Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 27, 2023

Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 27, 2023
Weekly Pulse is content curation and highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, ramblings, and other interesting things I discovered during the week.

So, let's go with some discoveries from the week!

#1 - How Asking Multiple People for Advice Can Backfire
#2 - How to Stay Focused If You’re Assigned to Multiple Projects at Once
#3 - Is ‘Flow’ the Secret to Painless Productivity?
#4 - Closing the Loop: How the Circular Economy Works
#5 - Book Notes #79: Thinking, Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman

How Asking Multiple People for Advice Can Backfire

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Hayley Blunden, Jennifer M. Logg, Alison Wood Brooks, Leslie K. John, and Francesca Gino
Year: 2019

Summary: Asking for advice often involves seeking opinions from several sources, but this research suggests that it could backfire. Advisors generally prefer to be the only source of advice to maintain their status. When they detect that an advice seeker is consulting multiple advisors, they deem the seeker less competent and their advice less likely to be followed. The study also found that advice seekers often aren't clear that their intent is just to obtain information rather than expecting the advisors to offer direction. A lack of transparency about goals can lead to misunderstandings in future interactions.

3 Highlights:

"... Given how commonly most of us are told to seek second and third opinions, we expected advisors to rate those pursuing this strategy as more competent. But we found the opposite. People who were in a group of several advisors not only rated the advice seeker as less competent, but also indicated that they felt more socially distant to them later and were less interested in advising them in the future..."

"... You might also benefit from being more transparent about your goals. If you clarify the reason why you are soliciting advice (“I am hoping to explore all my options”), that may help set the tone for the discussion and expectations for the actions you take in the future..."

"... Many of us genuinely want to help those who seek counsel, and our recommendations may not always be the best..."

How to Stay Focused If You’re Assigned to Multiple Projects at Once

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Heidi K. Gardner and Mark Mortensen
Year: 2017

Summary: Most of us are juggling multiple teams at once. In theory, this system of “multiteaming” offers a number of upsides: You can deploy your expertise exactly where and when it’s most needed, share your knowledge across groups, and switch projects during lull times. The reality, though, is a lot more complicated. You’ve probably experienced some challenges of multiteaming — some of the most common include how to manage your time, stress, and development. To better manage your time, try prioritizing and sequencing your work. To better manage your stress, try setting and communicating expectations. And to better optimize your development, try blocking out time for actual learning.

3 Highlights:

"... The speed and demands of your projects determine the ideal frequency of check-ins, and the management style and seniority of your stakeholders sets the tone for establishing priorities when push comes to shove..."

"... Pick one task and focus on it intensely, rather than juggling. Start with the task that requires the greatest concentration and give it your undivided attention..."

"... By telling people not to expect an instant reply, you buy yourself some time to focus, while reassuring them that you will pay attention — later..."

Is ‘Flow’ the Secret to Painless Productivity?

Source: Fast Company
Author: Greg Smith
Year: 2023

Summary: "Flow" is a state of intense focus and absorption in an intrinsically rewarding activity that can enhance creativity, productivity, and mental health. It can be created deliberately by finding a task that is challenging but not overwhelming and avoiding distractions. The epidemic of burnout can be addressed sustainably by cultivating a flow state and making work satisfying again. Leaders can help reduce "never quite right" bias by using the simple and effective "flip it to test it" method to thwart sexist criticisms, and by providing constructive, objective, and career-enhancing feedback to women.

3 Highlights:

"... “Flow” is the sweet spot on the edge of difficulty, where you’re challenged a bit beyond your comfort zone but not so much that you struggle to continue. When you’re in flow, time passes differently, your ideas are firing, and you’re super focused..."

"... Flow is a state of optimal performance during which our creativity, productivity, and mental health are enhanced. To experience it, we need to find a task that is challenging enough to require our full attention but not so overwhelming that we feel defeated. And that balance is worth finding for many reasons besides just getting stuff done..."

"...By cultivating a flow state, you can achieve “productive happiness”: a state in which you feel energized, motivated, and fulfilled by your work. And as a bonus, you’ll likely be more successful in the process..."

Closing the Loop: How the Circular Economy Works

Source: Article of the Week

In our rapidly changing world, the need for sustainable solutions has never been more urgent. Companies around the world are always trying to create this "green perspective" to their products and services.

The traditional linear economy, characterized by a "take-make-waste" model, is no longer viable in the face of resource depletion, environmental degradation, and climate change. 

It's time to embrace a new approach that not only minimizes waste and environmental impact but also fosters economic growth and resilience.

Book Notes #79: Thinking, Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman

Source: Book Notes of the Week

Drawing on decades of research, Kahneman reveals the two systems that govern our thinking: the fast, instinctive system and the slow, deliberate system. 

Through captivating anecdotes and scientific insights, he unveils how these systems shape our perceptions, judgments, and choices. 

This thought-provoking book challenges conventional wisdom and offers practical strategies to enhance our decision-making abilities in a complex world.

"Fast, Slow" by Daniel Kahneman is a seminal work that delves into the intricacies of human thinking and decision-making. 

Based on decades of research in psychology and behavioural economics, Kahneman presents a groundbreaking framework that reveals the two systems that drive our thought processes: the intuitive and the deliberate.

I am incredibly grateful that you have taken the time to read this post. 

Your support and engagement mean the world to me, and I truly appreciate your interest in the topics I write about. 

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