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Bad Boys (and Girls) Behave Badly

Bad Boys (and Girls) Behave Badly

Who cheats on their taxes? While the first answer that pops to mind might be “everyone,” about 15% of Americans admitted to doing so in an interesting study by DDB Worldwide Communications Group. (In a separate survey, 85% of Americans were found to be liars. Just kidding.) Single men made up 64% of the cheater [...]

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Build Loyalty like George Bailey

Build Loyalty like George Bailey

In the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, businessman George Bailey shifts from despair to intense motivation when an angel intervenes to show him how much worse off his town would have been without him. Most of us don’t have a guardian angel named Clarence to show us alternative histories, but it turns out that imagining [...]

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Emotional Contagion and Beyond

Emotional Contagion and Beyond

Toxic bosses. Debbie Downers. Our language reflects the idea that some people have a real emotional effect on their fellow workers. Now, interesting research not only confirms this idea but adds to it in several important ways: – It’s not just a few people who infect others with their moods; everyone has a measurable impact [...]

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Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)

Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)

The imperfection of our human brains has been a frequent topic of books lately, most notably Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational. Mistakes were made goes into considerable depth on one key failing, cognitive dissonance. The authors call cognitive dissonance the “engine of self-justification” and attribute many examples of irrational behavior to our attempts to resolve it.

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Zilch

Zilch

Zero does have a seemingly magical impact on our brains (see The Power of Free), though zero isn’t always a good thing. Zero resources, for example, are generally not good for business! That’s exactly what many non-profit organizations start with, though. In Zilch: The Power of Zero in Business, author Nancy Lublin translates her years of experience in under-resourced non-profits into strategies that can be applied by any business.

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Luxury, Left Brain, Right Brain

Luxury, Left Brain, Right Brain

Popular psychology simplifies the different functions of our brain hemispheres by using “left brain” to indicate analytical thinking and “right brain” to mean creativity and emotion. That may be a bit of an oversimplification, but it’s a useful shorthand. In The Luxury Strategy, authors J. N. Kapferer and V. Bastien emphasize the need for a [...]

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Neuromanagement: The Rule of Three?

Neuromanagement: The Rule of Three?

Trivia question: Why were local phone numbers originally seven digits long? The answer is that in the early days of local phone service, researchers found that seven digit numbers were about as long as most people could remember without forgetting or making errors. (One oft-quoted study on the “seven” topic is The Magical Number Seven, [...]

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Some Learn From Mistakes, Others Don’t

Some Learn From Mistakes, Others Don’t

In Managing by Mistakes, I wrote about the power of learning from mistakes. Some of the most successful individuals in different fields credit relentless focus on even small mistakes with their high achievement. Researchers at Columbia University divided student subjects into two groups, “grade hungry” and “knowledge hungry” based on a short survey, reports Newsweek’s [...]

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Better Branding: Hire Passionate People

Better Branding: Hire Passionate People

I’ve been reading Passion Brands: Why Some Brands Are Just Gotta Have, Drive All Night For, and Tell All Your Friends About by Kate Newlin, and am enjoying her analysis of what makes a “passion brand.” Passion brands are those with which consumers form an emotional attachment, and which they recommend enthusiastically to their friends. [...]

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Hire Articulate Salespeople

Hire Articulate Salespeople

Few would argue that one of the most important skills a salesperson can have is to understand what the customer is thinking, but that’s a skill that’s difficult to measure. Instead, hiring managers rely on evidence of past sales success (a good predictor of future performance) and the interview (a reasonable simulation of an in-person [...]

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