The Power of Noticing

What the Best Leaders See

by Max H. Bazerman

Number of pages: 240

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

BBB Library: Leadership

ISBN: 9781476700298

About the Author

Max H. Bazerman is Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He is the author of numerous books and founding partner of Think! Inc.


Editorial Review

The role of noticing is deeply rooted in the rapidly evolving field of behavioral decision research. It has diffused to a number of other fields, including behavioral economics, behavioral finance, behavioral marketing, negotiation, and behavioral law. The field is rooted in the concept of bounded rationality and in scientists’ work on the systematic and predictable biases that affect even the best and brightest human beings. Essentially, scientists created a revolution against the standard economic model, which historically assumed that humans were perfectly rational. This literature is the foundation upon which the noticing theory was based. The concept of bounded rationality and the influential field of behavioral economics have largely defined problems according to how we misuse information that is right in front of us. By contrast, noticing concerns our bounded awareness, or the systematic and predictable ways we fail to see or seek out critical information readily available in our environment.  blink

Book Reviews

"Bazerman teaches you how to pay attention to what didn’t happen, acknowledge self-interest, invent the new choices, and realize that what you see is not all there is." Harvard Business Review

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Wisdom to Share

Focusing is important, but sometimes noticing is better; at least when you are making critical decisions.

Leaders need to think beyond the moment to anticipate the problems that their organization's procedures could create.

Your goal should be to understand the strategic behavior of others without destroying opportunities for trust building.

Start by defining your objectives, which may involve identifying multiple criteria that you are trying to meet.

Leaders often fail to notice when they are obsessed by other issues.

We are often presented with what seems like all the information we need to make a decision when, in fact, we should be asking for additional information.

Most of the executives do not ask for additional information, and most of them decide to race.

When confronted with an anxiety-producing event, most people will retreat to avoid the fear and anxiety.

You can’t keep repeating negative words and expect to be a high achiever.

People who feed themselves a steady diet of negative words are destined to have a negative attitude.

Don’t underestimate the role of your words in this process.

Think of your attitude as the mental filter through which you experience the world.