“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

Attributed by Paul Samuelson, Nobel Laureate in Economics, to John Maynard Keynes Read More

Quotes | October 2016

As you came through airport security this summer, did you pop one of those smiley faces as you scooped up your bags and swung past towards your departure gate? The company behind them, HappyOrNot, says that using faces rather than numerical scores increases positive ratings. That seems appealing. But it misses the point. Positive ratings are over-rated.

There’s a host of reasons for low scores, from ad hoc operational failures through to structural factors that are slow or costly to change, Read More

Thought leadership | September 2016

Age UK are in trouble for doing a deal with an energy provider that raised £6m a year for the charity. It’s tough, and probably feels unfair to them. But this is what happens when the operational needs of the business get dissociated from its core purpose. Fundraising is essential but it is not why Age UK exists.

The charity aims to help everyone make the most of later life. Undoubtedly some older people are confused by energy tariffs, Read More

Comment | February 2016

“Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions.”

attributed to Wallace Earl Gray Stephens, American poet

  Read More

Quotes | December 2015

Everyone’s talking about insight. So what is an insight? It is a discovery about the market which can be acted upon to create competitive advantage. It’s usually a realisation, not a direct data point. Numbers may prompt this realisation, but it has to be thought and articulated before it starts to be useful. It’s the “aha” statement that gets passed around, and enables a business to create shared understanding and take action.

It seems like everyone’s doing insight too. Read More

Thought leadership | December 2015

“Ever since I learned about confirmation bias, I’ve been seeing it everywhere.”

Jon Ronson, writer

 

More on behavioural economics:

A short review of Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman

Behavioural economics versus classical marketing

How the UK government uses behavioural economics Read More

Quotes | September 2015

I knew I was cutting it fine to catch the 19.20 from Waterloo the other night. But I’ve done it often, and know which platform to head for. The train was still showing on the board. So I was more surprised than anything else when the doors closed in front of me, and I watched from platform 3 as the train pulled out. “But it’s leaving early!” I protested to the unruffled train controller who was right beside me as he waved the train off. Read More

Thought leadership | April 2015

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority it is time to pause and reflect.”

Mark Twain

 

Related posts:  The myth of the leader

What can sporting heroes teach us about business? Read More

Quotes | March 2015

Almost ten years ago these two – Levitt the iconoclastic economist and Dubner the journalist – published Freakonomics, in which they confronted received wisdom and political correctness. Levitt’s approach is about finding true cause and effect by daring to ask different questions and using data without prejudice.  In a way it’s the precursor of behavioural economics, nudge theory and all that, because it reveals how frequently outcomes are shaped by unseen forces, rather than being conscious choices. Read More

Books | August 2014

“Games are won by players who focus on the playing field – not by those whose eyes are glued to the scoreboard.”

Warren Buffett, aka the sage of Omaha Read More

Quotes | March 2014