Decision Making

 

Bulletproof Problem Solving

Book Published: March 2019
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Operations
  • Boards Roles Responsibilities
Authors: Charles Conn and Robert McLean

The World Economic Forum has identified complex problem-solving as the key skill required of organizations in the 21t century, closely followed by critical thinking and creativity. However, the authors point out, none of these are ‘taught’ in the majority of standard formal education institutions, either at high school or universities. McKinsey, the leading strategy consultancy, has been using their Seven-Step Problem-Solving method internally to deliver client solutions for decades however, but it has never been explicitly shared externally. Charles Conn drafted the original internal...

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Triple Portrait of Cardinal de Richelieu, Philippe de Champaigne, 1642 (Courtesy: National Gallery, London)

How Bringing Self to Work Inspires Ethical Behaviour

Idea posted: December 2018
  • Learning & Behaviour

People have different ‘selves’: the same person might be a politician, a grandparent, an avid golfer, and an aspiring novelist, for example. New research shows that if you believe that how you act in one self reflects who you are in all your selves — for example, being a ruthless politician makes you a ruthless person as a whole — you are less likely to commit immoral acts. This research offers new evidence that encouraging employees to bring their personal selves to work encourages moral behaviours and ethical decisions in the workplace.

Idea #722
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Wrong Incentives Push CEO to Focus on the Short-term

Idea posted: July 2018
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

Researchers use unimpressed market reaction to new product and new client announcements to highlight the insidious damage of CEO incentives to focus on the short-term.

Idea #713
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Prediction Machines

Book Published: April 2018
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Strategy
Authors: Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, Avi Goldfarb

Artificial Intelligence is currently gripping the business world, being the next step on the journey from Big Data to full automation. For business executives it is often a slightly mystical concept, offering both dramatic cost-cutting opportunity as many routine human roles are replaced with ever-present, ever-reliable machines, and also threatening many long-standing businesses with being swept away like horse-drawn carriages with the coming of the automobile. Currently, the truth is less dramatic with AI tools making incremental advances and their limitations being as frustrating as...

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Kalfafell Iceland. Photo by Gian Reto Tarntzer on Unsplash

How Linear Thinking in a Non-Linear World Leads to Wrong Decisions

Idea posted: December 2017
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Marketing

Our brains prefer to think in straight lines: if one bag of oranges costs $5, then two bags cost $10 and three cost $15. However, this bias toward linear thinking often traps unwary business decision-makers who fail to recognize the non-linear relationships they are dealing with (e.g. increasing retention rates from 10% to 30% or from 60% to 80% does not have an equal 20% impact on customer lifetime value).

Idea #685
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Jennifer Riel on Integrative Thinking

Jennifer Riel is an Adjunct Professor, Faculty-at-large at Univeristy of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, and Managing Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute’s Knowledge Infrastructure project, which includes oversight of Rotman I-Think (Rotman's elementary and secondary school integrative thinking and design thinking program). In her role, Jennifer leads educational and knowledge sector initiatives, including writing, designing curriculum and teaching for a variety of audiences.

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Source: Pixabay

Typical Air Quality in Offices Hurts Cognitive Function

Idea posted: September 2017
  • CSR & Governance
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Operations

Controlled laboratory experiments yield evidence that air quality in conventional offices will impact our cognitive abilities, compared to the quality in ‘green’ offices and buildings.

Idea #669
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Eratosthenes Teaching in Alexandria, by Bernardo Strozzi, 1635 (Courtesy: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts)

Algorithms and Statistical Models Vs Human Judgement

Idea posted: July 2017
  • Learning & Behaviour

For businesses frustrated by algorithm aversion — the tendency of people to reject forecasts based on algorithms and statistical models in favour of less dependable human judgement — there is hope: a new study shows that people will choose to use algorithms if they can modify them, even slightly.

Idea #664
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Traders on the New York Stock Exchange, 1963 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

How Testosterone Leads to Overpricing on Wall Street

Idea posted: June 2016
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

New research shows that testosterone increases the over-confident and over-optimistic impulses of male traders, resulting in higher prices and more frequent bubbles. It also reveals, in general, that we are not always as rational as we believe.

Idea #608
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 View of the MS Costa Concordia shipwreck, 2012 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Bad Luck Doesn’t Just Happen: The Case of the Costa Concordia

Idea posted: March 2016
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Operations

Using the case of the Costa Concordia cruise ship sinking, researchers demonstrate the threat posed by ‘zemblanity.’ While serendipity occurs when a company is prepared to take advantage of good fortune, zemblanity is the polar opposite, occuring when a company creates its own bad luck.

Idea #592
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