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RECHARGE :: Alan Hargreaves
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by Alan Hargreaves



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Recharge Archives

 

Thursday
Nov202014

Are strong opinions that useful?

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Firmly held ideas don’t have a great track record.

Strong opinions have little to commend them. They’re correlated with high blood pressure, anxiety and depression. Psychological studies say they are associated with ego rather than evidence and can be blamed for poor decision-making in times of stress.

Yet we all have opinions, some of them quite useful. Where is the line between dysfunctional self-belief and a healthy point of view?

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Tuesday
Oct072014

Picking Winners

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Making decisions in times of rapid change

Why do managed funds invariably underperform the stock market? Even hedge funds – allegedly run by the smartest people in the room – have pretty poor performance.

Despite rigorous analysis, their decisions are still a guess. What’s more, it’s not a guess about whether they are right. It’s a guess about whether or not other people think that other people will think they are right.

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Tuesday
Sep092014

Why satisfaction in not enough

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Going the extra mile

How much is enough? Depends on what we are talking about. If it’s personal wellbeing, the right answer is probably whatever you’ve got now. Acceptance is a great platform for personal growth.

If we are talking about customer satisfaction, the answer is a little bit more.

It’s not that satisfied customers are bad for business. It’s just that if you want to keep them and grow them, you need to do better than that.

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Tuesday
Aug122014

Why simple is better

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For clarity, de-clutter.

We often make things complex when something simple would give us a better result. We think we’ll make things clear by adding more detail.

Sometimes it feels we are doing the right thing, like setting lots of different speed limits for different road environments. Yet research shows that fewer changes in speed zones lead to fewer accidents.

The obvious reason might be that drivers concentrate less on the speedometer and more on the road. But complexity can be more devious than that.

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Tuesday
Jul292014

Work happens to be part of life

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Is work-life balance such a good idea?

It has a nice ring to it, like it’s a state of calm. In the office, we’d competently manage stressful issues. At home, the family room would overflow with fulfillment.

Yet the conversation is never balanced. The focus is always on time, mainly a demand for more of the free variety. Work is the enemy, somehow divorced from life rather than an integral part of it.

Other judgments intervene. Women feel guilty of being absentee parents. Men feel they should be more than just providers. The conversation gets hijacked by working mother arguments.

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