Tag Archives: behavior

How The Internet Brings Out Our Good And Bad Personalities

the internet changes our personalityIs the internet bringing out your dark side? Technology is changing our personalities – for the worse.

The internet changes the way we think and act. I don’t know about you, I act like my offline version on the internet; but some people don’t. Adrian and I discussed how people, in video games, act like they own the game; showing narcissistic tendencies which spill into their offline world.

Culture tells us what to do when the leader isn’t in the room

How does a leader build a sustainable company cultureCulture tells us what to do when the leader isn’t in the room. We’ve all heard this before, and being able to achieve this is one of the daunting challenges of leadership.

It is not unusual to be in a strategy session and come up with all kinds of great quotes and soundbites, that are quickly forgotten when everyone leaves the room. The key is to be able reduce those great quotes into “concrete behaviors” that happen on a daily basis.

For me, the challenge is ongoing. And to face this challenge, I use a code: FLUSH.

question to innovate

What specific behaviors should be rewarded to drive innovation?

question to innovate

This is the tenth of a series of weekly posts where I will answer a few common questions about innovation. Please feel free to add your own response. Also, if you have any questions you think we should discuss, let me know.

Organization get the behaviors they reward. And this is especially true when it comes to innovation. Let’s suppose you want to become more innovative (who doesn’t?), where would you start? Everyone will start at the front end of ideation. But before you go there, ask yourself these questions:

  • What would encourage people to share their ideas?
  • What would encourage them to act innovatively?

The answer: trust.

Please understand me. I want you to

please understand me

I have a few friends who are looking for a job and have been for a awhile. They use digital means such as Linkedin, Simply Hired, Monster to find jobs as well as network with people. This process takes a lot of time, but the biggest problem is they still live with their parents; and the parents are fed up with it.

They’ve even told me their parents want to take their computers away because they think finding a job through the internet is dumb. They say they should job hunt the old fashioned way by going door to door. Say what?

It’s ironic because recruiters are changing their employee-hunting tactics to focus more on online:

Rather than sift through mounds of online applications, they are going out to hunt for candidates themselves. Many plan to scale back their use of online job boards, which they say generate mostly unqualified leads, and hunt for candidates with a particular expertise on places like LinkedIn Corp.’s professional networking site before they post an opening. As the market gets more competitive again, they are hiring recruiters with expertise in headhunting and networking, rather than those with experience processing paperwork.

I’m not saying the old fashioned way of job hunting is wrong, it’s just that parents fail to understand how the internet is changing how we do most things;  including job hunting. Why this disconnect?

Because of ignorance. They don’t take the time to step into our world and see what we see. This same principle applies to understanding the world of both our customers and employees.

Why is this important?

Step into their world

I recently argued that CEO’s should use social media because they need to get an intimate feel for the tools their customers and employees use to communicate instead of leaving it up to their lieutenants to figure it out. If they don’t experience these tools firsthand, they’ll never get the visceral experience of how these tools are really used in the front lines.

I don’t know about you but I like to experience things first hand and get an intuitive feel for them because it’s the only way I can understand how others might use, react, behave, etc.

Your customers want you to understand them

Point: The only way to understand what customers (our children) are thinking is to put ourselves in their shoes and step into their world. Look at the world from their eyes. We have to close the gap between their world and ours if we are to understand and help solve their problems in a better way.

How do you do that?


Observe, notice, ask, listen, repeat.


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How to change people’s behavior by tweaking the environment

The interesting discussion we had about innovation being a matter of age brought up a lot of insights. One in particular, was that to breed innovation, an environment is more important than the age of the innovator. How this works is a little complicated to understand, but let me explain how a cognitive bias impedes us from seeing change coming from our environment, and then use some examples of how tweaking the environment makes change simple.

How to fight the confirmation bias

“It is difficult to lay aside a confirmed passion.” – Caius Valerius Catullus

Aha! you got an idea and you want to do some research to know if you’re idea has wings. You setup google alerts, hashtags about related topics on twitter, follow people in the know, join related groups on Linkedin, etc. You know the drill!

Soon after you start receiving information, this information looks familiar to you, it makes sense. Other people are talking about the same thing, you engage them and start exchanging ideas which start taking on a life of their own. This confirms your hunch, you get more excited because your idea has wings. Bangarang! you’re sure to be a gazillionaire!

Sound familiar?

This is the confirmation bias.

Whenever we have an idea, instead of searching for ways to prove our ideas wrong, we usually attempt to prove them correct. Once we see a pattern we do not easily let go of it, we keep digging and digging to see that pattern more and more. Sometimes there isn’t even a pattern there but we somehow ‘want’ to believe there is. You know all too well how this plays out in any organization.

Let’s change that. Time to turn off your lizard brain and engage your critical, truth seeking side of your brain.

In order to fight the confirmation bias let’s do the opposite: learn to spend as much time looking for ‘evidence’ that we are wrong as we spend searching for reasons that we are correct.

It’s not fun trying to prove we’re not the hotshots we think we are but the truth shall set you free.

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Delivering happiness: Not business as usual

A few days ago I wrote about how . They’ve designed their business model around the concept of ‘happiness’ and have made it clear that the customer IS their business. The idea is driven that by making their employees happy it further drives customer happiness. It’s common sense but we, as consumers, can’t really say that other businesses look after our well being.

But what about pre-Zappos, is there another business that does business to deliver happiness?

Enter hotelier Chip Conley. In the video above he talks about how he designed his business model based on happiness. He talks about how he was inspired, to question the truth that businesses were made to profit, by a vietnamese woman named Vivian whom he met after he bought the motel where she worked as a maid. After noticing that Vivian did her work with joy, he began to question: How can someone find joy in brushing toilets for a living?

Because of her attitude towards service. She felt her job was to make not only guests happy but also her fellow employees. Sound familiar?

Like I mentioned on my previous post:

The universal truth is that no brand really cares about YOU, they care about your buying power. With such a dominant assumption (rule) why is it that businesses don’t choose to break it?

Well as you can see from the above talk, Zappos isn’t a one time phenomenon and business can be driven by ‘happiness’. What’s needed is a change in mindset, that profit is result of two forces:

Happy employees + Happy customers = profitable business

Let me know what you think.