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Google Marketing Academy September 2011

"The limits of my language are the limits of my world." - L. Wittgenstein

I have posted materials from our sessions below. My hope is that you can find a way to use them to share some of what you learned with Googlers who did not attend the course. 

The narrow slice of the world within your awareness, your spotlight, is not the entire world. Think about what you might not be considering, and consider it.  

Please spread the Principle of Charity meme throughout Google. I only sketched out the idea for you. If you forgot it already, here's video of a talk I gave on the idea in Amsterdam in May. And here's a short illustration of how the principle helped me out one day recently: "The principle of charity on one of the best days of my life."  

Spread the meme, please.

Always keep this in mind:

Theorem Language matters
If you want to change the way you make decisions, first change with way you speak. Further, things will be even better if you get your colleagues to use the same language. Make them aware of all the different kinds of snow. Name the Cows.   

Don't be a normal person. Instead, abide by:
The Fundamental Theorem of Decision Making
Remember that good process always begins with the most basic question:

"What is the objective?"

That simple question can shorten the length of meetings -- or bring them to a halt. Don't just start designing new bottles. 

get "data," but make sure you have the right data

Don't assume that the data in your spotlight are the right data just because they are in your spotlight. Otherwise, you may blow up. 

Encourage uncertainty, but don't end up like Socrates.

Remember the (your) Red Curve

You don't need to be the smart guy in the meeting. Work on getting to a good decision, not winning the argument.  
Maybe even use Bollywood references...

"Memory is reconstructive."

Don't argue with your wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, whomever about whether you said you would home at 7 or 8: you might be wrong.
Applying The Fundamental Theorem is hard.

Once you see a bad decision outcome, it will be hard to see that the process behind the decision might have been good. The bad outcome will look inevitable once you know it occurred. That's how your mind works. Unknown-known. Know it.   

Your explanation might not be as clear as you think it is.

"Hey Jude"
Make sure your colleagues understand what you really mean. The song is very clear in your head, but perhaps not in theirs.  

We only covered a thin slice of material. Here is a more comprehensive document that I give to students in my full-length (2 month) MBA course: Neil's MDM Notes from the Underground.

Please feel free to add me on LinkedIn and join the Cinnamon Roll Appreciation Page on Facebook set up by INSEAD MBAs for sharing material related to decision making. 

I realized after class that I failed to mention that a lot of my research has been on optimal search. Too much to cover, and too little time, I guess. If you're ever really, really bored, you can look at some of the papers that came out of that work here: Optimal Search (Secretary Problems). If you like math puzzles, have a look at this paper (it's only 2 pages): A New Secretary Problem with Rank-Based Selection and Cardinal Payoffs. Despite the opaque title, it's a pretty straightforward puzzle, and the solution is very, very cool.  

Here's a freestyle I made a while back for my MBAs that contains lots of references to things we covered in our sessions in the GMA. (By the way, at INSEAD MDM is short for Management Decision Making, the name of the MBA course I teach.) If the lyrics now make sense to you, then I'm happy.  

MDM morning freestyle by Otto Didactic

Men in Snow

Slavoj Zizek at Authors@Google

The Asch Experiment

Neil Bearden,
Aug 30, 2011, 10:14 PM
Neil Bearden,
Aug 30, 2011, 10:41 PM
Neil Bearden,
Aug 31, 2011, 8:30 PM
Neil Bearden,
Aug 30, 2011, 10:25 PM
Neil Bearden,
Aug 31, 2011, 8:29 PM
Neil Bearden,
Aug 30, 2011, 10:14 PM