Stuck In The Mud, or Stuck in a Rut; It Really Doesn’t Matter– Still Stuck: But, One Business’ Rut is Another’s Rapture…

Business can fall into a rut– stuck in a rut– like people and relationships… According to Sharon Pocock; businesses get into ruts for numerous reasons, e.g.; many fail to keep pace with changes in  their market or the economy… or they frequently plough through with their heads down, doing pretty much what they’ve always done– possibly even ignoring the changing competitive environment… or, sometimes leadership loses the drive and ambition, while fear or reluctance to change takes hold… Businesses can’t afford to rest on their laurels– especially in current economic climate… The tricky thing about business is that it may be ‘stuck’ without realizing it; some might think that they are ‘in a groove’ when, in fact, they are ‘in a rut’…

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 A few definitions: ◾‘In a Rut’ is a type of habitual behavior (as when wheels of a vehicle travel in the ruts worn into the ground by other vehicles making it easiest to go exactly the same way all other vehicles have gone before… ◾‘(Stuck) in a Rut’ is an established way of living or working that never changes– a habit; a bad habit; a Rut… ◾‘Be (Stuck) in a Rut’ is situation where it’s doing same things all the time– a habit, a bad habit; a Rut… According to Jeb Blount; unfortunately many businesses are so comfortable with their habits that they continue with the behavior even when it’s causing them to fail, bad habits die-hard… When you do the same thing over and over again an amazing thing happens: You get the same result over and over again! You get ‘stuck in a rut’, or some prefer to say ‘stuck in the mud’…

In the article Stuck in a Rut? by Mitchell Osak writes: To prosper companies need to ‘soberly’ assess when its time for a strategic reset– before it’s too late… A strategic reset is a deliberate (not rash) pivot away from a stagnant market towards new growth market(s), often driven with a revitalized business model and management practices… Symptoms of business decline that should trigger a reset are, e.g.; minimal brand differentiation; limited market growth; looming external threats; underperforming business model… However a strategic reset takes– guts, guile… but most businesses find it easier to just ignore realities and resist change, than to embrace it… A first step is to recognize that renewal is about building a bridge to the future without burning the bridges from the past…

In the article Competitive Edge Most Companies Forget: Embrace Change by Naveen Rajdev writes: For companies ‘stuck in a rut’, it’s difficult to expand visions, incorporate new ideas, technologies… But business must be forward thinking… and embrace new perspectives and learn the lessons of others, e.g.:

  • Look at Short-term Gaps in Other Industries: Long-term strategy alone doesn’t cut it, and business could solve a lot more if it looked to other industries… In a world where industries are constantly being leveled by technology attackers, business must take a page from the technology industry itself, and disrupt, disrupt, disrupt…
  • Don’t Rely on Singularity of Vision: Leaders must keep a fresh perspective, but many choose mutability to take on attackers.. Oftentimes, leaders get caught in a rut with a singularity of vision. And while singularity brings focus to the organization, it can also give you blinders that don’t allow you to see any looming threats…
  • Get Rid of ‘If it ain’t Broke, don’t Fix it’ Mindset: The world of business is constantly changing, especially with new/different technologies… Hence, leaders must be agile, open to new/different ideas, embrace change… and the mentality of ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ must be transformed to truly tap into new forms of value…
  • Look Impartially from Inside-out and Outside-in: Great leaders have ability to see the ‘real’ world and the humility to accept how the real world sees them… According to Mughal Emperor Akbar; business must create a competitive edge by understanding the needs of end-users and build a business that serves them. They must learn lessons from many sources, including other businesses or you’ll soon be left behind…

In the article Stuck In A Rut? by Carmen Nobel writes: Although the pace of technological innovation has significantly accelerated over last few decades… and with few exceptions, most company’s organizational structure have failed to keep-up with the changing– markets, consumers… As result, many companies are ‘stuck in a structure rut’, and are out-of-touch with– markets, consumers, suppliers, competition, and in many cases their own employees… Yes, there are organizational outliers that have adopted, e.g.; holacracy, a structure of no job titles and no bureaucracy, giving teams the power to reorganize themselves at will… According to Ethan Bernstein; majority of today’s organizations are largely based on the theory of the late nineteenth century economist– Max Weber, and his concepts of bureaucracy…

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In the article Stuck in a Rut by Jim McHugh writes: Business must constantly rethink how it defines markets, and how it goes-to-markets, and who are their customers… business cannot get ‘stuck in a rut… Typically, becoming ‘stuck in a rut’ is caused by one or more of these conditions: Target Market is not Clear: Management may think they know their ideal target market segment(s) but often their definition may be: too rigid, too broad, or they have flawed assumptions… the wrong market definition can cause the company to make the wrong ‘go-to-market’ choices… Market Size Unknown: This usually means that management does the ‘guess-estimate’ thing, and usually the guess is– ‘big’ rather than ‘small’ market opportunity… and they usually gets it wrong…

Collection of Stale ‘Go-To-Market’ Methods: Go-to-market methods include everything from sales activities, channels, Internet presence, marketing tools, customer service… Many companies: still use outdated, old-fashioned methods to market and sell, e.g.; direct sales force, expensive ads, little Internet activity, ineffective distribution channels… Hence, the issue becomes; what is best ‘go-to-market’ strategy for your current product/services, in today’s competitive environment… And not; It  worked in the past, so let’s do it again: No, it may Not! 

Ignoring the Customer; Ignoring Their Needs: In many instances the broad and specific customer needs are taken for granted or simply ignored. There should be no confusion about customer expectations… and that means having a clear understanding of all the connection points with customers… Selling to the Wrong Customers: Not all customers are desirable, e.g.; when a customer or groups of customers are not profitable… or, have high support costs… or, put unreasonable demands on the business… then, they should be ‘fired’…

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 Being ‘stuck in the mud’ as a business means being bogged down by excessive, non-productive– functions, people, processes, old way of thinking and behaving, old ways of working… A business can have– great ideas, fantastic products/services… and still ‘stuck in the mud’, which means the outlook for the future of the business is not good. According to Miller Heiman; whatever got you where you are today is no longer sufficient to keep you there. Change in inevitable; business must change to survive: End the Nightmare. Get Out of the Rut…

Never Tell a Person to– ‘Relax’, ‘Calm Down’, ‘Chill-Out’… It’s Worst Thing You Can Say + It Doesn’t Work…

Never Tell Someone to ‘Relax’: It’s a paradox — when someone is getting stressed out, one of least effective (and perhaps most annoying) things to say is ‘relax’… According to Sue Shellenbarger; the directive ‘relax’ has exactly the opposite effect on most people. People who instruct a colleague, subordinate… to relax may have good intentions, but it’s usually better to resist ordering people to change emotional state; instead be supportive, let them know you care, listen… According to Wendy Mendes; commanding someone to ‘relax’ is physiologically impossible if the body is already too acutely stressed to turn it around– while the body responds rapidly to stress, returning to a relaxed state can take 20 to 60 minutes…

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When people are told to hide or suppress an emotion– ’emotion suppression’– it typically backfires… in fact, the emotion actually intensifies and it can open even deeper divides between people, especially in workplace, e.g.; employee and boss… According to Kenneth Pulaski; a study found that attempting to reverse a highly emotional display by asking an individual to calm down is effective only 9% of the time… When a person is struggling with a stressful issue and becomes highly emotional never use words, such as; ‘just relax’ and other insensitive phrases– these platitudes don’t work, plus they make the situation worse… Telling someone with, e.g.; ‘anxiety’ to just stop, or ‘depression’ to just be happy, or ‘insomnia’ to just sleep, or ‘anorexia’ to just eat, or ‘bulimia’ to just keep it in, or ‘problems’ to just get over it… these type imperative commands may be said in the best of intention, but they just don’t work and are counter-productive…

In the article One Lie Deceptive Leaders Tell by Brian de Haaff writes: For a leader to tell a manager/employee/anyone to just ‘relax’ when something serious has gone wrong is both deceptive and damaging… During times of stress, the most valuable thing a leader can offer is understanding… People do not expect them to solve their problems, but they do hope that a leader will acknowledge the issue and be supportive… Telling an upset person to ‘relax’ undermines their feelings and is hurtful and insensitive… More important, it’s not going to help resolve their anxiety, but it will make them feel embarrassed for feeling it... When bad things happen or big problems arise, leaders must be fully engaged. There is no magic button that makes the pain go away or erases awful mistakes, but leaders who quietly listen and offer constructive support, when appropriate, will inspire empathy and trust…

In the article Relax! Can Actually Cause Stress by Steve Roesler writes: The workplace is an exceptionally stressful environment and, no doubt, there are people who might suggest with a cavalier attitude; Oh, just relax. Sometimes it helps; sometimes it doesn’t. There’s a reason for both: It turns out that the advice to ‘relax’ can produce everything from anxiety to insomnia as a result of stress… According to Wegner, Bloome, Blumberg; there are well-intentioned leaders/managers who may start a team meeting by telling everyone, at the meeting– to simply ‘relax’, when they are about to discuss issues that are staged as being important– the statement to; simply ‘relax’ often initiates an immediate observable level of anxiety with most everyone at the meeting…

It’s fruitless and even demeaning to try change how people feels or react by telling them how they should feel, i.e., relax, calm down, don’t get excited… Leaders/managers and even other employees, can actually make someone feel worse (i.e., stressed) as a result of trying to get them to relax… Most people are designed to live and learn through the depth and breadth of emotions; attempting to alter the truth of what someone is experiencing will inhibit that process…

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In the article Never Tell Someone to Chill-Out, Relax by princeoflorence writes: Telling a person to– ‘relax’,  ‘calm down’, ‘chill-out’… are directives that are in some way trying to manipulative a person’s line of thinking… it’s telling another person to act differently because their behavior makes you feel uncomfortable… But ordering another person to ‘calm down’ will probably result in the exact opposite behavior… Of course there will be times when a person is being– illogical, or irrational, or downright abusive; and in these situations your response should be either; to disengage by walking away, or just listen, stay silent until the person calms down…

In the article Why Saying– Calm Down– Backfires by Robert Bacal writes: OK,  just ‘calm down’; Would you just ‘calm down’… saying ‘calm down’ can be used to help someone, or to send the message that the person ‘should not feel’ upset… You might mean well by telling someone to ‘calm down’, but it’s not what you ‘intend’ that matters, but how your ‘words’ are perceived by the other person… Avoid using a command structure; the less it sounds like an order, the more it sounds like you actually want to help’… hence, the more constructive it will be perceived… But also consider your own motives; is your goal to help; or is it to stop feeling uncomfortable about the emotional outburst from the other person… Are you more concerned about yourself or them?

In the article Telling Someone to Relax Is Pretty Much A Death Sentence by Ashley Fern writes: Being told to ‘relax’ is an insinuation that you are irrational… for acting with such high emotions… When someone is freaking-out, it’s only natural to tell the person to ‘calm down’… but when someone is angry/pissed-off, this is the last thing they want to hear… In that moment, the person feels that their emotions are completely justified, and if you utter the word ‘relax’ or ‘calm down’… you are basically nullify and invalidate their emotions… But realistically, have you ever seen a person actually ‘relax’ after being told to ‘relax’? Instead of rushing to judgment, people should listen carefully and try to understand the other person’s issues, grief…

For most people when in a stressful situation it’s hard to ‘just relax’; that’s why it’s annoying when one person tells another to do it. According to Judith Law; there is nothing that anyone can do that will instantly get rid of a person’s anxiety… It’s a paradoxical fact: When someone is stressed out, one of the least effective (and perhaps most annoying) things to say is–‘relax’… This type of directive, in most situations, has exactly the opposite effect and will probably make the situation worse…  

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When people are told to hide their feeling and clamp down on their emotions, it actually does the opposite… According to Tanya; using– ‘calm down’ or ‘relax’, or similar words… as an imperative ‘command’ has about a 100% failure rate… Yes, the words of advice may have been said in good faith and totally well-meaning… But, do you really believe that if a person who is stressed that they could calm down by simply doing it: People’s emotions don’t work quite that way. And even worse through the use of an imperative command a person is dismissing the gravity of what the other person is experiencing… In fact, you are being condescending by telling a person how they should feel… An imperative command, such as; relax, calm down, take it easy… doesn’t work– so, don’t do it…

‘Tough’ People Make the ‘Best’ Leaders- Driven by Power, Fame, Fortune: Decent People Don’t Have the ‘Right’ Stuff…

Want to build great organization? Then don’t start with a ‘good’ person as leader; start with a ‘tough person as leader, and adapt as necessary… According to Rob Asghar; most of the modern leadership development industry is based on myth: It’s feel-good myth, spread by consultants, academics, gurus… about who makes the best leaders. The experts suggest that the best leaders are– collaborative, compassionate, empathetic, free of most defects of character: But it’s false… The ‘best’ leaders are consistently flawed– however, more important; they are visionaries, they have ability to get things done, ability to sell ideas, ability to take an organization into new/different directions, ability to deal with crisis…

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According to Michael Maccoby; it’s the narcissists who come closest to the collective image of the ‘best’ leader… for two reasons; they have compelling, even gripping, visions for organizations, and they have an ability to attract followers… Productive narcissists understand the vision thing particularly well, because by nature they are people who see the ‘big’ picture; they don’t try to understand the future, but they do attempt to create the future… To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw; some people see things as they are, and ask why… narcissists see things that never were, and ask why not. Ultimately the ‘best’ leader, has a foundation of ‘bad’ qualities– classic nasty competitive streak, excessive risk-taking, dangerous stubbornness, it’s all about me attitude… But then its the role of the organization to add the restraints, the wisdom, the compassion and the other qualities that keep these ‘best’ leaders from racing off a cliff in their zeal… This notion of a leader is quite different from what most management gurus are trying to sell…

In the article Can Bad People be Good Leaders? by Ray Pennings writes: To assume that all good leaders are good people is to be will-fully blind to reality of the human condition… Worse it may cause leaders, themselves, to think that because they are leaders they are good people, therefore they are– trustworthy, brave, generous… and never deceitful,  cowardly, greedy… However, it’s only when people recognize and manage their failings can they achieve greatness. Both good and evil run through hearts of leaders, and so making absolute distinctions can be difficult; but the difficulty of applying distinctions is no reason to euthanize them…

The best leaders– inspire people, which involves holding before them worthwhile goals and affirming their gifts of humanity, including; their gift of free choice, and in working together to achieve goals… Even when the tactics of coercion are utilized, they must be utilized in a manner that maintains respect for the ‘imago dei’ imprinted on each person. The choice may be for or against an action with an understood consequence, but enabling that choice on the part of followers is an imperative duty of the leader…

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In the article Leadership-Development Programs Fail by Pierre Gurdjian, Thomas Halbeisen, Kevin Lane write: U.S. organizations spend almost $14 billion annually on leadership development… Colleges and universities offer hundreds of degree courses on leadership, and the cost of customized leadership-development programs from the top business school can reach over $100K per year/per person… Moreover in a Gallup poll; upward of 500 executives were asked to rank their top three human-capital priorities, and leadership development was included as both a current and a future priority…

In the poll, almost two-thirds of respondents identified leadership development as a number-one concern… also only 7% of executives polled think that their organizations develop ‘good’ leaders effectively… and around 30% of organizations admit that they have failed to exploit their business opportunities fully because they lack enough ‘good’ leaders with the right capabilities… Hence, there are too many training initiatives that rest on the assumption that one size fits all and that same group of skills or style of leadership is appropriate regardless of strategy, organizational culture, executive mandates…

In the article Bad Leadership Happens to Good People by Doug Dickerson writes: Bad leaders are the exception not the rule. One does not have to look far to find examples of bad leaders and that is part of the problem… We tend to find and focus on the bad and ignore the good: Mark Twain aptly said; few things are harder to put-up with than the annoyance of a good example; hence for every– politician, coach, executive, clergy… who give their brand a bad name… there are far more who play by the rules and serve their organizations well…

Since people hold leaders to a higher standard of behavior and service, it becomes the responsibility of leaders to step-up and deliver– even when ‘bad’ leaders happens to be ‘good’ people… Showing goodness is what gives others a reason to believe and do the right thing… According to Phil Taylor; one’s ability to interact in a positive and effective way with others is clearly an most important skill in leadership… However,  when ‘bad’ leaders happens to be ‘good people’, unfortunately they must work harder to overcome their failings, or recognize that they may lack the qualities of a ‘good’ leader…

Majority of good leaders are good people, but sometimes a good leaders lose their way as they rise to the top… Leaders are humans and they can be seduced by many bad things… According to Johns Mendez; ‘power’ is a very corruptible, intoxicating force and it can make a leader lose perspective. Leaders require constant reminding to focus on– good ‘ethic’ behavior and organizational ‘values’, as well as the bottom line… Bad leaders are easily exposed; they are out of touch with reality…

Lousy leaders are everywhere– business, politics, education, government… it’s not very difficult to identify a crisis in leadership… According to Michael Hyatt; characteristics of lousy leaders, include; arrogance, disorganized, over-promise and under-deliver, don’t articulate clear vision, not transparent, blind to their own organizations, don’t hold people accountable– especially themselves… Pick your crisis and you’ll usually find one of these traits of a lousy leader in action, often many of them at once… According to Bill George; the simplistic notions of ‘good or bad’ only clouds an understanding of why a leader  might lose their way– it’s not necessarily because they are bad person, but rather they just don’t have the ‘right’ stuff…

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Very few people go into a leader’s roles to cheat or do evil, yet most people have the capacity for these type actions, unless they stay grounded… Before person considers a leader’s role, they should ask very simple question; Why be a leader: What’s the purpose? And if the answer is– power, prestige, money… then that leader is at risk of relying heavily on external gratification for fulfillment, which is not necessarily wrong… but there should also be a stronger and deeper motivation to improve the sustainability of the organization and make a lasting contribution to all its stakeholders… Leadership is very difficult, but having– courage, toughness, conviction to do what is ‘right’ for the organization is the sign of the ‘best’ leaders; and the notion of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is a secondary issue…

Great Leaders Have Great ‘Instincts for Survival’— They Manage Emotion, Fear, Risk: Trust ‘Instinct’ to Make Right Decisions…

Great leaders have great instincts, and they often use gut-instinct-intuition… when making decisions about issues of survival.. Great Leaders don’t get stuck in a cycle of over-thinking or paralysis by analysis… According to Nicolas Dorier; survival instincts are indispensable, and lessons can be learned from ‘animal kingdom’ providing inspiration for coping with survival situations… After all, leadership is all about survival in hostile jungle of business, which is inhabited by multitude of predators. According Martin Lindstrom; instinct is an accumulation of insights that leaders gathered through thousands of experiences, all compressed into a half-conscious impression that guides them to a course of action… Using instincts is about connecting those thousands of impressions…

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The Oxford Dictionary define intuition as– ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning… You may sometimes think of it as something magical, quixotic… Your intuition can reveal some aspects of a situation which your ability to reason cannot… There are things your ‘gut’ knows long before your intellect catches-on… Great leaders learned to trust their instinct– they have ‘intuition intelligence’ and that helps them navigate faster through vast amounts of data, work around gaps and conflicts in information… Yet even most highly developed ‘intuitive mind’ can be misled when too many facts are wrong or missing… hence don’t neglect the rational mind, or the need for diligence– just get the balance right… The intuitive mind is a leader’s greatest weapon in business, when they learn how to use it confidently and accurately…

In the article Instinct for Business Survival by Dr. Tazeeb Rajwani writes: Understanding animal survival instincts can improve businesses’ chances of survival; according to study by Cranfield School of Management. Their research explored what business leaders who are preparing for hard times can learn from solutions of survival that have evolved in the animal kingdom over billions of years… Animals survive and thrive in much more deadly environments, than marketplaces that business operate-in, so they are ideal subjects to learn from… Research identified a few basic survival strategies that business can develop to survive and thrive in unpredictable environments, e.g.;

  • Lion Strategy–Build Fighting Capability: Lions when faced with specific threats become alert and are able to attack swiftly and with forceful strikes, using multiple adaptations… Organizations that follow a ‘lion strategy’ takes proactive role in going after new customers, and adopts direct and forceful approaches in doing so. The lion strategy takes proactive attack role in going after competitive weakness…
  • Seagull Strategy–Structure Flight Capability: Seagulls survive and thrive in many different environments… Organizations that follow a ‘seagull strategy’ are able to swiftly exit in declining markets and rapidly exploit emerging markets… they move away, quickly, from a hostile environments to avoid specific threats, and adopt a more defensible position in growth and less competitive markets…
  • Shark Strategy–Develop Predator Capability: Sharks survive and thrive because they epitomize endurance, power, highly developed predator skills… they know instinctively when, how to surge to claim territory, attack victims… Organizations that follow a ‘shark strategy’ have highly developed predator instincts, and they use strength and offensive skill to attack and claim/reclaim territory in search for new markets and opportunities…

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In the article Instinct Theory of Motivation by Kendra Cherry writes: The ‘instinct theory of motivation’ says that all organisms are born with innate biological tendencies that help them survive. This theory suggests that instincts drive behavior, which are goal-directed and are result of learning and experience… The ‘instinct theory’ suggests that motivation is primarily biologically based, e.g.; people engage in certain behavior because they aid in survival… However, just labeling something as an instinct does nothing to explain why some behavior appear in certain instances, but not in others… According to William McDougall; instinctive behavior is composed of three essential elements– perception, behavior, emotion… He also outlines other instincts that include; curiosity, maternal instinct, laughter, comfort, sex, hunger… According to Sigmund Freud; human behavior is driven by two key forces: life and death instincts… According to William James; there are a number of essential instincts for survival, e.g.; fear, anger, love, shame…

In the article Giving Enterprises Survival Instinct by Tracy Burrows writes: Assessing the probability of something happening is a human skill… Without this ability the chances of human survival is slim… To be able to accurately determine the likelihood of an event that could be beneficial or harmful is the difference between life and death, e.g.; being able to quantify the probability of finding food in a tree or a predator behind the next rock is based on experience and analysis of a range of clues... This data is processed by human brain, almost instantaneously, and it analyzes what it– sees, hears, smells… and develops an instinct…

Then either through conscious (or unconscious) decision (or instinct) it predicts the likelihood of a particular outcome, e.g.; there is a good chance the predator will attack, or not… then suggests an action; whether to proceed or to retreat… As experiences are added, human/business are able to improve the accuracy of the prediction… Whether in everyday life or business, having a means of accurately quantifying probabilities is hugely important survival tool… Nothing is ever certain; only when all underlying conditions are known– is there certainty of specific outcome… But can you/business ever fully know all the underlying– conditions, causes, value… to absolute certainty of anything?

Probably not: What you/business can do, however, is model ’cause and effect’, and understand the– associations, loose connections, linkages, patterns, correlations… or anything else that would incrementally, cumulatively increase the odds of knowing what can happen in given period of time, based on how similar scenarios that were played out before. This ability alone takes you/business a long way toward improving the odds of survival… According to Timothy D. Wilson; you can rationalize your way into anything, but first impressions often tell how you really feel… You may hear the term– instinct, intuition described as a nagging little voice inside you; and it typically speaks softly rather than screaming out…

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But unfortunately in this– non-stop, busy, technology-filled world… it can be easy not to hear that silent inner-voice– the instinct that says; do it or don’t do it… Great decision-making takes practice, and it’s a process that requires– level of comfort with discomfort… You can play it safe and defer important decisions to others, spend hours analyzing and agonizing over every option, or you could accept level of risk and go for it. Many leaders are afraid of making a bad decision, or a wrong decision… but they must do the best they can with the information available at the time, and that include– instinct, intuition… but even when the wrong option is selected– great leaders deal with it, learn from it… Great leaders  survive in difficult situations, because they– remain calm, trust instincts, make great decisions…

 

Triumph of the Dork, Nerd, Geek– Masters of Digital Age Technology: Embrace Your Dorkiness– Uncork Your Dork…

It’s age of the– dork, nerd, geek… and you owe everything you enjoy in technology to them, e.g.; Internet, social media, networking, gaming, communication… These were– misfits, weirdoes, goofballs, characters, goobers, kooks, nonconformists… that were bullied, outcast, ostracized… and now they control the digital world… But who are these misunderstood, confused categories, social misfits… the– geek, nerd, dork? According to Merriam-Webster; ‘nerds’ are unstylish, unattractive, socially inept people— individuals slavishly devoted to intellectual and academic pursuits… According to Urban Dictionary; ‘dorks’ are individuals who are keenly interested in– mathematics, science, technology and applies these principles to everyday occurrences, plus they love video games… According to Merriam-Webster; ‘geeks’ are individuals of intellectual bent who just don’t fit-in– they are technologists, computer geeks…

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Do you identify with any of these; awkward dork, goofball, character, goober, kook– or other similar terms that you might use to describe your inner weirdoism? If so, join the club! According to Blogarama; you know if you are an awkward dork… you always put your foot in your mouth, you are always weirdest person in the group and you feel a little bit like an alien. Where others try so hard to ‘fit-in’ and be cool, smooth, poised… whereas when you embrace your dorkiness, nerdness, geekness… you are not interested in fitting-in; and you are not interested in status-quo; and you are not interested in being something or somebody you are not… According to Suzanne Miller; embrace your inner-dork, flaunt being called– nerd or geek… and no matter how you are described… now in the digital age, you are the ‘coolest’ dude around…

In the article Why Nerds Rule Digital World by Kimberly Grimms writes: How do you spot a modern Einstein? Thick glasses, braces, tucked shirts in high-waist pants, walks fast and always slouching– these are the typical geeks that Hollywood presents to the world… But such descriptions do not hold true these days… These individuals are not stuck in a garage inventing a time travel machine; they are not just looking at a blackboard trying to solve the most complex math problems… These tech-savvy individuals rule what is known the ‘world of digital’ because they have certain behavior characteristics, e.g.; they are perpetually curious… they live for innovation… they use data, not intuition… they are very flexible… they think creatively… they believe that anything is possible… they never stop learning… they don’t take themselves too seriously… 

According to Forbes study; nine out of 10 employees reported bad attitude as the reason for job failure… That’s why you’ll appreciate having ‘nerds’ around; they make the workplace ‘cool’; they consider puns as an art form; they have funky work desks adorned with witty stuff; they take a bad situation and create a meme out of it… They have a sense of humor that enhances creativity and makes for a more engaging workplace… The digital age is a nerd’s world, and you are just living in it… these gentle giants of technology are leading the way for generations to come, and giving the world whatever it wants with just ‘one click’…

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In the article Do You Want to Rock the Blogosphere? by Craig McBreen writes: What makes you so damn special? If you want to find your place in this digital world, you must create a– crackin’, bold, beautiful kick-ass game plan to define why you are here and to outline a plan of action; and a major part of the plan is your– ‘killer swag’. It’s unique combination of know-how, creativity, life experience… It’s who you are and what you know... It’s your own special form of genius… It’s your wee-bit of oddness… It’s your abrasiveness, opinionated, stubborn as mule, little bats with acerbic wit to match… But it’s all OK; it’s your particular brand of– ‘killer swag’.

In the article Rise of the Geeks by Andrew Harrison writes: It’s time for– nerds, geeks, dorks, weirdos, misfits… to get even– they been bully, abused, ostracized… and now they are in control… So what turned things around? First the digital revolution elevated alpha nerds to unprecedented power and influence… and phrase ‘geek chic’ was legitimized  with its introduced into the Oxford English Dictionary… and editors at Collins Dictionary are now tracking the very meaning of the word ‘geek’ itself… According to Ian Brookes; ‘geek’ is no longer a ‘boring’ and ‘unattractive’ social misfit… increasingly the word ‘geek’ is being used in contexts other than technology… and with increasingly positive connotation…

Moreover, surveys indicate that the public find that ‘intelligence’ as a trait for a ‘potential mate’ is four times more attractive than are ‘good looks’… Take notice, beautiful people!What does it all mean? Is geek just the post-noughties’ fleeting equivalent of punk culture, or does it mark a more fundamental realignment in society? Has society reached the ‘peak of geek’? According to Chris Coleman; it first appeared as kind of anti-fashion statement, but now– geek, nerd, dork… is sign of; entrepreneurialism, creativity, independence… instead of being perceived as weakness. Now, intelligence, different, inventiveness are cool again…

In the article Nerd, Dork, Geek in Business by The Economist writes: This weird bunch are having an ever-increasing impact on business… According to Charles Sykes; be nice to the nerd, geek, dork… chances are you may be working for one of them… More companies are clamoring to hire them; geeks, nerds… are shaping markets for products and services… According to Stephen O’Grady; nerds are ‘new kingmakers’; they are driving decisions about the technology that companies use. They are driving innovation for– smartphones, social-media, gadgets, platforms… these are technology enthusiasts who experiment in their garage or dorm room… and turn them into mainstream hits… Nerds carry more clout in part because their ranks have swelled… According to IDC; there are around 20 million professional and hobbyist– nerdy types– worldwide…

Companies are beginning to pay attention to rise of a ‘nerd economy’, which stretches well beyond just technology, e.g.; food, fashion choices… The ‘sharing economy’ was originally a nerd thing– they prefer renting to buying stuff… Incumbent businesses, too, have started to take cues from all this nerdness, e.g.; companies sponsor video-game competitions and ‘rodeos’ where competitors race drones around stadiums… As the success of ‘Pokémon Go’ has shows there can be big profits in the avant-garde areas where– nerds, geeks, dorks… like to experiment. Unfortunately, trying to observe and appeal to the nerdy types is not a sure-fire strategy. Especially when large companies try — too hard– to speak ‘geek’, they often come-off as inauthentic and alienating, exactly what they are not trying to do… Nerds may be a powerful commercial force, but many of them harbor disdain for big brands and overt marketing…

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We are all– dorks, geeks, nerds.. in our own way– people are different and we should celebrate differences– it’s what makes people special. According to Christopher Thurber; there are many awkward people– those who exhibit dorky behavior, i.e.; people who are just little odd, little off, little quirky. Heck, everyone is dorky some of the time; it’s part of being human… But to maximize effectiveness of an organization, leaders must manage balance in the diversity between talented and less talented people, between dorky and less dorky, between nerdy and less nerdy, between geeky and less geeky: The challenge for leaders is awesome…                   

Idiocy of Denial– False Defense Against Reality, Refusal to Accept Facts: Some Leaders Ignore the Obvious Until It Hurts…

Denial (refusal to believe) is the unconscious determination that a certain reality is too terrible to contemplate, hence it cannot be true… In business, countless companies get stuck in denial while their challenges escalate into crises… According to Steve McKee; the psychology of denial is fascinating, dictionary says; it’s an unconscious defense mechanism in which emotional conflict and anxiety are avoided by the refusal to acknowledge the reality of certain– thoughts, feelings, desires, facts… that are consciously intolerable. According to Dr. Carl Alasko; denial allows a person to keep moving forward rather than stopping and facing painful restrictions, demands of reality… and yet reality always wins…

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 Denial is a form of repression, where stressful thoughts are banned from memory, i.e.; if you don’t think about it, then you don’t have to deal with it– just bury your head in sand and move-on… However people engaging in denial pay a high cost in terms of the psychic energy needed to maintain a state of denial, and even worse it has a destructive outcome from its delusion… According to Nicolas Colin; problem for many businesses is that there are always good reasons to rationalize that nothing needs to change…

In the article Admit it: You’re in Denial by Richard Tedlow writes: Denial is an unconscious calculus that says; if an unpleasant reality were true it would be too terrible to cope with, so therefore it cannot be true… It’s what Sigmund Freud described as the combination of ‘knowing with not knowing’… Denial is one of the most common and potentially ruinous obstacles that managers face… Denial permeates every facet of business; it’s the impulse to avoid painful truths; but, why would a business executive deny critical issues affecting their business? Because, to state the obvious, he or she is human… According to Liz Ryan; many leaders don’t know how to deal with crisis, so they pretend it’s not happening. They go into denial…

Massive energy roadblocks show up and they don’t get resolved. Nobody knows what the plan is, or the plan changes every two weeks… New policies spring up to make it even harder to get anything done… The culture is broken but leaders pretend that everything is fine…. There is no foolproof way to escape it but once you recognize the signs you must take steps to mitigate it, e.g.;  find out the real facts and separate rock solid truth from the surrounding haze of assumption… see issues through others point of view… Denial is not about IQ, but about ‘point of view’… If you can’t afford to deny it then recognize it and engage it… 

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In the article Signs of Leader in Denial by George Ambler writes: Face of reality is leaders nightmare… When faced with a difficult situations the natural response is– fight, flight, freeze… All of these reactions have disastrous outcomes. Learning to effectively face and respond to emerging realities is a critical leadership competence. Leaders that fail to face reality, risk creating dysfunctional outcomes… which will cripple an organization ability to respond to– marketplace disruptions, technology, customer expectations… Facing reality may seem logical, and even common sense, but it’s extremely difficult in practice… Recognizing when an organization is in denial through the actions of its leaders is first step to effectively facing and responding to new realities… Ultimately, leaders who avoid reality and choose to live in denial are doomed to fail…

In the article Denial (& Effective Leadership) by Moe Glenner writes: One of the most insidious barriers to effective change is a particularly effective flavor of self-defense, otherwise known as denial… You deny that there is a problem, but your acknowledge that there is an issue… You deny its severity, but you acknowledge that the issue needs remedy… you then deny that it’s not your problem, and someone else must deal with it... In other words, you assert that it’s someone else’s problem, not yours, and someone else must fix it… Nowhere are you taking responsibility– the first step to resolution is the ‘admission’… True and highly effective leadership starts with ‘admission’ of an issue… and the ability to be self-accountable in its resolution…

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In the article Dangers of Denial by Ron Ashkenas writes: Great leaders tell it like it is– they focus on reality no matter how painful or unpleasant it might be, and then figure out what to do about it… In contrast, less effective leaders sometimes avoid hard truths, argue with the data, and delay tough decisions…While it’s easy to be critical of leaders who cannot face facts, the truth is that most people engage in denial at one time or another and usually without even knowing it. It’s one of the most common defense mechanisms used to cope with difficult situations… Even the most effective managers engage in some form of ‘wishful hearing’… and interpret it the way they want them to be, instead of how it really is…

There are two principles to keep in mind when dealing with denial in the workplace: Don’t assume that everyone sees the world through the same lens as you: Facts and data are usually open to interpretation, and people have different underlying criteria for how they analyze them. We all emphasize some things and discount others, based on experiences, personality, tolerance for discomfort… Hence, look at situations from multiple angles, challenge underlying assumptions… and eventually you will get more accurate picture of what’s really going on... So while it’s true that great leaders usually don’t get trapped in denial of hard realities, it’s often because they get a lot of help from their team. So yes, denial is alive and well in most organizations but it’s important to remember that it’s a natural human reaction to anxiety-provoking situations, which is why it’s important for teams to help each other see the truth…

In the article Corporate Denial: How It Kills Morale by Jennifer Cross writes: Corporate denial is the classic ‘elephant in the room’… Everyone in the company knows it exists, yet no one in position of leadership is willing to address it… Employees are fearful of calling out bad behavior because organizations protect themselves, not its employees– as the saying goes; denial ain’t just a river in Egypt It’s time to face your challenges, it’s time to look in the mirror and be honest about your company’s corporate denial(s)… it’s time to ask the question: Where is the company in denial? What honest assessments need to be made and steps taken to reform/transform the culture of the organization?

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History has many lessons to teach about the role of denial in the decline of companies, e.g.; stubborn refusal to admit the changeability of market/consumer demand is a good example… According to Jim Heskett; management use of denial as strategy is a serious issue… Yes, it’s a natural part of human nature and closely related to survival instinct, but it can be extremely destructive… According to Elaine Sihera; denial comes out of fear of being wrong… According to Joe Schmi; denial is the first step in the change process, it’s natural and necessary… According to Len Bullard; ruthless realism is, itself, pathological and it can deny failure until last second before failure comes… however, the ability to believe that one can save the ship is critical, for it’s that attitude that actually saves it…

Schooling ≠ Education: Stop Rationalizing an Outdated Schooling System, and Focus on Essentials of Education…

Education is often confused with schooling, relying on the premise that time spend in school (a physical place) is directly related to education… Some how, by osmosis or some other magic force, spending time in school will lead to an educated person… It’s one of the biggest deceptions, con-games… being perpetuated on society. According to Darrow Miller; schooling can stand as barrier to education… education is not limited to classroom, or structured period of time, or formal instruction… education can take place– anytime, anywhere, in many forms… According to Francis Schaeffer; schooling is rooted in places, buildings, class rooms… whereas education is a process that challenges the mind with– why, what, how… type of knowledge, understanding, curiosity…

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The current schooling system was designed, conceived, structured for different age. It was conceived in age of Enlightenment (18th Century) and in economic circumstances of Industrial Revolution (19th Century). And now in Digital Age (21st Century) the distinction between schooling and education is totally lost… But government continues to spend billions of dollars in a system that no longer works… And the problem isn’t– lack of funding, or poorly trained teachers, or lax regulations, or low quality curriculum… the problem is the entire education/ schooling paradigm…  

It’s time to break from the past and focus on innovating, creating… system of education that works… The current system is not designed to prepare children/young adults for the real world– it’s focused on goals, such as; passing a test, or graduating first in the class… it’s a system where most people just want to get out-of, as soon as possible… We cannot create a better future, if we continue to do the past…

In the article Are You Schooled or Educated? by Jonathan Jansen writes: There is bad news: While most people are schooled, few are educated– there is a difference… Those who are schooled followed the rules of the school– attended classes, homework, tests, passed, receive certificate of some kind… When you fall out-of-line, e.g.; come-in late or miss an assignment deadline… you are punished for bad behavior… You are in a sense, institutionalized… School in this sense, is a form of institutionalization in which you are ‘schooled to behave’…

These mechanical routines that lock students in classrooms and compress information into their heads in limited periods have morphed into an industry where; test questions are rehearsed, class notes are memorized, test answers are ‘scoped’ to ensure as many of those in attendance can achieve a passing grade… In this context the statement– ‘I went to school’ is as meaningless as saying– ‘I went to prison’… It reveals nothing about the quality and meaning of that experience… Simply insisting that people access and stay in school is not very helpful. In fact, institutionalization with unforgiving rules, unpredictable timetables might, in fact, do more harm than good…

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In the article Education vs. Schooling by George A. Goens writes: The debate about public education is missing an important question: Are students becoming well-educated or well-schooled? There’s a difference; one that is seminal in almost every discussion about public education. The current emphasis on test scores to determine whether a child is getting a good education has narrowed the definition of education… We are teaching students the ‘game of schooling’ as if it were a short-term competitive exercise, i.e.; do what you must to get the ‘number’ you need… Hence, many students are concerned with passing, not learning… short-term grades, not in-depth understanding… The idea seems to be– if you cannot metrically measurable it, it’s not important, which is cousin to the idea that– if you cannot see it, don’t believe it…

An education is more than simply getting a job or meeting a career goal… Chasing the brass ring without a strong foundation in principle can be corrupting. All children/young adults, rich and poor, should be educated so they can contribute to the common good, be responsible, active citizens, and adapt to changing times… Being well-educated means– being able to think critically, to pose questions, seek answers, to understand and develop an ethical and moral framework… Educated people have strong academic skills, but they also have values and principles that form the foundation for life’s decisions… Unfortunately, some schools are becoming too narrowly focused and competitive, such  that it has pushed some students to say– ‘I have to cheat’ to get ahead…

In the article School vs. Education by Vinchenzo Renfurm and Jimenez Weerden write: People go to school to be educated and with an education they presumably have the tools for a constructive life experience… But instead of getting educated and being prepared for the real world they get schooled, instead of being taught how to stand on their two feet and become independent and stand out, they are programmed to fit in, to obey and follow orders and rely on others… They are schooled (programmed) to settle for less than what they are capable of, e.g.; they take tests and based on their answers they are defined as being– ‘stupid’ or ‘smart’… They are taught– how to listen, obey, follow… but not how to– question, invent, lead… The school factories of today are very successful at producing sheep instead of strong individuals, because that’s what the world needed in earlier times, but times have changed…

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But the old schooling model has never changed. Now the Digital Age is different and the world, more than ever, needs educated leaders, entrepreneurs, critical thinkers… The world has changed, while the schooling system has not, the only difference now is that schools are using computers for some tasks instead of paper and pen; but the general method for teaching and examining students is still the same as in earlier times… One of the great fallacies is that– people are confusing schooling with education– one matters and the other simply doesn’t… Albert Eistein quote; education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school…

In the article Schooling vs. Education by mkaufman writes: The network of teachers and schools was not intended as an education system, but a schooling system. Understanding the difference between schooling and educating is important: The current system of schooling uses discipline and extrinsic motivation as a modality and methodology– to ‘motivate’ people to learn… The formation of the free public school system was intended to provide the bare minimum for the poor to become good citizens… Whereas, a system of education uses intrinsic motivation and natural desire of humans to learn and improve. A ‘system of education’ based on internal motivation is the enabler that support a person to achieve full potential… whereas a ‘system of schooling’ is satisfied with minimum achievement…

A system of schooling tends to control and use discipline… A system of education is based on relationships and respect… One of the reasons that people who are involved in public schooling experience frustration when they attempt to change or reform the existing system is that they don’t understand the difference between– what is schooling? what is education?… Some confusion is caused because there is often overlap and contradiction between the two… Hence, people who are engaged in reforming the schooling/education system must first understand the distinctions… then they are better able to develop a meaningful set of goals and objectives relative to each system…

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Education is inherently a vulnerable state… According to amynylund; you have to be curious; you must care; you must be willing to– not know, and explore the unknown… Unfortunately, education has become directly equated with schooling, where schooling is the process of attending an educational institution… And where a collapsing schooling system for education tends to creates– passive, non-empowering relationship for learning that puts people in state of dependency… Schooling is a passive learning experience, as opposed to active learning in education. The consequence is that people end-up being in schools, and simultaneously not being educated…

Power of Information Asymmetry– Business of ‘Lemons’: Seller Vs. Buyer Scale of Transparency…

A ‘lemon’: No, it’s not about citrus fruit, it’s about problems that arise in markets when there’s ‘information asymmetry’. Asymmetric information occurs when seller has more, or better information than buyer… When consumers are unable to fully assess, due to lack of information, things that they are buying– there is always a chance they are going to get a ‘lemon’…  The ‘lemons’ problem theory was described by George Akerlof in 1970 paper titled: The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty and Market Mechanism, for which George Akerlof, Michael Spence, and Joseph Stiglitz jointly received the Nobel Memorial Prize, in Economic Sciences in 2001… Their research centered around the ideas of asymmetric information… and they used metaphor of ‘lemon’ as it related to poor-quality and pricing of used-cars… Akerlof challenged the consensus of the time, and he used the term– ‘perfectly competitive general equilibrium model’, in which competition makes it impossible for seller (or buyer) to set or influence the price of goods…

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In the article Information Failure by Richard H. Cass R. Sunstein write: It can be argued that markets work best (more efficient) when information is perfect and is evenly shared by all parties in a transaction. Hence, asymmetric information is an economic problem because one party can exploit their greater information or knowledge… There are many examples of information failure associated with economic transactions, e.g.; Job applicant, who fails to reveal full information about their work skills… Estate agent seller, who does not disclose all relevant information about piece of property and possible problems… Cigarette manufacturer, who does not inform smokers of true health risk of smoking… Buyer of financial product, who is unaware of the true level of risk… Seller of a pension, who misleads purchasers about the financial value of the pension…

When parties to a transaction are ignorant (lack information) of certain aspects of the transaction, e.g.; quality of the goods they are buying, they often just make a decision just based on price– a buyer may assume that goods are of poor-quality, if price is low… or, assume that goods are of high-quality, if price is high… When George Akerlof analyzed the problem he associated it with pricing used-cars, which he called ‘lemons market’– a ‘lemon’ is a derogatory term for a poor quality used-car. However, the lemon’s problem has many wider implications in terms of understanding information failure in markets, generally… Hence, whenever there is information failure there is the possibility that the markets will become ‘lemons markets’…

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In the article Information Asymmetry: Empowering Consumers by Grace Nasri writes: Until recently– and even depending on the market– there has been an unbalanced distribution of information between buyers and sellers– merchants have long-held the advantage… With full information over consumers, they’ve had the power to set prices and hide crucial information about products and services, leaving buyers at the mercy of sellers… Consumers had few resources for unbiased information, where they could go to find average prices for goods and services in markets– from real estate and autos to careers and travel. This information asymmetry negatively affecting consumers, business, competitive market in general… Consumers often must make decisions based on partial information… Too often, the only information consumers have is information provided by the same merchants, who were trying to make the sale– biased and incomplete…

Consumers would often end-up paying far above true value… Worse, some hapless buyers ended-up with ‘lemons’, a term coined to describe used-cars found to be defective only after they had been purchased… At the same time, honest businesses that sold quality products at reasonable prices would often lose out to manipulative counter-parts who masked sub-par products with big-budget marketing ploys and slick Ads… An efficient market depends on buyers making rational decisions, and buyers can only make rational decisions when they have equal access to the same information as sellers (and reverse is true for sellers)…

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In the article End of Asymmetric Information by Alex Tabarrok and Tyler Cowen write: Market institutions are rapidly evolving to a situation where very often buyer and seller have roughly equal knowledge… Technological developments are giving everyone who wants it access to the very best information, e.g.; product quality, worker performance, matches to friends and partners, nature of financial transactions, and among many other areas… However, with increased advancements in technology, asymmetric information has been on the decline as a result of more people being able to easily access all types of information, especially with Internet and social media… And there are growing number of companies that see the ‘business of information’ as an outstanding opportunity… and they are beginning to shift the balance of information asymmetry back to the consumers… This shift toward a more balanced distribution of information benefits both consumers and business alike…

In the article Buyer Still Beware by David Auerbach writes: Technological developments are giving everyone who wants it access to the very best information… However, what many people fail to observe is that ‘the very best information’ is not 100% pure but cut with inferior data ranging from unreliable accounts to deceitful garbage… The problem is not even noisy signals per se, but too many signals… According to Tabarrok and Cowen; a lot of economic theories about asymmetric information, while logically correct, have been rendered empirically obsolete… But have they?

For example; recently asymmetric information has become a flash point in the health care wars– economists and policymakers debate what it means when patients know more about their health than insurance companies… when doctors know more about medicine than their patients (or insurance companies), and when nobody knows what’s wrong with many of patients in the first place… More generally the Internet has caused society to experience a transition from a scarcity of signals to a surfeit of signals. More information means more good information, but also more bad information… The amount of information available on any given transaction can be more than a single person or agent can possibly process… We are now in a world where there is vastly more to know, yet most people’s cognitive capacities remain what they were in the Stone Age…

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In the real world, everyone is not equally in the dark– in every situation some people usually know more than others… According to Thomas G. Clark; the claim by some experts that information asymmetry ‘is on the decline’ when in fact the opposite is true and that information asymmetry is now more prevalent than ever, and that it can be seen as the root cause of the global economic meltdown… The rise of digital technology hasn’t just improved capacity of the individual to access valid information, but it’s also greatly increased capacity for agents to produce deliberately asymmetrical information…

According to Rafael Hurts; the Internet empowers some consumers; but some consumer are marginally literate; some consumers are innumerate; some consumers are naive; some consumer are stupid; some consumers just are beginning to develop dementia… According to Suw Charman-Anderson; the simplest of information asymmetry problems has many names, e.g.; some call it, ‘price transparency’ or simply ‘transparency’… But this over simplifies and undervalues the problem, since just having transparency does not always mean that you get the best deal…

Dark Side of Creativity: Divergent Thinkers More Dishonest Vs. Convergent Thinkers: Managing Dark Side of Innovation…

Creativity is valued as one of the most important qualities that a leader can have, yet research has shown that while creative people are skilled at coming up with new ideas, there is also a dark side to their divergent thinking… According to William Lee Adams; a growing body of research suggests that there is merit to the assumption that– madness, dishonesty… may lurk where creativity lies… According to Francesca Gino and Dan Ariely;  series of experiments have demonstrated that a creative personality and a creative mindset may promote a person’s ability to justify any bad or unethical behavior, which suggests that there might be an association between creativity and dishonesty…

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Psychological research has begun examining the dark side of creativity, and it has already turned-up some interesting findings, e.g.; creativity isn’t all upside– creative individuals are more likely to be– arrogant, good liars, distrustful, dishonest and maybe just a little crazy, or some call it– unusual or eccentric… In study by Lynne C. Vincent and  Maryam Kouchaki; creative people just don’t think outside the box they believe they deserve a bigger box than others, and as result they often behave counter to acceptable norms. Hence, researchers suggest that leaders must better understand the creative process, and more important understand behavior characteristic’s of creative (or divergent) thinkers, and define and enforce what is considered to be acceptable behavior for everyone in the organization, for both– creatives and non-creatives…

In the article Dark Side of Creativity: Original Thinkers Can be Dishonest by Francesca Gino and Dan Ariely write: The ability to generate novel ideas and think creatively about problems has long been considered important skill for– people, organizations, society… Creativity is the foundation for business success; it creates exciting products, services… which in turn generates jobs. Divergent thinking enables organizations to solve difficult problems so that they can better cope with– advantages, opportunities, technologies, and rapid changes of a highly competitive global economy… Business and society needs new inventions, new solutions to old issues, novel business and social programs… and organizations need to adapt to the ever-changing consumer preferences and business environments…

However there is a dark side with creativity: In several studies participants with creative personalities who scored high on a test measuring divergent thinking tended to cheat more… researchers are suggesting that this dispositional creativity enables divergent thinkers to justify dishonest behavior… the study results also suggests that individuals who work in more creative positions are more morally flexible… Hence, the overall study results suggests a linkage between creativity and dishonesty, and between creativity and rationalization…

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In the article Value of Divergent Thinking by Arun Kottolli writes: Convergent thinking is a natural process for most people… People are often forced to think in terms of conformity, or what is known as convergent thinking. Convergent thinking generally means the ability to engage in activities (or work) that do not require significant creativity. Whereas rather than endorsing conformity of an organization or society, the ability to think divergently (divergent thinking) gives an individual or organization the opportunity to be creative in devising a solution and catalyst of change… The term ‘divergent thinking’ was coined by Joy Guilford… divergent thinking is the ability to conceive many ideas, to produce unusual and original ideas, and to take an idea and elaborate variants of the idea… Not all ideas generated by divergent thinking are no necessarily correct or even workable; the ideas may be fanciful, outlandish, impractical and even absolutely wrong…

In a typical business scenario, the normal practice is jump into a final solution as quick as possible… But this limits the options and it often relies on past experience and almost never considers the– new, untested ideas… Divergent thinking on the other hand, forces people to think of all possibilities and in that process generate new ideas or solutions… Another way to look at the value of divergent thinking is to look at competitive markets; when two companies are competing their product lines often are very similar, so if one wants to outsmart the competition, then one must think of ideas that are dramatically different then that of the competition… Business success (or even social change) is highly dependent on the execution of creative ideas or divergent thinking…

In the article Does Creativity Have a Dark Side? by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic writes:  Creativity involves disrupting status quo and doing things differently. But if you are OK with the existing order of things, you will have no incentive to change, and if you see things like everyone else, you probably are not creative… However, there is a down-side to creativity; recent research suggests that creativity increases a person’s likelihood to cheat– the more creative you are the more likely you are to fool not just others but also yourself…

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In the article Do Companies Want Creative Thinkers or Problem Solvers? by Leticia McCadden and Alyssa Brow write: Companies are constantly grumble that they do not have enough creative thinkers,  schools try to teach it, and job-seekers almost always mention it on their resumes… However, when business leaders say they want creative thinkers, they often mean they want problem-solvers… According to Johnny Taylor; business wants to innovate and solve problems so they can attract customers… Hence,  it’s less about the theoretical, education-based concept of thinking, and more about the business of developing better, different solutions for customers…

So while companies say the need creative thinkers to grow and thrive, but what they really mean is they need more problem-solvers… According to Jim Clifton; to grow and prosper business, more often than not, needs people who are problem-solvers… so next time the business says it needs a ‘creative thinker’– stop and think; the business might actually need a ‘problem-solver’, rather than a ‘creative thinker’…

Creative people by definition are divergent thinkers, which means that they break ‘rules’– they break rules so they can construct new associations between previously unassociated elements… According to Jenna Rodrigues; majority of people conform to the world as it exists, whereas divergent thinkers see the world in ways that many others cannot– they seek problems, conceptualize solutions… that others don’t even find to be problematic.

dark AAEAAQAAAAAAAAMrAAAAJDg4NWYwZGVjLTQ2Y2QtNDliNi1hMmQzLWY4ODUzNGVmY2ExYgDivergent thinkers may behave and talk like the convergent thinkers that surround them, but they are constantly challenging assumptions that are the foundation for the world as it exist… When set in the right context, thinking divergently enables organizations to more effectively embrace, implement change… It’s never too late to start thinking differently. Everyone holds the power to use imaginations as a tool to innovate… The imagination is a creative gift and once it’s allowed to run wild– through divergent thinking… you have the basic tool to change the status quo… while at same time managing the dark side of creativity…

Curse of Darwinism: Companies Must– Evolve or Dissolve, Disrupt or Die, Thrive to Survive: End of Business as Usual

As Charles Darwin cautioned: It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change… According to Simon Caulkin; we live in time of ‘digital Darwinism’, an era when the impact of technology, on business and society, is constant with varying but inevitable degrees of both– evolution and revolution… The effect of digital Darwinism is real and it’s enlivened though changes in business– its customers, employees, partners… and it impacts most markets, both as they– emerge and develop… It’s a different business world– with connected homes, self-driving cars, robotics, social media, and more data produced in one day than in the entire history of humankind… Technology is spear-head that penetrates– markets, industry… Now most companies, at some level, are technology companies..

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There is a fundamental shift in how organizations operate; the focus has moved from products and services, to experiences and outcomes… According to Priyanka Sangani; organizations no longer control the conversation… technology is changing everything and if you’re not using technology to the best advantage someone else will, e.g.; an interesting observation– if you don’t build the ‘thing’ that kills Facebook, someone else will… also Facebook says that– ‘things’ that don’t stay relevant don’t even get the luxury of being disrupted, they just disappear… Many businesses just promote the ‘trappings’ of change when, in fact, a bold digital strategy is needed. To succeed business cannot afford to just look at the coolness of the technology du-jour; they must innovate and create exciting new products, companies… Old rules of business mostly do not apply any longer, and traditional approaches to business mostly do not work…

In the article Darwin’s Lessons for the Corporate World by Morgan Witzel writes: Few thinkers have had quite the same effect as Charles Darwin. His theory of evolution is so powerful and compelling that it’s an orthodoxy, and it affect how people think about many aspects of life…. Not least is the way people think about, and do business… The so-called Darwinism plays an important role in shaping of people’s understanding of economics, markets, organizations… For example, business people often speak in terms of– ‘adapting’, ‘evolving’… to meet conditions in a changing ‘environment’… When companies fail, it’s easy to explain it in Darwinian terms; they failed because they are- – weak, less fit, did not adapt… it’s Darwin’s theory of ‘survival of the fittest’… that means some companies are simply, selected out…

Darwin’s theory re-enforces the notion that business is a jungle, a harsh environment in which only the strong can adapt and survive– or so the thinking often goes… But do Darwinian ideas about business have any real grounding in Darwin’s own theory? The answer is largely, No.  According to Geoffrey Hodgson and Thorbjorn Knudsen; Darwinian ideas have been applied to economics ‘in crude form’, but there is no single model or axiomatic system which gives it validation… Darwin’s theory rests on 3-simple principles: Variation, Selection, Replication or Inheritance… In business people sometimes talk of an organization ‘inheriting’ characteristics in the same way that a person does, or having an ‘organizational DNA’ as part of the cultures… Organizations do not have genes, nor is the methodology of business evolution– comparable to ‘replication’…

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In the article Digital Darwinism by Greg Black writes: Darwin’s theory of evolution has greatly influenced not only the natural world but also the business world… Simply put, the concept of ‘evolution’ means– a constant change that increases the rate of survival… And according to Darwinians, everything on the planet must go through this process, including business… There is even an official term to address precisely that, i.e.; digital Darwinism… Digital Darwinism is the adoption of ‘innovation’ as the source of survival, and adapting it to emerging trends… It’s the key to survive and thrive in the face of rapid technology change… In a nutshell, business must keep-up with the times if it wants to survive…

The business world is highly competitive, it’s a brutal environment in which only those that can adapt fast enough can survive… Nevertheless, the possibilities for change and improvements are all around, and business must take advantage of them… Remember, it’s not those who have the– oldest, biggest… but those who ‘adapt’ the fastest prosper… In the words of Darwin; It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives; it’s the one that is most adaptable to change…

In the article Distorted View of Survival of the Fittest by Giles Hutchins writes: In business, survival of the fittest depends more on adaptation and collaboration, than competition… Innovation, flexibility, agility, collaboration… are the core to the evolutionary journey of business… These are driving forces that provide resilience and regeneration within an ecosystems… According to Michael Braungart and William McDonough in the book ‘Cradle to Cradle’: popular wisdom holds that ‘fittest survive’– the strongest, leanest, largest, perhaps the meanest– beats the competition… But in healthy, thriving natural systems– it’s actually the ‘fitting-est’ who thrive…

So how does business go about shifting from the prevalent mindset of ‘reductionism’ and ‘maximizing short-term profit’, to a world-view that has energetic and full engagement with markets, customers… that is symbiotic not carcinogenic? In other words, how does the prevalent approach to business break the devastating illusion that it’s separate from nature? The more you grapple with business challenges, the more you realize that it’s nature’s patterns and qualities that inspires the evolutionary approaches for business success…

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In the article Digital Darwinism by insights.sparktivity.com write: Disruptive technology and societal shifts are forcing business to re-imagine themselves; and the new motto has become– change or die… The idea of ‘change or die’ can be summed up by the term: digital Darwinism… Digital Darwinism is when technology and social change  evolves faster than business’ ability to adapt… In fact, it becomes ‘death to the unfit’, rather than ‘survival of the fittest’… In a rapidly changing environment– being ‘fit’ means being ‘agile’. In business ‘agile’ means– nimble, responsive, innovative, flexible, quick to adapt to change… 

Today’s businesses are under a lot of pressure not just to ‘keep-up’, but ‘to keep-fresh’, to innovate, to integrate the next new thing… The basic idea of ‘agile’ is to enable business to more effectively engage customers– to test and adapt based on actual customer use, to end-up with a better, a different outcome… Being agile is changing the game, it creates a new landscape where only agile companies survive… But business must also embrace transformation– re-imagining the way they do business…

Darwin’s ‘On The Origin of Species’ was published over 150 years ago, in 1859… Its insights about natural selection in plants and animals offer lessons that can provide guidance for coping with business challenges today… Darwin observed that species survived changing environments by making adaptations to their new realities… Each adaptation required experimentation to create new traits… According to Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky; when an organization tries to adapt, it steps out of its familiar mode of existence which had worked thus far, much as a plant or an animal species does by random mutation. The new mode may help or hinder an organization– since not all adaptations work in the long run… Some survive and thrive, many fail, and still others just die off…

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Darwin understood there was no such thing as change for change’s sake. The secret to surviving and thriving was to match the adaptation to the context… Which means that an organization must have a critical mix of diagnostic and matchmaking skills. The ability to read their internal capabilities and the external marketplace, and then match them to products, services… The challenge of enabling organizations to adapt is hardly new, but adapting to today’s digital reality is completely new… Some organizations will survive and thrive, and some will perish… Following Darwin’s lessons won’t make the situation any less risky, but it might improve the odds…