July 25, 2014
I’m always amazed when I walk into a store and read the label on a piece of clothing to see the size, and the tag simply reads “one size fits all.” I specifically remember the first time I saw one of these labels–I was young, with my mom. The piece of clothing was a Disney nightgown, and there was only one size that claimed to “fit all.” I remember looking up at my mom, wondering how this gown could possibly fit both her and me. There was no way it was going to fit her adult body and my eight-year-old body. The only way she could describe it was that there was only one size made for everyone to fit into, and it would just fit everyone differently, or realistically, some wouldn’t fit into it at all.
July 21, 2014
While debates over education reform pick up steam across the country, Ross professors Robert Quinn and Gretchen Spreitzer hope to add a little analytical rigor to the discussions with their new book, The Best Teacher in You, out this month from Berrett-Koehler in partnership with Battelle For Kids.
In the book, Quinn and Spreitzer (along with co-authors Mike Thomas and Katherine Heynoski of BFK) explore interviews, workshops, and studies with more than 350 highly effective teachers from across the country and reveal some interesting details.
July 18, 2014
If you walk into a dark, unfamiliar room, what is your first instinct? Probably to find the nearest light and turn it on. If you’re stressed and under a lot of pressure at school or work, why do people say, “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel?” And why was there an Oprah quote on my Starbucks cup today, telling me to “know what sparks the light in [me],” and to “use that light to illuminate the world”? Finding “the light” is a common thing that people are searching for.
July 3, 2014
At last week’s Lunch and Learn, Chris Myers, PhD student in Management & Organizations, explained that “sharing experiences and reflecting jointly with others enhances individual learning.” By sharing, we are able to learn vicariously through the person we’re sharing with.
June 30, 2014
When you become the head of a major company, you instantly join the ranks of the rich and famous. Ethical questions aside, new evidence shows that the perks of celebrity life are bad for companies. Here are six situations that CEOs might want to refuse.
June 27, 2014
It’s a hot summer day, and all you want is vanilla ice cream. So you go to the ice cream shop, and you see they have vanilla ice cream. You’re happy. They have the ice cream you wanted, so now you can end this incessant craving you’ve been having. But wait – now you see that they offer over twenty different ice cream toppings. Instead of getting plain vanilla ice cream, you decide to add cookie dough, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and a cherry on top. You would have been perfectly happy if you had walked away with your plain vanilla ice cream, but now that you have all these toppings, you’re even happier.
June 23, 2014
Here are some of my favorite surprising studies. What do they have in common?
–People are more likely to buy jam when they’re presented with 6 flavors than 24.
–After inspecting a house, real estate agents thought it was $14,000 more valuable when the seller listed it at $149,900 than $119,900.
–When children play a fun game and then get rewarded for it, they lose interest in playing the game once the rewards are gone.
–People conserve more energy when they see their neighbors’ consumption rates.
–If you flip a coin six times, people think Heads-Heads-Heads-Tails-Tails-Tails is less likely than Heads-Tails-Tails-Heads-Heads-Tails, even though the two are equally likely.
–Managers underestimate the intrinsic motivation of their employees.
They’ve all appeared in the media as research done by behavioral economists, when in fact they were done by psychologists.
June 20, 2014
Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion states that “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” I remember learning this in grade school, and doing experiment after experiment to prove that the law was true. I quickly learned this law also held true beyond the world of science. It social settings, it was simple—every action could create consequences or benefits, and it was your task to understand how your actions were going to affect others. When it was a person—or people—on the other end of the equation, rather than an object, it was a lot easier to understand. It seems to me that this also happens in the business world. When one is the CEO of a company, it may be a little easier to hide behind the structure of the building or behind the name of the company to fight for profit maximization, and it’s easier to forget the reactions that take place outside of that business. However, positive business leaders like Fred Keller are taking the initiative to reinstate the idea of looking at the whole picture of business, and are showing how businesses can use their power to create a better, sustainable society. They’re proving that positive work places can be prosperous work places, too.
June 13, 2014
The first thing I noticed when I walked into the Center were the colorful walls—orange, yellow, and green. And when I moved from room to room, I noticed that all the tables and chairs had been set up in ways that encouraged an environment for collaboration and sharing. The tables were big enough to seat several people; for seats, you had a choice between a chair and an exercise ball. Every room was open to everybody—there was no hierarchy of offices. And when I glanced at the corner of the community room, I was so shocked to see that the Center has a little pet tortoise named Rosa!
June 10, 2014
When we interact with other people, what do we want? As I started to study that question, I came across a wonderful quote. “There are two kinds of people in the world,” Robert Benchley wrote. “Those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don’t.”
Psychologists have a bad habit of oversimplifying people. If I truly wanted to capture the richness of the human condition, I needed more than two categories. Imagine my delight, then, when I found evidence that around the world, there are not two… but three styles of interaction.
June 5, 2014
Your employer is putting you in harm’s way.
In fact, you can’t smoke cigarettes fast enough to match the damage that today’s workplace is doing to you. And not just you, but everyone from the newest hire to your CEO. Your company is unknowingly dragging the life from all of you.
May 23, 2014
Is radically transparent finance a way to inspire and engage employees?
Opening the books and training employees to read and understand financial statements is a first step in using finance as a way to have employees think and act as business owners, take control of their own fates, and produce extraordinary results. The approach is called Open Book Finance, and it began in a desperate situation at a failing manufacturing company in Springfield, Missouri. Have you heard of it?