Category: Methods

How To Compare Apples & Oranges

Use this simple comparison tool to, uhh, compare stuff. Here’s what I woke up thinking about at 4AM this morning: When faced with the choice between an apple and an orange—or any number of somewhat dissimilar options—what simple algorithm might be

Posted in Charts and Graphs, Methods, Visual Exercises Tagged with: , , ,

The Agenda Test

Put an end to time-wasting meetings with one, simple exercise: the Agenda Test. People often complain about time-wasting, soul-sucking meetings (50% of meetings, according to some stats). Here’s a quick way to fix that. Before your next meeting, imagine (or create) a Venn

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Why Your Work-Life Balance is Whacked

And (potentially) what to do about it Many people see the world this way: Others see things this way: A different point of view I invite you to consider this instead: From this perspective, it’s easy to dispel the bifurcated notion of work-life balance.

Posted in Insights, Methods Tagged with: , ,

Seven Reasons NOT to Overlook the Obvious

How to Problem-solve Like a Kid In the Freakonomics podcast, “Think Like a Child,” Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt extol the virtues of “doing things differently and simply and with a kind of joy and triviality that leads you to

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Shut Up And Listen!

In an interview with Krista Tippett, neuroscientist Adele Diamond discusses the “talking stick,” a traditional Native American tool that helps manage group dialogue. If you’ve never heard of it, the talking stick is a device—a stick, staff, statue, stuffed animal, whatever—to keep

Posted in Methods Tagged with: , , , ,

Man Plans. God Laughs.

Ten Benefits of Strategic Planning Spoiler Alert: The plan itself may not be one of them. It’s getting to be that time again, time to assess the past year’s agenda, identify new goals and plan how you’ll reach them. Whether or not

Posted in Facts and Figures, Insights, Methods Tagged with: , , , ,

The Power of Margin: The Space Between Your Load and Your Limits

Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Clock Show of hands: Who feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day? The two of you who didn’t raise your hands, feel free to skip this post. For the

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Vienna Sausages, a Guy Named Irving and the Secret to Success

A  business lesson from a Chicago hot dog factory Inspired by a short clip on This American Life Chicago’s famous Vienna Sausage Company, like many great American companies, started out small, peddling a simple product that people loved. Sales grew,

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Do Not Pass Go

Why a “go” attitude might be bad for your bottom line A riff on this Freakonomics podcast In his book Truth, Lies and O-rings, Allan McDonald ascribes the tragedy of the space shuttle Challenger to a case of “go fever.” In

Posted in Methods, Social Science Tagged with: , , ,

If You Really Want to Know, Ask an Open, Honest Question

  Open, honest questions are a great tool to mine for truth and generate meaningful dialogue. …and a communication skill I wish more people employed in everyday life. The trouble is, the concept is deceivingly simple, but the practice is seemingly

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