We will usually pick anecdotal stories and narrative over data and evidence


Daniel Montano:

We should be aware of this cognitive bias and make sure to review storytelling with the same rigor as data and evidence.

Originally posted on Facts about Religion:

storytelling-bainLet me tell you a story. Today during lunch I did what I always do, I read an article by people who are supposed to be much smarter than I am. Surprisingly what I read explained my interactions with other people, especially when it comes to their disdain for data and preference for personal stories.

As I processed this article, I began to realize that there is a biological reason for why we prefer to believe the anecdotes our friends tell rather than cold, hard, facts. It turns out we humans are hardwired to prefer narrative.

Apparently a bunch of really smart scientist-people at Emory University did some tests and they discovered that hearing a story releases a chemical called oxytocin (don’t get excited, that’s different than oxycodone) and as it happens, this is the chemical released by breastfeeding mothers that illicits bonding.

“Paul Zak, director of the Center…

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Structure in Threes: Business Design and Reengineering


Daniel Montano:

From the blog: Brian’s Blog

Originally posted on Brian's Blog:

The last round of brainstorming tightened up my thinking around the methodology.  Like all engineering endeavors I needed to identify the beginning point for creating the enterprise.  Most of the business model approaches are just that.  They document the existing and while that is necessary, is that sufficient?  When I’ve attended workshops focused on business models, often it ends up around optimization rather than innovation.  The strategy and planning methodology I devised and fielded for other corporations was purposely limited, because at that time these corporation’s business models were deemed untouchable.  Even though several people could see its useful life was coming to an end.  Secondly, reengineering a business model it difficult for most in management positions…their mentality is around optimizing the status quo.  Not a blame, it how they were successful and how they are managed in most corporations today.

The brainstorm I had the other day was along the lines I…

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At Last! Scientific Proof that Writing is Good For You


Daniel Montano:

From the blog: Ellie Herman coaching

Originally posted on Ellie Herman coaching:

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 6.11.38 PM

So I was slurping up cereal over my keyboard, figuring that Lucky Charms on your keyboard are the new power breakfast, when my daughter’s friend Fiona Doherty appeared in my office waving an article from the New York Times that she thought I might find interesting.

Even though a raft of scientific studies have conclusively proven that multitasking can damage your career and your brain, I started skimming the article while answering emails because Fiona is a fabulous person and I did not want to be rude.  But after about five seconds, I stopped multitasking and just read the article full-out.

Reader, it rocked my world. 

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Three types of uncertainty that you (probably) overlook


Daniel Montano:

From the Blog Eight to Late. Written by: Kailash Awati

Originally posted on Eight to Late:

Introduction – uncertainty and decision-making

Managing uncertainty deciding what to do in the absence of reliable information – is a significant part of project management and many other managerial roles. When put this way, it is clear that managing uncertainty is primarily a decision-making problem. Indeed, as I will discuss shortly, the main difficulties associated with decision-making are related to specific types of uncertainties that we tend to overlook.

Let’s begin by looking at the standard approach to decision-making, which goes as follows:

  1. Define the decision problem.
  2. Identify options.
  3. Develop criteria for rating options.
  4. Evaluate options against criteria.
  5. Select the top rated option.

As I have pointed out in this post, the above process is too simplistic for some of the complex, multifaceted decisions that we face in life and at work (switching jobs, buying a house or starting a business venture, for example). In such cases:

  1. It may be difficult to identify all options.
  2. It…

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Problem Solving Tips: Patterning, framing and the astronaut’s pen …


Originally posted on The Homa Files:

Excerpted from Think Better

Among the many discoveries NASA made when it began sending people into space was that the astronauts’ pens did not work well in zero gravity.

The ink wouldn’t flow properly. You can simulate the effect at home by trying to write with the business end of your pen pointing up.

Pretty soon, the ink stops flowing and the pen won’t write.


The solution – giving astronaut’s a way to write upside down —  depends on how you frame the problem …

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