Top Two Features of Real Genius (it’s not giant popcorn bombs…)

Sand bucket on the beach of Punta del Este, Uruguay. David (CC BY 2.0)

What makes up a Genius? Most of us in North America imagine the “geniuses” who come up with great new ideas as people who seem to have everything lined up, who don’t need anyone else because it’s their singular genius that makes the day. True brilliance shows in people who get everything done the right way, quickly and efficiently. They are born that way, ready to go.

The science writer B…

Intelligence Testing & IQ: What it is, isn’t

Manhattan Bridge under construction-1909

I’ve been studying the world of “intelligence testing” for some work I’m doing. Other than my own experience as a small child being subjected to what I recall as two days of evaluation far from my home (actually i had a lot of fun and my mother recalls it as only a few hours), I really knew almost nothing about the world of “Intelligence Quotients” (IQ) and intelligence testing.

I just…

Top 5 Job Assignments to Produce Learning (revisited)

Employees at Mid-Continent Refinery [ca. 1943 Tulsa, OK (LOC). By John Vachon]

Here are the Top 5 job assignments to produce learning with commentary: [full post]

“Smarter” May Mean “Lower Performance” in Pressured Environments

Pressure cooker with a simple regulator and an oval lid

There’s an interesting bit of research thatNew Scientist reported. It may be that people with verbal smarts are less likely to perform well in pressure cooker environments. The gene has also been linked to mental illness, anxiety and emotional vulnerability, which seems to reduce your ability to perform under pressure. There are serious implications for business, not the least of which is that if you are in an industry where high verbal skills count, eschewing the normal MBA-oriented pressure cooker environment will allow you to have better performance than you hyper-competitive competitors.

Transitions To Higher Levels Mean Having To Build New Habits, And That’s Hard

Frank Coffyn's auto wrecked in Central Park, March 21,1912. Bain News Service, via Library of Congress.

When you transition from one work level to another, you have to learn new ways of being. These will be enshrined in habit but letting go of old ways hurts.

Cosmides on the Dangers of "Anyone Can Be Shaped Into Anything"

A quick look at one of Leda Cosmides’s answers during an interview for El Mecurio (Chile), on the idea of environmental determinism.

If Training is Lipstick on a Pig, At Least Make Sure They Aren't Hogs


Michelle Malay Carter over at Mission Minded Management recently wrote a post asking “Is Training Anything More Than Putting Lipstick on a Pig?” She raises some good points there’s more to the problem than she admits. Although the solution may be similar. Training class content matters. As does the student body.

You gotta make sure you don’t mix your hogs with your pigs.


A few years…

RO Related Feeds

Besides this blog, the GO Society also has an RSS feed that you may want to catch. I’ve somehow not found the twenty seconds it took to put it into my Google Reader aggregator.

Gillian Stamp also has some good stuff at her relatively new site. Another worthwhile feed.

Anyone know of any…

Genius: Capacity and Hard Work

Sand bucket on the beach of Punta del Este, Uruguay. David (CC BY 2.0)

For all his success, Rutherford was not an especially brilliant man and was actually pretty terrible at mathematics. Often during lectures he would get so lost in his own equations that he would give up halfway through and tell the students to work it out for themselves. According to his longtime colleague James Chadwick, discoverer of the neutron, he wasn’t even particularly clever at…

Why Your PhD Advisor Hates You: Stratum in Teaching Environments

(c) 2010 Ardfern (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Susan commented on my earlier post about why business schools stink. The post focused on MBAs but Susan linked to her earlier post on Customer Experience Crossroads (“What’s Wrong With Business Schools: Warren Bennis was Right”) that talks about entry into business PhD programs. I wanted to chime in with a couple of points.

Following my wife around her PhD at the University of Chicago, and…

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