Ian Hadden, an organisation consultant, together with writer Rupert Widdicombe, build on behavioural economist Dan Ariely’s notion that we are predictably irrational, presenting a sweep through the litany of tricks that our brains play on us. With the help of neuroscientist Dr Tali Sharot, they explore our tendency to be over-optimistic about our own future and suggest how organisations could harness these insights to benefit themselves and their workforce. Then with the input of philosopher Julian Baggini, they make the case that organisations, like people, are messy and fragmented sets of competing factions with no overall control centre – and show how Aristotle can help us make sense of it all.
Susie Steed, an economist at nef, along with Jonathan Schifferes of nef consulting, then show how unlocking motivation relies on understanding that organisational culture informs, but is also formed by, personal behaviour. And finally Jonathan Rowson, who leads the Social Brain project at the RSA, highlights practical tools to help organisations tackle adaptive challenges, recognising that only those people who are part of the problem can really be part of the solution.