Category: decision-making

  • A mile wide, an inch deep

    A mile wide, an inch deep

    Meandering the inner workings of the human psyche When I started Conversation Agent (the blog) 17 years ago, people began sending me all sorts of things. I got tons of press releases and requests to review sites. I got added to site aggregators, and started receiving solicitations for calls (no, thank you) and link exchanges…

  • Humans’ tool to make the infinite comprehensible

    Humans’ tool to make the infinite comprehensible

    Saints, armies, medicinal plants, treasures, book titles, nature collections, survival kits—the essential nature of lists. Swiss businessman Jean Henri Dunant was traveling in northern Italy when he spotted the aftermath of what became the decisive battle between Franco-Sardinian and Austrian forces. 40,000 troops dead, wounded or missing near the small village of Solferino. On June…

  • Whatever it Takes

    Whatever it Takes

    From the dark side of business and the growing imbalance of power to making a difference with naming and words. Lehman Brothers Inc. was an American global financial services firm and the fourth-largest investment bank in the United States. Its founding dates back to 1847. Before filing for bankruptcy in 2008, the firm employed 25,000 people.…

  • They called it the “gentle revolution.”

    They called it the “gentle revolution.”

    For six years I had the privilege of working with a group of therapists and researchers who believed that each child, at the time of birth, has the same potential as Leonardo da Vinci. Their belief was so strong that they started with brain-injured children—children who navigate life as different. The labels varied, but they’re…

  • How Did we Move so Far From the Human Universe?

    How Did we Move so Far From the Human Universe?

      Scrolling through good conversations in my inbox, I came across an article I used to discuss what happened to management science. The article makes the case that physics might still be part of our human universe, not just an increasingly abstract description of some “uber-folded N-dimensional meta-scrapple.” To the question (emphasis mine): “Do you…

  • Philosophy as a Lens to Understand Money… and Yourself

    Philosophy as a Lens to Understand Money… and Yourself

      “The philosopher's job is to be an interface between things that would not normally communicate with each other. We think about policies, strategies, business models, priorities: they are all open problems, where the philosopher has his perfect place.” Oxford University professor Luciano Floridi considers himself a digital philosopher. Digital communication has become a much…

  • Embodying Values in Business

    Embodying Values in Business

      Dame Anita Lucia Roddick founded The Body Shop out of a desire to make ends meet in 1976. Her husband had left for the Americas for two years to ride a horse from Buenos Aires to New York. You can still find some interviews she’s given online. Listening to her talk, she sounds like…

  • How do You Get to “Good Enough”?

    How do You Get to “Good Enough”?

      It took Clare Trapasso nine months of scouring the market in three states, touring dozens of homes, losing multiple bidding wars, and rescinding another offer on a fixer-upper that would need more work than they could afford to put in, before she and her partner finally closed on a cute, renovated Cape Cod outside…

  • Open Innovation: What if Work Were Everyone’s Business

    Open Innovation: What if Work Were Everyone’s Business

    How much value do you put in one breath? Consider that we can go three days without water, and up to twenty days without food. For breath, we're talking minutes. The greatest freediver can teach you techniques to breathe better. Relaxing helps: “Calmness. Stillness. Barely-there-ness. There are dreamlike contours to the plunge.” The limit of…

  • Incentives do Work: Some Lessons from Crowdfunding

    Incentives do Work: Some Lessons from Crowdfunding

    How people make decisions is a topic of constant study and reflection. Alone and together. For example, I've wondered when do individuals make better decisions than teams? Do people do what they in their process? Or is the process rigged to back the decision with data post-hoc? I wrote an entire series of articles to…