What I’m Grateful For: Coffee Shops (ok, Starbucks)
A good coffee shop is a little bit like Heaven. You walk in the doors and the smell of coffee wraps around you like your favorite faded quilt, warm and familiar. You can get a small cup of coffee and then read quietly in a corner for hours, or you can grab your cup to go and head out, freshly caffeinated, to take on the world. You can unashamedly be totally alone, with a backpack and piles of journals, study guides, textbooks. You can be 18 or 81 and no one cares that you are all by yourself, for ages, buried in your private world…. heavenly.
What I’m Reading: This week I’m reading a book called Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter. It’s well-researched, documented and clear – groups can get wildly off base in making good – or even moderately ok – decisions. There are specific, definable reasons why this tends to happen, and once we understand the human and group psychology and their effects, we can take structured action to prevent things from spiraling into poor (or worse) decisions.
From the book’s description, here are four key reasons why groups often make worse decisions than individuals:
- They often amplify, rather than correct, individual errors in judgment
- They fall victim to cascade effects, as members follow what others say or do
- They become polarized, adopting more extreme positions than the ones they began with
- They emphasize what everybody knows instead of focusing on critical information that only a few people know.
This book is a deep read and I’m sure I’ll have more from it to share with you next week…. meanwhile, let’s all do our best not to amplify any errors in judgement this week!
Quick Web Tip: Golden Rule #2 of Visual Hierarchy for your website: Is the flow of your website easy for your audience to follow? If your website is clunky and hard to navigate, your audience isn’t going to stick around long enough to interact with your content… or with your listings.
What I’m Pondering: “It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.”
― Albert Einstein