Author Archives: Jonathan Becher
For reasons I’d rather not go into, I decided to do a little research into food poisoning with a seemingly simple question: How does food get poisoned?
Early in my management career, the HR department sent out a single-question survey which asked how satisfied we were with our jobs on a scale of 0 (very unsatisfied) to 4 (highly satisfied). To my surprise, my group had the lowest average score (2.6) in the company. The HR VP predicted a mass exodus and [...]
“It’s true I deceived you but I wasn’t lying.” The statement, spoken brazenly by a work colleague, momentarily floored me. I thought deception and lying were the same thing. A little bit of research suggests there may be a difference.
Ever watch those TV infomercials late at night when you’re bored and can’t sleep? Of course you do. And you’re likely to buy things you don’t really need as well. The most fascinating book I’ve read in a long time, ‘But Wait… There’s More,’ explains the science behind infomercials.
Many popular phrases have their roots in sports. For example, the cliché “there is no ‘i’ in team” comes from the idea that a cohesive team of players is more likely to win games than a collection of individual superstars. Players are told to focus on the team’s overall success rather than their individual performance. [...]
What would get people to reuse their towels in hotel rooms? The answer might surprise you, as it’s not saving the environment or saving money. People are more likely to reuse their hotel towels if they are told that everyone else is doing it.
As the name implies, biomimicry is the discipline of designing products by mimicking phenomena that already exist in biology and nature. The best-known example of this approach is Velcro, which was developed in the 1940s by engineer George De Mestralwhen he noticed burrs clinging to his dog’s fur after a walk in the woods. It [...]
CMOs make a strong case that marketing should represent the “voice of the customer” for their companies but, in my opinion, that doesn’t go far enough. We need to represent the voice of the market. , founder of Coffee famously said: “Customers don’t always know what they want. The decline in coffee-drinking was due to [...]
If want to hear lots of specific details about a TV show you missed, you’re better off asking a shy person in the office, rather than the loud-mouth talking about it in the break room. That’s because, according to a study by Dutch scientist Camiel Beukeboom, introverts use more descriptive and concrete language than extroverts.
When you ask someone to do something, be sure to include the statement “but you are free to choose to do it or not”. Adding this phrase doubles the likelihood they will do it. A detailed analysis of more than 22K subjects in 42 separate psychology studies demonstrates this startling result.