In cognitive science, the term cognitive dissonance is often used. Cognitive dissonance is interesting because it refers to what happens in your brain when information is presented to it which doesn’t seem to fit.

For example, just suppose the current state of information in your brain (the balance of memes) was such that you believed the earth was flat. Just suppose your brain was a happy co-operative of flat earth memes filling your brain and dominating your outlook.

This, of course, seems naive to us now but not long ago most smart people saw things this way. Now, suppose someone called Fred comes along and says, “No, the earth is round!” and tries to explain to you why you should change your view. You would begin to experience cognitive dissonance.

If, though you thought the earth was flat, you were not superstitiously committed to that view you might only experience a mild case of cognitive dissonance. Then, as you followed the evidence Fred presented, you might find your view evolving from flat earth to round earth.

If, on the other hand, you not only believed the earth was flat but you also PTV-believed your flat earth view was absolutely right, then you might have a dose of strong cognitive dissonance, so strong that it might be easier to burn Fred at the stake than to change your view from flat earth to round earth.

— Read the full article here …

Steve Jobs speaking at Stamford University in 2005:

“No one wants to die! Even people who want to go to Heaven, don’t want to die to get there.

And yet death is the destination of all of us;

And that is as it should be; because Death is very likely the best single invention in life.

It is life’s ‘change agent’ — it clears out the old to make way for the new.

Right now; the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away too.

Sorry to be so dramatic, but it’s true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.

Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is other people’s thinking.

Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice.

And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition – they somehow already know what you truly want to become.

Everything is secondary.

Sydney Morning Herald:

Mark Hawthorne

Australian workers are among the hardest-working in the developed world, notching an average 44-hour week, but they also rank among the least productive, amassing $109 billion of wasted wages each year.

A third of Australian employees plan to quit in the next year, more than half say poor management has the biggest impact on their productivity, and 18 per cent of the average working day is spent on ”work that wasted time and effort”.

They are among the key findings of a comprehensive study of almost 2500 Australian workers and their bosses, conducted by accounting firm Ernst & Young.

”What we found is a highly motivated Australian workforce,” said Ernst & Young partner Neil Plumridge, who led the survey team.

”We are not a nation of slackers.”

We worked harder than other developed countries in terms of labour hours, and were highly motivated to work, he said.

More than 70 per cent of us came to work every day with the best of intentions, which was something to be proud of.

”The problem is the productivity of our workforce,” he said. ”The hours are good and the intentions are good, but we found an incredible wastage once we all get to work.”

The total wages bill for Australian workers is estimated at $606 billion a year.

”Given that 18 per cent of our time at work is wasteful, ineffective and not valued, that’s $109 billion waste in annual wages,” Mr Plumridge said. ”Even if we can get a 10 per cent improvement, that’s worth more than $10 billion a year to the national economy.”

The inaugural Australian Productivity Pulse survey found that management issues (54 per cent), organisation structure (23 per cent), a lack of innovation (15 per cent) and outdated technology (8 per cent) were cited by employees as the drains on productivity.

According to Mr Plumridge, productivity in Australia has been on a 10-year decline.

 

— Read original article:

<http://www.smh.com.au/executive-style/management/workers-waste-109bn20111018-1lu7b.html#ixzz1bA5WzMYG>

THE AUSTRALIAN:

THE internet and video streaming may be bringing the world closer, but for scientists nothing beats chance encounters in corridors for generating new ideas.

Putting almost 500 neuroscientists together in one building and seeing what comes out is a key aim of the $225 million Melbourne Brain Centre facility that officially opens at Melbourne University today.

It is hoped the collaboration will generate new treatments for a host of brain disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia and depression.

The Melbourne Brain Centre aims to have the critical mass to support world-class laboratories and help stem the overseas brain drain.

“The critical mass makes a huge difference in terms of collaboration and raising the profile of neuroscience,” multiple sclerosis researcher Ben Emery told The Australian.

What if you could do ten times more with ten times less?

This will be the big challenge for thought-leaders and knowledge-workers in the next decade from 2011 to 2020.

In the past decade of expanding economies you could survive and grow by doing more for more. Why? Because there was always more capital investment which led to more growth and more profit. It was a decade of business as usual.

In the next decade of shrinking economies you will have to survive and grow by doing more with less. There will be less capital investment but still seeking outcomes of more growth and more profit. Business as usual will no longer be enough. This will require a decade of business through innovation. Innovation at the speed of thought. Ten times more with ten times less.

There is little doubt that the next decade will NOT simply be a logical extension of the last decade. What was an expanding economic environment will now be replaced by a shrinking environment and only those enterprises that intelligently adapt to the brave new world will survive.

Nearly all of business education—even at postgraduate level—may be misguided, even misleading. In my experience, business education is faithfully based on a false premise—that the problem of business is growth. When, in fact, the problem of business (as in life) has always been survival.

Most business leaders may be spending their time and energy on solving the wrong problem. Yes, of course, growth is critical in business but the MAIN PROBLEM is that most businesses fail to survive long enough to grow!

Since Darwin explained the reasons 150 years ago, we know that it’s not the strongest or the largest that survive but it’s those best prepared to cope with change.

On this BIG PROBLEM of survival, most business executives are shockingly ignorant and deplete in their formal education. They lack sufficient darwinian intelligence.They know little or nothing useful about the science of strategic darwinian thinking.

They venture forth naked and ill-equipped in their approach to the chaos of the marketplace—the whirling, howling, cacophonous wilderness of the global marketplace with its ferocious fads, toxic wastes, and vicious moods, its callous explosions and cruel extinctions putting capricious end to the blind and righteous rivalry across pointless medieval double-entry boardrooms.

Extravagant expenditures of directors’ time and energy are squandered on the talmudic reading of balance-sheets and P&Ls, like the obsessive pre-scientific study of entrails, when less than one director in a hundred could give an intelligent, educated account of what strategy it would take for their business to survive in the fast-changing and shrinking economic environment of the next decade.

Experiment: Ask any director you know to demonstrate their strategic understanding of Darwin’s Theory and to show how s/he uses that knowledge to safeguard the future of the company. If you get a clear, articulate response it will be a surprise.

Is there any business school in Australia that insists their graduates understand the strategic business application of the darwinian imperative? Are there any of the endless ‘case studies’ churned out by business schools devoted to darwinian business strategy?

Do let me know if you find one.