Lunchtime Links: When Gut Instinct Fails

Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman on the pitfalls of uninformed decision-making. Also: side-stepping traps that could destroy your association's blog.

Leaders are often told to trust their instincts. But gut-thinking isn’t always the smartest, or best, course.

How to hone your decision-making process, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Brain power: Leaders are often told to go with their instincts. Gut thinking is a popular philosophy in management and business. But, as author and nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman explained to Inc.com Editor in Chief Eric Schurenberg a few months back, there are times when “‘going with your gut’ can lead you astray.” Inc.com writer Abigail Tracey describes the interview, in which Kahneman talks with Schurenberg about the “the cognitive processes and pitfalls people face in the decision-making process.” So, what’s the secret to making more informed decisions? Kahneman says it’s important not to mistake random events for causes. When events occur, it is human instinct to construct a causal relationship, but such relationships “may not actually exist to make sense of what has happened,” suggests Kahneman, who also recommends taking the time “to look for what we don’t see” and learning how to spot outliers. Want more? Check out the full interview.

Blog killer: If you’ve ever launched a blog, you already know what a challenge it can be. Setting up the infrastructure is no small task. Filling your blog with content—and keeping that content fresh is harder still. If you’re lucky enough to generate an engaged readership, the last thing you want is to see the whole thing come crumbling down. But it will—if you’re not careful, writes Darren Rowse, founder and editor of ProBlogger. Rowse says there’s one potential blog-killing mistake every person or organization should avoid. Stop comparing yourself to others, writes Rowse. Too many bloggers fall into the trap of trying to emulate the success of their competition. They stop producing and start tinkering. Before they know it, their content engine is stalled and out of date. Rather than trying to achieve success by copying someone else’s, Rowse says bloggers should “run [their] own race.” Does your organization run a blog? What’s its recipe for success?

Chief experience officer: Conference organizers have a vast and varied job description. They secure venues and line up speakers. They provide food and draft schedules. They arrange for lodging and social events. When it comes down to it, the conference organizer’s goal is to ensure that every attendee has an unforgettable experience. It’s a tall order—and, if you listen to engagement consultant Jeff Hurt tell it, worthy of a heftier title. Writing for Velvet Chainsaw Consulting’s Midcourse Corrections blog, Hurt suggests an alternative title: Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The CEO would be responsible for every facet of the conference experience, from outreach and promotion, to first impressions, to onsite support, to send-off and follow-up. “As conference organizers and meeting professionals, we often get so focused on the details and logistics of our event that we forget that entire experience is for and about our customers,” writes Hurt.

Think it’s time for a new role in your organization? Tell us in the comments.


Corey Murray

By Corey Murray

Corey Murray is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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