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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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Visions, Biases & Evolution

by Rick Baker
On Apr 17, 2017

We have wonderful dreams and ambitions…there’s no end to our visions of better things in the future. And, behind these dreams and ambitions, our motives are admirable – all around helping people, solving tough problems and building fun, cool and valuable things.

As we identify opportunities and conceive solutions, we are prone to trick ourselves. According to psychologists, we are predisposed to a wide range of biases. These biases skew our thinking, causing us to be over-anxious, over-confident and hold many other troubled mindsets between these extremes. If you were to fully research all the 100’s of psychological biases then you would probably be so frazzled you’d have trouble thinking anything positive about the future, let alone envisioning bright future changes. 

So – we don’t want to dwell on these biases. 

We just want to mention one of the biases – the tendency to be over-confident about our ability to predict the future…i.e., the ‘overconfidence effect’.

Psychologists tell us we are prone to be over-confident when we forecast the future. This causes us to over-estimate the success we will experience when we create a new product or service. While psychologists illustrate the problems this natural bias can generate, there are other ways to think about it. 

For example -

Scientists tout evolution. To a large degree, the concept of evolution is accepted by non-scientists. Along that vein, scientists and non-scientists alike can ‘blame’ evolution for our tendency to be over-confident about our ability to predict the future. And, consistent with evolution concepts, we can conclude this tendency must exist to help us adapt and survive. 

If we were not naturally blessed with the tendency to have over-confident thoughts about the future then we would be less inclined to envision better futures, set goals around our visions and be persistent in action aimed at our visions.

The where would we be?

[We’d be hobbled with low-confidence and submerged in fatalistic, status-quo thoughts.]

 

 

 

You have a choice: you can multi-task for mediocrity or you can focus for excellence. What's your choice?

by Rick Baker
On Apr 13, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Brain experts are telling us: The uptrend in multi-tasking, especially multi-tasking involving high-tech communication devices, is changing neural patterns strengthening some paths and weakening others. The neural paths that allow us to talk on the cell phone while surfing the web or creating s spreadsheet are strengthening while the neural paths that allow us to focus and concentrate are taking a back seat.

As this trend continues huge numbers of human beings will be able to do huge amounts of mediocre stuff.

We have a choice: we can choose to multi-task our way to mediocrity or we can focus & concentrate for work-performance excellence.

Put another way: we can choose to multi-task or we can choose to task-multi. [And major success only happens when w choose the latter.]

Abundance exists in the ability to control your thoughts.

by Rick Baker
On Apr 11, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Abundance is the ability to control your thoughts...and this is easier if you have good health, a level of intelligence, and a level of financial comfort. 

Tags:

Abundance | Thinking as in Think and Grow Rich | Thought Tweets

When you aren't fully satisfied with results...

by Rick Baker
On Apr 4, 2017

Are you fully satisfied with the results you are achieving? I don't mean, are you 100% satisfied. I mean are you 90% satisfied? Are you setting challenging goals and generally achieving excellent results?

If you are then it's a great idea to keep doing what you are doing until you notice a slip off, a downturn, in the results you're achieving.

On the other hand, if you're not fully satisfied with the results you're achieving then believe there is something you can do to improve your results.

Then the big question will be - What do you need to change?

  • What things do you need to do in a different way?
  • What ways do you need to think in a different way?

And, you will need a plentiful supply of quality ideas.

How will you come up with the right ideas for positive change?

There are many ways to come up with great ideas for positive changes.

You can stop, slow yourself down, and spend more time thinking…mulling over numerous ideas…sifting them…using your capacities for ideation and intellection.

You can consult with a group of friends, for example your mastermind group, and rely on them to generate new ideas…then think them over…discuss them…take them to better places. 

You can be selective and find books that can help you generate ideas and plan the tactics that will bring them into physical reality.

The key things are recognizing the need for change and recognizing the benefits of fresh ideas, fresh thinking, and inspired action

An ounce of predilection is worth a pound of objection.

by Rick Baker
On Apr 1, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Human beings are biased creatures. Our minds are geared to recognize patterns and, sometimes, our minds jump to conclusions. As one example, this happens when we accurately identify a piece of information but conclude, inaccurately, it is part of a certain pattern. In common words, we call that "jumping to conclusions."

When we jump to conclusions we use one piece of information to reach an inaccurate conclusion. 

This was a real benefit in prehistoric times...jumping to conclusions saved lives.

In business, often, jumping to conclusions is more problem than benefit.

Sometimes, when we jump to conclusions, we also try to foist our inaccurate conclusions on others. If we happen to be a leader who does this then an ounce of our jumping to conclusions can offset a pound of followers' objections...and this, over time, kills followers' spirit.

[That's the reality of position power.]

Tags:

Delegation & Decisions | Thinking as in Think and Grow Rich | Thought Tweets

Crossing the transition line in a close-knit group

by Rick Baker
On Mar 27, 2017

Every time I take on a new succession-planning project I stop and think about the best ways to share what I have learned. While some may approach succession as if it lends itself to a pre-planned set of procedures, I don't view it that way.  Succession is one of those extremely personal things, and by 'personal' I mean succession is wrapped up in the needs of more than one person. And, we have to face the fact – people’s needs can be multi-faceted, nuanced and complex. 

I found myself comparing success to sports. I concluded it would definitely fall in the zone of some sort of endurance competition…an endurance competition involving a team…perhaps, an amazing race. As I was thinking along that direction I thought of bicycle racing teams like the Tour de France. A big problem with that analogy is only one person gets to win the bicycle race.  In successful succession projects all the players on the team have to win. Another big problem is, if it's done right succession planning really isn’t a race at all. It isn't a contest that lends itself to stopwatches or time-clocks. In fact, when it is run against time-clocks succession falls short of full success, creating at best some winners but also some losers.

After spending some time thinking about the various sports analogies, I decided there is no real-life sport that can be used to explain business succession. The closest I could do was to create a new sport which would go like this: 

  • there's only one team playing it, so external competition is not a key factor – on the other hand, internal communication is a critical factor; 
  • every player on the team takes turn piggybacking other players, carrying them from time to time for various distances, exerting strength to offset others’ weaknesses;
  • all of the players must cross the transition line as a close-knit group, within arms-length of one another; and,
  • the final requirement is after the transition line has been passed everyone on the team feels good about themselves and each of the other players on the team.

Doesn’t that sound like an interesting sport...a wonderful thing to experience!

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