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Foundational introduction to the concept that organizations create major impacts by making small changes.
A powerful manifesto for CEOs and employees alike: Influential and award-winning business leader Margaret Heffernan reveals how organizations can build ideal workplace cultures and create seismic shifts by making deceptively small changes. By implementing sweeping changes, businesses often think it’s possible to do better, to earn more, and have happier employees. So why does engagement prove so difficult and productivity so elusive? In Beyond Measure, Margaret Heffernan looks back over her decades spent overseeing different organizations and comes to a counterintuitive conclusion: it’s the small shifts that have the greatest impact. Heffernan argues that building the strongest organization can be accelerated by implementing seemingly small changes, such as embracing conflict as a creative catalyst; using every mind on the team; celebrating mistakes; speaking up and listening more; and encouraging time off from work. Packed with incredible anecdotes and startling statistics, Beyond Measure takes us on a fascinating tour across the globe, highlighting disparate businesses and revealing how they’ve managed to change themselves in big ways through incremental shifts. How did the CIA revolutionize their intelligence gathering with one simple question? How did one organization increase their revenue by $15 million by instituting a short coffee break? How can a day-long hackathon change the culture of a company? Told with wry wit and knowing humor, Heffernan proves that it’s often the small changes that make the greatest, most lasting impact.
A powerful manifesto for CEOs and employees alike, this book reveals how organizations can make huge changes with surprisingly small steps. In an age of 'radical' shifts and 'disruption', business leader Margaret Heffernan lays the groundwork for a new kind of thinking, arguing that organizations can create seismic shifts by making deceptively small changes such as using every mind on the team, celebrating mistakes and encouraging time off from work. A popular TED speaker, Heffernan is a wise and witty storyteller who fully engages her reader at every turn. Filled with incredible anecdotes and startling statistics, she takes us on a fascinating tour across the globe, highlighting disparate business and revealing how they've managed to change themselves in big ways through incremental shifts. How did the CIA revolutionize their intelligence gathering with one simple question? How did one organization increase their revenue by 15 million by instituting a short coffee break? How can a day-long hackathon change the culture of a company? Heffernan investigates all these scenarios and comes to the same conclusion: big improvements can come from simply making small changes.
An eye-opening, groundbreaking tour of the purpose of work in our lives, showing how work operates in our culture and how you can find your own path to happiness in the workplace. Why do we work? The question seems so simple. But Professor Barry Schwartz proves that the answer is surprising, complex, and urgent. We’ve long been taught that the reason we work is primarily for a paycheck. In fact, we’ve shaped much of the infrastructure of our society to accommodate this belief. Then why are so many people dissatisfied with their work, despite healthy compensation? And why do so many people find immense fulfillment and satisfaction through “menial” jobs? Schwartz explores why so many believe that the goal for working should be to earn money, how we arrived to believe that paying workers more leads to better work, and why this has made our society confused, unhappy, and has established a dangerously misguided system. Through fascinating studies and compelling anecdotes, this book dispels this myth. Schwartz takes us through hospitals and hair salons, auto plants and boardrooms, showing workers in all walks of life, showcasing the trends and patterns that lead to happiness in the workplace. Ultimately, Schwartz proves that the root of what drives us to do good work can rarely be incentivized, and that the cause of bad work is often an attempt to do just that. How did we get to this tangled place? How do we change the way we work? With great insight and wisdom, Schwartz shows us how to take our first steps toward understanding, and empowering us all to find great work.
In the 2006 case of the US Government vs Enron, the presiding judge instructed the jurors to take account of the concept of wilful blindness as they reached their verdict about whether the chief executives of the disgraced energy corporation were guilty. It was not enough for the defendants to say that they did not know what was going on; that they had not seen anything. If they failed to observe the corruption which was unfolding before their very eyes, not knowing was no defence. The guilty verdict sent shivers down the spine of the corporate world. In this book, distinguished business woman and writer, Margaret Heffernan, examines the phenomenon of wilful blindness. Drawing on a wide array of sources from psychological studies and social statistics to interviews with the relevant protagonists she examines what it is about human nature which makes us so prone to wilful blindness. Taught from infancy to obey authority, and absorbing the importance of selective vision as a key social skill, humans exacerbate their tendency to become institutionalised by joining organisations which are run by like-minded people. Wilful Blindness looks at how hard-work and the information overload of the modern workplace add to the problem. And examines why whistleblowers and Cassandras are so very rare. Ranging freely through history and from business to science, government to the family, this engaging and anecdotal book will explain why wilful blindness is so dangerous in the globalised, interconnected world in which we live, before suggesting ways in which institutions and individuals can start to combat it. In the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell and Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Margaret Heffernan's thought provoking book will force open our eyes.
In this must-have for anyone who wants to better understand their love life, a mathematician pulls back the curtain and reveals the hidden patterns—from dating sites to divorce, sex to marriage—behind the rituals of love. The roller coaster of romance is hard to quantify; defining how lovers might feel from a set of simple equations is impossible. But that doesn’t mean that mathematics isn’t a crucial tool for understanding love. Love, like most things in life, is full of patterns. And mathematics is ultimately the study of patterns—from predicting the weather to the fluctuations of the stock market, the movement of planets or the growth of cities. These patterns twist and turn and warp and evolve just as the rituals of love do. In The Mathematics of Love, Dr. Hannah Fry takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the patterns that define our love lives, applying mathematical formulas to the most common yet complex questions pertaining to love: What’s the chance of finding love? What’s the probability that it will last? How do online dating algorithms work, exactly? Can game theory help us decide who to approach in a bar? At what point in your dating life should you settle down? From evaluating the best strategies for online dating to defining the nebulous concept of beauty, Dr. Fry proves—with great insight, wit, and fun—that math is a surprisingly useful tool to negotiate the complicated, often baffling, sometimes infuriating, always interesting, mysteries of love.
In this exciting adventure mixed with amazing scientific study, a young, exuberant explorer and geoscientist journeys deep into the Amazon—where rivers boil and legends come to life. When Andrés Ruzo was just a small boy in Peru, his grandfather told him the story of a mysterious legend: There is a river, deep in the Amazon, which boils as if a fire burns below it. Twelve years later, Ruzo—now a geoscientist—hears his aunt mention that she herself had visited this strange river. Determined to discover if the boiling river is real, Ruzo sets out on a journey deep into the Amazon. What he finds astounds him: In this long, wide, and winding river, the waters run so hot that locals brew tea in them; small animals that fall in are instantly cooked. As he studies the river, Ruzo faces challenges more complex than he had ever imaged. The Boiling River follows this young explorer as he navigates a tangle of competing interests—local shamans, illegal cattle farmers and loggers, and oil companies. This true account reads like a modern-day adventure, complete with extraordinary characters, captivating plot twists, and jaw-dropping details—including stunning photographs and a never-before-published account about this incredible natural wonder. Ultimately, though, The Boiling River is about a man trying to understand the moral obligation that comes with scientific discovery —to protect a sacred site from misuse, neglect, and even from his own discovery.

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