Monday Mornings with Madison

Yearly Archives:
2019

The Problem with Groupthink in Business, Part 1

Creativity and innovation are the lifeblood of businesses today. Fresh ideas and approaches are needed for every facet of a company. But, Groupthink – the tendency for groups to make decisions that preserve the status quo rather than take into account dissenting opinions – stifles innovation and makes employees feel pressured to conform. Groupthink inhibits business ingenuity and diversification. And, it is a problem plaguing most organizations. However, the best companies do not
So how does a company determine if Groupthink has permeated employee interaction? And, if so, how does it stop it from killing the company’s creativity? Continue reading

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How Selective Blindness Can Affect Business

Have you ever looked for your house keys but didn’t see them even though they were in plain sight? Or ever been so focused on your phone or computer that you didn’t see something else that moved directly into your line of vision? Or have you reviewed an email you wrote but did not catch an obvious, embarrassing spelling error? These are forms of selective blindness; things that the eyes perceive but the mind does not receive. Most people experience these mental blind spots. But, why?

More importantly, how might ‘not seeing what’s right in front of you’ affect leadership and business decisions? Continue reading

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How to Manage Business during a Crisis, Part 2

Knowing how to manage business during a crisis is best learned BEFORE there is a crisis. Given how many different kinds of situations can potentially develop into a crisis for any business, from weather and strikes to ethics violations and tech glitches, it’s important to prepare for and know how to handle the metaphorical hurricane before being caught in the eye of the storm. So what are the 10 best practices for managing business during a crisis? Last week, we looked at five. Here are another five. Continue reading

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How to Manage Business during a Crisis, Part 1

It’s hurricane season. For businesses on the coast, a crisis may be looming on the horizon. But even companies far from the coast will likely face a crisis at some point… as a result of Mother Nature or some reason. It’s not just possible; it’s probable. It might be something small like equipment failure at a manufacturing plant. Or it could be something truly catastrophic, such as the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. No matter how much a company safeguards against calamities, it is impossible to avoid every possible problem. But there are 10 best practices for managing business during a crisis. Do you know them? Continue reading

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Will Your Company Dare to be Different? Part 2

If being unique and standing out is essential in today’s noisy, competitive marketplace, how does a company go about differentiating itself? That’s the challenge and that’s also where the magic is. Has your company differentiated itself? If not, here’s how. Continue reading

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Will Your Company Dare to be Different? Part 1

It has been said imitation is the highest form of flattery. Perhaps for the one being imitated, but it does not speak well of the imitator. Being just like another business is not good. Staying fresh, relevant and unique is key to business success. The most successful and longest-lasting companies in the world have survived and thrived, in large part, by differentiating themselves in the marketplace. So why is differentiation so important and how does a company go about differentiating itself? Continue reading

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Cultivating the Creative Spark, Part 2

Imagine a tree replete with lush fruit weighing down its verdant branches. The fruit is ripe for the picking. Now imagine that those opulent berries are creative thoughts. If creative ideas are the most valuable fruits a mind can produce, how does one increase the harvest? Is there a way to fertilize the soil in order to be more original? Are there things a person can do to be more artistic? More innovative? More imaginative? Is it possible to increase the mind’s inventiveness and readily harvest a continual, bountiful yield of fresh ideas? In a word, yes. Here’s how. Continue reading

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Cultivating the Creative Spark – Part 1

It is predicted that in the next 15 to 30 years, robots will be used to perform the most routine, repetitious, dangerous and data-intensive jobs, displacing a multitude of workers. Given this forecast, every person today needs to consider what jobs are beyond automation. Artificial Intelligence experts agree that creativity is one area where robots will not be able to outperform humans any time soon. That places creativity as a key ability. But is creativity a talent one is born with or is it a skill that can be acquired and cultivated? Are some people just more creative while others don’t have a “creative bone” in their bodies?
The answers might surprise you. Continue reading

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Decision-Making and the Sunk Cost Fallacy, Part 2

People are so risk-averse that they prefer to AVOID LOSS even more than they desire a POTENTIAL GAIN. That explains why in 10 Seasons of Shark Tank – a program about investors who fund startups – the “sharks” invested in just 11-19% of the 895 pitches they heard in 222 episodes. Even the most daring investors are risk-averse. What’s more, this is true even if what can be gained is more valuable than what is lost, and even if what is lost isn’t valued anymore. That’s the Sunk Cost Fallacy at work, and it’s SINKING YOUR SUCCESS. 

Want to avoid this cognitive distortion?  Continue reading

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Decision-Making and the Sunk Cost Fallacy, Part 1

There are many factors that affect the decision-making process, both personally and professionally. One factor is called “escalation of commitment”, when we commit further to a course of action or direction simply because of a past decision. This is often because of the sunk cost fallacy… a highly illogical but common thinking error. It is a major problem for companies weighing whether to persevere or reverse course on a decision. So what is the sunk cost fallacy and who is vulnerable to it? Is there a way to side-step this flaw when making business decisions? Continue reading

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