Insights

The re-emergence of collaborative cultures

“In the Depression years of the 1930s, the card game contract bridge, first played in the United States in the late 1920s, blossomed,” according to George Akerlof and Robert Shiller in their 2009 book, Animal Spirits. “Contract bridge is a game played by partners, who must cooperate. In contrast, in recent years poker-and especially its… Read More »

Change is hard but not impossible

The bigger the change you want to see the longer it will take and the more setbacks you will meet. But big change can and does happen. And those who have changed the world the most have tended to be patient, resolute, determined and optimistic. I’m reading a book on Ho Chi Minh at the… Read More »

Is trust and empathy overrated?

One of the best ways to get people to trust is to get them to hate. Hate is the glue that binds many groups together. Hate and fear are powerful, ancient elixirs. If we’re to build success for the future, we need to move beyond such easy remedies, because in an interconnected, complex, fast-paced world,… Read More »

Truth, Trust and the God Complex

In Ireland, we have painfully come to realize that all our gods were really men disguised in frocks or surgeons’ coats. Fallible men with feet of clay and egos often the size of Everest. This is the age of brutal transparency. Sure, there’s a lot of fake news about, but there is also a tsunami… Read More »

Branding manipulation

Branding can mean something. It can be a way to summarize what you are, what you stand for. However, branding is too often used to make gullible people believe anything. Much branding is a form of psychological trickery, emotional manipulation, magic. Nike is now running a campaign with Colin Kaepernick. The cause is good. But… Read More »

Trust corrupts. Ultimate trust corrupts absolutely

Trust and power are siblings. They have the power to do good. However, like ultimate power, ultimate trust corrupts ultimately. The Internet can be a check on trust. It allows us to compare, validate, confirm, verify. The best societies trust but verify. India, Mexico, UAE and South Africa had the highest trust in CEOs, according… Read More »

Complexity and networks favor teams

The Internet is a network. It’s not a hierarchy. In fact, the DNA of the Internet is a distributed network that has no hierarchy, has no center-point. On the Internet, there is no one definitive way to get to anywhere. The best way at any given moment depends on the exact circumstances of that given… Read More »

Collaborating with the enemy

“Instinctive cooperativeness is the very hallmark of humanity and what sets us apart from other animals,” Matt Ridley wrote in The Origins of Virtue. However, he also stated that, “It is a rule of evolution to which we are far from immune that the more cooperative societies are, the more violent the battles between them.”… Read More »

Keeping digital teams happy versus keeping customers happy

I remember presenting to a digital team about how their website was massively too big, with thousands of pages of low quality, often out-of-date content. Metadata and general findability was terrible. There were apps hanging around that had never functioned properly. Everything was a big mess; a really terrible customer experience. I was listened to… Read More »

Toxic branding and how to counteract it

Branding has become synonymous with graft, deceit, manipulation, fake news. A friend of mine, Felipe, is a Brazilian doctor. “Coca Cola is horrible,” he told me recently. “Everyone in Coca Cola knows it’s horrible. Everyone in the TV industry knows it’s horrible. But they make money off each other, and that’s all that matters. We… Read More »