Archive | books

Breaking Bad Habits

I recently decided to reduce my sugar intake but, disappointingly, I just ate the bowl of ice cream they offered me on my flight. I hadn’t planned to eat it but said yes without really thinking about it. Ice cream on a plane has become a habit. According to the research of Wendy Wood, a…

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The Five Cognitive Distortions of People Who Get Stuff Done

Ever notice that some people get more things done than others? For years, the most popular explanation came from Steve Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey argued that personal character, purpose and self-discipline were the primary characteristics of successful people. The book has been wildly successful, selling more than 20M copies. My only…

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How Strategy Really Works

The 1993 HBR article ‘Customer Intimacy and Other Value Disciplines’ argued that every company had to become champions of one of three value disciplines — operational excellence, customer intimacy, or product leadership. Since that book was published, virtually every business meeting I’ve been in has used at least one of these phrases to describe strategy….

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Rethinking the way we learn

Last summer I read Daniel Willingham’s fascinating book ‘Why Don’t Students Like School?’ and immediately put it on my list to blog about. Willingham, a psychologist at the University of Virginia, applies the principles of cognitive psychology to the world of education. Essentially, his goal is explain to teachers how their students’ brains work. The…

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The Poison of Food

For reasons I’d rather not go into, I decided to do a little research into food poisoning with a seemingly simple question: How does food get poisoned? It turns out that most food-related illnesses can be separated into two types: toxins and infection. The traditional use of the term food poisoning stems from the existence…

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But Wait… There’s More!

Ever watch those TV infomercials late at night when you’re bored and can’t sleep?  Of course you do. And you’re likely to buy things you don’t really need as well. The most fascinating book I’ve read in a long time, ‘But Wait… There’s More,’ explains the science behind infomercials. Virtually every element of an infomercial is based…

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Is There An ‘I’ In Team?

Many popular phrases have their roots in sports. For example, the cliché “there is no ‘i’ in team” comes from the idea that a cohesive team of players is more likely to win games than a collection of individual superstars. Players are told to focus on the team’s overall success rather than their individual performance. The…

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