How your “attributional style” determines your effectiveness at work

Nick IngramThinking7 Comments

How do you respond when something negative happens to you at work? What explanation do you give it? What meaning do you attribute to it? Psychologists think that we all have pretty stable “attributional styles” that come into play when we are confronted with a negative situation. Some of us will consistently bring a positive attributional style to bear to explain … Read More

A simple model of culture change

Nick IngramStrategy11 Comments

How do you go about changing the culture of your organisation or team? And what the heck do we mean by “culture” anyway? I’ve been trying to get my thinking straight about culture. This post outlines a “frame” for thinking about, and acting on, culture: a simple and practical way for a workshop to do some useful thinking in this … Read More

Multitasking – its effects are worse than you think

Nick IngramThinking7 Comments

I’ve recently come across some surprising results out of a 2012 study on multitasking. Not only does forced multitasking badly affect performance (as you would expect) – but autonomous multitasking – choosing how you get your work done – is almost as bad. This study has implications for how we design our own work. But it also raises questions over … Read More

Why do we fall for the Monty Hall problem?

Nick IngramThinking2 Comments

After posting on the Monty Hall problem ten days ago, I’ve done a bit more reading. Mainly because you guys seemed so interested in it! (It’s been surprising how much traffic that post got.) Anyway, as I’ve been reading it’s become increasingly clear that the Monty Hall problem is a classic in both statistics and psychology. Why is it a … Read More

The Monty Hall problem comes to the cover of HBR

Nick IngramThinking14 Comments

I’ve just received my latest Harvard Business Review (May 2015) – with a special focus on decision making. But it’s the cover (see above) that I want to blog about today. The three doors, numbered 1 to 3 are clearly a reference to the Monty Hall problem: but none of the articles in the magazine seem to mention it. What is … Read More

Need “cut through”? Find the right question

Nick IngramThinking0 Comments

Nothing lifts the level of your thinking, or the thinking of a group, like a good question. I’ve just started reading “The HEAD Game“, by Philip Mudd (Liveright Publishing, 2015) – a book about decision making. He says the start of good decision making is to ask the right question. This has got me thinking about other places where asking … Read More

The future – how can we think about it effectively?

Nick IngramThinking2 Comments

These days it seems like a lot of my clients are thinking about what the future will bring. “Disruption” of industries is a big theme: along with the effects of global warming; and the rise of machine intelligence. It’s got me thinking – how can we think about the future effectively. Or is it entirely a mug’s game? Here is a … Read More

Need great ideas from your team? Give them a good frame.

Nick IngramThinking2 Comments

Frames help groups think together

We’ve all been in meetings where people are asked to come up with ideas to solve a particular problem. At times the silence can be deafening. At other times, the ideas are pedestrian, and everybody knows it (but they don’t have the heart to point it out). So what to do? One of the best ways to get great output … Read More

Faced with a hard choice? Try doing nothing…

Nick IngramThinking4 Comments

An “old hand” fund manager once described the essence of his job to me…. “The most important part of my job is helping my team to feel comfortable to do nothing.” In short, his job boiled down to stopping most of the trades his team wanted to make. In his view, the best approach to investing was to take a … Read More