Gutless Wonders and the Control Illusion

Ian Davis, previously worldwide MD of McKinsey, once said, “Long-gone is the day of the gut-instinct management style. Today’s business leaders are adopting algorithmic decision-making techniques and using highly sophisticated software to run their organisations.” An astounding example of the control illusion. Nothing sits better in a crisis than intense rationality. Trouble is, we’re deluding ourselves. For one thing – as neuroscientist Antonion Damasio proved by studying people with damage to the part of the brain where emotions are generated – decisions are driven by emotions. With our rational brain... Read The Rest →

From machines to ecosystems

When we talk about thriving in the digital age, we tend to revert to discussing how to leverage social media, mobile and other cool channels. There’s nothing wrong with that (and I do it myself!), but it can be useful to consider the bigger picture now and then. The challenges we face in business are not related to technology, they’re related to human beings. The industrial revolution brought us machines; and with it linear, machine-age thinking, articulated in machine-age language that in turn makes us think more like machines. This... Read The Rest →

Kill false assumptions & evolve

Many of us are making decisions based on false assumptions every single day. In fact we’re underpinning our businesses, organisations, products and personal lives with false assumptions. We keep on doing things that have been proven wrong, that haven been proven not to work, despite mounting evidence that there’s a better way. Our false assumptions are memes, i.e. viral cultural ideas we pass from human to human, brain to brain (you can read a bit more about memes in my previous post on replicators here). Sometimes we keep spreading memes... Read The Rest →

The discovery of complexity

Networks are an essential ingredient in any complex adaptive system. In biology, molecules interact in cells, cells interact in organisms, organisms interact in ecosystems. As Eric D. Beinhocker points out in one of my favourite books, ‘The Origin of Wealth’: “The economic world likewise depends on networks. The earth is girdled by roads, sewers, water systems, electrical grids, railroad tracks, gas lines, radio waves, television signals and fiber-optic cables. These provide the highways and byways of the matter, energy and information flowing through the open system of the economy. The... Read The Rest →

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