It Sure Is Noisy Around Here

This is what the combination of analytics and visualization does best – together they filter out the noise so that you are left with the core concerns. Decision making under uncertainty is tough enough – no sense wasting time and effort striving for precision and accuracy around the WRONG variables or issues. No matter how you choose to mix your metaphors, data visualization turns down the noise so that you can hear yourself think.

The Skeptical CFO

It came as a bit of a shock that some customers just weren’t going to pay you. For no good reason. I would ask if perhaps the delivery had been short, or was late, or something went wrong with the implementation, or they were trying to use it as leverage on another deal, or maybe they were having cash flow problems themselves. If so, we could work something out. No, it wasn’t any of those things, this was simply how they treated all their vendors, they’d pay us when they felt like it, or maybe they wouldn’t pay us at all.

Paisa Vasool

When Indian consumers experience the perfect mix of quality and value, they will often say “Paisa vasool”—loosely, “I got my money’s worth.” It is the highest praise. Around the world, consumers are budget squeezed—skeptical of merchandisers and worried about the future. Paisa vasool can become the watchword to creating greater value, offering more features for less money, and attracting consumers who become your advocate. Paisa vasool implies high quality, a complete package that delivers value for money.

Retrain Your Brain

[There have been many research studies done on] “emotional styles” - which are really brain styles. One brain style tracks how readily we become upset: where we are on the spectrum from a hair-trigger amygdala - people who easily become upset, frustrated or angered - versus people who are unflappable.

A second style looks at how quickly we recover from our distress. Some people recover quickly once they get upset, while others are very slow. At the extreme of slowness to recover are people who continually ruminate or worry about things - in effect, who suffer from ongoing low-grade amygdala hijacks. Chronic worry keeps the amygdala primed, so you remain in a distress state as long as you ruminate. Given the many realistic stresses we face, those first two styles - being unflappable and capable of quick recovery - are the most effective in navigating the troubles of the world of work.

The third style assesses a person’s depth of feeling. Some people experience their feelings quite intensely, some people quite shallowly. Those who have stronger feelings may be better able to authentically communicate them more powerfully - to move people.

Truthiness and You

Fans of Stephen Colbert are probably familiar with the term Truthiness, which he introduced in the inaugural episode of the now extremely popular Colbert Report. He explains the word as what we feel to be true rather than what’s factually or arguably true. For instance one might argue that it’s okay not to report a little side income to the IRS because it was insignificant and not from one’s primary employment, and it just feels like found money rather than real taxable income. Your gut tells you so!