The Smarter People Blog

Human Capital Analtyics thoughts, views and opinion, from SPP thought leadership and industry experts.

Do You Use the Logic of Failure to Succeed?

Logic of Failure

In The Logic of Failure, German psychologist Dietrich Dörner summarized experiments on how people deal with complex systems. Dörner created a computer model of an imaginary country in West Africa that he called Tanaland. The people of this imaginary land depend on growing crops, gathering fruit, and herding sheep and cattle. Participants in Dörner’s experiment were given the opportunity to control certain variables of the Tanaland computer model, such as whether to use irrigation and fertilizer. Most participants quickly wiped out Tanaland’s population, but a few were able to preserve a healthy rate of growth. The differences between the experiment’s two groups, Dörner wrote, were striking: “The good participants acted more complexly. Their decisions took different aspects of the entire system into account, not just one aspect. This is clearly the more appropriate behavior in dealing with complicated systems,” he added, because complexity means there are “many interdependent variables in a given system,” which makes “it impossible to undertake only one action.”

Continue reading
  1083 Hits
0 Comments
1083 Hits
  0 Comments

Step 7: Make Smarter Decisions by Checking our Egocentrism

Step 7: Make Smarter Decisions by Checking our Egocentrism

Decisions have to be sound and implemented effectively. Decision-making success is a function of decision quality and implementation. One cognitive bias trap we fall into is called egocentrism bias. This type of bias is when we assign more credit to ourselves for an outcome than an outside party would attribute. For example, “I deserve the bonus this month more than the others on my team because I worked harder.” We put too much emphasis on our own actions. Another form of egocentrism is attributing more blame to ourselves than an outside party would attribute.

Continue reading
  986 Hits
0 Comments
986 Hits
  0 Comments

Step 5: Make Smarter Decisions by Avoiding Illusory Correlations

Step 5: Make Smarter Decisions by Avoiding Illusory Correlations
blogchart

Do you know how stereotypes are formulated? It’s through an illusory correlation. People have a tendency to jump to conclusions about the relationship between two variables, even when no causal relationship exists. All jocks are dumb, women are not as smart as men, blonde-haired women are unintelligent...you know where this is going. Yes, these relationships may be true in some instances, but not for the majority. This mental error leads to poor decision-making.

Continue reading
  1360 Hits
0 Comments
1360 Hits
  0 Comments

Step 2: Make Smarter Decisions by Recognizing Overconfidence Bias

Step 2: Make Smarter Decisions by Recognizing Overconfidence Bias

Have you ever been surprised when it took you much longer to complete a task than you expected or you overestimated your knowledge or ability in a situation? This happens to me all the time with any home maintenance task. I end up spending more time watching DIY YouTube videos trying to solve the problem than I actually do working on the task because I don’t have the knowledge to complete the task. Half the time, I come to the realization that I need to outsource the task if I want it done right.

Continue reading
  928 Hits
0 Comments
928 Hits
  0 Comments

7 Steps to Making Smarter Decisions

7 Steps to Making Smarter Decisions

You’re making poor decisions every day in your personal life, in business, and about your learning investments – sometimes unbeknownst to you and only because you’re human. Have you thought about how and why you make the decisions you do? There are many types of cognitive biases involved in decision making, and you fall into the traps of these biases every day. They affect all of us and are rooted in human nature; thus, they cannot be avoided. It isn’t about a lack of intelligence—it’s about being people.

Continue reading
  1014 Hits
0 Comments
1014 Hits
  0 Comments

Your Grittiness Can Create a New Habit Loop

Your Grittiness Can Create a New Habit Loop
chart
craving

I just finished Angela Duckworth’s Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. For those of you who haven’t read it, the book talks about the combination of passion and persistence—not necessarily genius—that leads to success. I scored a 4.4 on her grit scale, which means that I am grittier than about 85% (one standard deviation above the mean) of the Americans in her sample.

Continue reading
  1493 Hits
0 Comments
1493 Hits
  0 Comments

Complex Problems Require Systems Thinking

Complex Problems Require Systems Thinking

H. L. Mencken said, “For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, straightforward, and wrong.” How do you solve complex problems? Sometimes you can “just do it,” knock down the first domino—which topples the next in a long line of dominoes—and achieve the result you want. More often, however, the world is not domino-simple. The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley nailed the nature of the problem: “Nothing in the world is single, All things...In one another’s being mingle....” Business strategist Peter Senge has expressed the same idea less poetically but more precisely: “human endeavors are...systems. They...are bound by invisible fabrics of interrelated actions, which often take years to fully play out their effects on each other.” Senge said this is a problem of dynamic complexity, which he defined as “situations where cause and effect are subtle, and where the effects over time of interventions are not obvious.”

Continue reading
  1421 Hits
0 Comments
1421 Hits
  0 Comments