Showing posts from September, 2016

SMORC model - Why people cheat?

In his book "The Honest Truth about Dishonesty", author Dan Ariely writes about the Psychology of Dishonesty. Why are people dishonest? Why do people cheat? Is it for reward?

He feels that most of us are inherently dishonest at some level and more than reward we weigh the pros and cons of getting caught.

Weighing the cost benefit analysis is more important than the consideration of right or wrong.

One simple example is about Parking in a no Parking zone. How often have all of us done this? If we have to rush for a meeting, we weigh the costs of getting a parking ticket versus costs of going late for a meeting. It's not about right or wrong.

He created this model called SMORC - Simple model of Rational Crime.

In some of the experiments that Dan conducted, he found that incentive for crime was not a motivation. However the risk of not getting caught was the real driver in such cases.

In this video below, Dan speaks about his SMORC model and some case studies.

This article

Color Psychology - The hunt for the world's ugliest color

What is the effect of color on our Behavior?

The Australian government hired a research agency to find out what is the world's ugliest color and they came up with Pantone 448C. 

The purpose of this activity was to color cigarette products with this colour to dissuade people from smoking. Check this video below

A site to check if you logo looks like a genital!!

A site has has been launched which checks if your logo looks like a Genital!!

How many of us have seen logos which have made us wonder what exactly was the designer thinking. Take a look at this one below

The site was started by Denver Designer Josh Mishell who saw some (probably unintended) genitalia on a beer coaster at a local brewery startup. He posted the photo online. While many people thought the photo was funny, a few concerned friends pointed out that he should do something constructive with his time, instead of just pointing out the hilarity of these unexpected genitals in design.
He says that when you’ve been looking at your own design too much, it’s easy to miss simple signs that your logo has some hidden genitals in it.

For a $25 design fee you can upload your logo and they'll investigate and inform if you there is even a hint of genitals in your logo.

Some of the funny examples shown on the site are

Pink color lowers Heart rate and reduces aggression

Drunk Tank Pink is a tone of pink claimed to reduce hostile, violent or aggressive behavior.

In the late 1960s, Alexander Schauss, Director of Life Sciences at the American Institute for Biosocial Research in Tacoma, Washington, did studies on psychological and physiological responses to the colorpink. Schauss had read studies by the Swiss psychiatrist Max Luscher, who believed that color preferences provided clues about one's personality. Luscher noticed that color preferences shifted according to psychological and physiological fluctuations in his patients. Luscher asserted that color choice reflects emotional states. He theorized that one's color choices reflect corresponding changes in the endocrine system, which produces hormones.
In early tests in 1978, Schauss observed that color, surprisingly, did affect muscle strength, either invigorating or enervating the subject, and even influenced the cardiovascular system. Schauss began to experiment on himself, with the help of …

Social proof

Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation. This effect is prominent in ambiguous social situations where people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior, and is driven by the assumption that surrounding people possess more knowledge about the situation. src Wiki
The most famous study of social proof is Muzafer Sherif's 1935 experiment. In this experiment subjects were placed in a dark room and asked to look at a dot of light about 15 feet away. They were then asked how much, in inches, the dot of light was moving. 
In reality it was not moving at all, but due to the autokinetic effect it appeared to move. 
How much the light appears to move varies from person to person but is generally consistent over time for each individual. A few days later a second part of the experiment was conducted. Each subject was paired wit…

Less is Good

Dieter Rams is a German industrial designer closely associated with the consumer products company Braun and the Functionalist school of industrial design. His unobtrusive approach and belief in "less but better" design generated a timeless quality in his products and have influenced the design of many products, which also secured Rams worldwide recognition and appreciation. src wiki
When he was a young engineer at Braun, he was asked to be a part of the team that was working on a record player. That was the era of the Turntable record players which was covered in solid wood. He instead went on to create a clutter free design by removing the inessentials and covered it with a plastic cover. 
It was so revolutionary at that time that people didnt know what to make of it and it even gained the nickname "Snow White's coffin" because it resembled the Disney princess' transparent sleeping chamber.
But over a period of time, this started becoming the design norm.

Schumpters Gale - Creative Destruction

Schumpeter's gale, is a concept in economics which since the 1950s has become most readily identified with the Austrian American economist Joseph Schumpeter who derived it from the work of Karl Marx and popularized it as a theory of economic innovation and the business cycle. src Wiki

The "gale of creative destruction" describes the "process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one".

Companies that once revolutionized and dominated new industries – for example, Xerox in copiers or Polaroid in instant photography – have seen their profits fall and their dominance vanish as rivals launched improved designs or cut manufacturing costs.

In technology, the cassette tape replaced the 8-track, only to be replaced in turn by the compact disc, which was undercut by downloads to MP3 players, which is now being usurped by web-based streaming services.


Digital innovation at Dominos

Dominos has been at the forefront of Digital innovation through their initiatives in making their ordering as idiot proof as possible.

1. Zero click ordering
Just open Dominos Zero click app on your phone and after a 10 second count down the app will automatically place your order for the same pizza you bought the last time.

2. Order with an Emoji
Just text a Pizza Emoji and get your order

3. Tweet an order
Just tweet #Dominos #pizza and get your pizza

MIE - Minimally Invasive Education - How a Girl from a remote Mexican slum won the All Mexico Math exam

How a Girl from a remote Mexican slum won the All Mexico Math exam using the MIE method.

Minimally invasive education (MIE) is a form of learning in which children operate in unsupervised environments. The methodology arose from an experiment done by Sugata Mitra while at NIIT in 1999, often called The Hole in the Wall

On 26 January 1999, Mitra's team carved a "hole in the wall" that separated the NIIT premises from the adjoining slum in Kalkaji, New Delhi. Through this hole, a freely accessible computer was put up for use. This computer proved to be popular among the slum children. With no prior experience, the children learned to use the computer on their own. This prompted Mitra to propose the following hypothesis: The acquisition of basic computing skills by any set of children can be achieved through incidental learning provided the learners are given access to a suitable computing facility, with entertaining and motivating content and some minimal (human) guidance…

Goldilocks effect

The Goldilocks principle is derived from a children's story "The Three Bears" in which a little girl named Goldilocks finds a house owned by three bears. Each bear has its own preference of food and beds. After testing all three examples of both items, Goldilocks determines that one of them is always too much in one extreme (too hot or too large), one is too much in the opposite extreme (too cold or too small), and one is "just right".

The Goldilocks principle states that in a given sample, there may be entities belonging to extremes, but there will always be an entity belonging to the average. Or in other words, in a sample, there will always be a U-shaped distribution. When the effects of the principle are observed, it is known as the Goldilocks effect. src wiki

In economics, a Goldilocks economy sustains moderate economic growth and low inflation, which allows a market-friendly monetary policy. A Goldilocks market occurs when the price of commodities sits b…

Thinking out of the Box - How a Ball point manufacturer became a market leader in razors and lighters

In his book Thinking in New Boxes, author Luc speaks about a case of how BIC, manufacturers of Ball point pens, got into Lighter manufacturing and disposable razors business.

BIC started as a stationery company and purveyor of popular low-cost ballpoint pens. Business was healthy, but BIC wanted to grow. Had BIC thought of itself as a “pen” company, it might have focused solely on expanding its range of pens with new colors, new sizes, and new price points.

But one executive perceived a new box. BIC was not in the pen business, it was in the “inexpensive disposable plastic items” business. With this breakthrough change to a different box, the company opened its eyes to a host of new opportunities—disposable lighters, razors, and even precharged mobile phones. BIC and its sales soared.

BIC launched its first disposable lighters in 1973 and its first disposable shavers in 1975 eventually becoming the global market leader in pocket lighters and number 2 position globally for one piece …

Costa Rica has run for 113 days on renewable energy

Costa Rica has managed to run on renewable energy for 113 days straight. In 2015 it relied on nothing but renewables for 285 days of the year. In total, Costa Rica provided 99% of its energy needs last year with renewables alone.

The majority of this power comes from hydroelectric plants. Costa Rica is also diversifying with ventures in geothermal energy and solar.

Source: FastCo

When Leaders hire junior mentors

In the 1990s, when Jack Welch faced some tough decisions about how to exploit the Internet, he chose experience as a solution to the biases he might have.
He hired a personal Internet mentor who was more than 25 years his junior and encouraged his top managers to do the same.
Warren Buffett recommends extra challenge as a solution to biases that arise during acquisitions. Whenever a company is paying part of the price with shares, he proposes using an “adviser against the deal,” who would be compensated well only if it did not go through.
source: Mckinsey article on How to Test your Decision Making instincts

Self Awareness - The most important trait of a Leader

When the 75 members of Stanford Graduate School of Business’s Advisory Council were asked to recommend the most important capability for leaders to develop, their answer was nearly unanimous: self-awareness.
src HBR article

Also read about Vasella, CEO of Novartis who built an entirely new Novartis culture centered on compassion, competence, and competition. He did this because of his health issues during his childhood and the trauma he went through during his treatments.

When he was 8 years old, he still remembers the pain and fear when the nurses held him down during the lumbar punctures to prevent him from moving. One day, a new physician arrived and took time to explain each step of the procedure. Vasella asked the doctor if he could hold a nurse’s hand instead of being held down. Vasella recalls “The amazing thing is that this time the procedure didn’t hurt,”. “Afterward, the doctor asked me, ‘How was that?’ I reached up and gave him a big hug. These human gestures of forgiveness…

Time Management Analysis - Tracking every minute for 2 days

Debbie Good, clinical assistant professor of business at the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business, teaches time management to her MBA students.

She has them account for every minute of two full days in 15-minute increments. Many are surprised at how long they really spend on certain tasks, she says. You might think you’re only checking social media for 15 minutes, but it may be four or five times that long.

Write down to look at how long you’re spending on the things you do each day, she says. Once you have a good sense of how long various tasks take, you might even note those amounts on your list to help you track how much you’re trying to cram into your day, she says.

Source - Fast Company

The 100 year old Ivy Lee Method of Task Management

Ivy Lee was a PR consultant in the early part of the 20th century. In 1918, Charles Schwab, President of Bethlehem Steel invited Lee to help him increase productivity and efficiency in his organization.

Lee reportedly told him that he needed 15 mins with each of his executives and if things work out after 3 months he could pay him whatever he felt it was worth.

During his 15 mins with each executive, he outlined a simple method.

1. At the end of every day write down not more than 6 important things you need to do tomorrow.
2. Prioritize them in order of importance
3. Next morning focus only on the first task. Complete the first before moving to the next.
4. At EOD, move unfinished items to a new list of 6 tasks for the next day
5. Repeat daily

After 3 months Schwab was so happy with the outcome that he sent him a cheque of $25,000.

Source : Fast company

Tough Performance Goals leads to cheating

In this HBR article an experiment was conducted with 2 groups of people. Both groups were given the same Anagram task.

However, Group 1 was given a specific performance goal of forming atleast 9 words whereas Group 2 was only told to do their best.

It was found that Group 1 were more likely to overstate their performance than Group 2 who were only told to do their best.