Why We Sit in the Back

Yesterday I walked into a big meeting room and excuse-me-pleased my way past colleagues' knees to get a seat in the middle of a back row of chairs. Looking up at the speaker at the front of the room I realized with a pang of guilt there were plenty of empty seats up there. I... Continue Reading →

A Real Snooze

We try so hard to be good at what we do. We take courses, read books, ask questions, and stay late at work to put the finishing touches on our reports and budgets and presentations. What if we are trying wrong, though? What if there is a different determinant of our work that has little... Continue Reading →

Because I Said So

You are in the middle of writing a final report and you get an email reminding you that your timesheet is due tomorrow. Or you are deep into planning for a presentation when you realize you signed up for a training you really wish you didn't have to take. Or your boss asks you to... Continue Reading →

Costumes

Costumes are wonderful things. I sent my son off trick or treating with a square of gold net and a yard of rope worn over some black and silver clothes rummaged from his dresser. He bought a plastic trident to wield and he was Finnick Odair, the tragic and lovely super-warrior of the final Hunger... Continue Reading →

(Chocolate) Loss Aversion

Maybe one shouldn’t experiment on kids, but I do. Behavioral Economics is the buzz these days (did you see that Nobel Prize?) and it has huge potential implications for social behavior change, if folks like me can figure out how to use it. How to begin, though? Write something into a workplan? Hire a consultant?... Continue Reading →

Old Tools, New Tools

When is settling for pretty good more productive than aiming for something a whole lot better? I think about this quite a bit as I go about my work life. It's not just that aiming for perfection is often counter productive, but that a restless insistence on finding new ways of doing old things tempts us away from the... Continue Reading →

Touch of Gray

When I began to go gray in my twenties – just a few strands at my college graduation – I was amused. No one else had a skunk streak before thirty. Even before the white streak people thought I was older than I was, much to my delight when it came to buying bottles of... Continue Reading →

Habit

My mornings are all the same. Go down stairs, let the dog out, get breakfast for my son, prod my son to get breakfast for the dog, make coffee, read the paper. Week day or weekend, this is my routine, my habit, my ritual. When I travel or get busy or sick and can't engage... Continue Reading →

Inequality

I flew business class to Lagos for a meeting on providing family planning to poor women in Nigeria. When I landed I was met by a SUV that drove me past the market ladies, the peanut hawkers, the foot-ball-playing boys, and the five-year-old girl begging in the road, traffic roaring inches from her bare toes.... Continue Reading →

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