Thursday, February 18, 2010

Party On, Dude!

Ten years before he became famous as cool-black-duster-wearing Neo in The Matrix, Keanu Reeves took us on Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, where he gave us two enduring rules of life:

1. Be Excellent To Each Other


2. Party On, Dude!

Recently, I was enrolling in a great new online program, and during the enrollment process was asked to agree with their 5-point terms of service. The first four points dealt with their rules of business conduct, but the fifth and final point really grabbed me: 5. Be excellent to each other. Not, 5. Obey these rules or we will refuse you service, nor 5. Obey these rules and be nice to each other. No, their final term of service for their customers was to be EXCELLENT to each other.

We have weathered the recession, and are now trying to recover our economic strength. In order to succeed, our companies need to be strong and profitable. And our companies are only as strong as their employees. Now is the time for employers and employees to work together, and be proud of the work they do. And, don't forget Rule #2: Party On, Dude! Let's have some fun again!

What one thing can you do differently, starting right now, to be excellent to those around you?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It's All In Your Mind - Answers Revealed

In our last post, we posed Dr. Shane Frederick's three-question Cognitive Reflection Test, and promised the answers. Here they are:

1) A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? _$1.05____ cents

(2) If it takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets? _5___ minutes

(3) In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of the lake? __47___ days

According to Dr. Frederick, those who are able to correctly answer all three questions are the most brilliant among us. Well, I will confess, I correctly responded to number 2 immediately, and came up with the answer to number 3 only after drawing it out on paper. However, I do not think this is in any way indicative of a lack of brilliance on my part. I simply have no interest in baseball.

I think the real test of one's cognitive reflection, or critical thinking skills, is not necessarily related to their IQ (sorry, Dr. Frederick). The real indicator is how someone looks at a problem, not just coming up with the correct mathmatical answer. To be a true critical thinker, you have to be able to suspend your own opinions and biases, and look at a problem from every possible angle - step out of your own shoes, walk across the room and see it in a completely different light. Those of us who are able to do this consistently are the truly brilliant among us, for they will see not just answers, but possibilities.