Follow these three principles to keep moving fast, but slow down just enough to steer well

graphics illustrating key concepts of the article, e.g., light bulb, person thinking, fast/good/cheap Venn diagram
graphics illustrating key concepts of the article, e.g., light bulb, person thinking, fast/good/cheap Venn diagram
All illustrations by the author

There’s one thing I’ve done in leading tech teams that’s improved our performance more than anything else.

It’s been important when I’ve led teams in large companies, but it’s been crucial when leading teams in the more uncertain and unstructured environment of a startup.

I’ve worked on making smarter decisions.

I have to admit that early in my career I bumbled along making decisions quite unconsciously. Bad results often followed. Worse still, I thought that speed was the only metric that mattered in a startup — so everything was a snap decision.

Luckily, I stumbled across the academic work on…

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All the extra stuff that I consumed to enhance my Executive MBA

I’m currently completing the Quantic Executive MBA program.

One thing I love about the Quantic EMBA program is that it focuses on one subject at a time, which allows you to deep dive into an area — instead of running a few subjects in parallel.

The lesson content is excellent in it’s simplicity and accessibility — if you are new to any of the subject areas it breaks down concepts really well. However, I’ve found it really useful to supplement the coursework with some additional book and video content. …

Photo by Alex Wong

It’s called status quo bias and you can learn it in two minutes

This mental model originated in the field of psychology and behavioral economics. It’s a particularly crucial mental model for those of us interested in innovation, or anything that involves effecting change in ourselves, or in others. Read on to learn it now. 🧠

What is status quo bias?

Status quo bias is the human tendency towards wanting things stay the same, and to perceive any change to the status quo as a loss.

Researchers have found we have a tendency to prefer to keep the current state of affairs as it is, and a reluctance to take any action that will change this state. …

Photo by Lucas Sankey

It’s an important mental model well worth learning

Introducing anchoring — a crucial mental model from the discipline of psychology that is very relevant in your professional life, but also your personal life. Once you’re familiar with this one, you might just start to notice it everywhere! ⚓

What is Anchoring?

Anchoring is a cognitive bias that describes the tendency for an individual to rely too heavily on an initial piece of information offered (known as the “anchor”) when making decisions.

So what does that mean in practice? There’s one study I like in particular that illustrates the phenomenon of anchoring quite nicely.

The Gandhi Anchoring Study

Researchers split a bunch of people into two…

Photo by Carson Arias

Learn it in a few minutes with this quick and easy summary

This post covers a mental model that is one of the most pervasive biases of human life — confirmation bias.

What is Confirmation Bias?

Confirmation bias is our tendency to interpret things in a way that suits our preconceptions.

If I were to ask you “where is the nearest apple store?”

What comes into your mind?









If I know my audience, I bet that a few of you would think of this:

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Learn this mental model in just a few minutes

If you harbor the desire to have some idea what others mean when they mention entropy (or maybe even use it in a sentence yourself) — read on! Entropy is a mental model well worth learning.

What is entropy?

Entropy is a concept from physics that initially stemmed from some ideas a guy called Rudolf Clausius had around thermodynamic processes.

The purists may hate me for this, but I’m going to really simplify the concept so that we can cover it in this short post. …

Photo by Skitterphoto

Learn what it is and why it matters…

A fallacy generally refers to the results of some illogical reasoning. The straw man fallacy has to be one of the best named of all the fallacies! You’ll want to learn this mental model so you can listen out for it… 👂

What is The Straw Man Fallacy?

The straw man fallacy occurs over a few stages:

  1. Person one states their argument.
  2. Person two takes that argument and then offers a different or distorted version (or “straw man”) of it.
  3. Person two then proceeds to tear down that new version of the argument.
  4. Person two claims victory!

As you can see, the straw man argument is…

Photo: David Dibert

Learn what it is, and why it matters!

Here’s a new mental model for you - cognitive reframing. It’s a fantastic concept from the discipline of psychology that is useful to apply both in personal and professional situations! 🧠

What is cognitive reframing?

Cognitive reframing is a deceptively simple idea. It’s just looking at a given situation in a different way — or putting it in a new “frame” which could be more useful. (A frame in this sense is the complex set of your ideas, beliefs, value which are used to infer meaning on a situation.)

Why is this interesting?

Reframing can be extremely helpful in problem solving and decision making. …

Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster

It’s Called the Fundamental Attribution Error

When I understood this mental model it actually made me a more kinder, happier person! Particularly in situations at work, with colleagues and customers.

It’s called the fundamental attribution error. It has a name that sounds a bit complicated, but bear with it, because it’s actually quite a simple concept when broken down.

What is the Fundamental Attribution Error?

When we come up with an explanation for the behavior of others psychologists call it attribution.

We make this attribution in two distinctly different ways:

  1. Dispositional attribution the behavior was related to their disposition or character, to their personal characteristics
  2. Situational attribution — the behavior was…

Julia Clavien

Curious to a fault. Technology | Psychology | Philosophy. All opinion subject to change. ☺

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