Thursday, 31 May 2007

101 Helpful Notions That Might Change Your Life

1. General Cognitive Psychology, because this will introduce you to ideas about how we make sense of the world, especially the actions of other people

2. Versatility because by learning enough to generally understand a wide range of subjects rather than become a qualified specialist (unless of course, that is what you choose to do) this increases your repertoire of tools and techniques, which in turn makes you more adaptable to different situations.

3. Mental Maps,A. Korzbyski because becoming aware of them is helpful in understanding what people regard as important. They are also termed ‘mental models’ because we create a ‘model’ of our world and run our experiences, expectations and ideas through it to explain and predict events.

4. Re- Framing, because knowing how to do this can help you can change your mental map, and the mental maps of others.

5. Critical Theory, because maintaining a healthy scepticism about the other people’s ideas and their suggestions about what they think you should do means you have more control over your life

6. Knowing Doing Gap because unless you navigate across it and try it out on the items above you will continue to believe things that are written in 101 lists uncritically and not extend your learning

7. Autonomous or Self directed learning because developing confidence in your own judgement about what to learn, how to learn it and sources of authority will give you more control over your life

8. Bloom's Taxonomy, because this will allow to judge what sort of learning and training you are being given, and where you sit in terms of your personal development

9. Neuro Linguistic Programming, because you need to be aware of its value, prolific use and its potential misuse at the hands of those with no integrity

10. Magic, because this will show you how people use misdirection in order to exploit our often mistaken assumptions about space, time, and causal links in order to mislead us.

11. Leadership, because this will show you how to distinguish between good and bad examples, and enable you to lead others well, lead yourself competently, and follow supportively.

12.Marketing, because this is a very misunderstood concept that has useful applications in many organizations and situations. It will help you identify the ‘value’ of something and how to see the world from other people’s point of view

13. Astronomy, because this will teach you about the way science has developed and world views have changed. It will also remind you of how tiny and precious the Earth is.

14. Learning how to Learn, because this will explain that learning is something that gets better with practice. This means that you will increase your knowledge and know how at an ever increasing rate if you put the effort in.

15. Change, because then you will understand why some people resist change and you won’t get frustrated when they do as you say. You will also learn about the diversity of ways to encourage change too.

16.Meta Messages, because this will explain how messages are communicated on different levels. This in turn will explain how people mis-communicate.

17. Human Resource Management because then you will understand the people development and restructuring initiatives that are often imposed on you. You will be able to identify the underpinning philosophies and if necessary take issue with them.

18. Business Strategy Corporate Strategyapproaches, because this will explain how senior managers make sense of their businesses and organizations, and it will show that there is no single right way.

19. Mintzberg's Configurations because they will give you helpful characterisations to explain how your organization is structured and how it fits (or not) with you and the world it lives in

20. Selling Skills, such as SPIN selling and Miller HeimannStrategic Selling because we are all in the business of selling something, so why not get better at it.

21. Gardening, because it teaches systemic thinking by showing how things done today can effect situations much later, and that by affecting one part of the system you affect the whole system

22. Personal Responsibility or What part do YOU play in the problem, because this avoids displacing 100% of the responsibility for things happening into external events and other people

23. Gambling, because this shows how people are a mix of the rational and the emotional, and that when they don’t understand things they make up explanations (Heuristics) to make themselves feel better

24. Painting, because this encourages to pay attention to things you might not normally notice, and it allows a diversity of expression of the same subject

25. Philosophy, because at the general / laymans level it shows how views and opinions have formed and changed since the ancient Greeks. It also shows that many of today’s issues concerning ethics, truth, science and so on have been around for a long time.

26. Epistemology, because this is the study of ‘how we know what we know’ so become knowledgeable at this a impress everyone down your local bar. Become too knowledgeable in this and loose your friends.

27. Ontology, because this is the stuff arguments are made of. You don’t agree? That’s because ontology isn’t ontologically relevant for you. Don’t know what I mean? That’s why you should explore the notion of ontology.

28. Hypnosis, because its more prevalent than you think. Imagine…knowing more about hypnotism, and you just have.

29.Word Salad because the meaning over the use in the deliberations won’t encourage you to look this up right now.

30.Power, because you are naïve to ignore it

31. Paradigm, because it’s a term that is bandied around a lot and not many people really know it refers to. Read Thomas Kuhn for more

32. Falsificationism, because Karl Popper gives and explanation of how old ideas die and new ones survive

33. Empiricism because it’s a fancy word for ‘give me the facts’, however there are problems with empiricism and it helps to know what they are.

34. Branding, because as it has been known to turn a room full of marketers into a herd of experts. It is partially understood and you could impress your CEO if you understood it deeply, because you might save him money and create more custom.

35. Database design, because most people only know word, excel and PowerPoint. Knowing the basics will improve your productivity and make you more powerful with information

36.Wines of the World, because you never know when you might want to impress someone.

37. Conceptual Models, because these help structure your understanding of complicated things like human behaviour, processes, organisations

38. Systems Thinking because this helps you understand the interconnectivity of complex systems by drawing easy to follow diagrams. Helps you think in ‘circles’ rather than ‘lines’, and so lets you ‘see’ things simultaneously rather than sequentially

39. Johari Window because this makes you aware of what you know and what you don’t know about yourself and others

40. Knowledge Spiral because this explains how we gather and share information (or not)

41.Taken for granted assumptions because becoming aware that we have these shows how we can get blind sided by surprises and restrict what we notice in the world.

42. Transaction Analysis because this I one way of explaining how we interact with each other. Particularly interesting are the notions of Parent , Adult Child, Routines and Games we play, Discounting others and Rescuing.

43. Double loop learning(C.Argyris) because this explains how some people and organizations stay stuck re-solving the same old problems time after time.

44. Service Marketing because it explains how its not WHAT you do that counts it HOW you do it, by talking about the intangible aspects of any relationship.

45. Negotiation methods because this will help you protect your interests

46. Presentation techniques because this will help you get your ideas across in a persuasive and compelling way.

47. TRIZ, because it is an interesting approach to problem solving and there are lots of resource available on the web via TRIZ journal

48. Total Product Concept, because this helps you understand the difference between what a product ‘is’ and what a product ‘does’, this in turn means you will be able to express ‘benefits’ of things rather than just features

49. Linguistic Register, because this will enable you to communicate with people who are at different positions on it. The higher up the register you are the more likely it is that you will be able to communicate in more varied ways.

50. Positivism, because this will help you understand the view point of people who believe that social sciences (human affairs) can be understood, predicted , and controlled in the same ways as quarks, electrons, atoms, molecules, and other natural science things

51. Social Constructionism, because this will help you understand people who believe that there is no objective reality and that we construct our world and its meaning through language. Extreme positions form tis point of view are the ‘politically correct’ merchants who believe most of us lack the intelligence to distinguish between the adjective ‘black’ in the rhyme baa baa black sheep and derogatory use of the word. They might also be cringing at the use of constructionism and yelling that what I really mean is constructivism. You get my drift…

52. Hermeneutics because this you will understand people who like to interpret or understand the interpretations human beings place on events.

53. Core Competencesbecause you will stop confusing the term with skills and realise something profound about the combination of different skills. Check out one of the originators.

54. Semiotics because then you will understand why you have an inexplicable urge to buy a particular type of car because it talks to you. You will also look at deodorants and things in a complete new way.

55. Anchoring because you will learn how we become attached to thoughts and feelings and be able to do something about the one’s you don’t want

56. Self Development because you will be able to critically assess which areas of self development are appropriate for you without falling in love with first approach, model, technique that helps you see things differently.

57.Integral Thinking because this will provide you with a helpful framework for self development

58. Spiral Dynamics because its offers and interesting way of explaining different world views and why they don’t always see eye to eye

59. SERVQUALbecause this will help you measure the gaps between service expectations and service delivery in a wide range of personal and organizational situations

60. Mind Mapping because it will enable you to see how your self and others think and enable you to share ideas easily, make sense of complicated issues, and simplify your work

61. Influence because this will make you less susceptible to the techniques of others who wish to shape your thinking and reduce your resistance

62. Decompression Zone because you will become aware that when you enter the first five yards of retail shop you are being manipulated to change from being a ‘browser’ into becoming a ‘shopper’

63. Servicescape because you will learn about the methods retailers use to extract more money from you than you intended to spend

64. Master of Business Administration because you could waste a lot of money not knowing the difference between good and bad ones. You could also end up working for someone who has got one and they might think it entitles them to respect

65. The difference that makes a difference because Gregory Bateson noticed some really helpful things to do with how we notice things.

66. Metaphors because they reveal the hidden patterns within situations and we can learn from these. Don’t believe me? Think of situation that is puzzling you. Invent a fairy tale that characterises it, then invent a science fiction story that characterises it and finally a Hollywood film script. What do you notice?

67. Value Proposition because knowing what this is will make you money

68. Social Judgement Theory because this will explain why people make their minds up so quickly

69. Chunking because this will help you categorize things into useful groups, see how people make sense of the world in different ways, control conversations to achieve agreement on principles. Get people to focus on what you want to talk about

70. Love because there are lost of different sorts

71. Parliamentary democracy because its different to democracy

72. Educating because its different to teaching

73. CRM because its not software its and attitude

74. Loyalty Effect because it might not exist. If you read Andrew Ehrenberg you might be surprised

75. Cultural Web because it’s a great way to characterise any sort of organizational space

76. Organizational Learning because it can offer explanations of how things go well and badly in organizations. It also offers an alternative to the ‘orange meme’ macho management approach. Don’t study this and ‘You’re Fired’

77. Perceptual Maps because they are good for pictorially showing how products, companies and other things relate to each other using two axes depicting things of significance. You could use it show your partner how you differ on length of mother in law stay for e.g.

78. Truth because the more you realise how hard it is to explain what it is the more you will be wary of people who say they know it

79. Post Modernism because it will help you understand why some people think that criminals should be let into them parks as a treat

80. Coaching and mentoring because many people who undertake this role do nothing of the sort.

81. Charm because this can lower your defences

82. Trust because this is too easily given away

83. Strategy because you will stop confusing with Plan

84. Innovation because it is a process that goes beyond technology and products and helps people create choice in their life

85. Worry because Ray la Montagne sings about it

86. Arrogance because it will stop you trying to write lists like this one

87. Humility because it helps you keep an open mind

88. Politeness because it keeps everyone calm

89. Karate because it makes you aware of your space and your physical capability

90. Curiosity because it stops you falling asleep

91. Competitor Fixation because it means you are destined to follow

92. Customer worship because it means you are destined to be servile

93. Heroism because it shows human potential

94. Synchronicity because there are always opportunities to learn

95. Page 437 of Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Everything because it discusses taxonomy and you will realise how management meetings go pear shaped as a result.

96. Tenacity because it helps you achieve results

97. Forgiveness because you can get on with the rest of your life

98. Fear because you will benefit from knowing where its exists

99. Consumerism because it might be helpful to develop conscious choice

100. Moccasins because they are worth walking in someone else’s for a while

101. Individuation
because that’s where we are headed

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