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
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
No. An article on memes is not an excuse to re-post a bunch of funny internet memes. We’re more
grown-up boring than that, here at Management Pocketbooks.
And it’s not as if we think you don’t know what a meme is. Of course you do. So, why have we made it the subject of one of our Big Ideas articles?
Because a meme is an idea that sticks around. It is a Big Idea!
Continue reading Memes: Ideas that Spread and Evolve
Self-help wasn’t always a multi-million dollar industry. Its origins go way back to when the first caveman or cavewoman got up off the floor, brushed themselves down, and got back on with it.
So what is there to say about a Big Idea that’s been around forever and is almost certainly wired into our genes?
For me, it is the self-help industry that is the story. It’s a story of:
- academic rigour and genuine solutions, alongside
- mindless credulity and outright charlatanry
Continue reading Self-Help: Therapy for the DIY Age
The quest to understand human personalities has been going on for 3,000 years, or more. The Big Five Personality Traits are just the latest in a long line of models that take us towards that understanding.
And, it would be as absurd to think that the Big Five Personality Traits will be the last word on the matter as it would have been to stick with the four humours. But perhaps what the centuries of scientific development, and acres of statistical analysis, can assure us of is that we are honing that understanding.
How like the Big Five our 22nd Century model will be, we cannot know. But, for now, the best representation we have, of the fundamentals of human psychology, are the big Five Personality Traits. So, what are they?
Continue reading Big Five Personality Traits
What better way to start the year than with an introduction to the science of Happiness?
And it’s not just a thriving area of scientific research. It’s also a predictably fertile topic for popular science books. On my shelf, I have:
- Authentic Happiness, by Martin Seligman (2003) (US|UK)
- Happiness: Lessons from a New Science, by Richard Layard (2005) (US|UK)
- Happiness, The Science Behind Your Smile, by Daniel Nettle (2005) (US|UK)
- The Happiness Hypothesis, by Jonathan Haidt (2006) (US|UK)
- Happier, by Tal ben-Shahar (2008) (US|UK)
- The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Achor (2010) (US|UK)
And I have stopped collecting.
Continue reading Happiness: The Pursuit of a Good Life
The acronym VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity. It may be a military coinage, but it seems to sum up so much of what the modern world feels like.
But, never fear: linguistic fluency and creative ingenuity have conjured a number of strategies to counter the prevailing VUCA environment we inhabit. Best known among them is Bob Johanson’s ‘VUCA prime’. It is an alternative acronym with four ripostes to Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity.
Continue reading VUCA and VUCA Prime
Strengths are the things we are naturally good at. Everyone knows that. And it has become something of a commonplace that:
We should play to our strengths
In fact, that seeming truism has been underpinned by a lot of academic research over the last 20 years or so, since Martin Seligman formally kicked-off the discipline of Positive Psychology.
So it is in the Positive Psychology sense that we shall examine what strengths are, and why they matter to us.
Continue reading Strengths: Character Strengths and Signature Strengths
Four years ago we wrote about Growth Mindset, in our Management Thinkers series. We profiled the originator of the idea, Carol Dweck, and introduced the subject.
If there was any concern then that Growth Mindset may be little more than a fad, further research has only strengthened Dweck’s early conclusions. So, it seems timely to return to the topic.
While this article stands alone, I would recommend you to review the earlier article first. It’s good context. Because, to avoid repeating it, we’re going to use this article to look at how you can put the Big Idea of Growth Mindset to work in your workplace.
Continue reading Growth Mindset: Putting it to Work