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Portfolio – complete

Agreeing to not disagree – making all voices heard by consensus

🔑 decision, consensus, voting, community || ✅ Making decisions by consensus takes more time than voting, but is more likely to be accepted and followed. ...

I like it because …

🔑 value, esthetic, quality || ✅ Quality lies very much in the eye of the beholder. ...

Like ice cream, happiness comes in flavours

🔑 happiness, meaning || ✅ The best taste is when you combine flavours into a sundae; don't stick to plain vanilla or chocolate only. ...

You can’t take a walk on a map

🔑 map, territory, fallacy, model || ✅ "Don't mistake the finger pointing to the moon for the moon itself."  ...

New hope for social media?

🔑 social media, downfall, opportunity, Mastodon || ✅ The promise of the internet in its early days, was quickly hijacked by self-serving, commercial interests. The free fall that Facebook and Twitter are now in, offers hope for a renewal of the early aspirations. ...

Show me the menu, anyway

🔑 choice, decision, default || ✅ We want to see the full menu even though we already know what we want. ...

Using charts to misinform and fool people

➡️ 𝕌𝕤𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕔𝕙𝕒𝕣𝕥𝕤 𝕥𝕠 𝕞𝕚𝕤𝕝𝕖𝕒𝕕 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕗𝕠𝕠𝕝 𝕡𝕖𝕠𝕡𝕝𝕖 -- Most of us struggle with making sense of numbers and data. Charts are the most common method of making numerical data understandable. Like all tools, they can be used for education just as well as for misinformation. Here's a common example ...

Rules of thumb (heuristics) can be better than algorithms

Rules of thumb (heuristics) can be better than algorithms. Uncertainty is a constant feature of life. Algorithms provide maps for navigating the seas of chance. Complex situations often involve handling many choices and making appropriate decisions. When the number of possibilities becomes too large for our minds to handle, complicated, ...

Random acts of kindness … make the brain more resilient

Till very recently, neuroscientists clung to the belief that the fully formed adult brain was incapable of further change. We now know that this is not true. The brain exhibits a remarkable capacity for change: a property that is labelled "neuroplasticity". Many stimuli invoke and propel this fantastic power. Neuroscientific ...

Changing jobs: consider trade-offs and opportunity costs

Moving upwards in your career often involves looking for and finding new jobs. Five issues need to be weighed before committing to a new position. Change, for its own sake, might have a downside that needs careful consideration. ...

Experts are rarely right in forecasting future events

We live and work in the midst of uncertainty. To relieve our anxieties, we turn to experts for guidance about the likelihood of future events. Philip Tetlock, after a massive 18-year study of expert predictions, demonstrated that their advice was no better than lay persons. They were actually worse than ...

Why ignorance and stupidity prevail: The Dunning-Kruger effect

There is an inverse relationship between knowledge and confidence in competence. The less you know, the more you are certain of your ability. First described in 1999 in a paper by Dunning and Kruger, it provides a good explanation for why it is so difficult to change existing beliefs and ...

How to get the most from meetings: do it like Jeff Bezos

Instead of Powerpoints and other presentation tools, Jeff Bezos of Amazon uses a unique method for extracting value from meetings. He insists on a written-out, carefully structured narrative. He then goes on to do some more unusual things with the meeting. ...

The ideal number for a meeting is …

Meetings are universally disliked. They disrupt work schedules. They are roadblocks to productivity. A handful of vocal people dominate the proceedings; the rest sit bored. But, abolishing meetings is akin to "throwing the baby out with the bath water." Limiting the number of attendees is the key to effective meetings. ...

Confirmation bias

Blind spots cloud clear cognition and understanding. The confirmation bias heads a long list. We programme our minds to filter out events that don't align with our existing beliefs. ...

Parkinson’s Law of Triviality

Long and hot discussions about trivial matters with small economic impact are easier to have than those over important issues requiring big sums of money. Large chunks of discussion time are spent on the former while the latter is quickly brushed away. ...

Better memory in the age of information overload

Now, more than ever, we need good strategies for remembering information that is valuable. Here is a popular tools for countering the "forgetting curve": the Cornell note-taking system. ...

The Peter Principle

The Peter Principle - Why and how hierarchies become incompetent bureaucracies. ...

The sunk cost fallacy

The sunk cost fallacy offers an explanation for why we persist with lost causes - throw good money after bad. ...

Why is disinformation so pervasive and what can we do about it?

Distortion of the truth, giving it a spin or angle, has been going on through all of history. But, it has never been so easy to spread misinformation and lies, widely and quickly, as is possible in the age of the Internet. ...

This tyrant now rules the world: our screens

"The locus of entertainment" has been slowly wrested from within our own choosing and dropped onto our all-pervasive screens. The "feeds" have taken over our minds. ...

The art of listening

"Good listening is complex, subtle, slippery - but it is also right here, it lives in us. ... absurdly under discussed ... a renewed approach to listening has improved how I relate to others." ...

How to get the biggest bang for the buck when you donate to good causes: Effective altruism

Our moral boundaries can be examined by sound reasoning. Effective altruism tries to look closely at the results of charitable acts to make sure that money is spent in the best way possible. ...

If you want to be a leader, you need this “X factor”​: Executive Presence

Executive presence distinguishes leaders from the crowd of people with mere talent or merit. EP is:"... an amalgam of qualities that true leaders exude, a presence that telegraphs you're in charge or deserve to be." ...

Pay it forward – be a mentor

Mentorship is a great way of "paying it forward". Traditionally, we look at paying back as the way of acknowledging help and support given to us in times of need. There is a more effective alternative: paying it forward. In a professional context, and in a word: mentorship. ...

The secret sauce for “Getting Things Done”: slow down

The claim, "I'm busy," is flaunted as a badge of honour. But, are you getting things done? Is your health and personal relationships suffering from your busy-ness? ...

Want to be more empathic? Try listening with your eyes closed

Empathic accuracy is a skill with which individuals can effectively judge the emotions, thoughts, and feelings of others. Effective listening is the key to this skill. Voice-only communication enhances empathic accuracy relative to communication across senses. In other words, shutting off sight could enhance empathic accuracy. ...

A Walk Through the Brave New World of Healthcare Data Analytics

LONG FORM ARTICLE (White Paper): In keeping with all other areas of human activity, the years have seen a shift in medical technology from analogue to digital. Everywhere we turn, we keep seeing, reading or hearing about the rapidly expanding role of big data analysis and artificial intelligence. Computer power ...

In memoriam: Side Kick and the days of yore

Looking back at 40 plus years of personal (and I mean personal) computing. ...

Making meetings matter: do it like Bezos

Meetings are universally unpopular. Most of us see them as a waste of time and a drag on productivity. Jeff Bezos has a unique way of conducting meetings with focus and effectiveness. ...

How to write a business narrative which will impress Bezos

A well thought-out, worded, structured and written document is, in the opinion of Bezos, the best way to communicate ideas across a group of people. Most of us balk at the prospect of writing because we have never received formal instruction on the process. This article outlines a 4-section framework ...

Every job application must include a covering letter

No job application is complete without a covering letter. The document should be carefully crafted and not dashed off thoughtlessly. It can make a vital difference in the way employers perceive your application. Here’s a three-step method for writing unique covering letters. ...

Personal journals: a cheaper and more effective alternative to psychotherapy

A well-nurtured journal can be a remarkable asset for your personal and professional life. You will be in the company of a long list of famous people who owed their success to this device. It need not be a daily chore; just an archive of thoughts, emotions and ideas coming ...

Battery and snowball: that’s how you build willpower

Will power and self-control have finite limits. Like a battery, they can be depleted. Draining this trait to exhaustion is likely to create resistance during future attempts. The trick lies in using the battery for short bursts and building up will power like a snowball as your gather momentum. ...

Your attention is priceless treasure. Don’t give it away for free.

Distraction is labelled as the 21st century syndrome. Lack of focus and attention lies on the surface of a deep-seated problem: anxiety arising from fear of failure. ...

The secret to making good decisions lies in weighing the trade-offs

We make thousands of decisions every day. Most of them hardly reach our consciousness. When they do, decision making often poses a dilemma. You want something, but you have to give up something else: a tradeoff. Some other benefit or opportunity is at stake -- the opportunity cost of your ...

Why do I feel so tired all the time? Where has all my energy gone?

Every one of us feels tired now and then; this is normal. It's a safety mechanism built in to ensure that we don't wear our bodies out. Feeling chronically tired, day in and day out, is not normal. ...

5 reasons why you should stop doing everything by yourself

Effective delegation is one of the most powerful tools for improving productivity. Letting go of activities that don't need our specific skills, realising others can do that, is the single most important act that can liberate us from drudgery. Today's world hinges on collaboration. ...

Placebo power: it shouldn’t work but it does

The human mind-body defies explanation in many ways. Quite often, medications that have no active component (“sugar pills”) can produce marked relief of a patient’s complaints: the placebo effect. Once considered a quirk, the placebo effect is now an established fact that is being actively explored. ...

Teleworking: staying visible in the new reality of work

"Out of sight, out of mind": this well-worn aphorism has never been more valid than in the age of COVID. Memories fade over time. We begin to wonder if our colleagues think about us at all. Visibility is key to success at work. Staying on top-of-the-mind-recall is going to involve ...

Yes, there’s an upside to anger. Learn how to put it to work for you.

The key, though is in being able to recognise anger and work with it, if not immediately, at least while reflecting on the episode. Ask yourself questions. Probe till it hurts. Go into dark spaces. ...

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