Wanna Bet?

1202The 1-3-20 Podcast: Thinking in Bets with Annie Duke

Great idea to ask yourself the question “wanna bet?”,

It immediately makes you take an outside view and start looking for alternate information.

Links to Ray Dalio’s advice on decision making in his book Principles about acknowledging the probability of a decision. That most decisions are a bet of sorts. That you need to get as much information as you can to improve the odds of a good decision.

Also reminds me of a comment I heard during the last US election where a statistician pointed out that if one candidate had a 90% chance of winning, that meant there was still a 10% chance they would not win.

The Cause and Effect of Antibiotics

As we rolled into 2017 I was reading The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and read at every opportunity while on holiday.

Then I had to go back to work.

51b7-bx7cglMy 20 minutes on the train each morning and evening is not enough to get through a book quickly, especially if you are enjoying it. Fortunately I had downloaded the companion audio book from Audible that syncs with your reading position on your Kindle. I could keep listening to the book while I walked into the office. That lead to listening on my walks at lunch time. Before I knew it I was listening to the book all the time, and not reading it.

It is funny how your preferences can change. I have not listened to an audio book for a while. Preferring reading and podcasts. But I enjoyed this one. Continue reading “The Cause and Effect of Antibiotics”

What did YOU do?

It started to rain. I knew a book-store close by so headed for it to wait for the shower to pass. I visit this store fairly often and knew the shelves I wanted. On one side philosophy and psychology, and on the other business books.

One book caught my eye. The name of the book had been on my mind recently, and I had seen a short video interview with the author.

I picked the book up and opened on a random chapter.

I started to read.

I kept reading.

I bought the book.

Continue reading “What did YOU do?”

What Are You Leaving Out?

It feels like I am back at school. I have drawn a few set diagrams (Venn diagrams) recently. So perhaps not surprising the following images came to me while listening to the new podcast from NPR called Code Switch.


These diagrams are so simple and powerful. As soon as I see them I start asking questions about why the lines were drawn where they were. The boundaries fascinate me.

But why this particular diagram? Why did this one pop into my head? Continue reading “What Are You Leaving Out?”

Handpicked: My Week of Learning

This is the start of a weekly post on what I have been reading or listening to over the week.

Book am I reading?

Secrets of Consulting by Gerald Weinberg.

Favourite Highlight?

“In the end, the most important part of overcoming resistance is to prevent it from becoming frozen in place. That’s why I must always avoid “resisting the resistance.” I may win the argument, but I may also place the clients in a position where changing their mind is a form of “losing.” The risk of losing face in the here-and-now always seems bigger than the risk of losing a million dollars in the there-and-then.”

There is little to gain by ‘scoring points’. The aim should be to keep dialogue open if you are going to be effective. If you experience resistance, acknowledge it, listen. If you push too hard you may make it too hard for change to happen.

Podcasts I Listened To

I listen to podcasts on the way into work, when I walk at lunch, on the way home, when I cook, basically when ever I can. Here is a selection of the episodes I listened to that are worth mentioning. Continue reading “Handpicked: My Week of Learning”

What Can You Learn From Watching a Five Year Old Play Soccer?

My son started school this year. As he turned five our weeks started to fill with sporting commitments. In particular for us hockey (the field/grass/artificial turf kind) and soccer.

Every time I watch one of his games of either hockey or soccer I am reminded of this post Business Strategy and Kindergarten Soccer by Nick Malik

On the Inside Architecture blog for Microsoft, Nick writes the following back in July 2011:

It is interesting to watch very young kids play soccer, because the instructions are so simple: kick the ball into the goal.  With instructions like that, what do you get?  Bumblebees, of course.

Continue reading “What Can You Learn From Watching a Five Year Old Play Soccer?”

Show Early, Show Often

I once worked on a team supporting an internally developed and maintained application.

This application was the beating heart of the organisation. Every organisation has one of these.

You know the application at your company, the one that can’t be bought off the shelf? The one that reflects your company’s business model?

That one.

Continue reading “Show Early, Show Often”

Which one is it?

This used to be a restaurant I walk past on my way to and from the train station each morning.

At first I was excited by a new store … hopefully a restaurant with a great breakfast …

… Then I was confused …

Pay attention to what you are saying and look out for conflicting messages.


Navigating the Crosswind Compromise

This post is a follow on from the Crosswind Compromise. In that post, I was inspired by a video of Viktor Frankl discussing the impact of crosswinds on our lives. I drew parallels with an organisational context.

My followup question is what does a pilot do to ensure he gets to the destination?

The pilot does at least these three things:

  1. Finds a map of the terrain he is flying over.
  2. Gets the latest meteorological (weather) information.
  3. Creates his flight plan.

Continue reading “Navigating the Crosswind Compromise”