The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely

Book Review: The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home by Dan Ariely

Nobody is doing more to add to our knowledge of the irrational side of human behavior than Dan Ariely. Not only does he conduct experiments that are elegant in their simplicity, but he writes about his work and that of other researchers in a highly accessible way. Upside is the successor to the bestselling Predictably Irrational, and it takes to new topics, ranging from CEO pay to speed dating.

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Emotional Design: Key to Motivate Learning

“Emotion” as a word is a discussion killer, often added to an argument as a sure fire reason for success – an unquestionable truth. But the concept’s lack of tangibility only leaves uncertainty: Why or how would it work?.

“Emotion” as an argument becomes useless.

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Creating Loyal and Motivated Customers through Brand and Design Strategy

Customer retention comes down to one simple thing: Having a good reason to stick around. In this presentation for the banking / finance industry I argue how brand and design strategy is not only underused in the category, but also, if used properly, can represent a cost effective way of creating loyal and motivated customers.

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Colouring between the Lines

When children first start to draw we teach them to colour in between the lines. We reward accuracy rather than interpretation. Neatness, not expression. This says a lot about our own predispositions. In this short but insightful interview, Seth Godin talks about an education system characterised by an industrial model from an industrial era.

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Some Learn from Mistakes, Others Don’t

In Managing by Mistakes, I wrote about the power of learning from mistakes. Some of the most successful individuals in different fields credit relentless focus on even small mistakes with their high achievement. Researchers at Columbia University divided student subjects into two groups, “grade hungry” and “knowledge hungry” based on a short survey, reports Newsweek’s NurtureShock column, and then tested them with general knowledge questions.

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Loyalty Programs: Of Rats and Men

It seems like everyone has a loyalty program these days. Buy a cup of coffee, and you get a punch card that promises a free cup after you purchase some number of additional cups. Shop at the grocery store, and you get points to reduce the price of gas. Our wallets bulge with partially punched cards, and our keyrings are stuffed with plastic bar code tags, all in the name of loyalty. (And, of course, you have to add the original loyalty programs – airline frequent flyer clubs and credit card reward programs.) Do these actually work?

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Sustainability: What Matters Most?

I’m a big fan of analogies; one of my favorites is equating customer relationships with personal, romantic relationships. If you ask a woman about the kind of guy she wants to marry, she might say, “handsome, rich, successful and exciting.” Fast-forward a few years and we see whom she actually marries: maybe a nice, average, middle-class bald guy who happens to be the best listener and makes her feel special. Perhaps these attributes that tipped the scale were ones that she didn’t anticipate or know how to value until she experienced them.

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Stop Managing

by: Sigurd Rinde

If you like the occasional blinding flash of the obvious there's a book out - Management rewired: Why feedback doesn't work and other surprising lessons from the latest brain science by Charles S. Jacobs.

Basically takeaway is that the annual performance review is for the birds, and boss pressure is of dubious value.

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Ownership, the Secret Ingredient

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Designer Salvation

by: Jonathan Salem Baskin

(note: this is part 4 in this week's 5-part series on the brandification of our lives) 

Lots of people shop for religion, and some even get their salvation custom-designed. It didn't used to be this way. 

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