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The Flow Of Information Is The Flow Of Influence

Our look at the book Factfulness began with three words: data as therapy. Within that idea, we saw a way that data can be persuasive. Not from the standard Logos standpoint of facts, figures, and rational thinking. It does that, of course, but the therapeutic power comes from weaving data into a Pathos argument, eliciting […]

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Unknown Unknowns

You might remember this one. In December of 2012, as the nation was wrapped in a debate over the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld was asked a question. It came from a reporter during a press briefing at the Pentagon. Video is below but here’s Rumsfeld’s response: “Reports that say […]

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The Best Book for Developing Influence

Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change Rating 9/10 Best Line #1: You can never hope to engage people’s commitment if they don’t have permission to say no. Best Line #2: Diagnose before you prescribe. Anything else is malpractice. Influence Powers Successful Strategy Merriam Webster defines influence as follows: “to affect or change someone or […]

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How To Get People To Do Stuff

You can’t. You really can’t get people to do stuff. Not over the long-run, anyway. Even as a parent or a supervisor. There is just about nothing that you can make another person do. Thankfully, they can’t make you do anything either. Not really. One of the more important aspects of influence, true influence, is […]

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The Best Book To Understand Data

Naked Statistics by Charles Wheelan Rating: 9/10 Best line: Statistics alone cannot prove anything; instead, we use statistical inference to accept or reject explanations on the basis of their relative likelihood. Next best line: Probability doesn’t make mistakes; people using probability make mistakes. The effects of statistics, as a discipline, are completely unavoidable today. I […]

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I Have Feathers! Therefore I Can Fly!

Here’s a tricky thing with statistics that constantly throws us off: correlation does not imply causation. I forget this all the time. Here are the basics: Birds have feathers. Birds fly. Therefore, I must have feathers in order to fly. As a statement of logic, this works marvelously. It is perfectly consistent and Gary Klein […]

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Fast, Cheap, or Good. You Can Only Pick Two.

Many people have heard me say this ad nauseam but it’s probably one of the most important rules you can consider when developing something. Fast and Cheap = McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Carl’s/Hardees. Fast and Good = Your deluxe fast-casual burger bar. TAG in Denver or Nick’s in Portland; M.L. Rose in Nashville or Blockhouse […]

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The Subtle Art of Threading The Needle

A very talented person I used to work with conceptualized what we did by using this phrase: “threading the needle.” After years of practice, I’m convinced it is the way great collaborators find solutions to complex problems. Largely because of what it doesn’t do. Threading the needle doesn’t create a solution that fits the greatest […]

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The Best Book for Decision-Making

Rating: 10/10 Best Line: Most of the time when we have to make difficult choices, we do not fully understand what we want to accomplish. Most Important Line: It is impossible to free ourselves from inconsistency, belief perseverance, and memory compartmentalization. Actually, there is one way to ensure that people find inconsistencies and discover connections: by […]

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