The Daily Paradox

Artificial intelligence and the future of the human race

I doubt you lie awake nights worrying about being taken over by a robot. I’m afraid that you will soon start to do so. We know that digitisation is going to lose many jobs, blue collar and white collar. Job loss is inevitable and nobody has yet come up with a serious solution to the…
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Why would you want to de-globalise?

It seems almost inconceivable but there are signs that the world is becoming protectionist, at least in attitude, and turning its back on the putative – and inevitable – trend to globalisation. From Trump to islands like Sri Lanka the voters are nudging politicians – or the other way round – into positions of looking…
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The Flipside of life

We are often asked “can you teach me creativity?” As you might expect the answer is not a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but a ‘maybe’. Most people have latent creativity in them but can’t release it. Sometimes they try too hard – earnestness and creativity are poor bedfellows. Sometimes they try with checklists. Trouble is…
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How to increase your prices

Pharmaceutical company Valeant acquired heart drugs Isuprel and Nitropress in 2014. As soon as they had done so they raised the prices of the two drugs by 600% and 300% respectively. Isuprel now costs US$1,346.62 per vial and Nitropress, US$805.61 per vial. We couldn’t have a better example of what not to do to raise…
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Procrastination and progress in your business – Part 2

There are two business decision areas notorious for procrastination; talent (hiring, rewarding and firing people) is the first. Vital to think before you hire and decent to think before you fire. Undue delay loses the best and retains the worst. The second area is market growth. Judgment seldom improves with thought beyond a certain stage.…
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Procrastination and progress in life – Part 1

You’ve heard that procrastination is the thief of time but do you know what it is? The dictionary says “If you put off doing what you ought to do, you will end up not having enough time to do it properly”. But you need to think things through before you do them, don’t you? This…
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5 questions each of us should answer once a year

What do I think is the point of my life? What have I done in the last month that has made me feel really proud of someone other than myself? What am I looking forward to most and when do I expect it to happen? When I feel less than happy or confident what do…
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Motivation without fear – Part 3

The four external motivators an employer can use are fear, paying money rewards for work done, demonstrating pride in accomplishments that he sees as useful and recognition of those employees who succeed. The two internal motivators that propel each of us to greater achievements are providing for others who depend on us and our own…
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Motivated to cheat – Part 2

Quote: “…the pay regime fostered an aggressive culture in which staff were motivated to cheat.” This was a reference to Volkswagen’s debacle over emissions testing, now shown also to have been prevalent among other car manufacturers. They never used the word cheat. “Cutting corners” perhaps or “bending the rules” but not cheating. Not that. From…
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The truly powerful don’t have to prove it – Part 1

The big gorilla beats his chest and makes a lot of noise to show he is boss. It is very effective. His harem come scrambling to pay homage and declare their undying loyalty, possibly even fidelity – though I don’t think they are quite into that yet. Nor, of course, are a lot of human…
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