Adam Grant’s latest book Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know needs to be read by anyone who is interested in why humans refuse to change their minds even if they are fully capable doing so.

The book is a call for action: a call for rethinking our opinions, blowing them up if necessary, and finding ways to move forward through exercising confident humility.

I was going to buy this book but Adam was actually very kind in reaching out to me with an offer to send me a copy given I raved about Originals in a…


Most of us think that success comes from working hard only on that one thing.

Parents push their kids early on to excel so their child can become the next Tiger Woods, armed with the 10,000 rule and the assumption that the more you specialise, the faster you arrive at excellence.

In the book Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World David Epstein however turns many of these assumptions upside down with countless examples of where being a generalist is actually what counts.

I’ve collected here particularly compelling ideas from the decision-making aspect that have really stuck with me…


Have you ever wondered why some people just seem to be blessed with so much wit?

That they almost always have an answer and a correct one at that?

In her book Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes, Maria Konnikova takes a deep dive into the remarkable ways one of the world’s greatest detective uses his mind to solve problems.

The good news for us mere mortals is that we can learn a great deal how to think better and actually do it too.

Sherlock vs. Watson

Konnikova uses the characters of Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Watson to…


One of the core issues we all have to tackle every day is how to make decisions.

If you are anything like me, you make a decision, look at the outcome and then blame yourself for not making the right decision.

“I should have known…”

But the latest and absolutely insanely valuable book How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices from Annie Duke shows a better way to approach the way we think of and make decisions.

Here are key takeaways so far that actually let you breath more easily and become more graceful towards yourself.

Resulting and…


Most of us would love to think better, faster, and smarter.

But putting things into practice and knowing which habits actually propel us towards better thinking patterns is sometimes a mystery.

In Jenny Brockis’ book Smarter Sharper Thinking: Reduce Stress, Banish Fatigue and Find Focus there are countless yet targeted insights into how to improve your brain.

The books gives you the know-how on diverse issues that impact our brain, including the role of nutrition, sleeping patterns, leadership, creativity, organisational health, and insights.

Two key issues that determine organisational success

The two key issues that dominate high performing organizations are…


David Rock’s book Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work has been a very insightful read.

The book builds on neuroscience and even though it was published in 2007, I am still blown away by how revolutionary many of the ideas still are today.

In the book, David blasts many conventional ideas and beliefs that we have about what leadership is and how we are supposed to lead.

In order to truly improve performance, we need to be “quiet leaders who are much more curious about the way we and others think than what advice we should give.


This week I have further reflected upon the Measure what matters, in particular the question: how do we know that we are on the right track even when we have set our mission, objectives and key results?

In order to reach our Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), these should be supported by what John Doerr calls the CFRs of performance management.

The CFR stands for Conversations, Feedback and Recognition that together form the best support system for high performing teams, individuals and organisations.

The CFRs are so powerful that many companies have actually ditched the annual performance reviews and focus…


In Measure What Matters: OKRs — The Simple Idea That Drives 10x Growth, John Doerr explains why measuring what matters helps you to plan, track and achieve success.

It makes intuitive sense anyway: if you are not measuring your progress, how would you know that you are really hitting your goals?

In a sea of activities that are interlinked it is often hard to pay attention to what we need to prioritise when everything needs doing.

Without specific objectives and key result indicators, we simply don’t know where we are going or whether we are ticking off the right activities.


One of the key organisational capacities that makes a difference is how we embed leadership “mindshare” in the organisation.

This relates to also how we embed visionary thinking and enable broader mindsets across the whole organisation, including how we invest in individuals.

According to Johnson and Suskewicz in Lead from the Future, “ Visionary organisations create structures that incentivise collaborative learning at every level “ (p. 175).

But how to shift the mindsets towards more visionary thinking?

First steps are to understand that leadership is a skillset, assess the five attributes of leadership potential, and build a learning culture.

Leadership…


In organisations, we need to bring the people with us if we are to succeed collectively.

This is particularly crucial when we are trying to develop a new vision and we know there is going to be change ahead.

Some people will be excited for change but many have their own ideas what that change should or could look like.

Therefore, paying attention to the process of how we bring others with us is critically important.

Pay attention to the process

In the recent Elevate podcast episode, Robert Glazer interviewed Dr Abdul-Malik Muhammed about how to bring positive change.

When…

Johanna Nalau

I am a climate adaptation and leadership rule bender, working hard but with a spring in my step to challenge conventional ideas. www.johannanalau.com

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