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The Mona Lisa (detail),Leonardo Da Vinci, c.1503-1506, Musée du Louvre, Paris

In the Eye of the Beholder – When Eye Contact Fails to Persuade

Idea posted: October 2013
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Operations

Maintaining eye contact has long been considered an effective way of engaging a listener and thereby enhancing the persuasive power of the speaker's arguments. But leaders should be aware of new research showing that eye contact may actually make people less susceptible to persuasion, especially when they already disagree. 

Idea #248
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Robert Hooke, at Christ Church Oxford, where he studied surrounded by some of his inventions. Painting by Rita Greer 2011 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Great Innovation! But What’s it for? Marketers Beware

Idea posted: April 2014
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing

Product designers and marketers might be very excited about a new product with impressive new features and a bold new design. But consumers will not recognize the newness of the product if they cannot figure out what the product is in the first place — which can lead to a major disconnect between the reaction that companies expect from consumers (“Wow, what a great innovation!) and the actual reaction (“What is it?”).

Idea #355
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Dinamismo di Treno Nave Aereo, 1929, by Italian futurist painter Giulio D'Anna (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Why Inferior Innovations Often Beat the Best

Idea posted: April 2014
  • Strategy
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Learning & Behaviour

In theory, companies base decisions on whether or not to buy a new technology on an objective assessment of its merits and demerits. In practice, however, it doesn’t always work that way. Random events and ‘copy-cat’ behaviours among competitors play a significant role in the spread of innovation.

Idea #369
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The Well-Stocked Kitchen of Martha and Mary, Joachim Bueckelaer, 1566 (Courtesy: The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam)

Why Buying Green Is Not Considered Ethical if You Are Poor

Idea posted: December 2016
  • CSR & Governance

Ethical purchases (buying organic food, for example) are not always seen as moral purchases, especially if the buyers are on government assistance. How dare they pay for expensive organic food, for example, instead of the better-priced non-organic food? After all, it’s not their money. New research reveals that society views being frugal as more moral than trying to save the world.

Idea #637
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Why Customers Put Up With Rude Luxury Shop Assistants

Idea posted: December 2016
  • Marketing

Surprisingly, retail rejection (customers greeted with unfriendly sales staff in luxury stores, for example) can increase brand image in the eyes of ‘rejected’ consumers, thus increasing sales in the short term. In the long term, however, consumers will resent the rejection, and the brand pays the price.

Idea #640
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