Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.
@White_Owly — “Unconscious bias hangs out with plausible deniability. I’ve seen them together. They’ll deny it though.“
@EikeGS — “Today everything runs on bestseller lists. You rarely find good books there. But the less people can cook, the more cookbooks are sold.”
“Most executives, many scientists, and almost all business school graduates believe that if you analyze data, this will give you new ideas. Unfortunately, this belief is totally wrong. The mind can only see what it is prepared to see.” —Edward de Bono, via @hemppa
- Use minimalism to achieve clarity.
- Decide on your paper’s theme and two or three points you want every reader to remember.
- Limit each paragraph to a single message.
- Keep sentences short, simply constructed and direct.
- Don’t slow the reader down.
- Don’t over-elaborate.
- With regard to grammar, spoken language and common sense are generally better guides for a first draft than rule books.
- Commas denote a pause in speaking.
- Dashes should emphasize the clauses you consider most important — without using bold or italics — and not only for defining terms.
- Choose concrete language and examples.
Each worker is taught that he or she can always be more, and employability becomes a tragic path whose travellers declare a constant war on themselves, questioning the suitability of their personalities and achievements, never quite satisfied that they are spending their time sensibly enough.
How did organisations adapt to change in the 18th and 19th century: Lessons from the Bank of England
The Bank adapted to the lack of a skilled workforce by operating an internal labour market, recruiting men at entry level only and training them on the job. Because work could be coordinated in the ways described above, workers could also be expected to undertake just one aspect of that work. They learned a set of skills and spent their days doing the same thing over and over again. The Bank also incentivised good behaviour by requiring men to take oaths to act well on their employer’s behalf and it enforced that good behaviour imposing fines on men whose mistakes cost the institution money.
But the Bank neglected one important aspect of creating an effective workforce. It paid poorly at the lower levels. By the mid-eighteenth century a starting salary of £50 per annum was barely enough to support a bachelor, let alone a man with a family. Clerks thus had high incentives to find other means of making money. These extended from taking second jobs, to pilfering candle stubs and used pens to sell in the second-hand market, to the taking of gratuities from customers and the propensity of men working in the stock transfer offices to supplement their incomes by working as jobbers and brokers.
It is now acknowledged by monetary authorities such as the IMF, US Federal Reserve and Bank of England, that banks are creating new money when they make loans. They don’t lend the money of other account holders to those who want to borrow.
Bank loans consist of money conjured out of thin air, whereby new money is credited to the borrower’s account with the agreement that the amount will eventually be repaid with interest.
The policy implications of the public currency being created out of nowhere and lent to borrowers on a purely commercial basis have still not been taken on board. Nor has basing a public currency on debt, as opposed to the sovereign power to create and directly circulate money free of debt.