No. 489 — September 11th, 2022
Brain Food is a weekly newsletter full of timeless insights.
A lot of clients like to buy process. It’s like they think they are not getting their money’s worth because I solved it too fast.
How can it be that you talk to someone and it’s done in a second? But it IS done in a second — it’s done in a second and 34 years.
My conversation with psychologist and longtime Stanford University professor Barbara Tversky on how our actions and the language we use change the way we think, simple ways to communicate more effectively on zoom, perspective taking, and learned vs. earned knowledge.
The reasons that the visual explanations did so well, they’re a check for coherence, a check for completeness, and a platform for inference. They also force you to abstract, to find the essentials, and put those down.
IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad on simplicity:
There have to be rules to enable a lot of people to function together in a community or a company. But the more complicated the rules are, the harder they are to comply with. Complicated rules paralyse!
Historical baggage, fear and unwillingness to take responsibility are the breeding ground for bureaucracy. Indecisiveness generates more statistics, more studies, more committees, more bureaucracy. Bureaucracy complicates and paralyses! Planning is often synonymous with bureaucracy.
Planning is, of course, needed to lay out guidelines for your work and to enable a company to function in the long term. But do not forget that exaggerated planning is the most common cause of corporate death. Exaggerated planning constrains your freedom of action and leaves you less time to get things done. Complicated planning paralyses. So let simplicity and common sense guide your planning.
Simplicity is a fine tradition among us. Simple routines mean greater impact. Simplicity in our behaviour gives us strength. Simplicity and humbleness characterise us in our relations with each other, with our suppliers and with our customers. It is not just to cut costs that we avoid luxury hotels. We do not need fancy cars, posh titles, tailor-made uniforms or other status symbols. We rely on our own strength and our own will!
When you see someone doing something that doesn’t make sense to you, ask yourself what the world would have to look like to you for those actions to make sense.
So extreme are the admission standards now that kids who manage to get into elite colleges have, by definition, never experienced anything but success. The prospect of not being successful terrifies them, disorients them. The cost of falling short, even temporarily, becomes not merely practical, but existential. The result is a violent aversion to risk. You have no margin for error, so you avoid the possibility that you will ever make an error.”
He teaches accuracy, but he also teaches speed, since competitive tests are timed. He believes that pattern recognition is a more useful skill—in math, and in life—than cloning questions his students might have seen on their homework the night before.
P.S. The Da Vinci bridge.
P.P.S. The audio with LA Rams GM Les Snead was fixed.