Did you know that there are more people living today than has ever died? The question is disliked by many people because they have to start their thinking engines – hard work for a lot of people. We are in what Daniel Kahneman call system 1, default mode, all day, or at least for 99,9% of the day. We rev up our thinking engines only occasionally and it is hard work. Our days pass and we hardly ever study what is going on around us.
It is estimated that there are 3 times more people that have died than is alive today and my statement above was a myth – but hopefully it got you going.
I recently attended a presentation by the CEO of SAS. He was really good but during the turnaround-story I noticed that the new SAS was all about that things in the airline industry think are important, things like connections and price. The same day I met with the CEO of a Stockholm-based company with operations in 86 countries. He confessed that he hated SAS because of the poor culture: “The most important people for SAS are the employees. They do not care if they arrive on time and the crew never goes the extra mile to make you comfortable.” I tend to agree. Why don’t they just ask the passengers what they think? Venture out of system 1 for a brief moment…
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There are some really good books I recommend you to read. My colleagues at Reaktion Value Labs and me have put some of them into a list. Here is two of mine absolute favourites.
Thinking, fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman.
This book is the most bought but never read book in the world. It is prerequisite for our employees, ambassadors and friends. If you haven’t read this book, we don’t have anything to say to each other. It gets a bit heavy in the middle but have another glass of wine and carry on.
Sapiens: A brief history of mankind by Yuval Noah Harari.
This is a wonderful book that through a combination of history with philosophy and psychology provide us with many answers that we didn’t even know we had questions about.
To read the whole list please visit Reaktion Value Labs
William Shakespeare was clearly a great thinker and I do not think he would have allowed Hamlet to ramble on, almost boring Ophelia to death, about giving up riches through suicide if there was not a deep meaning imbedded in the mystical statements. It is obvious that Be refers to “behavioural economics” and Hamlet was considering leaving traditional finance for a socially connected economic science. The man had a lot on his mind.
We have struggled ever since. Daniel Kahneman is a master at putting into words what many people before him have felt but have feared to say; we are not very rational – in fact we are controlled by intuitive responses in turn controlled by emotions.
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…and afterwards our companies shape us.
This is a warped quote from Winston Churchill and from a speech the Prime minister made in the House of Comons. In the event, Churchill mentioned buildings and how we in the end are shaped by the quality of the buildings we occupy. The same goes for companies.
The entrepreneur shapes the company and when it reaches a certain size, the company and its culture shape its employees. The Nobel price winner Dr Daniel Kahneman compared our two mental forces, system 1 being the intuitive response, to system 2, our logical reasoning, and suggested that system 1 is 200 000 times more powerful.
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