Analytics,  causation and human evolution

books, Brain size, Evolution, Human Brain, Thinking

About a month back I was giving a training to our team on Analytics  and what could be the uses for customers.  During that training I spent a lot of time on how Analytics can be used to do correlation and also causation. These are 2 concepts which a lot of people mix up. So I  spent a lot of time on that, clarifying doubts.

Today I was reading the book “Framers: Human Advantage in an Age of Technology and Turmoil” by Kenneth Cukier, Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, Francis de Vericourt.

I am right now in the first half of the book. There’s a specific chapter on causation.

If you have been following my blog, you would notice that I have been interested in understanding why humans succeeded in advancing so much while the whole animal kingdom and other living beings are where they were millions of years back. Zebras thousands of years back still had the same stripes and ate grass as they do now. But humans moved from stones to weapons to flying and all kinds of other advancements.

I already believed that because the real estate for the development of the human brain was much larger than other animals , it gave our brain more capabilities to evolve physically. The second reason in my opinion was the motor mechanism where we have the concept of grip which helped us to hold things and also walk on 2 limbs rather than four.

One of the things that the authors are suggesting is the fact that humans had two key skills which the other animals did not. One was the ability to see causation and the other were social skills. With causation they were able to think about how the same causes could be caused to have the same effects while with social skills they could ask for help and collaborate.

While some animals do live in colonies, they don’t seem to seek help for achieving tasks. On the other hand even if you were to put 2-3 kids who don’t know each other into a room, you will soon find that they are playing with each other trying to help each other.

As I read further I will see if they have more information on this subject. But for me , now if I have to give another training on Analytics and its uses, I will have some more content to talk about on how causation has helped humans evolve.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Relationships make a difference

books, life, relationships, Sales

When I was starting out in sales I read a book – What they don’t teach you in Harvard Business School. It was authored by Harvey McCormick. I was very impressed with the achievements that he mentioned in the book.

I have forgotten most of the book, but one sentence that has stayed with me has been – All things being equal people buy from friends, all things Not being equal they still still prefer to buy from friends.

That one statement keeps ringing in my mind from time to time. It has been a guiding statement whenever I interact with anyone.

I try to ensure that I make long term relationships by being straight and upfront in whatever interaction I have with people. Not only with prospects and customers but even with vendors and everyday people.

When you build these kind of relationships you can be sure that you can pick up the phone and call people when you want and they will also answer your phone. Also because you have dealt straight with these people you aren’t scared when connecting with them.

Its also similar to the philosophy of giving first that Joe Polish talks about. When people trust you and know that you will be transparent in your interactions, they are also open to interact

Does that mean that I have not been tricked and taken advantage of because of this philosophy, absolutely not. But the amount of times I have been duped is way smaller than the amount of times the relationships have helped.

My advice would always be to play the long game and build relationships which can last you a long long time.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Domino effect….can also be non linear

books, Leverage, Productivity

Generally when we think of the domino effect,  we generally think in terms of small rectangular tablets lined up in a sequence standing at the thin edge. You just push one of them and slowly one after another they all fall down in a sequence.

It’s a visual treat to watch these blocks fall.

What I didn’t know is that you can have dominoes of different sizes lined up similarly from the smallest to the largest and if you push the smallest one, it can make all the dominoes to fall.

I learnt this while reading the book The One Thing by Gary Keller. As per him you could have the same domino effect work out if the next domino in line is upto 50% larger than the previous one. What this in effect means is an infinite leverage is possible because of the non-linear progression you can get by making each domino 50% bigger than the previous one. This can have a major boost for productivity.

The premise of his book is that if you were to do only one thing, you should do the one which would ensure that all the others get done automatically or with very little effort

The theoretical meaning of this fact is that you can have enormous leverage available to you if you can identify that smallest domino in a sequence, which if pushed can make all the other dominoes fall. It sounds similar to the work of a catalyst in a chemical reaction.

Since I am a big fan of leverage, I have seriously started looking at the arguments which Gary has placed forward and trying to experiment with them.

While the logic seems to be in place I need to figure out how will I make a it a practice to regularly identify the key domino.

Will keep you pasted.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!


Thinking and Action – frameworks

Affirmative action, books, Flow, Frameworks, Habits, Human Brain, possibility thinking, problem solving

Till now I have been generally written about how the brain gets positive feelings when you do a gratitude exercise or when you do charity etc. This feeling helps your brain see more possibilities. This was actually topic of my last post. While all of this is true, I still was not able to figure out what will ensure that I keep taking action on a continuous basis because at the end of the day, just thinking won’t get you there, you need to take action.

This is not to degrade the thinking process. As a matter of fact if you spend time into thinking then the chances are that you will find a solution which may be extremely elegant and solve the problem. But you need to have the grit or persistence to work on the solution, figure out if it actually works, if it doesn’t, go back to the drawing board and find another solution.

How does someone ensure that they are always taking action. What will create that behaviour which will make me ensure that I am moving in the direction, to achieve my goals of the impossible while I am coming out with more creative solutions to handle my constraints.

While I am not sure if I have all the pieces of the puzzle in place for me, I do think that there’s a combination of things which I have observed when I have read the following 4 books – Tiny Habits by B.J.Fogg, The Art of the Impossible by Steven Kotler, A Beautiful Constraint by Adam Morgan & Mark Barden and Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol.

So two of the books – in no particular order – are about solving problems and handling constraints, one is about creating behaviours and the last is about taking your brain into a high performance agenda. over the next few weeks I will try to see if I can take out the best pieces of advice and put it into a framework for myself and see the results.

So there are some low levels activities which I completely stop doing – like writing emails. Then I create behaviours for small things which can make a huge impact for me, find processes and frameworks to resolve constraints – thinking tools and then get into flow to figure out creative solutions. If I can have prompts to help me do all this then I would have really figured out a way to not get stuck from time to time in time.

Once there’s a behaviour based on a habit, then my brain will also not get over worked. With the energy that I conserve, I may actually figure out even better solutions.

Is this too much of a fancy. I don’t know. Let me put it in action and see. I will keep you posted.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!