Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:
Which has helped your career more?
A. Positive Feedback
B. Negative Feedback
If you’re like most of the people we’ve recently surveyed, you answered “B.” Praise is always good to hear, but 57% preferred to hear constructive criticism. There’s no mystery why. Practically three quarters of them thought their performance would improve and their careers advance if their managers gave them corrective feedback.
But is that so? Well, sometimes, it would appear. But sometimes not. As we continue the survey, we’ve sought additional detail, asking which kind of feedback actually has been most helpful in career advancement. (You can participate in the survey and compare your scores to the findings we’re reporting here.) Over 2,500 people have replied to this question, and it turns out that the pack is fairly evenly split on this question, with 52.5% saying negative feedback was more helpful, and 47.5% saying positive feedback helped them more.
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Originally posted on Angulam's Blog:
Today happens to be India’s Republic Day; a celebration dating from a momentous day in 1950 when the great country turned into a republic and a new constitution came into play.
The weather is mild this morning and there is hint of a drizzle – nature seems to be enjoying the moment as well. Congratulatory messages are pouring in from all quarters with Indians all over the world sharing wishes and smiles in honour of the valiant efforts of their countrymen several decades ago.
As I type this message, I wonder – what is it that we could wish for our country on such a pivotal day – what is the one thing that we need most of all – as a person, as a partner, as a society and as a country in a connected world?
The answer seems to be present in this little tome I hold in…
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“The Exiled Prince” – Rama tells his Story…
In Rama’s words, “How will the story of my life be remembered by those who belong to the time yet to come?, These people who will never see or know me in flesh, how will they think of me?”
If Rama himself is answering the above questions , how would we feel ? Writer Ravi tried to respond in a beautiful way in his Book “The Exiled Prince”.
Ravi (@itsravi) narrates the story in a beautiful way by starting it with Madurantakam Rama and a British officer Colonel Lionel Blaze. ( History of Maduratakam Rama Temple in 1799)
Writer poses a nice question via Colonel Blaze “Where is it ever written or said that Rama died?”
I have read the few sample chapters via @Sandeepvarma and waiting for the remaining chapters how Rama is telling his story .
What is Survivorship Bias ?
Survivorship bias is the logical error of concentrating on the people or things that “survived” some process and inadvertently overlooking those that did not because of their lack of visibility. This can lead to false conclusions in several different ways.
Survivorship bias can lead to overly optimistic beliefs because failures are ignored, such as when companies that no longer exist are excluded from analyses of financial performance. It can also lead to the false belief that the successes in a group have some special property, rather than just coincidence
Illustration 1 :-
During World war II, Flights were sent to enemy countries and only few returned to the starting point. ( If you send 10 Flights, only 3 survived and returned to the point with damage). Military saw the bullet holes at along the wings, around the tail gunner, and down the center of the body. Military commanders wanted to invest on wings, tail gunner and the center of the body. However, Mathematician Abraham Wald gave a different opinion to the Commanders that the holes in wings, tail gunner and center of the body are strongest. The holes in wings, tail gunner proved that these areas are stronger compared to the other areas. Wald advised to focus on the other areas of the body and fix it because those areas are weaker than Wings and Tail Gunner.
Survivorship Bias is a tendency to focus on survivors instead of non-survivors. In the above illustration, the military focused on the planes that returned starting point and made a decision to focus on the holes. However, the focus has to be on non-survivors. (Flights not returned to the starting point).
Illustration 2 :- ( Emotional Effect of Survivorship Bias)
In “Fooled by Randomness “ Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains brilliantly with the below illustration ( I have shortened the illustration ) :
Marc grew-up in a small town and born for a tax accountant. He is a Harvard and Yale Graduate, working in a very large Law Firm and earning $500,000 a year. He focused on his profession and became the Partner of the Law Firm. However he ended up with separation from his wife due to lack of focus on his family. Marc married Janet and had three children in quick succession and moved to a very rich boulevard in New York city where successful corporate executives, high-flying entrepreneurs live.
Janet started feeling sad whenever she goes to school by seeing the wives of successful corporate executives and entrepreneurs who are not even smiling her. She saw her husband as a failure, by comparison, miscomputing using the wrong distribution to derive a rank with the successful entrepreneurs and wall-street traders.
- Marc has done very well , better than 99.5 % of fellow americans.
- Compared to Harvard graduates he is financially stronger than remaining 90%.
- Among Yale graduates , he is at Top 40 % of successful people.
But, when compared to his neighbors, he is at the bottom because the people who live in the community are the Survivors who were successful in the business.
In the above example, Janet started comparing herself with the Survivors and ended up in a trap of emotional stress. Because we are trained to take advantage of the information that is lying in front of our eyes, ignoring the information that we do not see.
In same way, if we compare ourselves only with the promotees in organization, then we also end up in a Survivorship Bias.
Illustration 3 :-
If the three of the five students with the best college grades went to the same high school, that can lead one to believe that the high school must offer an excellent education. This could be true, but the question cannot be answered without looking at the grades of all the other students from that high school, not just the ones who “survived” the top-five selection process
- Survivorship bias can lead to overly optimistic beliefs because failures are ignored.
- It can also lead to the false belief that the successes in a group have some special property, rather than just coincidence.
Survivorship Bias and My Learning: –
If you are thinking about opening a restaurant because there are so many successful restaurants in your hometown, you are ignoring the fact the only successful restaurants survive to become examples. Maybe on average 90 percent of restaurants in your city fail in the first year. You can’t see all those failures because when they fail they also disappear from view. As Nassim Taleb writes in his book The Black Swan, “The cemetery of failed restaurants is very silent.” Of course the few that don’t fail in that deadly of an environment are wildly successful because only the very best and the very lucky can survive. All you are left with are super successes, and looking at them day after day you might think it’s a great business to get into when you are actually seeing evidence that you should avoid it.
I am having a habit of buying books about successful people reading biographies of great leaders and learning lot about the history of companies that transformed the lives of human beings. ( NR Narayan Moorthy, Ambani, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Winston churchill, Gandhiji, Self-help books like How to win friends and influence people, The Power of Positive thinking, The Law of Success etc.,). This will lead to over-confident, strongly biased and in complete.
- Analyze about Winners and Losers, successes and failures, the living and dead.
According to Rolf Dobelli, “The Art of thinking Clearly”, People estimate their chances of success. We can guard against Survivorship Bias by frequently visiting the graves of once-promising projects, investments and careers. It is a sad walk but it will help us to make a wise decision.
Conclusion: – Taleb’s point is that survivorship bias is a chronic syndrome affecting most people. We naturally ignore the data we do not see, so we must work hard to counter survivorship bias.
Book Recommendations : -
- Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahnmen
- The Art of thinking clearly by Rolf Dobelli
On September 5 (Teachers Day) , am blessed to meet Sukumar Rajagopal (sastwingees.org) with a problem where am facing for a long time in my life. After I shared the problem, he listened with empathy and responded calmly as ‘Confirmatory Bias!’.
What is Confirmatory Bias?
Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses.People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs. They also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position.
Confirmation Bias is the tendency that influences all of us to put more faith in information that agrees with what we already believe, and discount opinions and data that disagree with our beliefs.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb author of “The Black Swan” explains beautifully in his book. In chapter 5 ( Confirmation Shmonfirmation ), he confirms by “ Cognitive Scientists have studied our mental tendency to look only for corroboration; they call this vulnerability to the corroboration error the Confirmation Bias ”
Before the discovery of Australia, everyone convinced that all swans where white, an unassailable belief as it seemed completely confirmed by empirical evidence.
A person will believe that if he invest money in Gold can yield more profit and find reasons for his argument by sharing the Gold Price Range from 1990 to 2013, “ how the gold price has shoot high and believing that other investments won’t yield money and over-confident about the investing in gold.
In organisations, we always try to make and validate the data( Vanity Metrics ) based on our belief and taking decisions through Surveys.
I was recently questioned by one of my colleague on “My Comment on Dress Smart in The Zone Blog” and am able to interrelate his conversation on his Confirmatory Bias by sharing me that productivity, culture may get affected because of his evidences by comparing the factory culture and started justifying the points how westernization is affecting the Indian culture.
Strategies for overcoming Confirmatory Bias…
Seek information that can falsify your beliefs
- Helps you avoid the confirmation bias as you seek new information
Ask questions that lead to concrete answers
- Helps you avoid the confirmation bias in interpreting information
Avoid conveying your beliefs and intentions when asking questions to your teammate or to consumers
- Helps you prevent the confirmation bias in others
Few References on Confirmatory Bias to know more…
How Warren Buffett Avoids Getting Trapped by Confirmation Bias
Book Recommendation : The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Leadership and Self-Deception is an excellent book authored by Arbinger Institute. ( Group of person written together).
In Chapter 4, ‘The Problem beneath Other Problems’ . I would like to describe the theory short and it is a key for all our problems.
Ignaz Semmelweis is an European doctor , an obstetrician worked at Vienna’s General Hospital in 1800s. He was upset when he found that the mortality rate was one in ten in his ward and the mortality rate was one in fifty in mid-wives ward. He did lot of analysis with patients in the both the wards and found everything is normal. He standardised everything from birthing positions to ventilation and diet. He even standardised the way the laundry was done. He incredibly discouraged.
Semmelweis gone for a vacation for 4 months and found that the mortality rate decreased and matched with one in fifty in his ward. Gradually, his inquiry led him to think about the possible significance of research done by the doctors on Cadavers.
Semmelweis discovered that the only significant difference was that he, spent far more time doing research on the cadavers. He developed a theory, ‘particles’ from cadaers and other diseased patients were being transmitted to health patients on the hands of the physicians. He immediately instituted a policy requiring physicians to wash their hands thoroughly in a chlorine and lime solution before examining any patient. This is called Germ Theory and it resulted in to Mortality rate to 1 in 100.
In same way, there is a similar germ we carry to one extent to another , a germ that kills leadership, a germ that causes a multitude of ‘people problems’, a germ that can be isolated and neutralised.
Let us self-introspect and discover our germs before we start identifying the reasons for challenges.
I was wondering how many of my colleagues, friends and team members are always motivated, energetic and bringing lot of benefits to them personally and also to the organization.
It triggered me to read a lot about motivation and found an answer through Fredrick Herzberg ‘s Two Factor Theory ( Motivation and Hygiene Theory – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-factor_theory)
Let us understand in detail about Motivation and Hygiene.This has revealed me personally the expectation from me to move from “What to think ?” to “How to think?”.
Herzberg’s Two-factor Theory
Nature of Work,
Most of the times, the decisions are taken based on the Hygiene Factors and not on Motivators. For example, when we are deciding to move from onsite to offshore or offshore to onsite, decisions are taken based on the Hygiene Factors to a large extent than Motivators.
If we focus more on Hygiene Factors, it doesn’t mean that we are motivated to do our job. However it helps us to work with the absence of job dissatisfaction. (As mentioned in How will you measure your life by Clayton M Christenen ) .
Integrating Hygiene and Motivators:-
Sense of Achievement is most important to feel at the end of the day and program is key motivator.
I was discussing with my friend Thillairajan , where he has given a great insight about Small Business Owners who are having a deep sleep at the end of the day because of their sense of achievement by seeing a great impact in their day due to their success in their business by valuing their Sales. (Most important motivator for them in the initial days of their business not as a Hygiene Factor)
In the same way, are we identifying the sense of achievement?
For example winning a proposal, BES Survey to 4.5, Clearing a Certification, Taking a session in Academy, Finding a defect which has saved a great impact in the production, opportunities for Innovation etc.,
Let us integrate Hygiene and Motivators in our life and know your comments on what motivates you whether it is Hygiene Factor or Motivational Factor…
Source : http://www.facilitif.eu/user_files/file/herzburg_article.pdf – To know more about Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory published in HBR 1987
Based on my recent conversations with my friends ,colleagues and in internal survey with our team, most of us are having difficulties in Work – Life Balance due to various reasons like long time travel to office , late conference calls, tight dead lines, customer expectations etc.,
I got an opportunity to discuss with Sukumar ( sastwingees.org) about this challenge and he guided me about “Work – Life Integration” which is the key part to succeed in today’s knowledge workers life.
I was doing a research on this topic by reading few articles and sharing the links to understand more about this . It is very interesting for me …and am hoping it will be interesting for you also…
4. http://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/centers/cwf/pdf/Work_Life_Evolution_Study_final.pdf – Excellent Study on Work – Life by Boston College…
My Impressions :-
1. It is interesting for me to know about Work-Life Integration ( No more Work – Life Balance , which is not sensible going forward for anyone , especially Knowledge Workers like us )
2. I was surprised by Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer, the idea that someone could achieve a healthy work-life integration when having a baby seemed too hard to believe and back to work in short span . If she is able to manage successfully her work, and I trust, we can learn effectively from her .
3. Work – Life integration is a cultural change agent and will bring lot of benefits which lead to positive eustress .
4. Find ways to squeeze your work and life whereever applicable instead of spliting or divided.
5. Capitalising the technology , Social, Mobility to a great extent to use it effectively.
6. As mentioned in Forbes article, let us do not try to balance anything. Second, try to integrate instead, which requires some real awareness of our preferred behaviors, self-identity, and sense of control.
What do you think – do you strive for work-life balance, or work-life integration? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments! Wish you great weak ahead …
My Top Reads for the Week 2 – Jan 2013
1. Why “ideas” are a Bad Starting Point for a Startup : Why Ideas are Evil by @vijayanands http://www.vijayanand.name/2013/01/why-ideas-are-a-bad-place-to-start-a-startup-or-why-ideas-are-evil/ – Brillaint
2. Is Managed Innovation an Oxymoron – Story – Intresting from @kumarsachi http://bit.ly/Xerz6a
3. Creativity is Subtraction – via @brainpickings http://j.mp/WwrQ1m
4. Brain Training program – via @cpjay http://bit.ly/ZFLFKQ – Vv interesting
5. Top 100 Tweet Accounts to follow in 2013 for Business, Technology, Leadership – http:// huff.to/RMK57v (via )
My Top Reads WK 1 – Jan 6,2013
2. Return of the Native http://www.sastwingees.org/2012/12/30/the-return-of-the-native/ relocating to India? via @priyaraju
4.”The Anatomy of Consulting Firm” – by David Maister
Posted in Uncategorized | Tags: New Year;Return to India;Data Analytics;Consulting
This is one of the interesting blog.
Originally posted on Angulam's Blog:
A friend called up the other day. He had recently moved to a semi-independent role from a managerial role for a large portfolio and he was surprised that the attention he had been garnering until recently had gone down significantly. “Are they ungrateful or am I not the leader I was anymore?” he wondered.
We mused this over a pot of coffee and a few cups of tea (we had one of those uber coffee shops nearby). He really had been a good manager, so this wasnt about people acting up. Not at all – so what was happening?
My friend got it first – “looks like I missed the “parnephelia associated with the position” with my person. The oohs and aahs were really for the position huh?”
We had a good laugh as we thought about the fate of our politicians once they were out of power. Or the…
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As Peter Drucker defines “Change that creates a new Dimension of performance”, this work shop made a change and shown me a path to a new dimension of Performance.
Key Learning from the Workshop : -
StoryTelling by Mr. Sankaranaryanan :-
- Shared how he turned Sick a Company to 1000+ crores organization.
- Identify the Key Problems in your organization. As a Chairman, he integrated the whole system and solved.
- Burning problems of customers is an opportunity to innovate which can lead new business. Interesting examples like educating a customer or vendor will help lot to sustain in business.
- Show your product or make your customer to visualize the outcome or “TO-BE State”
- Interestingly he is aged 70+ and the way he exhibited energy is fantastic.
I was very much thrilled to know about Creativitywhack cards (deck of 64 cards with illustrations and strategies for stimulating creativity).
According to me , this is the best example of “Connect the Dots” . Roger Von Oech (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_von_Oech) who connected his thought with brilliant 64 creativity strategies is the example of out-of-box thinking.
The four roles in the Creativity Process :-
The Explorer :-
The Explorer is always in search of new things. He is relentlessly curious and never limits himself to a particular area of experience and knowledge. To have ideas is to connect dots. First and foremost you need lots of dots to connect — you need fuel for the formation of new ideas.
The Artist :-
The artist has ideas. He takes the raw materials from the Explorer and combines them in novel ways.
The Judge :-
The Judge is all about “getting real”. His job is to analyze the Artist’s wild ideas and assess if they’re practical — in the real world.
The Warrior’s job is to make ideas happen. For that, you’ll need not only a strategy and plan of action but to put in the hours — fight the daily fight.
That means remaining productive, developing the resilience and courage to overcome obstacles and, of course, being able to sell your ideas — whatever’s necessary to materialize them.
Interesting Lessons from Ashish Rajpal (@ashishrajpal) : – ( Managing Director of xseed.in- idiscoveri)
Amazing session on How to build a culture:-
Ashish changed the culture of the workshop in a different way by introducing himself and also he motivated others to follow the same model. He started with his Big Bang approach.
Asish explained, “To Change the culture, underlying beliefs need to change” . A profound statement and he shared with a metaphor of Tree.
“Fruits are symbols of Culture”
“Trunk are Practices” or “Symbols emanates Practices”
“Root of the tree are Underlying Beliefs or Assumptions”.
If we need to build an innovation culture, we need to have an underlying belief to innovate.
He showed a video from IDEO to explain which shared the same belief system. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M66ZU2PCIcM)
Following are my top 5 key takeaways from the Video:-
To solve a problem:-
- Multicultural Team or Diversified people to be involved. ( Ex. Anthropologist, Biologist etc)
- One Conversation at a Time
- Stay focused on Topic
- Encourage wild ideas
- Not to criticize other’s ideas.
The framework he shared for building an Innovation Culture is remarkable. ( SIPA)
STIMULUS à IDEA àPRACTICE à ASSESS
It was fulfilling and wonderful Saturday to learn more about Innovation from Innovation Evangelists.
About Inception Business Services: Inception Business Services (IBS – inception.net.in). This is the first workshop of Inception and the founders arranged it in an innovative way. Thanks to organisers and their goodie ( Bookmark ) also very innovative.
My Top Reads WK -22 2012
Video of the Week – Honda the Power of Dreams Failure :The Secret to Sucess http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJAq6drKKzE&feature=youtu.be via/ @rsukumar
1. 10 Things you can learn from Apple Store http://blog.guykawasaki.com/
2. Stop being Micromanaged – http://blogs.hbr.org/hmu/2011/09/stop-being-micromanaged.html
My Top Reads WK 21 – 2012
1.Why great ideas come when you aren’t trying – / vv interesting via /@rsukumar
Video of the Week : – http://youtu.be/2Db0_RafutM – Sheryl Sandberg Address on HBS 2012
My Top Reads – Week 19 – 2012
1.The Best Path to Success is Your Own – http://bit.ly/Lwj94s / Via @hbrblogs
2. Reverse Innovation by Vijay Govindarajan – http://bit.ly/IrySi8 – Amazing thoughts
3. Cognizant Technology Solutions – Far Horizons – http://bit.ly/JJ7A6l – /Via @subbins&Sathish Rajamani
4. Retail is etail http://bit.ly/41wUvc – Trendwatching and future of Retail -/ Via @prakasank
5. The art of Storytelling – http://bit.ly/JFAfuD – Intresting read
Interesting Video – TED on Reverse Innovation – http://bit.ly/yiBLKD – Vijat Govindrajan