When Things Go Well - Deepstash

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You're Only As Good As Your Worst Day

When Things Go Well

When Things Go Well

Just like a chain is only as good as its weakest link, a product or service is only as good as they are when they malfunction or break.

We all are programmed to focus on the winning streak, skyrocketing valuation, and great success. What is more instructive and enlightening is to observe what happens during the rough times.

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The quality of our decisions
The quality of our decisions

We all make decisions. However, few of us realize that the process we use to make decisions is more important than the analysis we put into the decision.

Analysis doesn't always lead to good decisions

When it comes to decisions, organizations rely on gathering data and analyzing the decision. People believe that analysis reduces biases, but most business decisions made this way turned out to be poor decisions.

Research shows that good analysis from managers who have good judgment won't necessarily produce good decisions.

Process over analysis in decision making

Analysis alone does not yield good decisions as the people who put it together have a subconscious bias and interest in a particular outcome.

Instead, a disciplined decision process involves guarding against decision-making biases by exploring and discussing major uncertainties or discussing contradictory viewpoints.

When technology bites back
When technology bites back

In many ways, technology improves and enriches our lives. Yet, there is a sense that we have lost control of our technology in some ways and end up victims of its unintended consequences.

A...

Considering the bigger system when introducing new technology

When we introduce a new piece of technology, it is wise to consider if we are interfering with a bigger system. If we do, we should reflect on it's wider consequences.

But, if the factors involved get complex enough, we cannot anticipate them with accuracy. Understanding revenge effects is mostly a reminder of the value of caution and not of specific risks.

Types of revenge effects
  • Repeating effects: This occurs when more efficient processes end up making us do the same things more often. Better appliances have led to higher standards of cleanliness, tempting people to spend the same amount of time on housework.
  • Recomplicating effects: As technology improve, the processes become more complex. A lighting system that needs to be operated through an app, making it difficult for a visitor just to flip a switch.
  • Regenerating effects: Attempts to solve a problem end up creating additional risks. Pesticides can create superbugs that are resistant to harm.
  • Rearranging effects: When costs are transferred elsewhere, so risks shift and worsen. Vacuum cleaners can blow dust mite pellets into the air, making it easier to breathe in.
The spiral of silence
The spiral of silence

The spiral of silence is a human communication theory developed by Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann in the 1960s.

The theory explains how societies form shared opinions an how we make deci...

How the spiral of silence works

According to the theory of the spiral of silence, our desire to fit in with others means we will speak up if we think our opinion will be popular, or avoid expressing an opinion if it is unpopular.

The feedback loop means each time someone voices a popular opinion, the positive feedback from the group reinforces the feeling that it is safe to do so. Conversely, receiving a negative response for a divergent opinion will strengthen the view that they should avoid expressing it.

The implications of the spiral of silence
  1. The result of the spiral of silence is that few will publicly voice a minority opinion and will instead will nurse it in private.
  2. The possibility of conflict makes us less likely to voice any opinion. If we want to know what people think, we need to remove the possibility of negative consequences.
  3. When we see a sudden change in mainstream opinions, it can be because of a shift in what is acceptable to express, not what people really think.
  4. Highly vocal people of a minority opinion can make their views seem far more prevalent and acceptable than they really are.