Archive for category: book review

Why do you get out of bed in the morning?

I think we should “Start With Why”!

This has been an affirming reflection.  I’m happy to spend my time and grey matter on projects (for work or volunteering) where I can contribute and learn something –however, I’m a stickler about the mission.  I want my time, energy and thoughts to be directed towards a mission I can get behind.

Last year when I said “no thanks” to a couple of potential consulting projects (including one with an international processed food company) my motivations were questioned.  I countered that if I couldn’t engage with the mission of the organization and the problem we were solving, the client wouldn’t be receiving my highest quality work, which would be both unfair and inauthentic.   Then the universe (actually Dr. Daniel Schroeder) led me to a quote that explains my orientation:

 “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.” (Simon Sinek)

Enjoy this TED Talk by Simon Sinek, the author of Start with Why.

What is the purpose of the work or activity you are engaged in right now? What is your cause? What are the underlying beliefs? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning?

“People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it” –Simon Sinek

Are you with me?  Do you do your best work when you are engaged with the mission?  Of course you do.

* * *

Thank you to Dr. Daniel Schroeder of Organizational Development Consultants in Milwaukee for the book – I “won” it at a presentation of his earlier in the year.  Now I understand and appreciate his enthusiasm for this book, and am joining in to share the ideas more broadly!

CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT YOU DO as “choice architecture” or “decision architecture”?

Yes, I’m late to the party, but I recently picked up the 2008 book Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Cass Sunstein and economist Richard Thaler. (And the whole truth is that I’ve only skimmed a bit of it, but I won’t let that stop me!)

Choice architecture describes the way in which decisions are influenced by how the choices are presented (in order to influence the outcome). The book proposes that default outcomes of a situation can be arranged to be the outcome desired by the person or organization presenting the choice. This can be used with a micro (small individual decisions, like how much popcorn to eat) and macro scope (social policy, encouraging retirement savings through taxation rules, etc.).

I found myself thinking that those of us involved in consulting, coaching, change and communication do a lot of “choice architecture”. I was musing along these lines to a friend, and incorrectly remembered the name of this concept as “decision architecture”. Later I googled or wikipedia’d these terms and was surprised to see that they are used very very differently!

“Decision Architecture” doesn’t exist on wikipedia (fancy that!), but is used here in



User Experience Magazine to describe how to design a website to guide the users’ choices of clicking and navigating and buying. Quite a micro scope indeed – or on second thought, maybe I’m quite mistaken – could be a big deal if you’re designing for amazon or ebay.

Check this out….the eponymous company Decision Architecture Associates describes themselves as…”specializes in the application of advanced quantitative methods to business decision problems”. It takes the term in a whole new direction, doesn’t it? Oh, but on second-look, the website hasn’t been updated since 2008, so maybe this definition didn’t have legs.

Now, all this lead in to ask the question:

Can we usefully employ these terms
choice architecture or decision architecture
to describe aspects of our work?


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