What’s your mental map of the world? Do you imagine countries as jagged shapes, in pastel colours with printed names? Or do you envisage a panoply of people and landscapes? Do you hear the local music and language, and smell the food? And is your picture based on books and movies, or firsthand experience?
Europeans often criticise Americans for mixing up, say, Slovenia and Slovakia. But how many of those critics could correctly name and label all the US states?* Perhaps, though, you’re a seasoned traveller, with a Google-map brain. Yet how would you fare on French literature? Or astronomy? Or the Icelandic legal system?
We’re all trapped in our own bubbles. We know this from the polarised reaction to world events, such as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. But how often do we consider that all our colleagues or clients also carry around different mental maps of how things should be done?
As a learning organisation, we put great store in books. These are thinking tools, really, by the innovators who have influenced our own approach to creating ‘innovations in productivity’.
Some are classics while others are newer additions to our library. Even the older books—perhaps especially those—contain ideas that are more important than ever. (more…)
The way we look at high-performance teams has moved on since Jungian archetypes. How do mindsets affect team performance?
According to the man who founded analytical psychology, Carl Jung, we are all endowed at birth with a bias toward one of two basic attitudes—expressed in the well-known idea of the introvert and extrovert. Jung describes the introvert as a power-oriented person who focuses on their own internal image of how things should be. The extrovert on the other hand turns outward, losing themselves in another object. (more…)
You’ve probably heard about managing your work using the Pareto Principle, or the ‘80/20 rule’. The idea being that 80% of outcomes derive from 20% of the causes. The causes may be clear in retrospect. But how do you know what to focus on in advance?
Organisations are complex and interdependent in nature. What one person believes will improve the organisation is usually limited to their domain expertise. Many times, individuals can’t see the global impact of their localised perspectives. Compounding the issue, management rewards behaviours using metrics and accounting systems that optimise local priorities at the expense of the business as a whole. (more…)
Culture is, pretty much, a force behind everything we do as human beings. Indeed culture is to humans as water is to fish. Asking them ‘What is water?’ would seem a futile question. It is simply, and in a profound way, the medium in which they live their lives.
To we humans, culture is both the light we project and the lens by which we see it. Sir Edward B Tylor, considered by many as the founder of cultural anthropology, said culture is ‘that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society’. (more…)