All Posts

Road Lightning

Road Lightning

Is it a smart idea to switch off the general highway road lighting during the night? Proponents argue that it saves energy, reduces light pollution, and may even improve safety: After all, modern car headlights provide plenty visibility and a dark road may even improve driver attentiveness. This is all true, yet it completely misses the big issue: When the…

Brainstorming Done Right

Brainstorming Done Right

Most creative group sessions to brainstorm new ideas are ineffective: The usual output is a curious mix of circular reasoning, lack of imagination, and rehashed pet projects.  To avoid wasting your own precious time and other people’s limited energy, stick to the following four best practices for your next brainstorm: State the subject with clarity at the beginning. The two…

Mythical Thinking

Mythical Thinking

What prevents high performance decision making is usually not the things we don’t know, but the things that we know which are not true. For example, an often stated claim is that 55% of our communication is transmitted non-verbally, and only 7% is transmitted verbally. The source of these statistics is a 1970s study by Professor Albert Mehrabian, who researched the…

Magnificent Meetings

Magnificent Meetings

A recurring corporate frustration is the quality and quantity of meetings. Meetings can be the ultimate performance drag, or a powerful tool to drive high performance. If you want the latter, I have found three best practices to religiously adhere to: 1. The meeting objective: A meeting can only have three objectives: To make a decision To brainstorm ideas To drive…

Ten Uncomfortable Questions

Ten Uncomfortable Questions

The beginning of the new year is a good moment to think and reflect. Here are 10 uncomfortable questions to jump-start this process:  What has been working well, which shouldn’t have worked at all? What has not been working at all, which should have worked? What’s the biggest myth in your industry or professional field, and how will you challenge this…

Milli Vanilli

Milli Vanilli

In the early nineties, there was a popular music group called Milli Vanilli. Their success came to an ignominious end when it became clear that the two charismatic singers of the group were actually unable to sing and were simply lip-syncing at every performance. What’s interesting is that, before their downfall, various live interviews already made clear that the singers…

Zero Based Thinking

Zero Based Thinking

Thinking is a high-energy, time-consuming activity. Therefore, humans naturally try to think in the shortest time possible and then return to their usual routines. As a result, you spend over 95 percent of your life operating on autopilot. The same is true of your daily activities. We are creatures of habit and once a habit has been formed, we seldom…

Skin in the Game

Skin in the Game

In 1802, E.I du Pont founded a gunpowder company, which later became the current Fortune 500 company DowDupont. The gunpowder business is a risky business. He was serious about safety, and even went so far as to build his house in the blast radius of the factory. This ensured that he and his family carried the same risks as the…