2. WHAT IS ?
A library of over 300 books
A series of printed books
A fertile source of new ideas
3. Tim Harford
Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy
The world economy is a weird
and wonderful thing,
interconnected in billions of
ways, understood by no single
individual, and with no one in
4. Tim Harford
Fifty Things That Made The Modern
• The world economy defies comprehension. A constantly
changing system of immense complexity, it offers over ten
billion distinct products, doubles in size every fifteen years,
and links 7 billion people. Nobody is in charge of it, and no
individual understands more than a fraction of what’s going
• This book is effectively 50 short sections. 4 examples…
• The plough: because it enabled people to stay in one place
for the first time.
• The gramophone: along with all subsequent recording
formats, it enables artists to be experienced without going to
a concert in person.
• Barbed wire: enabled the ownership of land to be
designated and enforced, particularly with regard to
• Seller feedback: has allowed many online services to
circumnavigate concerns about trust.
5. FISH CAN’T SEE WATER
Hammerich & Lewis
Diversity of thinking and
respect for other peoples’
perspectives are critical virtues
for the leadership of global
6. FISH CAN’T SEE WATER
Hammerich & Lewis
• National culture can make or break your corporate strategy.
• Management and the board are often blind to their own culture
– fish can’t see water. They may not spot derailing cultural
dynamics in time to understand underperformance or even
• How these traits affect performance often depends on what
stage the corporation has reached: traits good at launch could
be poor ones later.
• Culture is the social programming of the mind that
distinguishes the members of one category of people from
• The purpose of culture is to help the group survive and
succeed. Culture is behaviour and behaviour is culture.
Strategy and culture are intrinsically linked.
• National culture is at the core of virtually every organization,
and this will affect its ability to execute strategy at each stage
of the cycle.
7. HOW TO HAVE A GOOD DAY
It is possible to have fulfilling
and productive days when you
understand the psychology
and neuroscience behind how
8. Caroline Webb
HOW TO HAVE A GOOD DAY
• This book outlines the science essentials that explain how
people behave, looks at priorities and productivity,
relationships and thinking, along with resilience and energy.
• Set intentional direction for your day: choose filters for aim,
attitudes, assumptions and attention, set better goals.
• Make the hours in the day go further: multitasking doesn’t
work – use singletasking instead; batch your tasks, zone
your day, remove distractions, plan deliberate downtime,
make decisions at peaks, not troughs, allow reflection time;
automate the small stuff, or turn it into a simple routine.
• Make the most of every interaction: build real rapport,
resolve tensions and bring the best out of others; don’t
demean others by assuming that they “don’t get it” – you
may be missing something; ask quality questions and listen
properly; ditch your device and pay attention.
• Be your smartest, wisest, most creative self: switch views
and look for analogies; beware the Einstellung Effect, where
having an existing solution in mind makes it harder for us to
see a radically different but better way to solve the problem.
• Most people can turn everyday insights into the next big thing by
making intuitive connections that other people overlook.
• You know more than you think – start with what you know.
• Our insights are only as good as our questions – ask a lot.
• The myth of the Innovation Epiphany – it’s usually a slow hunch.
• Ideas are overrated – simply having them isn’t enough. They
need to be improved and evaluated.
• It takes practice – you have to keep working at it.
• What we see is not all there is – there is always more to it.
• Groundbreaking ideas start with a problem.
The birth of a hunch involves:
• Embracing curiosity (interest + attention)
• Tapping into empathy (worldview + understanding)
• Firing the imagination (context + experience)
There are three types of curiosity:
• Diversive: a hunger for novelty.
• Empathetic: the drive to understand others and see their view.
• Epistemic: a deeper quest for understanding and exploration.
Patience and resilience are the secrets of success. Grit is what
goes through your head when you fall, down, and it’s what
makes all the difference – not talent or luck. The components:
1. Interest: you have to find something you actually like, or think
2. Practice: those with grit indulge in deliberate practice – they
set themselves specific goals and focus on the nasty stuff they
find difficult. That means a clearly defined stretch goal, full
concentration and effort, immediate and informative feedback,
and repetition with reflection and refinement.
3. Purpose: the intention to contribute to the wellbeing of others.
Reflect on how the work you are already doing can make a
positive contribution to society.
4. Hope: learned industriousness is shown by people who
deliberately train on more difficult tasks. Learned optimism
assumes that something can indeed be achieved. Learned
helplessness makes people not bother and/or give up too easily.
Showing up is more important than innate talent.
• It isn’t just what we say or how we say it that counts, but also
what goes on in the moments before we speak.
• In the world of ‘pre-suasion’, subtle turns of phrase,
seemingly insignificant visual clues, and apparently
unimportant details of location can prime people to say yes
before they are asked.
• Who we are with respect to any choice is where our attention
is in the moment before the choice.
• The frontloading of attention is influenced by privileged
moments (identifiable points in time when an individual is
particularly receptive), channelled attention, and attentional
focus that leads to perceptions of causality. Preparatory steps
to selling can take multiple forms, sometimes called frames,
anchors or primes - openers.
• Attractors are natural commanders of attention: sexual,
threatening or different cues.
• Magnetizers keep attention there once gained: self-relevant,
unfinished and mysterious information for example.
• The primacy of associations is important: I link therefore I am.
Heidari-Robinson & Heywood
• Reorg(anisation)s can be a good way to unlock latent value in
companies, but everyone hates them. They create anxiety and
fear and distract employees from their day-to-day jobs.
1. Construct the reorg’s profit and loss
Often the benefits are ill defined, with no consideration of resources required
and no agreed timeline. You need to explicitly define the value (or don’t do a
2. Understand current strengths and weaknesses
Often people only concentrate on weaknesses, and only listen to leaders and
hearsay. Proper analysis gives a fuller picture.
3. Choose from multiple options
Often companies skip the first two steps, impose one generic solution, and focus
on org charts (avoiding difficult leaders).
4. Get the plumbing and wiring right
Long, evolutionary planning doesn’t work, nor does leaving leaders in old
positions to resist change, or trying to change everything. Better to plan in
5. Launch, learn, and course correct
It’s no good only measuring inputs, letting issues fester, or going back to
business as usual. Better to measure outputs.
17. Gary Klein
SEEING WHAT OTHERS DON’T
Clear insights can transform
how we view things, and we
need to ditch our flawed beliefs
to achieve them.
18. Gary Klein
SEEING WHAT OTHERS DON’T
• This is all about the remarkable ways in which we gain insights.
• Performance improvements are all about reducing errors and
uncertainty, increasing the chance and frequency of insights.
• The old model of how we gain insights is: preparation,
incubation, illumination and verification, but the author examined
120 cases and found that this doesn’t always apply.
• Aha moments don’t necessarily occur either: “Aha is to insights
as orgasms are to conception. In both cases the experience is
more noticeable than the achievement, but the experience
doesn’t guarantee the achievement, and the achievement can
happen without the experience.” 5 strategies for gaining insights:
Connections – spotting an implication.
Coincidences – is this an accident, or is there something deeper?
Curiosities – what’s going on here?
Contradictions – finding an inconsistency.
Creative desperation – escaping an impasse.
• In the cases studied, the author found connection insights in
82% of them, contradictions in 38%, coincidences in 10%,
curiosities in 7%, and creative desperation in 25%.
20. Thomas Friedman
THANK YOU FOR BEING LATE
• To understand the twenty-first century, you need to
understand that the planet’s three largest forces are all
accelerating at once. These are:
• Moore’s Law (technology – computing power doubles every
• The Market (globalisation – the world is now one market, not
• Mother nature (climate change and biodiversity loss)
• The book is also an argument for being late – for pausing to
appreciate this epoch and reflect on its possibilities and
dangers. The title refers to waiting for someone to turn up to
a meeting. Instead of getting cross with them, we should
thank them for giving us unexpected thinking time.
• Technologists believe they have made waiting obsolete. Who
needs patience any more? But on the other hand:
• “Knowledge is only good if you can reflect on it.”
21. THINK SIMPLE
Smart leaders can defeat
complexity by defining a
simple mission, rallying
everyone around it, and
22. THINK SIMPLE
• Smart leaders can defeat complexity in a variety of ways, but simplicity
• Commitment is the key – bringing simplicity to a company is not a part-
time thing. Only the determined need apply.
• Have a mission – a very simple one that simplifies what everyone
• Observe – the role of the simplifier is to take a cold hard look at (a) the
company’s organisation, (b) its processes, and (c) the customer
• Pick your team – simplicity is a team sport. You can’t do it on your own.
• Involve – make the workforce become part of the transformation. The
simpler it is, the more people like it.
• Be the customer – is the journey consistent, would the experience
make you an evangelist, is the marketing focused, does the website
• Clarify and aim high – people enjoy being part of a higher purpose.
• Streamline everything: marketing, the org chart, and the approval
process. Most companies have become too flabby.
• Think like a start-up. Leading for outcomes is most effective.
23. THE BRAND FLIP
Customers now run
companies, so you need to flip
your brand their new
24. THE BRAND FLIP
Customers now run companies. They are no longer consumers – they are people with
hopes, dreams, needs and emotions, focused on meaning. They don’t buy brands – they
join them to build their identities. This is your tribe. 18 brand flips you should consider:
1. Products > meaning
2. Tangible > immaterial
3. Selling > enrolling
4. Company identity > customer identity
5. Better products > better customers
6. Customer segments > customer tribes
7. Transactions > relationships
8. Authority > authenticity
9. Competing > differentiating
10. Processes > values
11. Features > experiences
12. Punishment > protection
13. Deciding > designing
14. Plans > experiments
15. Overchoice > simplicity
16. Static brands > liquid brands
17. Storytelling > storyframing
18. Purchase funnel > brand ladder
25. THE EFFORTLESS EXPERIENCE
Dixon, Toman & Delisi
The idea that delighting
customers increases loyalty is
wrong – it’s all to do with
delivering on basic problems
and minimizing customer
26. THE EFFORTLESS EXPERIENCE
Dixon, Toman & Delisi
• Everyone knows that the best way to create customer loyalty
is with service so good that it surprises and delights. But
everyone is wrong.
• All the data in the book comes from a massive survey of
nearly 100,000 customers. The main findings are:
1. A strategy of delight doesn’t pay
2. Satisfaction is not a predictor of loyalty
3. Customer service interactions tend to drive disloyalty, not
4. The key to mitigating disloyalty is reducing customer effort
• Customers view only 20% of the companies they deal with as
• 96% of customers who had high effort experiences were
disloyal, but only 9% with low effort ones. So the role of
customer service is to reduce customer effort.
• Bad word of mouth has additional power. 45% of people with
something positive to say about a company tell 3 people. 48%
with negative things to say told 10 other people.
27. Robert Sutton
THE ASSHOLE SURVIVAL GUIDE
Bad behaviour is on the rise, but
there are some ingenious
approaches you can use to cope
28. Robert Sutton
THE ASSHOLE SURVIVAL GUIDE
• The TCA is the Total Cost of Assholes – behaviour like this is
proven to reduce the individual and company performance.
• Coping with this is craft not science. Some questions:
1. Do you feel like the alleged asshole is treating you as dirt?
2. How long will the ugliness persist?
3. Are you dealing with a temporary or certified asshole?
4. Is it an individual or a systemic disease?
5. How much more power do you have over the asshole?
6. How much are you really suffering?
• Coping techniques include:
Sit as far away from assholes as possible – 10 feet helps.
Try not to interact with them – leave meetings early, avoid
confrontation or engaging with them.
Wear an invisibility cloak – stay below the radar and just get on
with your work, putting in MVE – Minimum Viable Effort.
Find bully blockers – bosses who can protect you from assholes.
Go backstage – designate areas to get temporary relief.
In 2007 the author wrote The No Asshole Rule. This book draws on the experiences in 8,000 emails he has subsequently
received, and contains best advice on how to deal with assholes in all walks of life. Bad behaviour has been on the
increase, with incidents of abusive supervision, rudeness, bullying, road rage, air rage and phone rage growing.
29. Mark Manson
THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A
You can lead a more contented
and grounded life by deciding
what to give a f*ck about, and
30. Mark Manson
THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A
• We should get to know our limitations and accept them - once we
embrace our fears, faults and uncertainties we can begin to find
courage and confidence.
• Not giving a f*ck does not mean being indifferent; it means being
comfortable about being different.
• To not give a f*ck about adversity, you have to care about something
more important than adversity.
• Whether you realise it or not, you can always choose what to give a
f*ck about. Say no and stay true to yourself.
• It’s counterintuitive, but wanting positive experience is a negative
experience; and accepting negative one is positive.
• The feedback loop from hell involves getting anxious about
confronting something, then you start worrying about why you’re so
anxious, then become anxious about being anxious.
• Many fail to achieve fulfilment because they either deny that the
problems exist in the first place, or have a victim mentality, choosing
to believe that there is nothing they can do.
• Happiness comes from solving problems. Action isn’t just the effect of
motivation; it’s also the cause of it. Who you are is defined by what
you want to struggle for.
Jocelyn K Glei
• This is all about how to kill email anxiety, avoid distractions and get
real work done. The rat brain makes email addictive. In the 30s,
psychologist B. F. Skinner tested rats with fixed and variable rewards.
People are more motivated when they think they might get an email
• The progress paradox: inbox zero is irresistible because of urge for
completion - we never get there.
• The negativity bias: Daniel Goleman discovered that if the sender
feels positive about an email, the receiver is usually neutral. If the
sender is neutral, the receiver is usually negative. Our words betray
us because all emotion is stripped from these conversations in
relation to face-to-face, or even phone, where we pick up subtleties
and social cues.
• The rule of reciprocity: inbox overload gives us a guilt complex, and
we feel obliged to reply, even to the detriment of things we really want
• The asker’s advantage: there’s a difference between askers and
guessers: askers assume people might decline; guessers believe you
should only ask if you guess they’ll say yes. So guessers find it hard
to say no to askers.
33. WHEN TEAMS COLLIDE
It takes subtlety and
understanding to get
international teams to work
effectively by playing to the
strengths of each culture.
34. WHEN TEAMS COLLIDE
• This is all about how to manage international teams successfully.
• They are becoming the central operating mode for global
enterprises. They often know local markets better and are more
culturally aware than their parent company. But how can you get
things done with colleagues with different word views?
• How to strike the right balance between core values and diversity?
• Linear-Active cultures (German, Swiss, UK etc.) are anchored in
facts, planning, products, timelines, word-deed correlation,
institutions, and law.
• Multi-active cultures (Italy, Spain, Brazil etc.) are anchored in family,
hierarchy, relationships, emotion, eloquence, persuasion and loyalty.
• Reactive cultures (Vietnam, China, Japan etc.) are anchored in
intuition, courtesy, network, common obligations, collective harmony,
• There is a high correlation between linear active cultures and low
context behaviour, in which the language is apparently obvious, so
the context doesn’t matter that much. For reactive and Multi-active
cultures, high context deduction is the norm. Context is everything.
• Brainstorming is not universally popular because many cultures are
unwilling to contradict or offend superiors or colleagues (eg. Brazil),
and many dislike thinking aloud (eg. Japan).
35. SYSTEM 1
Kearon, Ewing & Wood
Feeling is at the heart of
system 1 – if you feel good
about something, then it’s a
36. SYSTEM 1
Kearon, Ewing & Wood
• We think much less than we think we think.
• System 1 dominates, makes quick judgements, and is
guided by experience, emotion and pattern recognition.
System 2 is the lazy policeman – good for calculation and
rational thinking, but mostly a rubber stamp for System 1. So
you should design your marketing for System 1.
• Aim for fluent innovation. Fluency means something is easy
to recognise and understand. This should be 80% familiar so
customers feel comfortable, and 20% new to create appeal.
• When it comes to advertising, the more people feel, the
more they buy. Emotional ads are far more likely to lead to
long-term profitable growth. Seduction beats persuasion.
• It therefore pays to work out how to use the seven basic
emotions described by Paul Ekman: surprise, sadness, fear,
disgust, anger, contempt and happiness. Also beware
neutrality, where people feel nothing at all. Aim for the 3 Fs:
Fame (readily come to mind)
Feeling (feel good)
Fluency (be recognisable)
37. HOW TO USE
• Be inquisitive
• Make the time
• Understand the lines of argument
• Have a point of view
• Inform your work
• Enjoy the debate
• Ask Kevin to speak or train
38. KEVIN DUNCAN
More detail at:
Ask Kevin to speak or train: