Book Cover

Read the book!

We are quickly closing in on the completion of the re-read of Thinking Fast and Slow. Today we are tackling the last two chapters before Kanhneman’s conclusions. Assuming “God willing and the creek don’t rise” (an Americanism), we will begin Crucial Conversations in three weeks. I have purchased my copy and have started reading the book.  (more…)

Book Cover

Read the book!

Two things before we dive in this week.  

The next book in our Re-read Saturday Feature is Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, Switzler.  I have never read this book, I just ordered the book using the link https://amzn.to/34RuZ6V (using the link helps support the blog and podcast). If you do not have a copy or have tossed it at someone during a crucial conversation, it is time to buy a copy. Please use the link above!  

Secondly,  Business Agility Conference (March 11 -12, 2020 in New York City) is sponsoring the Software Process and Measurement Podcast. If you are a friend on the podcast and blog and are shopping for a great business agility conference, this one I recommend. Check out the conference at http://bit.ly/2SmOJMS, and use the special code “spamcast” to get a 20% discount!  

Chapter 36 of Thinking, Fast and Slow, is titled Life As A Story. This chapter focuses on two closely related biases that impact the stories we tell about our lives. Early in my career, the team I was working on had to do an install on a Friday evening just before midnight (retail organization and by midnight the stores were closed and settled).  We had been working on a piece of functionality for several months and tonight it was rolling out! We were psyched, it had been a great effort and we had done some very cool work. One weird thing had happened right after lunch, a team member had quit. He had just walked out. My memory of the project to that was stelling.  Telling the story after that night, it was different. We discovered the person who had walked out that day had written and committed a stub built to fool the tests about thirty minutes before the system was supposed to go live. A lot of coffee and 4 hours later we had coded the functionality and tested it. We were late and exhausted. This is just the kind of story that is illustrative of the points in this chapter. Afterward, none of the stories recognized the time before that fateful evening. Everyone of repackaged the events to tell the of our crazy evening. Kahneman calls the part of the person doing the remembering, the “remembering self.” People compose stories and keep them for future reference. The idea that stories are important is supported by how System 1 Thinking works. It connects ideas and memories to generate narratives.   (more…)

Book Cover

Read the book!

Chapter 35, titled Two Selves, begins Section Five.  Kahneman starts this chapter by discussing the concept of experienced utility. Berridge and O’Doherty define experienced utility as “the hedonic or pleasurable experience produced by the outcome when eventually gained.” A person that was attempting to maximize experienced utility would make decisions that yield the most pleasure over other attributes.   (more…)

Book Cover

Read the book!

Chapter 34 highlights a number of critical ideas that are germane in today’s environment. Kahneman begins the chapter with the statement that classic economists’ beliefs and preferences are reality bound. Meaning that “objects of the choices are states of the world, which are not affected by the words chosen to describe them.” Stated differently, classic economic theory sees decisions as a set of equations and does not account for the emotion (System 1 thinking) that words generate in decision making. Kahneman uses the results of the 2006 World Cup.  In the finals, France lost and Italy won. Both statements describe the same event. They are equivalent, but if you were rooting for France, saying France lost will evoke different emotions and memories than saying Italy won. System 1 thinking generates different meanings based on human emotions and bias. In 2020 manipulating people by evoking System 1 thinking is called spin.  (more…)

Book Cover

Kahneman starts chapter 33 by contrasting the payout from two fictional court cases – one that occurs in a store a shopper normally goes to and the second In a store the shopper almost never commerces in. When the two outcomes were experimentally evaluated together neither evoked a different payout. When evaluated separately, the outcome was different. The effect of evaluating each incident separately allows System 1 thinking to use substitution and intensity matching to create an emotional scale. In the experiment, there was a higher payout for the incident that happened in the store they frequented less. Kahneman uses the term poignancy, closely related to regret, in order to describe the effect. This effect happens when people grant a higher value or more emotion to something that happens when they act out of the ordinary. The saying “ woulda, shoulda, coulda” sums the feeling up for this effect. The take away for this portion of the chapter is that comparisons between two outcomes create an environment that invokes System 2 thinking which reduces bais and allows clearer decision making. When selling a change program or an experiment, you need to step back and determine how to package the argument. Separating decisions allows attributes to come into play that would generate poignancy which favors the status quo (resist ideas that might cause failure for doing something outside the norm). Separating decisions that could be compared, opens the door to reversals. (more…)

Celebration

I hope all the readers of the Software Process and Measurement Blog are having a joyous holiday season or at least are not being bothered too much by those of us that are celebrating the season. It is time to start considering the next book in the Re-Read Saturday feature. We have approximately 8 weeks left in the reading of Thinking Fast and Slow. We have four books that have been suggested (two I have not read, but should). Please vote for your two favorites in the poll below: 

If you do not have a copy of these books and need or want one, use the link provided below. We will run the poll for approximately 3 weeks.

  • Bulls**t Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber https://amzn.to/2rnmTFi
  • Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, Switzler https://amzn.to/34RuZ6V 
  • The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries https://amzn.to/2QthRjl 
  • Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath https://amzn.to/2sYA8N8 

I am starting to think about goals for next year. Things, like reading a novel (I have only been reading nonfiction for a few years) and wondering at the man in the moon, keep popping up when I start to think about 2020. Have you begun planning for next year?

 

Book Cover

Daily life seems to be a combination of action and inaction of getting things done or listening to people tell you about what they have done, but the constant is that everyone is keeping score. Perhaps not consciously, but everyone has a set of mental accounts. Chapter 32 explores how those tallies shape preferences and motivate actions. (more…)