Economics is for Everyone

In this powerful illustration economist Ha-Joon Chang explains why economics is for everyone.

It does ask that we start thinking about our current reality. I love the it that Chang asks us to look at the world through more than one of the 9 economic lenses available.

Just accepting the viewpoint given to us by the mainstream media keeps us where we are. But for our owns sake, we really need to start looking at our world differently, try to envision a new and better alternative and then take the first step towards this better alternative.

What this alternative could be, is still open in my mind and any contribution is welcome. Let me know what you think.

Thinking

H

Use both hands

It is natural to use both hands if you have two hands. We often get by using one hand with simple tasks, but life gets complicated when you only have one hand and the task at hand asks for two.  Ever wondered why we have two?

We have two of most things and if we don’t it’s seen as a handicap or disability. It seems the world works better with two legs, two hands, two eyes etc. So I find it fascinating that we do not carry this paired competence into our thinking.

We tend to get stuck on one perspective at a time, while most things work in opposites – warm or cold, light or dark and good or bad. We tend to think something is either good for us or bad for us. This black or white thinking is not something new. It is just fascinating that so many people still think only in these single polarities. This while we all know there are a lot of grey between the black and white.

I recently watched an interesting TED video in which Linus Torvalds was interviewed. What a beautiful person. I am impressed with the level of comfort he had with himself and his generous choice for open source software.

For me the power moment in the video is when he says “I’m perfectly happy with all the people who are walking around and just staring at the clouds … but I’m looking at the ground, and I want to fix the pothole that’s right in front of me before I fall in.”

In my mind, this is powerful because it highlights our tendency to focus on one side at a time. We like visionary things. It speaks to what is possible and I am 100% for having a great vision. Yet, we need to fix the pothole in front of us as well. At the same time we cannot fixate on the potholes that we lose sight of where we are going.

We need to use both hands. Each one of us has the ability to have a vision, hold it and work on what to do today to fix the problem that birthed the vision in the first place.

Another interesting video by Knut Haanaes presents the tension between exploration and exploitation in BUsiness. And again he suggests we do both.

“So let me leave you with this. Whether you’re an explorer by nature or whether you tend to exploit what you already know, don’t forget: the beauty is in the balance. “ – Knut Haanaes

The Power of Getting out of the way.

This very interesting video from Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce is always inspiring to watch. My take away today is that if you get out of the way, meaning, not telling them what to do (advising, ordering etc), but create a space for them to engage with a desired outcome, they perform better.

Do we see reality as it is?

For a long time now I have intuitively known that our external world is a reflection of our internal world. But i have never had a good scientific reasoning to back up this intuitive perception. That is until I saw this TED talk from Donald Hoffman. In a fascinating talk he explains a brilliant perspective based on his research. Have a look and let me know what you think.

“We’re inclined to think that perception is like a window on reality as it is. The theory of evolution is telling us that this is an incorrect interpretation of our perceptions. Instead, reality is more like a 3D desktop that’s designed to hide the complexity of the real world and guide adaptive behavior. Space as you perceive it is your desktop. Physical objects are just the icons in that desktop.”

 

The Truth about Networking

The truth about networking is that you do not network, you build a relationship.

Networking has become a overused term and has been loaded with a variety of meanings. Ranging from confusion between “Are you talking about a network between computers or people?” to something salespeople do for a living. For our conversation, I will be referring to the people side of networking.

5241458406_b3ccfee74e_b.jpgThere is nothing wrong with the term networking. It refers to the interconnection between people.  The key word being “interconnection”.

Al lot of people who think they network, do so from the assumption that we are meeting each other to get something.

Yes, ultimately all human interactions can be simplified to an economic transaction. There is a constant exchange of various resources: energy, attention, words, services, products and ultimately money. But this exchange is based on the foundation of being in a relationship. More specific – a trusting relationship.

As humans we very quickly decide if we are safe with someone or not. It happens unconsciously, but our actions towards a person is based on this interpretation. So if you want to be a truly effective in networking, build trusting relationships.

Trusting relationships asks us to invest time and involvement. This investment in the process of cultivating trusting relationships result in a sustainable and a higher quality of resource exchange. Making the ROI worth while.

 

Tomato Wisdom and Us

To know a tomato is a fruit is knowledge, to not put a tomato in a fruit salad is wisdom. tomato

I would like to use this a popular meme to highlight a source of mismanagement of our interactions with each other.

We need to distinguish between the three concepts: Information, knowledge and wisdom.

Information is random facts or figures. The world is full of it. We can search anything under the sun and we will find sites full of information.

Knowledge is when we assimilate the information into ourselves and know how it applies to us. We form opinions and assumptions by taking the information through the filtering process of our belief systems, mental models and prior knowledge.

Wisdom is when we use our knowledge appropriately. Our meme is a good example. That a tomato is a fruit is just information, the fact that I know I have tomatoes in the fridge is knowledge. Wisdom is when I put the tomato in a green salad and not a fruit salad.

Let us take this line of thought into our interpersonal interactions. I may know something about myself related to you. For example I tell you: “You look good in that jacket, it complements the color of your eyes”. When I share this with you, it is just information that you receive.

When you take this information and interpret it in the context of what to wear to the next party, it becomes knowledge. It becomes wisdom when you use this knowledge to impress your date at the restaurant.

Most interpersonal communication is just sharing information. “It will be cold today”, “Did you see the game last night?” It is only when we take the information and personalize it that it becomes knowledge. So be careful what information you make knowledge. We do not need to take every opinion of every individual personally. We can keep it in the safe zone of just information they are sharing. It is their opinion.

When we trust the source of the information, then we can personalize it. Personalized information becomes knowledge but also be wise in using it. Even from a trusted source, knowledge must be applied appropriately.

Sometimes you do not want to look lovely for a date, but professional to close a deal. You are in charge of using the knowledge you have. Be wise.

Sharing my info

H