Archive for April, 2010

More evidence, this time from evolutionary psychology, that asking people to explain what they think is mostly useless.

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010


Call me inerudite if you will, but until last week I had no idea that “confabulation” was a real word. Sounded to me like gobbledegook. It turns out that it is in fact a scientific term which applies to the phenomenon that people will make up reasons to explain their own behaviour in as rational a way as possible. It belongs in fact to the world of split brain surgery.


Are we entering the age of no risk creativity?

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

It’s long been true that you only have to switch on the TV or glance up at a busside to see examples of creative ideas that really do not work at all well. One of the frustrations for some people in working on the media side of things is that they might put together a cleverly crafted media strategy based on a brilliant consumer insight but it will come to nothing in the end because the creative execution doesn’t deliver. I’m sure we can all think of a personal example and I bet if you look out of your window now, or flick open a magazine, you’ll see one right this minute.


Concentrate on the golf!

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Long before his current notoriety I’ve been citing Tiger Woods to make a point about the need for companies and individuals to focus on being good rather than on short term profit. I borrowed the idea from Geoffrey A Moore from his book about how great companies innovate continuously titled “ Dealing with Darwin”.

Tiger Woods earned $127m in the last full year before his fall. This included $24m in prize money and over $100m in sponsorships according to Sports Illustrated. Moore’s question was this. If Woods made only 20% of his income from the practice of golf how much of his time and energy should he have invested in being better at golf as opposed to finding new sponsors


How to avoid being a bear’s lunch

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

In his gem of a book Obliquity economist John Kay tells an old economist’s joke. An economist in the wilderness sees a bear approaching and pulls out his computer to calculate an optimal strategy for dealing with the situation. His colleague, appalled says “We don’t have time for that”. “Don’t worry” replies the economist “the bear has to work out his optimal strategy too.”

Most of us are currently facing the bear. The business situation that we find ourselves in where we have to invest time and energy in developing new revenue streams and flexible working practices is under constant threat from the bear of driving immediate profits, and his bear friend of competitive challenge.