‘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
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
We associate colours with brands and brands with colours. Some colours and combinations immediately evoke a brand. And others instantly trigger a feeling. This is the role of colour psychology in marketing.
Much of what people think they know about colour psychology is little more than pseudo-science. Chromatic astrology, if you will. But there is also a growing body of research evidence to fall back on.
And what that underlines is that, for whatever reason, there is some firm basis for colour psychology.
Continue reading Colour Psychology: Creating a Feeling
How do we know how to think about something? Our primary mode of thinking is through language. So, the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis suggests that the language you use conditions the way you think.
And if this is true, then the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis has a profound implication for managers. Because many of us speak fluent ‘Management Speak’!
So, what is this Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis – also known as Linguistic Relativism or Linguistic Relativity? And is there any truth to it?
Continue reading The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: Linguistic Relativity
The minute someone walks in the room, you can usually get a sense of how they are feeling. Not from what they say, but from what their posture, gesture, and expression tell you. That’s body language.
Human beings are wired to read one another’s body language. It’s only the exceptional few (towards one end of the autistic spectrum) who lack the capacity. The upshot of this is simple; if a little surprising:
We cannot not communicate.
Everything we do – or don’t do – says something to people around us. Body language is universal, powerful, and rarely lies.
Continue reading Body Language: Let me Hear Your Body Talk
Organisational life revolves around performance monitoring and measuring. Often it’s a single person who will assess your performance. But what if they had access to the observations of all sorts of people who work with you in different ways? That’s the big idea that 360 Degree Feedback represents.
The idea and practice of 360 degree feedback has been through rises and falls since it first appeared in the 1950s. And it really took off in the 1990s. But it is as important today as it’s ever been. So, let’s examine 360 degree feedback from a number of angles.
Continue reading 360 Degree Feedback: What Everyone Thinks of You
It turns out that you aren’t as rational as you may have thought. So, traditional economic theories that assume you are, are… well, flawed. We need an approach that accounts for self-interest and lazy mental short-cuts. Enter Behavioural Economics.
We’ve already told the foundation story of Behavioural Economics in our Management Thinkers series. There we looked at the two men who received Nobel Prizes in Economics for their work in the field:
- Daniel Kahneman won his in 2002
- Richard Thaler won his in 2017
Continue reading Behavioural Economics: You aren’t as Rational as You Think
Emotional Intelligence may have felt like a fad in 1995, when we all rushed to buy Daniel Goleman’s book of the same name (1996 in the UK). But from a perspective of over 20 years on, it still holds its own as a useful concept and very much fits the bill as a Big Idea.
And why not? After all, the theory of emotional intelligence is that the way we succeed in life is through our emotional connections. Firstly with ourselves and then, secondly, with others. And the idea isn’t new. After all, did not Socrates say
‘First, know thyself’
Probably not. But it’s been attributed to a host of ancient thinkers, including Aeschylus and Heraclitus.
But I digress. Emotional intelligence allows you to:
- Know yourself
- Regulate your emotions, choices, and motivation
- Understand the emotions of others
- Influence and work with them
Continue reading Emotional Intelligence: Getting what You Want from Yourself and Others
When I first thought about Social Media as a Big Idea, it seemed like a good topic. Until I started to think about it. Because forms of Social Media are ubiquitous – we all use them, so what can I tell you that you don’t already know?
Well, take a look, and find out.
Continue reading Social Media: Making Connecting and Communicating [too] Easy
The Trust Equation is an attempt to highlight the key features of trust in a professional setting. And it does a very good job.
And this is super-helpful to any professional, manager, or team leader, for a simple reason. Trust is your stock-in-trade. If your team, customers, and bosses don’t trust you, you have nothing but a job title. The extent to which you can get things done in a leadership role depends largely on trust.
But how do you inspire that trust? This is what the Trust Equation will show you.
Continue reading The Trust Equation