I Must Not Have Been Part of This Research Study

There was an interesting article in today's Wall Street Journal about jealousy. The main point of the story was that other people’s plans for the future irritate us much more than experiences they’ve had in the past. At first, this idea might seem strange. Don’t we feel envy for people’s accomplishments and possessions, such as … Continue reading I Must Not Have Been Part of This Research Study

Do Some People Need Money to Do the Right Thing?

We've all heard the pitch, "Police are offering $1,000 for tips that lead to the arrest of so and so", and I'm guessing like most of you, I don't even pay attention. But for some reason when I heard it today, it made me think about the details of such offers and question why such … Continue reading Do Some People Need Money to Do the Right Thing?

You Get the Behavior You Reward

A basic tenet of management is that you get the behavior that you reward. The problem is that many times there are unintended consequences associated with the behavior that you get, and it ends up undermining the ultimate objective the reward was meant to encourage. For example, I tell my students that I could guarantee … Continue reading You Get the Behavior You Reward

Accentuate the Positive

The Wall Street Journal had a fascinating story yesterday about how many companies are changing the way they evaluate their employees. Instead of focusing on employees' weaknesses and past mistakes, employers are now focusing on employees' strengths and offering them frequent praise. Why the change? Could it be that managers have finally figured out that positive … Continue reading Accentuate the Positive

What’s Your “Big Bath”?

In business, there is a practice known as Big Bath accounting. The way the practice works is that when a company is having a bad year financially, it will opt to do everything it can to make it look as bad as possible. This may involve delaying revenue for the current year until the following … Continue reading What’s Your “Big Bath”?

In Search of Excellence, Creating My First Test of the Semester

I would have hoped after doing this for 29 years I'd know how to make up the perfect test. But I'm teaching a new prep this semester, and so I am filled with the usual doubts. Will the test be fair, will there be enough time for the students to complete the test, will the … Continue reading In Search of Excellence, Creating My First Test of the Semester