Psychology

When it comes to innovation, trust your intuition

MBA students are taught to treat business in a rational, scientific way. They analyze situations, develop financial models, critically examine management decisions and logically examine different scenarios. When they emerge from the hallowed halls of academia, they are often surprised to find that businesses run much less on logic and much more on emotion. It is not cold, intelligent analysis ...

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Funny Things That Humans Do

by Kevin Roberts Biologically speaking, humans are a remarkable, and quirky, species. The New Scientist magazine has published a list of the odd things we do everyday that don’t make a lot of sense. With all the scientific advancement, you’d think we know why we do the funny things we do. But why do we create art, or dream, or ...

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Are You Asking Questions?

Children learn by asking questions. Students learn by asking questions. New recruits learn by asking questions. Innovators understand client needs by asking questions. It is the simplest and most effective way of learning. People who think that they know it all no longer ask questions – why should they? Brilliant thinkers never stop asking questions because they know that this ...

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An Internet Innovation

Imagine a Web site that detects a visitor’s “thinking” style and “morphs” its look and feel to suit that visitor’s style? Professor Glen Urban and his colleagues at M.I.T. describe an approach in the Sloan Management Review article, “Morph the Web To Build Empathy, Trust and Sales.” They collaborated with BT Group, a UK telecom company, to create a Web ...

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Staging Your Next Idea

by Mike Brown My wife told me about a home staging TV show where they have $500 to get a home ready to sell. In one episode, the homeowner had already moved their furniture, so the show’s designer created cardboard furniture before the open house. Since cardboard furniture obviously isn’t functional, why would they do that? When trying to sell ...

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When Not to Use Focus Groups

I’m still a fan of focus groups. Yes, they’re mostly qualitative, and at best you’re capturing information from a handful of customers that may or may not be representative. But the richness of information, the multi-dimensional and behavioral feedback is unique to that environment. And with some products (trying on jackets, or testing perfume for example) sending an email survey ...

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The Quiet Mind and Innovation

Executives at GE, 3M, Google, Bloomberg Media, and Salesforce.com do it. Ford chairman William Ford does it, as do former corporate chiefs Bill George of Medtronic and Bob Shapiro of Monsanto. Phil Jackson, Tiger Woods, and Italy’s 2006 World Cup champion soccer team all do it. The “it” is designating daily time to calm and quiet the mind using techniques ...

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Starbucks and Big Tobacco

Back in the 1950's smoking was glamorous, and just about everybody who was anybody smoked cigarettes. Then came the discovery, to the shock of millions, that sucking smoke into your lungs might not be good for you. Then came another revelation that one of the substances in tobacco, nicotine, which was used as a poison by the Egyptians during the times of the Great Pyramids, is addictive. People then began a mass exodus from the consumption of nicotine via inhaled smoke.

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