Don’t be a Zebra, Be a Giraffe

Zebra stands for Zero Evidence but Really Adamant.  Zebras are people who see things in black and white.  They are sure of their own opinions and they disdain information or science which undermines their beliefs.  The king of the Zebras is Donald Trump. Tom Nichols is the author of the 2017 book, The Death of Expertise.  In it he writes that ignorance is now seen as a virtue.  ‘To reject... Read More--

Thank Heavens for Leaders who can Change their Minds

Why do we find it so hard to change our minds?  Why are we so critical of people who do change their minds? Stalin John Adair, the leadership expert, says that the most important (and often the most difficult) sentence for a leader to utter is, ’I admit that I was wrong.’  But on the rare occasions when political leaders change their minds they are accused in the media of flip-flopping, of doing... Read More--

Innovate and Persuade with a Well-Judged Nudge

Behavioural nudges are clever policy tweaks often used by governments to influence the choices that people make.  They are often found to be more effective and less costly than direct actions such as quotas, taxes or subsidies.  Here are some simple examples: Putting calorie counts on menus encourages people to make healthier choices – salads instead of french fries. Changing the default... Read More--

Do We Really Use only 10% of our Brains?

How much of the brain do we employ and how much remains unused? What would happen if we could release the full potential of our brains? Lucy is a film directed by Luc Besson in 2014. It stars Scarlett Johansson as a heroine who ingests drugs that dramatically improve her mental capacity. Morgan Freeman plays Professor Norman who states, ‘It is estimated that humans use only 10% of the capacity of... Read More--

Games for Thinkers

Thinkers relish the challenge and stimulation of intellectual games. They enjoy games for the pure thrill of exercising their minds and judgements in pursuit of victory. You can take pleasure in any number of great games. Here is a selection of recommended pastimes. Add them to your Christmas list: 1. Chess Chess is the king of games. It represents a pure cerebral struggle between two minds. It teaches... Read More--

If you want a great idea, start with a great many ideas.

One of the problems with the Western education system is that it teaches that for most questions there is one correct answer. Examinations with multiple choice questions force the student to try to select the right answer and avoid the wrong ones. So when our students leave school they are steeped in a system that says find the ‘right answer’ and you have solved the problem. Unfortunately the real... Read More--

Lead and Create by Asking Questions

Children learn by asking questions. Students learn by asking questions. New recruits learn by asking questions. It is the simplest and most effective way of learning. People who think that they know it all no longer ask questions – why should they? Brilliant thinkers never stop asking questions because they know that this is the best way to gain deeper insights. Eric Schmidt, when CEO of Google,... Read More--

Mistaking the Cause is a Common Thinking Error

A Correlation does not mean a Causation   In the 1930s an eminent medical journal published a report showing that cancer was much more frequent in New England, Minnesota and Wisconsin than it was in the Southern States. It was also more common in Switzerland and England than in Japan. It was known that people in New England, Minnesota and Wisconsin drank more milk than people in the Southern States.... Read More--