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Overlooked, overwatered, overwhelmed


When an indoor plant is struggling, our instinct is to give it more water.

But that can drown the plant, making it worse.

Some managers are like this, and far too many sales people.

They can tell the person they are engaging with is struggling, but they keep talking anyway.

They share more advice or more information, which only adds to overwhelm.

Overwhelm is one of three core issues when you are trying to influence behaviour, along with Apathy (I can’t be bothered) and Anxiety...

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100 days is the wrong target



A contestant on this year's series of Alone Australia, a show where the person who survives the longest alone in the wilderness wins, made a significant psychological error.

He said he was aiming for 100 days.

He should have aimed for 101.

In this clip I explain the thresholds that change behaviour, whether we're running a marathon, lifting weights or pricing products.

See whether you can work out why I think the Alone contestant should have aimed for 101 days.



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What overpacking for a holiday means for your business


Have you ever wondered why you overpack for a holiday? The reason has significant implications for your business.

Participants in a 2008 study were asked to choose from a selection of chocolate bars.

In one experiment, they were asked to choose one chocolate bar each week for 3 weeks ( x 3 weeks).

In another, participants were asked to choose 3 chocolate bars upfront that they could then consume over the coming weeks (  ).

Now, your choices shouldn’t matter whether...

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Effortless = worthless: Why you should show your labour


If it seems effortless, it can seem worthless.

When something comes too easily, we don’t seem to value it.

I once heard a comedian suggest adding an ‘average Joe’ to every race at the Olympics just so we can appreciate just how exceptional these athletes are. 

For you, effortless might be an idea you have that you immediately second guess because it seems too obvious, or a service you provide that customers undervalue.

Showing your work, the hours you’ve...

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Five realities of work


As author Liz Wiseman writes, there are five realities of working in an organisation.

  1. Messy problems
  2. Unclear objectives
  3. Unforeseen obstacles
  4. Moving targets
  5. Unrelenting demands

A small percentage of the burden you carry is actual workload – it’s the muck that comes along with it.

And in my experience, most of the muck involves people. 

Imagine then, having clarity about why people behave the way they do and how you can influence them for the better?

Imagine how...

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Drawing attention to the wrong thing


A painting has been in the news recently.

Gina Reinhart, one of Australia’s wealthiest people, has petitioned the National Gallery of Australia to have the work removed.

Perversely, her request has generated so much media attention that many more people have seen the Vincent Namatjira painting than would have otherwise.

Barbra Streisand knows this all too well.

In 2003 she took legal action to remove an aerial image of her property from the twelve thousand other properties on...

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Everybody thinks they can do your job. Nobody wants to.


When you work in HR, everyone thinks they can do your job.

But nobody wants to.

I’ve been in and around HR for most of my career, and witnessed time and again people saying it’s “an HR thing”.







Leadership behaviour.

Birthday cakes.


The challenge is that your most public facing work seems fun, easy, even trivial.

Yet behind the scenes a different type of work goes on. Deeply personal, life...

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How to get customers to buy more of your range


If you’d like to get customers to buy more from you, here’s an idea.

Make use of the Completeness Bias - our desire to complete something once we’ve started.

Like a jigsaw puzzle, for example.

An Italian vineyard was able to sell more across its range by matching wines to 5 stages of a dinner party.

But the best bit? 

They represented these stages as a jigsaw puzzle that needed to be completed.

This DOUBLED their sales. Instead of 4 out of every 10 customers...

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Before and after


Customers LOVE before and after pictures. But too many businesses get it wrong for one important psychological reason.

Using before and after imagery helps your customer understand the transformation that’s possible.

They work because they signal the “now” state. The problem state. 

And then help us imagine how life will be better once we’ve done what it is you’re suggesting.

Life used to be like this, now it’s like this.

Here’s an example...

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When you eat a tomato from the supermarket it is unremarkable.Tasteless. Watery.

When you eat a homegrown tomato, it is vibrant. Sweet. Juicy.

It adds something to your day.

Guess which tomato most AI generated content reminds me of?

It takes more effort to grow your own, but goodness, what a payoff!

The future of work may be AI. Your future worth is not.

If you want to differentiate yourself and create real and sustainable value, you need to grow it yourself.


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