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向福尔摩斯学点决策技巧

2014-08-15    来源:fortunechina    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

福尔摩斯因为注意到“狗没有叫”的线索而破解了一宗谋杀案,尽管这是一个虚构的故事,但哈佛商学院教授巴泽曼在其新书《警觉的力量:最优秀的领导人会看到什么?》中指出,商界高管可以向福尔摩斯学习,通过一些侦探工作来制定最佳商业决策。

For this installment, 250 Words’ Sam McNerney sits down with Max Bazerman. Bazerman is the co-director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Straus Professor at the Harvard Business School, and the author of numerous books. His latest, The Power of Noticing: What The Best Leaders See, explores how to make the best business decisions by deploying a little corporate detective work.
本期,《财富》书评栏目250 Words的山姆•麦克纳尼将采访马克斯•巴泽曼。巴泽曼是哈佛大学肯尼迪学院(Harvard Kennedy School)公共领导力中心(Center for Public Leadership)联席主任,哈佛商学院(Harvard Business School)施特劳斯教席教授,曾出版过多部作品。他的新书《警觉的力量:最优秀的领导人会看到什么?》(The Power of Noticing: What The Best Leaders See)探讨了如何通过一些侦探工作,做出最佳商业决策。

Sam talks to Bazerman about arch corporate villains Bernie Madoff and Jeffrey Skilling, what we can learn from magicians, and what it takes to be a “first-class noticer.”
山姆与巴泽曼谈论了商界大反派伯尼•麦道夫和杰弗里•思科林,我们从魔术师身上可以学到什么?以及要成为“一流的观察者”需要哪些条件?

McNerney: In another recent book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman talks about our intractable tendency to only consider readily apparent information. He even has an acronym for it: WYSIATI, or What You See Is All There Is. You write that “what you see is not all there is.” We fail to consider additional information, even when it’s available. Is there hope for us?
麦克纳尼:最近出版的另外一本书《思考,快与慢》(Thinking, Fast and Slow)中,丹尼尔•卡尼曼谈到了一种比较棘手的倾向,即人们只会考虑显而易见的信息。他还用一个缩写来代表这种情形:WYSIATI,意思是“眼见即为事实(What You See Is All There Is)”。而你却写道“眼见不见得是事实。”我们疏于考虑唾手可得的额外信息。这种情况能改变吗?

Bazerman: Danny Kahneman and I do not disagree here. His wonderful book argues that humans act as if what they see is all there is, and there is amazing evidence supportive of this position. The Power of Noticing focuses on the benefits of seeking additional information. First-class noticers differ from most of us in that they move beyond the limitations that Danny so accurately describes.
巴泽曼:丹尼•卡尼曼和我在这方面确实有点分歧。他的著作中提到,人类会根据眼见为实的想法行事,并且提出了有力的证据支持这种立场。而《观察的力量》则主要讨论寻找额外信息带来的好处。一流的观察者与大多数人的区别在于,他们会超越丹尼精确描述的局限性。

We can all move toward becoming what I call first-class noticers. The first step is to put it on your agenda to look around to see what information around you is important. Second, I recommend taking a break from the intense focus that is typical of successful professionals and ask what information you might be missing. Third, ask what features of your organization may be preventing employees from noticing critical information, and take steps to change the organization to reward people for noticing key threats and challenges to the organization.
我们都可以成为我所说的“一流的观察者”。第一步是从周围寻找重要信息,并将其作为一项日常工作。其次,我建议在强烈的专注之后休息一下,检查你可能错过了哪些信息。强烈的专注是成功专业人士的典型特点。第三,询问有哪些组织结构特性可能妨碍了员工注意到关键信息,并采取措施对组织结构进行改革,对于指出组织面临的重大威胁和挑战的员工,要给予奖励。

And, finally, you need to do better than the hedge funds that fed money to Madoff, and the executives at Penn State, and take a closer look when something seems wrong.
最后,你需要比那些为麦道夫“送钱”的对冲基金和宾夕法尼亚州州立大学(Penn State)的高管们做得更好,一旦发现任何错误迹象,都要更仔细地观察。

Bernie Madoff. Jeffrey Skilling. There are bad guys in every industry. But you write that maybe they’re not the real problem—that instead, there are actually a lot of little, maybe unwitting nefarious decisions and innocent but silent bystanders that really do the most harm. Could you talk about how “implicit blindness” can lure good people into unethical behavior?
伯尼•麦道夫。杰弗里•思科林。每一个行业都有坏人。但你在书中说,他们或许并不是真正的问题——相反,那些或许无意间做出的看似微不足道的不公决定,以及虽然无辜但保持沉默的旁观者,反而会造成最大的伤害。

There will always be bad guys. In the next decade, new crooks will emerge, and philosophers and religious leaders haven’t provided too many insights on how to stop them. But psychology has unlocked a number of tools to help the rest of us do a better job of seeing and acting on the unethical behavior of others. Madoff would have been caught many years earlier if those who should have noticed had acted on what they saw. But, too often, people do not see information that would cause short-term negative effects. We do not see the limitations of the employee we hired or the possible ethical challenges of the investment that we chose.
坏人会不断出现。未来十年,又会出现新一批恶棍,哲学家和宗教领袖们对此也束手无策。但心理学家却研究出一系列工具,可以帮助我们更有效地发现和应对其他人的不道德行为。如果当初本该有警惕性的人能采取一些措施,恐怕麦道夫会提前许多年锒铛入狱。然而,通常情况下,人们不会看到会造成短期负面影响的信息。我们不会看到我们聘用的员工的局限性,或者我们选择的投资所面临的伦理挑战。

Magicians, the kind you see on TV, are masters of the art of misdirection. What can we learn from them?
电视上的魔术师,其实都是误导艺术方面的大师。我们从他们身上能够学到什么?

In working on the Power of Noticing, I noticed that our failure to notice does not occur in a vacuum, but is encouraged by those around us who do not want us to notice certain information. This includes negotiators, advertisers, marketers, and politicians. Of course, the people who are best at misdirecting our attention are magicians.
撰写《观察的力量》这本书时,我发现我们之所以无法观察到有用的信息,并非因为我们处在真空环境中,而是受到周围那些不希望我们注意到某些特定信息的人的怂恿。这些人包括谈判对手、广告商、营销商和政客。而最擅长误导我们注意力的,自然是魔术师。

So, last January, when I taught an intensive one-week course on noticing at Harvard, I brought in David Kwong, a brilliant young magician, to perform his magic, and then reflected with the class on how he is so effective at keeping us from noticing his secrets. From magicians, we can see how others might prevent us from noticing their tricks through skills like distraction.
去年一月份,我在哈佛大学教授关于注意力集中的课程,课程为期一周。我邀请了邝大卫,一位很有才华的年轻魔术师表演他的魔术,然后我让全班同学思考,他为什么能如此成功地阻止我们觉察到他的秘密。从魔术师身上,我们可以看到其他人如何通过注意力分散等技能,阻止我们发现他们的花招。

You mention an Arthur Conan Doyle story, Silver Blaze, originally published in 1892. Sherlock Holmes solves a murder case by noticing what didn’t happen—a dog that didn’t bark. How can we spot “silent evidence” and why should we analyze what didn’t happen?
你提到了1892年出版的阿瑟•柯南道尔小说《银色马》(Silver Blaze)。夏洛克•福尔摩斯因为注意到一种没有发生的情况——狗没有叫,而破解了一宗谋杀案。我们如何找到“无声的证据”?我们为什么应该分析未发生的事情?

I used to be a very good tournament bridge player, but I gave up cards to pursue my academic career. Good card players make inferences based on what other players do. Great card players make inferences based on what other players do not do. Similarly, executives and diplomats should always be on the alert for events that were expected, but didn’t occur. We can glean insights by thinking about why those actions never occurred.
我曾经是一位不错的桥牌选手,但我后来放弃了桥牌,选择追求我的学术事业。好的桥牌选手会根据其他选手的出牌进行推理。但更优秀的桥牌选手却会根据其他选手没出的牌进行推理。同样,对于那些预计会发生但并未发生的事情,公司高管和外交官都应该时刻保持警惕。我们应该考虑为什么这些事情没有发生,并从中收集深刻的见解。

Many times the problem is the environment and not the individual. Elaborate on how we can design organizations using choice architecture and other insight from behavioral science to improve what employees will pay attention to.
许多时候,出问题的是环境而不是人。请详述一下,我们如何利用选择架构和源自行为科学的其他见解,来设计组织结构,从而让员工将注意力放在更有价值的地方?

So often, our organizations, our industry structure, and the incentives created by government do not encourage us to notice. Consider the auditing profession. The profession exists because it promises independence. Without independence, outside auditors would become redundant with a company’s inside auditors and have no reason to exist. Yet my colleagues and I have documented that our society allowed auditing firms to develop in a manner that decreased their propensity to be independent, and therefore lessened their likelihood of noticing problems in the financial books of their clients. Why? Because auditing firms want to be rehired. They want to sell their consulting services. And, often, auditors are looking for jobs with client firms. When you add it up, we have created conditions that dramatically reduce the likelihood of auditors noticing when their clients’ books have serious problems.
我们的组织结构、产业结构和政府推出的激励措施,通常并不鼓励我们仔细观察。以审计职业为例。之所以存在审计这个职业,是因为它承诺保持独立性。如果没有独立性,外部审计师就成了公司内部审计师的累赘,也就失去了存在的理由。我的同事曾与我合作写过一篇文章,其中提到,我们的社会纵容审计师事务所减少保持独立性的倾向,进而减少了他们在客户的财务账簿中发现问题的可能性。为什么?因为审计师事务所希望被二次雇佣。他们希望出售咨询服务。而且,审计师通常希望能在客户公司内部找到一份工作。种种因素综合在一起,就很容易大幅减少审计师从客户账簿中发现严重问题的可能性。

Near the end of the book you write about a savvy encounter you had with a taxi driver in Manchester. Tell us about this encounter and how we can use your book to become better “noticers.”
在书的末尾,你写到与曼彻斯特一位出租车司机的偶遇,令你深受启发。跟我们讲讲那次偶遇吧。我们如何通过你的书,成为更好的“观察者”?

I’ve often been disappointed by my own failure to notice, which is why I’m proud of this anecdote. A number of years ago, I arrived at England’s Manchester airport with Marla, my spouse, and two of our friends. We were planning to take a taxi to the local train station, and then the train to London, which is about 200 miles north of Manchester. We already had our train tickets. As we approached the taxi stand, a group of drivers are sitting around chatting. They appeared to know each other quite well. The driver of the lead taxi informed us that the trains were on strike, but that he was willing to take all four of us to London for 300 pounds (about $600 at that time).
我自己也不是好的观察者,这一点经常让我失望,正因为如此,我才对这次有趣的经历感到自豪。数年前,我与妻子玛拉和两个朋友抵达英国曼彻斯特机场。我们计划乘出租车到当地火车站,然后乘火车前往曼彻斯特以北200英里的伦敦。我们已经买好了火车票。我们来到出租车站的时候,一群出租车司机正围坐在一起聊天。他们彼此似乎都很熟悉。领头的出租车司机告诉我们,铁路工人正在罢工,他愿意以300英镑(当时约合600美元)的价格将我们四个人送到伦敦。

My companions believed what the driver told us and were ready to accept the offer. I was more suspicious. I said to Marla, “Don’t let him load the luggage yet.” I ran into the airport, up to the information booth, and quickly asked whether there was a train strike. Dashing back to the taxi stand, I pulled Marla and our friends aside with the news that there was no strike: the driver’s claim was a scam.
其他人都相信了那位司机的话,并且准备接受他的条件。但我却有些怀疑。我对玛拉说:“先不要让他装行李。”我跑到机场咨询台,询问是否有铁路工人罢工。火速赶回出租车站之后,我把玛拉和两个朋友拉到一旁,告诉他们没有罢工:司机在说谎。

The Power of Noticing is about seeing such hints: The drivers talking quietly to each other while watching us. The fact that the information I needed was only 100 feet away, inside the airport. And the fact that the taxi driver’s incentives—to get an expensive fare to London—was quite strong. We often have such hints. The key is to also act on them.
《观察的力量》就是告诉大家如何发现这样的暗示:出租车司机们一边轻声聊天,一边看着我们;我所需要的信息就在100英尺之外的机场内;出租车司机的动机(以更高的费用送我们去伦敦)非常强烈。我们经常会遇到这样的暗示。而关键在于行动起来。(fortunechina)

detective adj. 侦探的

intractable adj. 棘手的;难治的;倔强的;不听话的



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