might describe these people as having a high TQ: a high Technology Quotient.
The Big Idea, ‘Technology Quotient’ takes its inspiration from IQ, Intelligence Quotient. But what does it measure and is it a useful concept?
Continue reading Technology Quotient (TQ): Measuring Digital Savvy
Could there be a Big Idea more important than power? It’s a concept central to both physical and social sciences.
But we shan’t go anywhere near the physics of power, beyond noting that its precise definition is broadly consistent with how we interpret it in the human domain.
Here, we are concerned with management and workplaces. So what does power mean in this context, and how can you acquire it?
Continue reading Power: Making Things So
Why is the Pocketblog writing about ‘the worst of humanity’? Because nothing is fixed. But if you don’t know how Confirmation Bias works, you are powerless to deal with it.
Confirmation Bias is just one of many cognitive biases and thinking traps our giant, yet lazy, brains are prey to. But it is the one that is responsible for the most ills in the world. And it is also responsible for bad judgments in business, politics, and public administration.
So, we think it falls very much within the scope of our Big Ideas series. Unless you understand the big idea of what confirmation bias is, you cannot take it on with the simple tools that are available to you.
Continue reading Confirmation Bias: The Worst of Humanity
Movie stars, celebrities, and sportspeople have managers to take care of their business affairs. So, why shouldn’t a superstar product? And if every product can aim to be a superstar, then they will all need their own Product Manager.
And that’s what we’ll look at in this article; the role of a Product Manager:
- Why we need them
- What they do
- The breadth of their role
So, let’s dive into the world of Product Management.
Continue reading Product Manager: Strategist, Advocate, Keystone
Imagine an army of tiny robots. Each one can do one thing. It does it precisely and tirelessly. And when it completes it, another robot takes over and does another thing. This chain of ‘bots’ can together do what people can do. But without error, rest-breaks, or complaint. Welcome to the world of Robotic Process Automation.
Although it’s often abbreviated to RPA, we’ll stick with Robotic Process Automation. Because, if you’re reading this, you are probably not familiar enough yet, for the acronym to register easily. Because this article purports to be only one thing: a basic primer for the uninformed.
For more depth, you’ll need to seek out an expert on Robotic Process Automation. Maybe, by the time you read this, that expert will look like a little bot in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. And, sitting behind it will be a series of other bots. Collectively, they may be a robotic process automation that answers questions about robotic process automation. How weird would that be?
Continue reading Robotic Process Automation: RPA
Action Learning is, quite simply, the best way to learn. Especially if what you want to learn is less ‘learning that’, and more ‘learning how’.
Reg Revans started life as a physicist. His Big Idea was to apply the way scientists deal with problems to create a way for managers to learn. And he called his process Action Learning.
Let’s understand what Action Learning is, how it works, and why it is so good.
Continue reading Action Learning: L=P+Q
What is time? Physicists who study it don’t really have a good answer. Or, rather, they have too many different answers, which they cannot reconcile. But Philip Zimbardo was interested in the traces that time leaves on our psychology. And he called those traces ‘Time Perspectives’.
Time perspectives are how we perceive our relationship to time. They dictate many of our day-to-day and long-term life choices. To a large extent, we inherit our time perspectives from our cultures. But our individual early-life experiences have a large part to play as well.
However, the upshot is important. Your time perspective has a big role in determining how you use the time you have available. Time management books and courses can overlay strategies and tools. But, fundamentally, it’s the psychology of time that dictates your behaviours.
And that comes down to your time perspectives.
Continue reading Time Perspectives
A Business Case is a valuable tool. It’s the corporate world’s equivalent of the scales of justice. Like a mini adversarial system wrapped up as a document of record.
As a project manager, business cases are like mother’s milk to me. But they won’t be for everyone. So before I introduce yet another gratuitously clichéd metaphor, let’s explain what a business case is, and why you need it.
Continue reading Business Case: Investment Appraisal and More